Guildford Borough Council support Effingham Neighbourhood Plan and reject Berkeley Homes proposal for 295 homes in Effingham

Howard Plan sitesOur Neighbourhood Plan took a huge step forward last night after Guildford Borough Council’s Planning committee refused the controversial Berkeley Homes Planning application for 295 homes, and a replacement secondary school for the Howard of Effingham.

The application was refused with an almost unprecedented 11 reasons cited by planners for refusal. Members from Effingham Parish Council, the Neighbourhood Plan Group (ENPAG) and EFFRA all spoke on behalf of residents to oppose the application. Effingham’s Borough Councillor, Liz Hogger, spoke with great verve to summarise residents’ opposition to the plans, winning the support of fellow planning councillors who voted unanimously (with one abstention) to reject the proposals.

We can now press on with our plans for the sustainable development of our village, building the homes that local people want and need, on sites that minimise the impact on our village, and safeguard the historic character and environment of Effingham.

Parish Councillor & Chair of ENPAG, Paula Moss, said:

“On behalf of ENPAG and the Parish Council, a big thank you to all those who wrote in to planners, and turned up last night to support our village. We will now continue to work on a sustainable plan that supports all the community, of which our schools are an important part. It is important to point out that, whilst we opposed this planning application, we remain a committed supporter of The Howard, and would welcome the opportunity to work positively with the school on plans to improve the facilities to the benefit both of the school and the wider community in which the school sits.”

Arnold Pindar, Chair of Effingham Parish Council said:

“This was an immensely important night for Effingham, and I am pleased that the Planning officers at Guildford, made the correct decision based on the planning facts before them. Our efforts will now continue on the Neighbourhood Plan, which can now move forward with confidence to the next stage. My thanks go out, on behalf of the council, to all those who contributed to the effort last night.”