Agenda item

21/P/00428 - Howard of Effingham School, Lower Road, Effingham, Leatherhead, KT24 5JR


Prior to consideration of the above-mentioned application, the following persons addressed the Committee in accordance with Public Speaking Procedure Rules 3(b):


·         Mr Ian Symes (Chairman of Effingham Parish Council) (to object)

·         Ms Vivien White (Chairman of Effingham Residents Association) (to object)

·         Mr David Gilchrist (Agent) (In Support)


The Committee considered the above-mentioned Reserved Matters application pursuant to outline permission 14/P/02109 approved on 21/03/2018, to consider appearance, landscaping, layout and scale in respect of 99 dwellings.


The Committee received a presentation from Specialist Development Management Majors Officer, John Busher.  The Committee noted the supplementary late sheets as some changes had been made to the southern and eastern boundaries of the application site, an amendment to condition 14 and a new condition.  This was a reserved matters application for the construction of 99 dwellings following approval of outline planning permission by the Secretary of State in 2018 as part of the Effingham School development.  The main phase of the development was planned on the Lodge Farm site. The site was located outside of but adjoining to Effingham Conservation Area and Little Bookham Conservation Area which was in Mole Valley.  The site was previously Green Belt land.  Residential properties were located mainly to the west, King George Recreation Ground to the south and to the east a school and a church.  The planning officer referred to the Masterplan which had been approved by the Secretary of State.  The largest part of the application site was set on the northern side of the road which included houses and the replacement secondary school and a smaller residential development accessed off Brown’s lane.  The Inspector considered the Masterplan as part of the appeal.  The access from Lower Road led to a central open space in the middle of the site leading to cul-de-sacs with a variety of dwellings and apartment units.  The approved parameter plans were also referred to by the Planning Officer, also considered by the Planning Inspector, which showed the approved building height parameters at two and a half storeys in height which was considered acceptable in those areas.  A potential pedestrian/cycle link was proposed along the eastern boundary which would link Lower Road into King George the Fifth Recreation grounds. 


The Committee noted that the appeal layout plan had been amended on a number of occasions to deal with issues raised by planning officers and residents.  The main changes were focused on the eastern portion of the site where a much improved arrangement of buildings fronting onto the spine road had been achieved.  Previously, the dwellings were located side onto the access road and the applicant had changed it so all the dwellings fronted onto the streetscene.  The applicant had also swapped the terrace of four dwellings with an apartment block on the eastern boundary.  The apartment block now had an active frontage onto Lower Road therefore improving the streetscene.  The larger blocks were also located further away from the listed buildings and the conservation areas.  The terrace of 4 dwellings had moved to the south-eastern corner with a greater gap to the southern and eastern boundaries.  The building would also be slightly smaller in height.  The taller buildings were located around the central open space and the existing lodge was still being retained and incorporated into the scheme.


The Committee noted that to address issues raised by residents, the applicant had reintroduced the cycle and pedestrian route that was shown on the parameter plan along the eastern boundary of the site. There would be a pedestrian and cycle link from Lower Road to the recreation area with the road flanked by a 1.5 metre high metal fence.  The additional condition would secure the design and layout.  To the southern boundary of the site there was the potential to have an access point between the two sites but was dependent upon an agreement being reached between the two private landowners. 


The planning officer concluded that this was a reserved matters application, and as such the principle of development was deemed acceptable, including the access and the number of units which had already been agreed and established by the Secretary of State.  The design and layout of the proposal was considered by planning officers to be an overall improvement compared to the indicative details submitted as part of the appeal proposal.   The application did not result in any harm to heritage assets, neighbouring amenities, flooding or highways issues.  No objections had been raised by statutory consultees other than the Parish Council.  Planning officers were therefore of the opinion that the proposal was acceptable and recommended approval.


Planning officers were invited to comment on anything that the public speakers had referred to and confirmed that the fact Effingham Residents Association had objected to the application had been clarified on the supplementary late sheets.


The Chairman permitted Councillor Liz Hogger five minutes to speak in her capacity as ward councillor.  The two amendments as laid out in the supplementary late sheets were welcomed and was hopeful that the precise design of the fence could be resolved shortly along the southern boundary.  However, the provision of the cycle and pedestrian route along the eastern boundary was a concern.  The southern part of the boundary in the vicinity of the row of terraced cottages and the land to the east of that land all belonged to All Saints Church which was a Grade II listed building and adjoined the existing graveyard of the church.  The Mole Valley Historic Environment Officer had expressed strong concerns about the impact of the design and layout on Little Bookham’s Conservation Area as well as on the setting of All Saints Church, and its graveyard, which was more harmful than the indicative layout presented at appeal.  At the rear elevation of the terrace of cottages was a 9-metre high brick elevation, which was similar in height to the apartment building, whilst it was further away, it was still a very obvious structure when viewed from the graveyard of All Saints Church.  The Inspector said at the appeal that there would be an opportunity at reserved matters stage for additional planting to screen this development from the Conservation Area, and from Little Bookham Church, to avoid material harm to the heritage assets as well as along the rear of the terraced cottages.  However, there was no planting or green screening proposed, only a boarded wooden fence at the back of the gardens and then an open metal fence along the cycle path with no trees or hedges along that particular boundary.  The Rector of All Saints Church was also very concerned about the effect upon the tranquility of the graveyard.  With regard to over-development, reference had been made to 12 bonus rooms which were to be treated as bedrooms and therefore the housing mix would be contradictory to the SHMAA and indicative plans at appeal.  The proposal would also result in a scale of built form which was actually greater than the indicative scheme. 


The Committee discussed the application and remained concerned about the lack of screening proposed between the graveyard and pedestrian and cyclist route.  The bonus rooms proposed were noted as beneficial for people wanting to work from home which had become more prevalent since the pandemic.


The Committee discussed the design of the houses as being very block like and unattractive.  The bonus rooms were also questioned as to their necessity as well as garages which people tended to convert into additional rooms.  In addition, the number of affordable homes had been reduced by 20% as well as the number of affordable rented properties.  The Committee also expressed concerns regarding the housing mix which had resulted in fewer smaller properties that were in demand and general affordability.  Two cycling spaces per apartment would have also been good.


The Committee considered that the development proposed was out of character and an over-development of the site with insufficient affordable properties with bonus rooms potentially skewing the housing mix.  


The Committee also noted comments that planning policy did not dictate how people should use the rooms in their homes.  The SHMAA mix was agreed by the Planning Inspector at the appeal.  The energy sustainability of the scheme was also very impressive.


The Committee queried why the rooms were called ‘bonus rooms’ and why it was described as having approximately 12 of those rooms.  Were bonus rooms smaller than a standard room?


In response to points raised by the Committee, the planning officer, John Busher confirmed that the additional screening on the western boundary was negated by the change of layout, swapping the apartment building with the terraced block which therefore created a buffer.  The pedestrian/cycle route was already a public right of way by the graveyard so there was movement in that area currently and was accepted by planning officers that it would likely increase as a result of this proposal.  The extension of the graveyard was also something that the Committee should bear in mind.  In terms of questions about the number of affordable units, the tenure and mix were all issues already dealt with by the Secretary of State and unfortunately there was no opportunity to re-open those aspects as part of the reserved matters application.  In addition, whilst the Council was consulting on new parking standards, the proposal met the current standards.  Lastly, the term ‘bonus rooms’ had been coined by the planning officer and just referred to rooms that you would not ordinarily expect to see as these were ancillary additional rooms which did provide flexibility in terms of how they were used.  There was nothing to stop residents in planning terms from splitting up the room configurations.  


The Committee considered the proposed built form along the eastern boundary as out of scale by way of its location and arrangement.  The lack of green screening and planting along the southern section would harm the tranquility of the Little Bookham Conservation Area as well as its setting and significance as well as the Grade II Listed building, All Saints Church.  The harm identified to these heritage assets was greater than that harm identified by the Planning Inspector at appeal. 


A motion was moved and seconded to approve the application which was lost. 



















Angela Gunning





Tony Rooth





David Bilbé





Liz Hogger





Pauline Searle





Colin Cross





Ruth Brothwell





Deborah Seabrook





Jan Harwood





Ramsey Nagaty





Angela Goodwin





Jon Askew





Maddy Redpath





Marsha Moseley











A subsequent motion was moved and seconded to refuse the application which was carried.










Angela Goodwin





Liz Hogger





David Bilbé (left the meeting)





Colin Cross





Angela Gunning





Jon Askew





Tony Rooth





Pauline Searle





Deborah Seabrook





Ramsey Nagaty





Marsha Moseley





Jan Harwood





Maddy Redpath





Ruth Brothwell










In conclusion, having taken account of the representations received in relation to this application, the Committee





RESOLVED to refuse application 21/P/00428 for the following reasons:


1.    By virtue of the location and arrangement of built form along the eastern boundary of the site, the scale of the built form in this area of the site, and the lack of planting to screen the built form along the southern section of this boundary, the proposal would harm the tranquillity, setting and significance of the Little Bookham Conservation Area, and the listed building (and its curtilage) known as All Saints Church. Their setting is an important contributor to the heritage significance of these designated heritage assets and the tranquillity of the Church yard and the rural character of its setting adds specifically to the significance of All Saints Church. The proposal would result in less than substantial harm (toward the higher end of this scale) to their significance. This harm is considered to be greater than the harm identified by the Inspector in the appeal decision giving outline consent. The proposal is therefore contrary to policy D3 of the Local Plan: Strategy and Sites, saved policies HE4 and HE10 of the Local Plan 2003, and policy ENP-G3 of the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan, as well as Chapter 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.


1.   This decision relates expressly to the following drawings:


Drawing number

Site Layout

S857/HE/01 Rev O

Plots 1-5 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P1-5/04 REV A

Plot 1-5 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P1-5/05 REV A

Plot 1-5 Elevations 3


Plot 1-5 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P1-5/02 REV A

Plot 1-5 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P1-5/01 REV A

Plot 1-5 SF Plans

S857/HoE/P1-5/03 REV A

Plots 6-8 Elevations

S857/HoE/P6-8/02 REV B

Plot 6-8 Plans

S857/HoE/P6-8/01 REV B

Plot 9-10 Elevations

S857/HoE/P9-10/02 REV B

Plot 9-10 Plans

S857/HoE/P9-10/01 REV A

Plot 11-12 Elevations

S857/HoE/P11-12/02 REV B

Plot 11-12 Plans

S857/HoE/P11-12/01 REV B

Plot 13-14 Elevations

S857/HoE/P13-14/02 REV B

Plot 13-14 Plans

S857/HoE/P13-14/01 REV B

Plot 15 Elevations

S857/HoE/P15/02 REV B

Plot 15 Plans

S857/HoE/P15/01 REV A

Plot 16 Plans

S857/HoE/P16/01 REV A

Plot 16 Elevations

S857/HoE/P16/02 REV A

Plot 17-18 Elevations

S857/HoE/P17-18/02 REV B

Plot 17-18 Plans

S857/HoE/P17-18/01 REV B

Plot 19-20 Elevations

S857/HoE/P19-20/02 REV A

Plot 19-20 Plans

S857/HoE/P19-20/01 REV A

Plot 21-22 Elevations

S857/HoE/P21-22/02 REV A

Plot 21-22 Plans

S857/HoE/P21-22/01 REV A

Plot 23-24 GF&FF Plans

S857/HoE/P23-24/01 REV A

Plot 23-24 SF Plans

S857/HoE/P23-24/02 REV A

Plot 23-24 Elevations


Plot 25 Plans

S857/HoE/P25/01 Rev A

Plot 25 Elevations

S857/HoE/P25/02 REV B

Plot 26-27 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P26-27/03 REV C

Plot 26-27 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P26-27/04 REV C

Plot 26-27 GF&FF Plans

S857/HoE/P26-27/01 REV C

Plot 26-27 SF Plans

S857/HoE/P26-27/02 REV C

Plot 28 Elevations

S857/HoE/P28/02 REV B

Plot 28 Plans

S857/HoE/P28/01 REV A

Plot 29 Plans


Plot 29 Elevations

S857/HoE/P29/02 REV B

Plot 30 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P30/03 REV B

Plot 30 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P30/04 REV A

Plot 30 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P30/02 REV A

Plot 30 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P30/01 REV A





Plot 31 Elevations

S857/HoE/P31/02 REV B

Plot 31 Plans

S857/HoE/P31/01 REV A

Plot 32 Elevations

S857/HoE/P32/02 REV A

Plot 32 Plans

S857/HoE/P32/01 REV A

Plot 33 Elevations

S857/HoE/P33/02 REV A

Plot 33 Plans


Plot 34 Elevations

S857/HoE/P34/02 REV A

Plot 34 Plans


Plot 35 Elevations

S857/HoE/P35/02 REV A

Plot 35 Plans


Plot 36 Elevations

S857/HoE/P36/02 REV A

Plot 36 Plans


Plot 37 Elevations

S857/HoE/P37/02 REV B

Plot 37 Plans

S857/HoE/P37/01 REV A

Plot 38-41FF Plans

S857/HoE/P38-41/02 REV C

Plot 38-41 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P38-41/01 REV C

Plot 38-41 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P38-41/03 REV D

Plot 38-41 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P38-41/04 REV D

Plot 42-43 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P42-43/02 REV A

Plot 42-43 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P38-41/04 REV D

plot 42-43 Elevations

S857/HoE/P42-43/03 REV B

Plot 44-45 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P44-45/04 REV A

Plot 44-45 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P44-45/05 REV A

Plot 44-45 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P44-45/02 REV A

Plot 44-45 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P44-45/01 REV A

Plot 44-45 SF Plans

S857/HoE/P44-45/03 REV A

Plot 46 Plans

S857/HoE/P46/01 REV B

Plot 46 Elevations

S857/HoE/P46/02 REV C

Plot 47-50 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P47-50/04 REV A

Plot 47-50 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P47-50/05 REV A

Plot 47-50 Elevations 3

S857/HoE/P47-50/06 REV A

Plot 47-50 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P47-50/02 REV A

Plot 47-50 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P47-50/01 REV A

Plot 47-50 SF Plans

S857/HoE/P47-50/03 REV A

Plot 51 Elevations


Plot 51 Plans


Plot 52-55 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P52-55/03 REV A

Plot 52-55 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P52-55/04 REV A

Plot 52-55 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P52-55/02 REV A

Plot 52-55 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P52-55/01 REV A

Plot 56-57 Elevations 1


Plot 56-57 Elevations 2


Plot 56-57 FF Plans


Plot 56-57 GF Plans


Plot 58-59 Elevations


Plot 58-59 Plans



Plot 60-62 Elevations


Plot 60-62 FF Plans


Plot 60-62 GF Plans


Plot 63-66 Elevations 1


Plot 63-66 Elevations 2


Plot 63-66 FF Plans


Plot 63-66 GF Plans


Plot 67-78 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P67-78/04 REV C

Plot 67-78 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P67-78/05 REV C

Plot 67-78 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P67-78/02 REV B

Plot 67-78 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P67-78/01 REV B

Plot 79 Plans

S857/HoE/P79/01 REV C

Plot 79 Elevations

S857/HoE/P79/02 REV C

Plot 80 Plans

S857/HoE/P80/01 REV A

Plot 80 Elevations

S857/HoE/P80/02 REV C

Pot 81-82 Elevations

S857/HoE/P81-82/02 REV C

Plot 81-82 Plans

S857/HoE/P81-82/01 REV C

Plot 83-84 Elevations

S857/HoE/P83-84/02 REV C

Plot 83-84 Plans

S857/HoE/P83-84/01 REV C

Plot 85-86 Plans

S857/HoE/P85-86/01 REV B

Plot 85-86 Elevations

S857/HoE/P85-86/02 REV C

Plot 87 Elevations

S857/HoE/P87/02 REV B

Plot 87 Plans

S857/HoE/P87/01 REV A

Plot 88-89 Plans

S857/HoE/P88-89/01 REV B

Plot 88-89 Elevations

S857/HoE/P88-89/02 REV C

Plot 90-91 Elevations

S857/HoE/P90-91/02 REV B

Plot 90-91 Plans

S857/HoE/P90-91/01 REV B

Plot 92-93 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P92-93/02 REV B

Pot 92-93 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P92-93/01 Rev B

Plot 92-93 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P92-93/03 REV C

Plot 92-93 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P92-93/04 REV C

Plot 94-95 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P94-95/03 REV C

Plot 94-95 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P94-95/02 REV B

Plot 94-95 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P94-95/01 REV B

Plot 96-99 Elevations 1

S857/HoE/P96-99/04 REV D

Plot 96-99 Elevations 2

S857/HoE/P96-99/05 REV D

Plot 96-99 FF Plans

S857/HoE/P96-99/02 REV C

Plot 96-99 GF Plans

S857/HoE/P96-99/01 REV C

Plot 96-99 SF Plans

S857/HoE/P96-99/03 REV C

Bin andcycle storeplots 67-78


Car barn plots 1-3


Car barn plots 4-7

S857/HoE/P4-7/GD REV A

Car barn plots 48&54


Garage plots 32-37

S857/HoE/P32+37/GD REV B

Garage plots 8-11

S857/HoE/P8+11/GD REV B


Garage plots 15-79-81

S857/HoE/P15-79&81/GDREV B

Garage plots 16-99 20-21

S857/HoE/P16-99+20-21/GD REV A

Garage plots 79-81

S857/HoE/P79&81/GD REV A

Garage plots 82-87

S857/HoE/P82-87/GD REV A


2. This statement is provided in accordance with Article 35(2) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. Guildford Borough Council seek to take a positive and proactive approach to development proposals. We work with applicants in a positive and proactive manner by:

?? Offering a pre application advice service

?? Where pre-application advice has been sought and that advice has been

followed we will advise applicants/agents of any further issues arising during the course of the application

?? Where possible officers will seek minor amendments to overcome issues identified at an early stage in the application process.


However, Guildford Borough Council will generally not engage in unnecessary negotiation for fundamentally unacceptable proposals or where significant changes to an application is required.


In this case pre-application advice was not sought before submission. Officers secured amendments to the scheme during the formal assessment. However, the Local Planning Authority found that the amended scheme was still not acceptable and permission was therefore refused.



Supporting documents: