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Residents’ Association ‘Research’ Dismisses Berkeley Financial Shortfall Claim

Published on: 13 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 14 Apr, 2021

By Chris Dick

Effingham Residents’ Association has challenged Berkeley Homes over the developer’s bid to build 110 more homes to help fund a new Howard school.

Vivien White, chair of the Effingham Residents’ Association.

In an article, published on its website, the association suggested the Berkeley claim of insufficient funds was inaccurate and the time lapse since the original plan was put forward had simply added to their profit margin.

The original Berkeley plans for the school, to be financed by building 295 houses, was rejected by Guildford Borough Council in 2014 but approved, on appeal, by the Secretary of State in March 2018.

Then the developer said 110 more houses would be needed on green belt land because building costs had increased. The association’s complicated report concluded that since 2015, building costs for schools and houses had risen by less than the jump in house prices.

The cost of building both houses and schools had gone up by about 15% since 2015, they said. But house prices in the Guildford area had increased by about 25%, which more than covered any alleged shortfall in the enabling funds needed to build the school, the report stated.

The association’s honorary secretary refused details of the research, saying only it had been “a team effort” and added no further comment, closing the door on independent scrutiny.

He also tried to impose a publication ban on photographs of their committee members in this or any future articles on the association, which also bars the Press from meetings.

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