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Letter: I Hope Those Who Refused Permission for Howard School Sleep Soundly

Published on: 11 Apr, 2022
Updated on: 10 Apr, 2022

Howard of Effingham plan

From: N Neville

In response to: Permission Refused for Additional 114 Houses to Make Howard of Effingham Scheme Viable

The vote to refuse the building of 100 new houses on a parcel of green belt land in Effingham has prevented the future funding of the new proposed Howard school.

The objections were cast mainly because this plan would increase the number of houses and subsequent traffic. It was also noted that a badger, a bat and a newt were seen on the land.

The objections were made on the pretext of too many extra cars and loss of green belt. But the underlying latent reason was, of course, that the objectors knew that if these houses were refused then consequently the school may also not be built; resulting in no change to their lives whatsoever.

These people ought to remember that they undoubtedly had very good schooling and many progressed to university.

So I ask why they should vote to veto the chance of future pupils having the advantage of a new modern school where they can obtain qualifications similar to the people who voted down the proposal.

I personally find it incredibly mean spirited that they should think that good schooling should cease with them.

I say yes. What’s a few more houses and the loss a small parcel of land along with a badger, a bat and an easily relocated newt compared to the loss of excellent education.

And it would mean more than that, it actually means that other children will be able to progress as we did.

I hope those who refused the planning permission can sleep soundly on their decision.

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Responses to Letter: I Hope Those Who Refused Permission for Howard School Sleep Soundly

  1. John Cooke Reply

    April 11, 2022 at 7:57 am

    I live nowhere near Effingham, so don’t have a dog in the race, but have followed this story.

    My impression was, the developer did a deal, some years ago, to provide new facilities for the school in return for building and selling some houses.

    They have now tried to emotionally blackmail the school and council into letting them build additional houses, presumably under the pretext that houses are not making enough profit and the poor developer will be left penniless.

    I’m glad people stood up to this, but unfortunately, the decision will probably get overturned when it gets referred to a higher authority. N Neville shouldn’t worry too much.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 11, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    Not really. I for one, as an objector, will sleep most soundly thank you.

    Berkeley Homes promised to build a school out of the massive profits they stood to make from the intense housing estate. Since then, building material costs have risen between 10-15 per cent. Simultaneously, house prices in this area have risen between 20-25 per cent, so their profits have grown ever larger from the original scheme.

    This demand for more houses was putting a gun to the heads of the GBC planners, on the basis of “financial viability”, as their tame accountants gave them the advice they demanded.

    Frankly, I would not weep if they now walk away, and build their abomination elsewhere. The Howard, as it stands, is a highly rated school, and may need a lick of paint here and there, but nothing is wrong so as to impede the education of our young.

  3. Roger Hoy Reply

    April 11, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    My view is that it appears to be one of two things that need to be looked at in relation to the request by the developers for extra houses to be built.

    Either they have failed in the costing of the original plans. Therefore the request for the extra houses is made to save them from making less profit or even a loss. Sorry for the developers? No that’s business. Teach them to get their costings correct.

    Or secondly they intended to make a planning application for the extra houses all along and were always going to use the school as a bargaining chip. To me this is an underhand tactic. No extra houses, no school.

    I have made up my mind up which I think it is. It is for others to make up their own minds.

    I doubt that any major developer would make such a serious error in costings. Which in my mind only leaves the other option?

  4. Valerie Thompson Reply

    April 12, 2022 at 9:41 am

    N Neville talks about “a few more houses”. This is not the case. The developers are asking for 114 more houses to be allowed. Think of all those extra cars; all the people needing surgeries; all the people needing car parking places at Effingham station; all those extra children needing school places (in junior schools, which locally are already full), let alone the Howard School, which will have to take the children from these new developments as well as educating the existing pupils and all the children from the huge developments in the Horsleys. Enough is enough!

  5. David Roberts Reply

    April 12, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    It is the school governors and managers who deserve sleepless nights, having done a pact with the devil to build a new school. They were warned that this could end in tears.

    Schools should be funded from the public purse or (instead of holidays and new cars) directly by parents, not by debt and greedy developers. Hundreds more houses in Effingham simply mean more children and a continued shortage of school places. Thus school expansion involves running faster to stand still, especially if it sucks in students from outside the area. With a static local population, there is no actual demand – just empire-building by those who appear see their legacy in terms of real estate rather than educational delivery.

    Children’s educational achievement is not especially correlated with school building quality. Parents should remember that school days are soon over, but the destruction of nature is forever. Their children will be living with climate change and species loss long after they are dead. The current economic situation is not one for castles in the air but for make-do-and-mend and focusing on what really matters to them in the long term.

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