Another message reported on StreetLife from the Howard of Effingham Headteacher
Guildford Borough Council Planning Committee will be deciding on the future for The Howard next Wednesday.
Almost 700 of you have so far registered your support with the Council. Thank you. We have set out below some suggestions of further activity you can undertake in this final week and reminder points of why we see this project as a one-off opportunity.
1. Encourage friends, family and neighbours in the community to register their support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org copy in email@example.com so we can keep you informed. They can do this by clicking here
2. Come along to the Planning Committee next Wednesday 9th March at Council Chamber, Millmead House, Guildford GU2 4BB.
The meeting is due to start at 7pm but we expect that there will be a great deal of people wanting to come along, especially those against our application, so to avoid disappointment we would recommend getting there at least one hour before. You may also want to bring students along as a planning committee is an education into the workings of local government and those interested can see democracy in action.
Unfortunately there will not be the opportunity for parents to speak as we only have two speaking slots and this will be Rhona Barnfield on behalf of The Howard and a representative from Berkeley. However, your presence in the gallery would be incredibly encouraging and help demonstrate to the councillors the support we have in our community.
The plans will turn this… Into this…
Transport improvements from the scheme
The plan and design for traffic in the proposed new school will be of considerable benefit to the school and local community due to drop off/pick up, staff and student parking, coach drop off and cycle provision being contained within the confines of the site.
This will significantly reduce congestion for the local community and provide an all-round calmer and safer experience for anyone travelling around the area at the start and end of the school day.
Traffic will be diverted away from Lower Road via a new link road to and from Effingham Common Road, which will relieve traffic congestion each morning and evening across the whole village and beyond for the through traffic.
Highways improvements will be delivered through a Section 278 agreement and will assist the village to alleviate this existing problem through the following:
Safer pedestrian crossing routes and footways on the Lower Road and The Street.
Mini roundabout introduced at Old Lane/Horsley Road/ Effingham Common Road/ Forest Road junction
Upgrade Guildford Road/The Street junction to improved signal control system which minimizes stops and delays to traffic
Redesign the entry of existing Rectory Lane/Lower Road to improve performance
Yellow lines on Lower Road.
Key facts to note
The fact that the school is so successful is a credit to the quality leadership, teaching and efforts of staff and students to overcome accommodation issues which include;
Existing buildings originally designed pre-war for 340 pupils
Incoherent and inflexible layout
Potential health and safety issues
Security issues that could compromise the safety of children
Inadequate parking facilities creating congestion on Lower Road
Under provision of space not only for classrooms but also dining and external social spaces
A split site with PE lessons taking place on off-site rented playing fields.
There are no government or alternative sources of funding for the new school. The only way the school will be enhanced is through enabling residential development. Using the Berkeley owned Lodge Farm will open up the site to the local community who will be able to use the formal playing fields on land not currently accessible to the public.
The project team carefully assessed six different options for the school including re-building on the current site. Lodge Farm provides a £30m+ new campus style design which reduces the visual impact and manages congestion within the school site. It also requires the smallest number of enabling homes and would only take 18 months to complete.
Effingham Parish Council has identified the Lodge Farm site for 30 new houses in its draft neighbourhood plan (one of four sites identified by EPC for a total of 65 proposed homes in Effingham) without any provision for a new school.
The new school building will be fit for the 21st century and will transform the learning environment for all our students and staff. We want to seize this opportunity to benefit the whole community.
Thank you once again for sharing your support for The Howard. The last week of activity has been heartening for all the staff and leadership team of the school and we cannot thank you enough.