Fringe Box



Parish Council Approves Examiner’s Neighbourhood Plan Recommendations.

Published on: 29 Sep, 2017
Updated on: 2 Oct, 2017

The former St Lawrence school playing field in Church Street.

By Chris Dick

Effingham Parish Council (EPC) has agreed to implement all the recommendations for the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) made by an independent examiner in a recent report. A motion to accept was passed, with just one abstention, at a quiet meeting of the council on Tuesday (September 26, 2017). Only a handful of residents were in attendance.

Of the 20 plus recommendations, mostly minor, made by Peter Biggers the Examiner, only the former St Lawrence school playing field in Church Street caused any debate. The alternatives were: to reduce the number of new dwellings from around 20 to up to nine, as recommended, or remove the site from the plan and possibly revisit it after Guildford’s Local Plan had been approved.

After considering advice from the Effingham NP Advisory Group (ENPAG), the parish council formally voted to accept all the examiner’s recommendations. The impact of the Church Street decision means there is likely to be sufficient space for an increase in the adjacent parish council’s burial ground.

Effingham Parish Council’s draft Neighbourhood Plan

The council was clearly delighted to conclude to those present that following a successful examination, and their adoption of the examiner’s recommendations, Effingham’s Neighbourhood Plan was now, “well on the road to adoption”.

Biggers had said in his report: “The extent of interest and participation by residents in the plan at the various stages is impressive and I am satisfied from the evidence that the communication and consultation which took place provided full opportunity for the community’s participation.”

EPC Chairman Arnold Pindar said: “We are extremely pleased to receive such a positive endorsement for our plan, which is the culmination of several years of hard work by residents. We now look forward to the final stage and a hopefully successful referendum result.”

Cllr Paula Moss, chair of ENPAG, added: “After so much hard work by so many people it was pleasing to see the examiner comment in such a positive fashion about the plan. It is unusual for any Neighbourhood Plan to go through the process without significant changes so we were anticipating some modifications.

“We do feel that the integrity of the plan remains intact and if anything we are grateful to the examiner in providing his expertise to strengthen some of the core policies. We look forward to the final stage of the process with great enthusiasm.”

Explaining the next step in the adoption of the plan, Liz Hogger, borough and parish councillor, commented: “It will now be the responsibility of Guildford Borough Council to make the final modifications before arranging for the Neighbourhood Plan to be put to a referendum.

“Effingham residents will have the final say, but we are very optimistic it will gain approval, given the overwhelming support shown by residents in a previous survey. If supported at the referendum, the plan would then be adopted and must be accorded significant weight in all planning decisions impacting upon Effingham.”

The examiner’s report and other information about the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the GBC website:

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