Planning our future

This council has started the preparation of a new Local Plan. This will replace the existing 1998 Local Plan and 2006 Alterations documents. The new Local Plan will guide development in the district up to 2033, being used to deal with planning applications and to provide land allocations. 

Call for Sites forms received after April 2016 will not be considered as part of the Draft Plan.  Submissions received after this date will be considered after the Draft Plan consultation.

Our new Planning Our Future website will provide all the information about the Local Plan and what it means for Epping Forest District, as well as a quick and easy way for you to provide us with feedback.  The new website can be accessed by using the following link


Current Timetable for the Epping Forest District Local Plan

  • Evidence gathering & background work (October 2011 - September 2012)
  • Issues & Options preparation and public consultation including initial sustainability appraisal (30 July 2012 - 15 October 2012)
  • Preparation and sustainability appraisal (October 2012 - May 2016)
  • Draft Plan consultation (31 October 2016 - 12 December 2016)
  • Preparation of Submission Plan and Sustainability Appraisal (January 2017 - December 2017)
  • Pre-submission publication and representations on soundness (6 weeks) Regulation 19 (Jan/Feb 2018)
  • Submission to Planning Inspectorate for Examination Regulation 22 (May 2018)
  • Examination in public (EiP) Regulation 24 (Subject to discussion with the Planning Inspectorate and timetabling) (Autumn 2018)
  • Expected adoption and publication (including policies maps) Regulation 26 (Autumn 2019)

The report on responses to the Community Choices (Issues and Options) consultation for the new Local Plan was considered at Cabinet on 10th June 2013. The main report analyses the number of responses received by response method and location. A very brief summary of responses, in question order, is followed by a description of additional evidence base work, and the next steps in plan preparation. The appendix to the main report contains all 98 questions from the consultation and gives a detailed breakdown of the responses to each of those questions.

Error in recent Cabinet report on responses to Community Choices

We would like to apologise, we have made a couple of mistakes within the report about responses to the Community Choices (Issues & Options) consultation which went to Cabinet on 10th June. The first mistake is in paragraph 55 (on page 44). This paragraph says that for Question 22 (Have we identified the right potential development options for Buckhurst Hill?), 73% of people said Yes, and 27% of people said No. This is the wrong way around. Actually, 27% of people said Yes, and 73% of people said No. The correct figures are shown in the appendix which accompanies the report.

The second is in regards to the responses for Epping. There is a minor error in paragraph 76 of the report which states that EPP-A received the most support (54%) of all potential growth options. In fact it was EPP-E which attracted most support (58%), confirmed by paragraph 80 of the report, and the analysis of answers to Q38 in the Appendix to the report.

We are sorry for any inconvenience these errors may have caused.

Anyone who wants to know what local residents and stakeholders said during the recent ‘Community Choices’ public consultation can find out in our latest video update.

 Find out more

The Council's original Local Plan was adopted in 1998. Some of these policies are still in force. In 2006 the Council adopted the Local Plan Alterations, which replaced parts of the 1998 Local Plan. Most of these policies are still in force.

The Council also has Supplementary Planning Guidance documents, which provide detailed guidance on particular issues, e.g. design of buildings, and vehicle parking on new developments

National and Regional policies also form part of our Local Development Plan

This recording outlines the reasons for the consultation with the travelling community of the district which will run through December 2012 and early January 2013.  This is being distributed, in DVD form, to all individual traveller pitches in the district.  There is also a covering letter and a paper form of the questions which are also included in the recording.

View the video

The communication strategy sets out an approach to engaging with key stakeholders, interested parties and the community during the production of the Council’s new Local Plan the latter of which will cover the period to 2033. The Council is committed to providing the local community and other stakeholders with opportunities to shape the place in which they live and has developed an approach to engagement designed to make this achievable.

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by Government through the Localism Act in 2011.

Once they have successfully completed the preparation process, Neighbourhood Plans will legally have policy status and will be used to help decide planning applications, within the parameters set by the district-wide local plan, a neighbourhood plan must be used to positively encourage sustainable development.

Following the end of a period of public consultation, the District Council must decide whether to designate the proposed neighbourhood area. If agreed, the Parish Council may commence work on preparing the Neighbourhood Plan. A draft Plan must be subject to a formal 6 week public consultation before being submitted to the District Council for examination by an independent Examiner. If the Plan is approved, a referendum is held within the Parish to decide whether the Plan should be used by the District Council to decide upon planning applications within the neighbourhood area.

 Click here to see recent Neighbourhood Plan requests.

Self-build and custom build homes

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on local councils in England to keep a register of people who are interested in self-build or custom build projects in their area. This register will help inform the Council of the level of demand for self-build and custom build plots in the Epping Forest District and enable the Council to develop a strategy for matching people to plots in their area.

Self-build and custom build register

If you are interested in a custom or self-build plot please complete the online application form.

By registering your interest, you will help us find out more about the demand for custom and self-build plots in the District, where people would like their plot to be, and the type of property that they would like to build.

We will use the information to explore ways in which it might be possible for people and plots to be brought together. Registration does not however guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.


Self-build projects are defined as those where someone directly organises the design and construction of their own home. This covers a wide range of projects including a traditional DIY self-build home to projects where the self-builder employs someone to build their home for them.

Custom build

Custom build homes are where you work with a developer as an individual or a group to help deliver your own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. This is more of a hands-off approach but your home will be tailored to match your individual requirements.

Further information and advice

The Government’s website has lots more information about the register (please pay particular attention to paragraph 8 which details the eligibility criteria for entry on to the register).

If you would like to talk to us about the Right to Build project, have any queries about the registration, or would like a copy of the registration form sent to you, please contact the Housing Development Team at

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Telephone: 01992 564517

Or you can write to us, or visit our reception desk (open Monday-Friday 9am-1pm) at:
Forward Planning, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street,  Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ

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