Local Plan consultation opens

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The public consultation for Epping Forest’s draft Local Plan is live.

We will be taking your views on the draft Local Plan from 31 October through to 12 December 2016.

Planning Our Future

The Local Plan will guide the future growth of the Epping Forest district to 2033.

The Planning Our Future website is a one stop shop for you to find all the information about the draft Local Plan and what it means for Epping Forest district, as well as a quick and easy way for you to provide us with your feedback.

I want your views

Councillor John Philip Planning Policy Portfolio Holder said: “The draft Local Plan will be the blueprint for the development and conservation within this area. It will guide the location of new housing, employment and infrastructure all the way up to 2033.”

“I need to hear from you. Public consultation on this draft runs from 31 October through to 12 December. You can find all the information you need online.”

A great place to live

Councillor Philip ended: “Tell me what you think and more importantly tell me why you think it. I need good solid reasons that we can use when we go before the planning inspector for our approval.”

“Epping Forest is a great place to live. With your help we can keep it that way.”

Read more

 

Green light for draft Local Plan consultation

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Epping Forest District’s Full Council met on Tuesday 18 October 2016 and approved the draft Local Plan for public consultation.

Consultation with residents

The Council will now run a consultation on the draft Local Plan for six weeks from 31 October to 12 December 2016 to gain feedback from the Epping Forest district community.

A dedicated website (www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/planningourfuture) has been available since 15 September, and acts as a one stop shop for information on the draft Local Plan and the consultation process. A questionnaire will also be available on the website for people to feedback to the Planning Policy team.

Visit an exhibition in your area

The Council is organising public exhibitions in Epping, Chigwell, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, Ongar and North Weald in early November, with a number of static information points available throughout the consultation period across the district so people can find out more. More information about these events will be published on the website and through a district wide newsletter.

The draft Local Plan sets out the proposed strategy to meet the economic and housing growth in the district up until 2033, identifying potential sites for development and regeneration and sets out proposed draft development management policies. It also outlines the necessary infrastructure to support the development.

Influence how the district grows

Councillor John Philip, Epping Forest District Council Planning Policy Portfolio Holder, explained: ”A Local Plan is your best opportunity to guide how the district grows and to protect ourselves from inappropriate development. Without a Local Plan we are vulnerable to developers taking the opportunity to submit applications for sites that we do not consider appropriate or sustainable.

“This Plan has been progressed with over 130 pieces of evidence and technical work, and has been shaped through thousands of pieces of feedback we received from residents through consultations in 2010/2011 and 2012.

“The draft Local Plan represents a balance between the requirement from Government to deliver the identified and evidenced need for economic and housing growth, and the need to protect the greenness of our district. We are trying to do this by ensuring it is delivered in as sensitive, sustainable and fair a way as possible across the whole district.

“With 92% of Epping Forest district designated as Metropolitan Green Belt, we have been clear all along we will do our best to follow what you told us and so it seeks to ensure that, as far as possible, the Green Belt is protected for future generations, whilst providing for our housing needs.”

Working with neighbouring councils

Epping Forest District Council has been working with neighbouring authorities in Harlow, East Hertfordshire and Uttlesford in order to achieve a cross border understanding of the level of growth needed up until 2033.

With a growing and ageing population, current evidence shows that Epping Forest district needs to deliver approximately 11,400 new homes over the draft Local Plan period. However, with around 2,500 new homes already built or in the pipeline with planning permission, the main aim of the Plan is focused on where the remaining 8,900 or so properties and infrastructure should go.

The draft Local Plan proposes the allocation of approximately 3,900 new homes on strategic sites within Epping Forest district on the edge of Harlow and the remaining number distributed across the district.

Get involved

Epping Forest District Council is urging as many people to get involved as possible in the next stage of the consultation for the draft Local Plan.

Councillor John Philip commented: ”This will be your Local Plan and the consultation is our opportunity as a community to ensure development in Epping Forest district takes place how and where we want it to.”

Find out more

You can find out more information at the consultation events across the district and by visiting the website www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/planningourfuture before providing your feedback. The council can only accept feedback on the draft Local Plan until 12 December 2016.’

Grant aid scheme for community groups

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Grants, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

You can apply for a grant of up to £5000 from Epping Forest District Council, if your organisation is providing community work, cultural or sporting activities.

Grant Aid Scheme

Applications welcome

Epping Forest District Council Community Services team are welcoming grant applications of up to £5000 to support organisations involved in providing community work, cultural or sport activities.

An amount of money is set aside each year and priority is given to those groups delivering Council objectives and targets.

Valuable contributions

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said:  ”Epping Forest District Council makes grants to voluntary and community organisations. They range from sports and social clubs to charities and support organisations. At its core, each is making a valuable contribution to the social and physical wellbeing of our residents.”

”Some are major national charities making a very significant contribution across the district whilst others contribute in smaller ways to enrich the tapestry of community activities that make our district such an enjoyable place to live. In tough economic times, the Council’s contribution can make all the difference.”

Keep your home safe from flooding

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It’s impossible to completely flood-proof your home but there are lots of things you can do to reduce flood damage and protect your property. If you’re concerned about the risk of flooding visit us for advice at one of our flood roadshows which is touring the district next week.

Flooding roadshows

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Free advice

Members of our Emergency Planning and Land Drainage teams will offer free advice to residents and businesses at our flooding roadshows so they can be better prepared should the worst happen.

The team will be visiting areas of the district which are a known flood risk. They will be selling empty sandbags and demonstrating various products and techniques for coping with flood water.

These events are a run up to the national Get Ready for Winter week in November.

Flooding roadshows

Visit our display between 10am and 2pm at the following locations

  • Monday 24 October 2016 – Nazeing – St Giles Church car park
  • Tuesday 25 October 2016 – Waltham Abbey – Waltham Abbey Market
  • Wednesday 26 October 2016 – Ongar – Ongar Market
  • Thursday 27 October 2016 – Loughton – Traps Hill car park
  • Friday 28 October 2016 – Abridge – Abridge Village Hall

Protect yourself against flooding

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “I would encourage anyone affected by flooding to come along and talk to us. Check to see if your home or business is in an area that could flood in the future. If it is, get signed up to Floodline for free flood warnings direct from the Environment Agency.”

“Our team can advise you on how to protect yourself from flooding using flood barriers, sandbags, air brick protectors, or even a simple pillow case. Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect yourself against flooding.”

Advice and information

Car parks essential says councillor

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We need car parks” says Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor John Phillip. “Including London Underground and council-owned car parks in the list of potential Local Plan development sites does not mean getting rid of the current parking provision” he added.

Epping Forest district Local Plan

Developing local car parks

Councillor Philip said: “References in the draft Local Plan to developing local car parks have caught people’s attention. There is an assumption that you can’t have public car parks and residential development together.”

“In fact some of the district’s London Underground and council-owned car parks could be redeveloped with public parking beneath or beside residential housing.”

“None of our proposals suggest any net loss of car parking spaces. As sustainable brownfield sites in town centre locations, car parks could be one of the most suitable locations for new housing.”

Planning Our Future video

Blueprint for development

The Local Plan is the blueprint for the development of future housing and employment in Epping Forest district. It will protect the district from unsuitable development. However, before the new Local Plan can be adopted, the draft is set to go through a major public consultation from 31 October to 12 December 2016.

Councillor Philip is encouraging people to respond from 31 October 2016. Comments by local residents will be gathered by the council as a vital part of the process of persuading a Government inspector it has met requirements for additional population growth, housing and employment up to 2033.

Based on careful analysis

  • 11,400 additional homes are necessary between 2011 and 2033
  • 1,173 homes are already built
  • 1,194 have been granted planning permission up to March 2016
  • 595 windfall developments allowance

Almost 3,000 new homes are already accounted for

  • 3,900 new homes are proposed at strategic sites on the edge of Harlow

Leaving a balance of approximately 4,550 homes to be developed across the rest of the district

Residents have as much opportunity to have their say as possible.

The Local Plan is our plan

Councillor Philip said: “The Local Plan is our plan. It belongs to everyone who lives and works in our district. I want as many comments and contributions as possible.”

“Online consultation is at the core of our strategy. Our website makes it easy to find all the information and respond to us. We are raising awareness through email and social media too, but we also recognise not everyone is online.”

The conversation has already started

“We are mailing a leaflet district-wide, holding public information events and exhibitions, handing postcards to commuters at local tube stations, giving interviews and briefings to reporters and putting adverts in the local press. The conversation has already started. We are well underway.”

 

Shopping Park in Loughton underway

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Work has started on the construction of the Epping Forest Shopping Park at Langston Road,  Loughton.

Howard Parkes with (L-R) Councillor Jeane Lea, M and H Project Manager Alex McCalley, Councillor Anne Grigg and Derek Macnab

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Site tour

Councillor Jeane Lea, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Councillor Anne Grigg, Cabinet Portfolio Holder responsible for the council-owned scheme met McLaughlin and Harvey construction project manager Alex McCalley and members of the workforce during a tour of the site on Monday 26 September 2016.

Accompanied by the Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Neighbourhoods Derek Macnab, Councillors Lea and Grigg inspected well-advanced demolition work as the former council depot buildings come down. The adjoining site bought by the council previously is already clear with excavations already evident where surface water storage tanks are to be installed.

Assisted by Alex McCalley of McLaughlin and Harvey, Councillor Lea posed for traditional ground-breaking photographs.

Biggest names in retail

Once completed, Loughton Shopping Park will potentially host some of the biggest names in retail including Next, Aldi, TK Maxx, Pets at Home and Hobbycraft.

New jobs

Around 200 permanent new jobs will be created while rental income from the park will help Epping Forest District Council provide public services to local residents and maintain one of the lowest Council Taxes in Essex. Associated highway improvements on Chigwell Lane will also ease congestion on one of Essex’s busiest roads. There will be on-site shopper car parking for up to 350 cars as well as excellent public transport links a short walk away at Debden Underground Station. With a footprint of 94,000 square feet (or almost 150,000 square feet taking account of mezzanine floors) there will be plenty of retail space with something for everyone including children with Smyths Toys expecting to be a big draw for families.

Boost to the local economy

Councillor Grigg said: ”I was delighted to see the progress. McLaughlin and Harvey has made a cracking start. The site is clean and the demolition work is being carried out with meticulous attention to safety. Now the barriers between the old council depot and the adjoining site have been removed you start to get a real perspective on the size and scale of the shopping park. It will be a fantastic asset and a tremendous boost to the local economy.”

Minimal disruption

During the tour, Alex McCalley explained some of the ways in which McLaughlin and Harvey will minimise disturbance to neighbours. He said: “Years ago we would have had hundreds of lorries coming on and off site as we transported the thousands of tonnes of hardcore rubble. These days we are much more environmentally friendly. Nearly all the rubble will be recycled into the foundations of the new retail park. We are using better methods of pile driving, drilling our way down to the London Clay rather than the old method of banging away with the pile-driver. We are also making contact with our neighbours, keeping people informed and setting up those vital lines of communication that let everyone work together.”

First shoppers next summer

Councillor Jeane Lea was also very impressed: she said: ”McLaughlin and Harvey are one of the most experienced retail park developers. They have worked with some of the biggest companies to deliver large schemes. I would like to thank Alex and his team for such an informative tour and  look forward to being invited back to review progress.”

Construction is expected to take around 40 weeks meaning the first shoppers through the doors next summer.

First look of our draft Local Plan

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Residents and councillors have their first chance to view an advance version of the draft Local Plan before Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting on 6 October 2016.

Website launch infographic

The plan, available to view on the Cabinet agenda from 27 September, is subject to change at Cabinet and the meeting of Full Council on 18 October 2016. Only once agreed with any further amendments at Full Council will the draft be ready for public consultation from Monday 31 October 2016.

First chance to see

Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip said: “This is everyone’s first chance to see what the Plan for consultation will look like but it is important to remember that things could still change between now and the end of October. It won’t be finalised until all councillors have had their final say at Full Council.”

“However, by getting this early draft out a month before the official consultation starts, we are ensuring everyone has as much time as possible to consider the issues before the deadline for responses on 12 December 2016. We don’t want your views yet – not until the draft plan is finalised, but we are looking for as much feedback as we can possibly get once the consultation starts on 31 October 2016.”

Consultation website

A special consultation website has been created to support the Local Plan consultation process. It has been designed to make consultation feedback as simple and straightforward as possible.

Epping Forest District Council is also preparing a leaflet for district-wide delivery to households and businesses in the next few weeks to encourage feedback, as well as holding exhibitions, placing adverts in the local press, handing information cards out at railway stations and sending frequent reminders out on social media.

Local town and parish councils are helping the district council with articles in local magazines, posters on noticeboards and more social media.

Everyone’s Local Plan

John Philip said: “This is everyone’s Local Plan. It is the plan for our future, the future of our children and the future of our grandchildren. It will guide development across the district including where to build new homes and employment for a growing population right up to 2033.”

“It will also seek to protect all the most important things we love and cherish about our district including natural spaces and the Green Belt. Please get involved. Follow the process and give us your feedback.”

Local Plan infographics

View the infographics in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

 

Staff raise money for ‘Jeans’ charity

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Staff left their suits at home and wore jeans to work raising over £425 for Jeans for Genes, a charity that aims to improve the lives of children affected by a genetic disorder.

On Jeans for Genes day on Friday 23 September 2016, staff wore jeans in return for a donation to the charity.

Jeans for Genes 2016

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About Jeans for Genes

We all inherit a range of talents, skills and personality traits through our genes – they are part of what makes us who we are, but 1 in 25 children also inherit a genetic disorder that makes their life very difficult.

By pulling on a pair of jeans you can help to fund vital care and support services that transform their lives.

Proud to support Jeans for Genes day

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “As a council we are proud to support Jeans for Genes day and do so every year. Our staff are doing a fantastic job, raising money for a very worthy cause. Thank you for your generosity.’’

 

Business newsletter packed with great advice

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Read the 12th edition of our One Business Briefing newsletter with all the latest business news for the Epping Forest district.

One Business Briefing - Summer 2016

15 great articles

  1. Epping Forest Broadband Business Breakfast
  2. BEST Pop-up Business Café
  3. Innovative business premises come to Loughton
  4. LSCC Growth Commission sets out 20 year vision
  5. Corporate Fraud: Protect your business
  6. Cyber Threat Awareness Conference
  7. Upcoming tourism conference – new Autumn date
  8. Town & Village Centres Opportunities Fund launched
  9. INVEST Essex Innovative Engineering Seminar
  10. New tourism website launch
  11. Funding for low carbon business initiatives
  12. Markets Matter: Village Hall sets up local produce market
  13. Focus On: Online learning for business
  14. HMRC webinars for the self-employed
  15. One Business Briefing: Let us know what you think!

Opportunities for businesses

Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “We have another packed edition for you with articles covering topics as varied as corporate and cyber fraud, an artisan craft market, funding available for low carbon initiatives and an exciting new business premises initiative.”

“It is fantastic to be able to look back on a very successful business support event in July at the BEST Pop-Up Café whilst also looking forward to an exciting business breakfast in September that will explore the world of ultrafast broadband and the opportunities it brings for businesses.”

“Continuing the internet theme we also have an in depth article on online learning for businesses, details of a range of HMRC online webinars and the launch of a new tourism website for Epping Forest district’s visitor economy.”