Changes to the local villages proposed in the draft Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Local Plan and the Berkeley Homes/Howard of Effingham School Joint Venture are the most significant in Effingham and surrounding areas for many years. We (your Residents Association Committee) are concerned about the scale of the proposed developments in Effingham and other local villages. This leaflet aims to give you a brief outline of those changes here and their possible impacts. The second page, to be completed by you and returned (as over) is for us to gain your views so that we can determine our response to the draft Local Plan and proposed development sites in Effingham.
The draft Local Plan includes a 30% proposed increase of homes in Effingham and is now out for consultation until 22nd September at: www.guildford.gov.uk/draftlocalplan
It is important that residents as well as filling in this questionnaire also express their views in the consultation that will be seen by the Planning Inspectorate when the Local Plan is formally examined. GBC intends the Plan to be adopted in Autumn 2015. The proposals affecting Effingham are:
- Effingham village including Home Farm are to be taken out of the Green Belt and `inset.’ Together with the proposed extension of the settlement area (see below) this will make development proposed for Effingham much easier.
- Extension of the Existing Settlement Area (where development is permitted) to almost double in size. The Grove and nearby allotments, the fields in Browns Lane and Church Street as well as the houses on Lower Road and Effingham Place and all the Howard of Effingham School land would all be included. The latter together with Effingham Lodge Farm and Browns Field are the proposed “enabling” development sites for a new Howard school. We are concerned that GBC could be seen to be prejudging any application for any proposed development by incorporating these areas into the settlement area.
- Infrastructure Project on Effingham Common. This refers to the GBC’s plans to build a car park on the Common. Effingham Parish Council has already told GBC that the village does not want a car park built as it would probably be used as an overflow for the station and may attract antisocial activities to the area. We understand that building this car park is an enabling mechanism to extend the SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) status of Effingham Common which would release development land up to 5km around it. This could enable developments totalling about 3000 dwellings in Effingham, West and East Horsley and in particular Wisley. The latter is currently protected as a SPA (Special Protected Area).
Berkeley Homes and the Howard of Effingham have formed a joint venture to build a replacement school for the Howard on Lodge Farm opposite the current school. This would be funded by enabling development of 310 houses on the three sites listed above. Berkeley Homes has acquired Effingham Lodge Farm but under the current status of the land would be unable to build houses on it without building the school. The size of the school would increase to 2,000 pupils. Car parking would be provided on the site and access is proposed to be from Effingham Common Road and Lower Road.
The Howard currently has 1600 pupils and is an academy with an excellent reputation. About 10% of pupils are from Effingham with many travelling by bus or car from Bookham and the villages to the West. SCC Education Department has said that an increase in pupil capacity at the Howard is not currently needed. The Draft Local Plan contains plans for a further secondary school to be built at West Clandon.
Issued July 2014