Fringe Box



Effingham Eye: A Tale of Two Footpaths and Other Stories

Published on: 5 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 7 Sep, 2018

In this month’s Effingham Eye, Chris Dick gives his personal report on: one footpath closes, another heads to committee, a fundraiser tops £30,000 and two Effingham events, and more…

Footpath complaints

Two footpath issues formed the main part of the agenda at a well-chaired Effingham Parish Council (EPC) meeting, on Tuesday, August 28. Firstly, concerns were expressed about a permissive footpath which had been fenced off.

Effingham Parish Council L to R Cllrs: Liz Hogger, Tony Jones, Keith Cornwell, Jon Short (non-councillor clerk), Ian Symes (Chair), Paula Moss (Vice Chair), Arnold Pindar, Alison Mayell, Cliff Hackett, James Nicholls

Councillors heard that some residents were complaining that a “permissive” path, ie a footpath which the landowner has given permission for people to use, that runs north-south between Effingham Place and the Howard of Effingham School, could no longer be used. The path used to connect King George V (KGV) recreation grounds with Lower Road.

Permissive footpath closed off by the landowner

Several years ago there had been an unsuccessful attempt to close the same path but this time the landowner had written to both Surrey County Council (SCC) and EPC. However, some residents are claiming that they have, over more than two decades of use, accrued rights and it should therefore be considered a public right of way.

Following some initial soundings, the parish council decided to collect evidence of historic use and gather further information, creating a small working group in the process, before making a decision on the matter at its September meeting.

The outcome of Howard of Effingham School’s attempt to close footpath 75?

Footpath 75 looking south from Lower Road, Effingham

Following previous reports in The Guildford Dragon NEWS about the Howard of Effingham School’s wish to close “footpath 75” and, the subject being touched on at the EPC, a public meeting took place at the Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) offices in Dorking on Wednesday, September 5.

Five speakers that included EPC, Effingham Residents Association (EFFRA), the local churches and residents presented their cases against the closure at the meeting.

The short path, like the recently closed path, runs north-south from the KGV to Lower Road crossing the Howard of Effingham School’s playing fields further to the east.

Although both sides were permitted to have up to five speakers surprisingly the Howard of Effingham School, who had initiated the attempt to close the path, were not represented. Indeed only one Bookham resident spoke in favour of closing the path.

The councillors were clearly surprised by how short this critical path was.  And they did not see how closing the path would make the school any more secure as it is open at so many other points around its grounds. So it came as no surprise when, after a short debate, a unanimous decision was made to keep the path open.

The chairman of the committee Cllr Tim Hall suggested that the school should liaise more with the local community groups such as EPC and EFFRA.

Other matters discussed by EPC

Toddlers playground appeal

Toddler’s playground

Vivien White, Chairman of EFFRA, provided a brief update to EPC councillors on the amount of money raised by volunteers for the new and enlarged toddlers playground at the KGV.

Vivien reported that the funds raised so far exceeded £30,000 which included over £5,000 from EPC and some generous private donations. The councillors were clearly delighted with the news and asked Vivien to pass on their congratulations and thanks to all those involved.

The Laurels Parade

The Laurels shopping parade, The Street, Effingham

EPC vice chairman Cllr Paula Moss outlined possible plans for improving the grass area in front of the small parade of shops known as The Laurels, The Street, Effingham. Her short informal presentation, which put forward the idea of spending about £6,000, was well received by fellow councillors and the small audience of four residents.

The councillors agreed to seek prior approval from SCC and canvass the views of shopkeepers before making a final decision.

It was noted that, although the estimated costs were high and would involve year on year maintenance, the initial outlay would be subject to match-funding from the borough council and that the shopkeepers and local businesses might be willing to sponsor parts of the project.

Sixth Formers’ Parking

Worth noting belatedly, from the agreed July EPC meeting minutes, Cllr Liz Hogger confirmed that she had attended a design meeting hosted by Design South East, with representatives from Berkeley Homes and the Howard of Effingham School. The meeting discussed the proposed design of the new school building and it was confirmed that Guildford Borough Council had not yet received a planning application.

A concern resulting from the meeting was that there did not appear to be any provision for sixth-formers’ vehicles in the proposed new school car parks. Currently, these vehicles park on local narrow streets and are a concern for pedestrian safety and traffic flow.

Effingham Commoners Day

Commoners Day 2018

The bi-annual Effingham Commoners Day will take place between 12 and 4pm on Sunday, September 30, 2018.

The event will feature: BBQ, licensed bar and soft drinks available from Effingham Cricket Club pavilion, Surrey Hills Society stall, climbing wall (don’t forget suitable clothing and footwear), face painting,  guided tour of brick manufacture, Effingham local history & Friends of Effingham Common stalls, hurdle making, cricket skills demonstration, ice cream van, animals (most important in the exercising of Commoners Rights), self-guided nature trail, GBC countryside stall plus a scything demonstration.

The Mayor of Guildford, Mike Parsons.

So on Sunday, September 30 why not join the Friends of Effingham Common, EPC and Guildford Borough Council’s (GBC) Countryside Team for a celebration on the common?

The event will be attended by the Mayor of Guildford, Mike Parsons and there will be the usual exercising of commoners’ rights at 2pm.

Heritage Day

This year’s Effingham & Little Bookham Open Day takes place on Saturday, September 15. There are eight historic buildings to visit with slightly different opening and closing times. Please see the attached leaflet for details.

A Village Tidy-Up

Revd Mandy MacVean and her team have organised a village ‘Litter Pick’ on Saturday, September 22. It will start with volunteers meeting outside All Saints Church, Manor House Lane, Little Bookham at 10am and last for two hours as it moves west into Effingham.

GBC are providing all the necessary safety and rubbish collecting equipment.

Mandy told The Guildford Dragon: “It would be good if some non-church people want to come along and help, even if they came for a short time.” Anyone interested is invited to just turn up or contact the church parish office at: for further details.”

Harvest Supper

Last year’s Tithe Barn Harvest Supper

Following last year’s highly successful Harvest Supper, Revd Mandy has announced that this year’s event will take place on Saturday, October 20, 2018. Once again it will be held in the Tithe Barn, Manor House Lane, Little Bookham. Doors open at 6pm with free entry for all local residents but you are encouraged to bring along a plate of food to share and a bottle.

Mandy said: “We have musical entertainment and activities for children and young people on offer as well. It’s s a chance for the community to gather.”

Contact Jon Hargreaves on for further details.

Share This Post

Responses to Effingham Eye: A Tale of Two Footpaths and Other Stories

  1. Simon Bisson Reply

    September 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Very good news that footpath 75 has been saved so well done and thanks to all involved. This was a common sense decision so I hope the issue is now closed for good.

  2. Laurel Sayer Reply

    September 7, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks as always for the news updates on our village.

    I was most surprised to learn that the proposals for the new school did not currently include a designated sixth formers parking area. Extraordinary given the current problems experienced by drivers in Lower Road and Church Street arising from students parked cars.

    Surely, with an even larger school planned this is a vital consideration, and I am pleased to hear that the parish council will be looking at this much more closely.

  3. Simon Bisson Reply

    September 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I too am concerned about the huge issue of sixth-former parking. Residents were assured that one of the infrastructure benefits would be that student cars would no longer be parking on the lower road, church street etc, ie there would be ample parking for students on the school site. Berkeley Homes are obviously trying to forget about this which must be opposed. Still waiting for them to attempt to reduce the number of affordable homes.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *