Planning application to change school playing fields into a public recreation

Berkeley Homes has submitted planning application MO/2021/1472 for a change of use from education to outdoor recreation for the Howard of Effingham playing fields that lie in Bookham (i.e. east of the public footpath that runs along the parish boundary between Effingham and Little Bookham.

Berkeley Homes has stated that building the replacement Howard of Effingham School is financially unviable, and submitted two planning applications 21/P/01283 and 21/P/01306 to build an extra 110 homes on the Green Belt earlier this year. Unsurprisingly given the complexity of the planning application and the huge number of comments received, Guildford Borough Council has not made a decision on those two planning applications.

What is unclear is what happens to the playing fields if the school is not built, and Mole Valley approves this planning application. Does that mean the school would loose the playing fields as they would then be a public recreation area?

Anyone who wishes to comment on the planning application should do so by Friday 10 September via the Mole Valley website here, or via email to

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