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Effingham Parish Council Objects to Berkeley Homes Plans for Extra Houses

Published on: 29 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 30 Jul, 2021

The Effingham Parish Council meeting was held in the parish church to allow social distancing.

By Chris Dick

Objections to Berkeley Homes’ plans for an additional 114 homes in Effingham are to be submitted by the parish council.

The decision was made at a socially distanced meeting held in St Lawrence Church on Tuesday (July 27) after councillors heard a detailed report from Cllrs Paula Moss and Bronwen Roscoe regarding the latest planning application for Effingham Lodge Farm.

In a subsequent statement, the council rejected the developer’s claim that an additional 114 homes were now required to fill a funding gap which would prevent them from being able to afford to build a new school for the Howard of Effingham with funds generated by the construction of 295 homes in the village under an existing scheme, allowed at appeal by the Secretary of State in March 2018.

The parish council had set up a working group that presented evidence from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which they said demonstrated that while the cost of building in the public sector had increased by 14%, this was more than offset by the 29% increase in house prices.

Parish councillors heard further evidence highlighting that the additional housing failed to meet the standards set out in the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan and the Guildford Local Plan both of which had been formally adopted since consent had been granted for the original scheme.

Cllr Paula Moss said: “Taken on its own merits, the weight and balance of the argument against the 114 homes is very substantial.

“It cannot claim that the benefit of the homes proposed meets the requirements for very special circumstances to outweigh all the harms and conflicts with planning policies set out in the Local Plan and the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan. The homes are not necessary, are of the wrong mix to address local needs and do not contribute sufficiently to affordable housing.

“It would be entirely inappropriate to allow such a proposal to go ahead on a site that has been designated as high sensitivity green belt land.”

Cllr Bronwen Roscoe said: “By requiring an additional 114 houses on green belt land in order to deliver the original scheme, amending the boundary of the consented development and changing some of its use, the applications take the approved scheme out of its original permission, and should therefore be treated as a material amendment under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which requires a whole new application.”

Chair of the parish council, Cllr Ian Symes, thanked the working group for their, “considerable effort in researching the applications and presenting such a clear and reasoned presentation”.

He said: “Tonight, Effingham Parish Council has considered a wide-ranging and in-depth review of all the evidence impacting the applications from Berkeley Homes. We have made a reasoned and well-informed decision and will be strongly objecting to these plans on behalf of our residents.”

Full details of the council’s response are available on the parish council website:

Residents wishing to comment on the plans, reference: 21P/01306 and 21P/01283) can do so by using the borough council’s public access portal. The closing date for comments is August 5.

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Responses to Effingham Parish Council Objects to Berkeley Homes Plans for Extra Houses

  1. Vivien White Reply

    August 3, 2021 at 11:16 am

    The Effingham Residents Association or EFFRA has also now made a strong objection to the Berkeley Homes planning applications. You can read the objection and press release at:
    Our objection reflects the opposition of local residents to the applications. In addition, a large number of objections have been made by local residents through the EFFRA website which have not yet been posted by Guildford Borough Council.

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