Since the launch of the Effingham Village Plan in April we have provided additional information on our plans to villagers attending the annual Effingham Village Day event on the King George V Field. The successful event was held on 8 June and over 100 people indicated their interest in the plans with a number offering help with its development.
On 20 June 2013 Guildford Borough Council agreed to undertake a consultation on issues and options for their new Local Plan that will run in October and November 2013. Cllr Monika Juneja, the Lead Councillor for Planning and Governance, noted that local involvement in the early stages of local planning is necessary to ensure the aspirations of the community are incorporated within the framework and that public consultation will make up a fundamental part of the decision making process.
The Borough Council recognises that the community is growing and that they need to find ways to manage this growth. The plan will provide a vision for the next 20 years with the aim of delivering a thriving economy, protected environment and an inclusive society. It is a plan for all residents, workers and visitors that will ensure development will be of the right type, right scale and in the right location.
Separate to this, plans for Bookham Vanguard to review the boundary of the Metropolitan Green Belt around Bookham are giving rise to concerns in Effingham. It is essential that the right tests are applied to ensure that the Green Belt is protected as far as is possible. The Green Belt stretches from the built up areas of Bookham right up to the Effingham boundary and hence, any changes to theGreen Belt boundary could seriously affect the landscape and functioning of Effingham. From Bookham Vanguard’s published “final tests” Effingham Parish Council does not have confidence that Bookham Vanguard have selected the appropriate tests. We are challenging this.
The Guildford Borough Council initiative and concerns about Bookham Vanguard’s Green Belt review will affect our work on the Effingham Village Plan. We are, therefore, modifying our timetable to ensure we have the resources to respond to these challenges whilst continuing to develop our own plan.