Shared accommodation standards survey

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Licensing, Local business, Media, Out and about, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

If you live in, manage or own shared accommodation, let us know what you think of our proposed Essex-wide amenity standards. This covers bedroom sizes and living space, kitchen and bathroom facilities, number of toilets and other amenities like heating and washing and drying facilities.

Essex HMO consultation

Take the survey

The survey should only take 10 minutes and will close on 19 June 2018.

Landlords and tenants – tell us your views

“It’s really important that both landlords and tenants tell us their views” said Councillor Syd Stavrou, Deputy Leader and Housing Portfolio Holder. “If landlords don’t respond they risk having standards imposed on them that they don’t like and which may be costly. Equally for tenants this is their opportunity to let us know what they would reasonably expect when living in shared accommodation.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou ended by asking landlords and tenants to complete the survey: “It only takes 10 minutes to complete and closes on 19 June 2018, this is your chance to help us better understand your views.”

Clear space and amenity standards

Essex Councils want to ensure that clear space and amenity standards for HMOs are in place across Essex so that landlords and tenants know what is expected.

Please have your say as we seek to ensure that HMOs are safe, suitable and well-managed.

Council 24 April 18 – Freedom of the District – RAF 100 anniversary celebrations

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Loughton, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The ‘red carpet’ was rolled out for the Royal Air Force when the ‘Freedom of Epping Forest District’ was conferred on 56 Squadron. Wing Commander Matt Fleckney, Officer Commanding 56 Squadron, witnessed the sealing of the ‘Freedom’ with Council Chairman, Councillor David Stallan at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

RAF, ATC, North Weald Operations and Airfield Historian Arthur Moreton

(Click on an image to start the slideshow)

The meeting unanimously passed the motion proposed by Councillor Brian Rolfe and seconded by Councillor Anne Grigg.

“That, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, this Council reaffirms its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and the bonds of friendship between our Armed Forces and the people of Epping Forest District through the conferral of the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron – the Royal Air Force”.

The District and the RAF

Epping Forest District has a long and profound relationship with the RAF. The associations stretch back as early as 1916, when the fledgling Royal Flying Corps first arrived at North Weald.

By the end of World War II, the district had three airfields at North Weald, Stapleford Abbotts and Willingale. Blake Hall had become a centre of RAF operations while RAF Chigwell – known as the ‘Balloon Site’ for its barrage balloons also became an intelligence centre. In Nazeing a dummy airfield was created in to draw enemy bombers away from their real targets.

Norwegian connections

North Weald also became an important focus of Norwegian national resistance. Escaping the invasion of their homeland, Norwegian pilots flying Spitfires under the colours of the RAF became some of the most successful squadrons of WWII.

Squadron 56

However, 56 Squadron has by far the longest relationship with the District. Based at North Weald from 1927 until 1941, 56 Squadron’s honors include Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. The 56 Squadron Standard is displayed in St Andrew’s Church, North Weald.

Personal accounts and tributes

Before opening the debate to Councillors, Councillor Stallan broke with convention by asking the Council’s Director of Communities, Alan Hall to read a personal statement. Alan Hall, spoke with pride of his father, Sergeant Bill Hall, an instrument maker who worked on the Hurricanes of 56 Squadron at North Weald. In later years, Bill Hall left no doubt of his affection for the ‘Fighting 56’ frequently reminding his family how it was his job to turn on the light at the top of St Andrew’s Church tower to guide the pilots safely back the base after dark.

Councillors spoke with emotion. An RAF veteran in his own right, Councillor Rolfe led the calls for the ‘Freedom’ to be conferred. Councillor Stephen Murray spoke of the military traditions of his own family and the insight he had received through his brother’s RAF service.

Councillor Chris Pond described the history of a previous owner of his house in Loughton – a young RAF officer shot down and killed in defence of his country. Councillor Anne Grigg joined Councillor Murray is speaking of the proud record of 56 Squadron and it’s sad distinction of being the first RAF squadron to lose a pilot – killed in action – in World War II.

Councillor Jon Whitehouse spoke of joining the Chairman only a few days previously to rededicate a war memorial, counting the cost of war and what we ask members of the armed services to do.

Perhaps the most moving contribution from Councillor Syd Stavrou described the loss of the father she never knew – part of a Lancaster crew, shot down and killed in Germany months before she was born.

Freedom accepted

Wing Commander Matt Fleckney was joined in the Council Chamber by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman and officers of 56 Squadron. He took great pleasure in accepting the Freedom of the District. Describing North Weald as the ‘Spiritual Home’ of 56 Squadron, the Wing Commander also reflecting on the RAF’s wider connections across the district, the ‘finest hour’ in the sky above, the jet age and some of the brave people who did not return.

56 Squadron will exercise the Freedom of the District with a parade from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian on Sunday 10 June.

Other business

In keeping with protocol, the agreement to confer the Freedom of the District concluded the business of the extraordinary meeting of Full Council. Following a short break, the second meeting of the evening convened at 8pm with a minutes silence to remember former councillors Ron Braybrook and Peter Riley, plus Peter Adams, an independent member of the Standards Committee since December 2012.

Portfolio Holders answered questions on a range of subjects including:

  • Lorry parking in Waltham Abbey
  • Food banks
  • Progress towards the redevelopment of the St John’s Road area of Epping
  • The Local Plan
  • Pollution caused by stationary cars with idling engines
  • Recycling (Epping Forest District Council’s domestic recycling is the 22 highest of all 350 English councils)
  • Additional council funded police officers due to begin work in June
  • The completion of a £1.1million refurbishment of Epping Sports Centre and plans to provide even better sports facilities for residents in the future
  • Epping Forest Shopping Park, the Broadway and its new Landmark Building
  • Sport and Leisure Centre water quality at Loughton and Ongar
  • Council House building programme
  • Electoral Review
  • The Restore charity
  • Waltham Abbey’s new leisure centre due for completion in November
  • Reduced price home composting bins
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest

Comments wanted for Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan

Written on . Posted in Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Council is publicising the submission version of the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan and are are seeking comments from residents, business and other interest stakeholders on the Plan and supporting documents.

The publication period is from 12 noon on Tuesday 15 May to 4pm on Tuesday 26 June 2018.

Representations

All representations received regarding the plan proposal will be forwarded to an appointed examiner, who will assess the plan proposal and supporting documents against the basic conditions set out in national policy.

The 7 basic conditions that a neighbourhood plan / neighbourhood development order must meet are

  1. having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is appropriate to make the order (or neighbourhood plan)
  2. having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  3. having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  4. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.
  5. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area)
  6. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with EU obligations
  7. prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan)

How to make a representation

For more details and how to make a representation please visit the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 publication and examination page on the Council’s website at

Decisions from Plans South 25 April 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Meetings, Our activities, Out and about, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 25 April 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2315/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5PL
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0319/18 – 52 & 54 Palmerston Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5LH
    GRANTED
  • EPF/2758/17 – 12 High Elms, Chigwell, IG7 5PN
    DEFERRED
  • EPF/3177/17 – 105 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5PM
    REFUSED
  • EPF/3210/17 – Former Delivery Office, 256 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1RB
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0201/18 – 1 Brook Parade, Chigwell, IG7 6PD
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0206/18 – 25 Felstead Road, Loughton, IG10 3BB
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0330/18 – 157 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5QA
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0336/18 – Greenacres, Vicarage Lane, Chigwell, IG7 6LS
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0353/18 – 71 Roundmead Avenue, Loughton, IG10 1PZ
    REFUSED
  • EPF/0523/18 – 12 Eleven Acre Rise, Loughton, IG10 1AN
  • GRANTED

Planning application search

Panel appointed to advise on Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Energy efficiency, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Eighteen planning and design experts have been appointed to advise on the development of Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town is an ambitious and exciting project being planned and delivered in partnership between Harlow Council, East Hertfordshire District Council and Epping Forest District Council, with support from Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council.

The Garden Town provides the opportunity to create fantastic new communities, delivering 16,000 new homes by 2033, with a further 7,000 new homes planned to be built beyond that.

To help to deliver the Garden Town, the councils have established a Quality Review Panel to help ensure that the Garden City principles are embedded in the development and guarantee the delivery of a high quality development.

Independent expert advice

Eighteen experts have been appointed, with a wide range of backgrounds and experience, to provide independent expert advice on the planning and design of Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. The Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Quality Review Panel will provide ‘critical friend’ advice to the planning authorities to support the delivery of high quality new places to live and work, in order to meet the needs of existing and future communities.

The panel will be chaired by Peter Maxwell, the Director of Design, London Legacy Development Corporation. Peter is an architect, town planner and urban designer with over 15 years’ senior level experience. He has led implementation of major projects in the UK, Middle East and New Zealand. He currently leads on masterplanning, architecture and public realm for redevelopment of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He will be joined by 17 other planning and design experts from around the country

A great opportunity to deliver the highest quality of development

Claire Hamilton Garden Town Director said: “We are delighted to have such an exceptionally high calibre of panel members who are all excited to be part of the process of planning and designing Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. This provides us with a great opportunity to deliver the highest quality of development that will provide fantastic places for people to live, work and socialize now and in the future.”

She continued “The first Quality Review Panel session will take place in May this year and I would like to wish each member of the panel a very warm welcome to the project. The panel’s wide ranging knowledge and experience will be instrumental in embedding the Garden City principles into the Garden Town and achieving the ambitious vision that the authorities have for it. This is a very exciting stage in the project and I look forward to working with the panel over the coming months and years.”

Quality Review Panel

The Quality Review Panel will begin its work in the spring of 2018 by reviewing the Spatial Vision and Design Charter for the Garden Town – and will then continue to advise the councils as they take forward their vision for Garden Town.

Review meetings, drawing on the expertise of the Quality Review Panel members, will also be available to advise the councils on strategy, masterplan and major schemes within their areas. As part of its commitment to high quality design, Epping Forest District Council has invited the Quality Review Panel to review schemes within its district and the first review will take place this month. While East Herts Council will be working with the Quality Review Panel for the Gilston Area, other schemes across its district will be reviewed by the Hertfordshire Design Review Panel.

Bright future for Epping sports and leisure

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Epping, Health, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

The Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Places for People (PfP), has just completed a £1.1 million update to the Current Sports Centre in the heart of the town, with improvements to the gym and brand-new fitness spaces.

Epping Sports Center Opening

Future redevelopment plans

However, further improvements to local sports and leisure including the provision of a new swimming pool will follow any future redevelopment plans of the current council – owned sports centre in Epping.

Users of the centre know it was built many years ago. It is physically limited by the size, age and design of the building (poor accessibility, problems with floor in Sports Hall, ageing Mechanical and Electrical Systems etc.) and it is in a constrained location with minimal car parking.

What is the best solution for a Sports centre of the future to serve better the residents’ needs?

The current site of Epping Sports Centre has been identified by Epping Forest District Council as being more suitable for residential development and has been included in the Local Plan.

Epping Forest District Council has confirmed that Epping Sports Centre isn’t going anywhere in the short term, although it’s future will be under review at some stage.

Investing in Health and Wellbeing

Fitness and good mental health are key components of the Council’s Residents’ Health and Wellbeing Strategy. And although Leisure is a discretionary service, and many councils have been forced to cut back on leisure centre provision, the strong finances of Epping Forest District Council are enabling it to invest strategically in new sports and leisure facilities.

The Council entered a new contract with PfP to manage its sports and leisure centres last year. The £1.1 million improvement to Epping being completed now is part of a 20-year deal including £14.5million improvements to Council’s leisure facilities.  A brand new £10m Leisure Centre is under construction in Waltham Abbey. A £2m extension is currently being built at Loughton Leisure Centre and almost £0.5 has been invested at Ongar Leisure Centre.

No plans to close the facility

No decision has been taken to close Epping Sports Centre but the Council is looking at the options to provide better facilities including a swimming pool locally. The Council is looking to increase participation for people of all ages and abilities. Residents want to protect the Green Belt and a number of potential options including brownfield sites in North Weald are being assessed to ensure that any new facilities are accessible to the maximum number of residents.  The Epping Forest District Council is actively seeking a suitable site in the Epping area.

However, decisions are a long way off and other locations may also emerge.

Consultation will be a key part of the Council’s plans. The Council will be sure to listen to residents very carefully to ensure the best possible outcomes before any decisions are made.

Epping Forest District Council has no plans to close the facility.

Decisions from Plans South 18 April 2018

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 18 April 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/0307/18 – 18 Russell Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5QJ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2499/17 – 13 -15A Alderton Hill, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3JD
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3475/17 – 89 High Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4JD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3512/17  – Land to the rear of 33-37, Hillyfields, Loughton Essex IG10 2PT
    Deferred
  • EPF/0226/18 – 17 Luctons Avenue, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 5SG
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0295/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5PL
    Refused, not lawful
  • EPF/0535/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5PL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0536/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5PL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2315/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5PL
    Deferred to next meeting
  • EPF/2877/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5PL
    Permission refused

Planning application search

Loughton man fined for illegal driveway

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 8th February 2018 Mr Ivor Crandon of Loughton pleaded guilty after failing to comply with the requirements of a Planning Enforcement Notice served on him in July 2012.

Landscape

Failure to comply with notice

The Notice required him to remove a concrete drive from his land, 4 Ripley View Loughton.

Following an unsuccessful appeal to a planning inspector and subsequent extensions of time granted to him by the planning authority, the notice should have been complied with by 1 September 2017.

An inspection on 24 October 2017 by enforcement officers revealed that the notice had not been complied with.

Failed appeal

At an appeal in Chelmsford Crown Court on 13 April 2018 against the sentence imposed by the Magistrates on 8 February 2018 Mr Crandon was fined £2400.

He is also liable to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £508.26 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Removal of drive way

Mr Crandon stated that he is currently instructing arboriculture experts to prepare a method statement for ensuring that trees protected by tree preservation orders are not adversely affected by the removal of the driveway.

Check for planning permission

Grants for community groups available

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Grants, Health, Media, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Could your community group use £5,000 to help improve the health and wellbeing of the districts residents? If yes, apply now for a grant for projects to improve facilities, such as equipment purchase, capital projects and new initiatives.

grant-aid

Grants up to £5,000

Grants are available to

  • Local voluntary and community groups
  • Sports clubs
  • Arts and culture groups
  • Trusts
  • Social enterprises
  • Community interest groups

Who can apply?

Groups that apply must be

  • Charitable and/or non-profit making
  • Based, or active, in Epping Forest district
  • Provide services to meet key needs within the district
  • Non political
  • Can show clear aims and objectives and effective strategies for achieving these
  • Have considered alternative funding sources or put forward schemes as part of ‘match’ funding proposals
  • Are able to show a clear need for financial support
  • Have a bank or building account in the name of the applicant organisation

Make your application now

Councillor David Stallan, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: ”We really appreciate the work the voluntary and community sector does in the district. In tough economic times the need for groups to receive funding and support from the council goes up and I look forward to seeing how our grants are spent to help the lives of those in our community.”

“If your group is eligible and the grant will help the health and wellbeing of our residents, don’t delay and make your application now.”

Great opportunity

He continued “Our grants are a great opportunity to help others in our community”.

“The difference they have already made in the district is astounding and I look forward to seeing how the grants go on to help others in our community”.

“In tough economic times, the Council’s contribution can make all the difference. So if you or your organisation is eligible don’t delay and make an application today”.

Make an application

More information

For further information on Grant Aid

Chigwell man guilty of damaging protected tree

Written on . Posted in Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Media, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 5 April 2018 Mr Vinod Kumar Pandhi of Chigwell Essex pleaded guilty to causing or permitting the cutting down a hornbeam tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Damaged hornbeam Chigwell

Causing damage to a protected tree

September 2017 tree and landscape officers were notified that a hornbeam tree had been cut down in the garden of 12 Tomswood Road Chigwell.

The tree was protected by a Tree Preservation Order made in 2009 and no consent had been given for the work carried out.

Failure to provide details

Interviewed under caution Mr Pandhi  stated that he was unaware that the tree was protected and believed it to be causing damage to his house, although no usual investigations had been carried out to verify this.

Mr Pandhi claimed had asked workmen carrying out work in a neighbour’s garden to cut down the tree in his property, but failed to provide details of the contactors to Epping Forest District Council to enable them to carry out further investigation, with a view to also prosecuting those directly responsible for carrying out the work.

Over £1,800 in fines

Having pleaded guilty Mr Pandhi was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £813.73 and a victim surcharge of £100. The fine had been reduced by one third as a result of Mr Pandhi having pleaded guilty at the first hearing and took account of his current finances.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) and conservation areas please contact