Picnic, music and Parade to celebrate Freedom of the District

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Residents are invited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF with a community picnic, parade, and music laid on by Epping Forest District Council at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 10 June 2018.

RAF 100 Parade and Picnic

March from North Weald

Members of 56 Squadron, which flew Hurricanes from North Weald, will commence proceedings as they march from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian with their newly acquired ‘Freedom of the District’ awarded by the Council last month.

Officers and members of 56 Squadron will be accompanied to the Airfield Memorial in Hurricane Way by the Epping Forest Pipe Band and the band of 56 Squadron ATC for the laying of wreaths, before proceeding to the Gate Guardian for a ceremonial inspection and afternoon of picnics and music with the Epping Forest (Brass) Band, Our Voices Choir and 1940’s style singer Diane Moore.

Free entry

Families are invited to join the celebrations at North Weald Airfield. Car parking and entry to the event is free. There will be food and drink concessions for anyone who doesn’t fancy bringing their own picnic.

The Gate Guardian is a replica of a Hurricane flown by 56 Squadron at North Weald. A Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform flypasts during the parade inspection.

56 Squadron is one of the oldest and most distinguished units of the RAF. Formed during the Great War, it saw service in France as part of the Royal Flying Corps before the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

Long history with RAF

Although North Weald is no longer an RAF base, having been bought by Epping Forest District Council in 1980, the airfield remains the spiritual home of 56 Squadron. The Squadron moved to North Weald in 1927 and remained until 1941. While based at North Weald, it suffered the first RAF loss of World War II,  covered the retreat from Dunkirk and found itself in the thick of the fighting during the Battle of Britain.

The Freedom of the District was bestowed on 56 Squadron at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 24 April.

Outgoing Council Chairman David Stallan stood down at the local elections in May. As a North Weald Ward Councillor, he was especially proud of the part he played in bringing the Freedom of the District to Full Council. However, the Freedom awarded to 56 Squadron is District-wide, reflecting the much wider local involvement of the RAF.

“A true family event”

New Council Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett, will welcome 56 Squadron back to North Weald.

He said: “RAF 100 and the Freedom of the District is very much in recognition of the wider role played by the RAF in our area.”

“Councillors from all sides of the chamber were so united in wishing to bestow this honour. Apart from North Weald, the RAF had airfields at Stapleford Abbotts and Willingale. Blake Hall was a centre of operations and the Balloon Site at RAF Chigwell was an intelligence centre as well as providing the barrage balloons that helped to protect London. A decoy or dummy airfield was also set up in my home area of Nazeing to lure enemy bombers away from their real targets.

“Other parts of the District were real targets too, including the munitions factories of Royal Ordnance in Waltham Abbey.”

“This is therefore a district-wide celebration of the RAF and everyone is invited to join us on 10 June. It will be a true family event.”

Event details

The parade sets off from North Weald Village Hall at 12.30pm. Residents can park their cars at North Weald Airfield before the parade arrives at 1.30pm with Diane Moore bringing the music to a close at around 4.45pm.

Line the parade route

Councillor Bassett added: “It would be great to see people lining the parade route from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Memorial, as well as enjoying their picnics and music on the Airfield. I hope the British Summer Sun shines on us. Bring sensible shoes, sunscreen and clothing for all weathers!

Annual Council 24 May 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Leader, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Councillor Richard Bassett is the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

His appointment follows the retirement of David Stallan. Councillor Ricki Gadsby is the Council’s new Vice-Chairman. Following the retirement of Will Breare-Hall at the local elections, Council Leader Chris Whitbread has added Councillor Nigel Avey to his Cabinet.

Chairman Cllr Richard Bassett

Click on an image below to start the slideshow

Cabinet appointments

  • Leader – Councillor Chris Whitbread
  • Assets & Economic Development – Councillor Anne Grigg
  • Environment – Councillor Nigel Avey
  • Finance – Councillor Gagan Mohindra
  • Planning & Governance – Councillor John Philip
  • Housing and Deputy Leader of Council – Councillor Syd Stavrou
  • Leisure & Community Services – Councillor Helen Kane
  • Safer, Greener & Transport – Councillor Sam Kane
  • Technology & Support Services – Councillor Alan Lion

‘What a year and what an experience’

In his closing speech to councillors, David Stallan said that he would not have missed his year as chairman for the world! Among the ‘standout’ moments of his year, Dave listed teeing off at Chairman’s Charity Golf Day, his ‘visit’ to the gym, a steam train footplate, aircraft simulator, sports events the Petanque trophy wrestled back – all in fun – two Chinese delegations, the Ongar Festival, many arts events and working with the Youth Council. As Chairman, Dave learned that a few hundred pounds can make a massive difference. Through generosity of others he raised £5,500 for local charities and Diabetes UK.

It was Dave’s sad duty to announce the passing of 11 current and former councillors during his year. Concluding with thanks to his family he noted not only ‘two great women behind me – daughter Amy and wife Sue, but also a third Pat Seager, the Chairman’s Secretary.

Praise for David Stallan

Chris Whitbread led thanks to David Stallan. During a tough year including meetings on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread described Dave Stallan as first class, handling himself so well as he travelled across the district by being himself and being such a ‘nice guy’.

Councillor Whitbread said: “A good chairman brings the whole council together – you had a brilliant year – thank you”.

Councillors Stephen Murray, Caroline Pond, Anne Grigg, Jon Whitehouse and Stephen Neville echoed Chris Whitbread’s words – thanking David Stallan for a brilliant year.

Communities Director Alan Hall thanked Dave Stallan on behalf of the staff recalling their years working closely together on council housing and Dave’s support for council staff.

In one of his first presentations as Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett also had great please in presenting Dave Stallan with a long service medal for 19 years representing the residents of North Weald.

New Chairman

Richard Bassett’s nomination for Chairman was proposed by Councillor Mary Sartin. Councillor Bassett took on his first cabinet role in 2010 before accepting the role of vice-chairman last year. As a former Chairman, councillor Sartin assured Councillor Bassett that he would meet many wonderful people over the coming year.

Thanking fellow councillors for bestowing the honour of Chairman on him, Councillor Bassett particularly singled out Dave Stallan for his support over the year. Councillor Bassett is making small business his theme for the year. He will undertake to get out and meet as many businesses as possible.

As a trustee of Epping Forest Community Transport, Councillor Bassett also wants to raise its profile along with young people’s sports groups during his year as Chairman.

Key appointments

Other key appointments at Annual Council included:

  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee East– Councillor Paul Keska
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee West– Councillor Liz Webster
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee South – Councillor Darshan Sunger
  • Chairman District Development Management Committee – Councillor Brian Sandler
  • Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Mary Sartin

Council remembers Elizabeth Downes

Tributes were paid to former Nazeing ward councillor Elizabeth Downes who passed away on 7 May. As a fellow councillor from Nazeing, Richard Bassett shared some thoughts on his predecessor, remembered by local residents as a lovely lady.

Find out all about hedgehogs with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, 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

Come and learn about all things hedgehog at Epping Forest Countrycare’s annual Hedgehog Day on 30 May 2018, 11.00am – 13.00pm, at Green Acres Epping Forest, Kiln Road, North Weald.

Hedgehog day

Lots to enjoy

Learn about our spikey friends – where they live, what they eat and whether they like to party or stay in!

Make some hedgehog food for our hungry friends and create some arts and crafts inspired by the hedgehogs’ prickly looks.

Event details

  • Date: Wednesday 30 May 2018
  • Time: 11:00am – 13:00pm
  • Location: Green Acres Epping Forest, Kiln Road, North Weald, Essex, CM16 6AD
  • Cost: £3

Contact Epping Forest Countrycare for more details, on 01992 564224.

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

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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

Claim £30 refund on cloth nappies

Written on . Posted in Community, Energy efficiency, Grants, Media, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Did you know from just £80 you can buy your baby all the nappies they need! Cloth nappies make a great alternative to disposable nappies and can offer great cost, health and environmental benefits.

Essex County Council is offering a £30 refund per child on the purchase of any cloth nappies or laundering service. Even when you take into account laundering costs, you can save up to £1,000 compared to disposable nappies.

Washing line full of cloth nappies

Save money

You will need to keep hold of your receipts and provide either a photo of your maternity exemption or child’s birth certificate, Essex County Council will then process your refund – it’s that easy!

Better for the environment

Each child will use an average of 5,000 disposable nappies … or 24 cloth nappies! Disposable nappies cannot be recycled and can take hundreds of years to break down.

Even when you consider laundering, cloth nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposables. You can reduce your water and electricity usage by not soaking or pre-washing nappies and by washing in a full load at 40 or 60 degrees.

Easy to use

Modern cloth nappies do not require complicated folding and fiddly safety pins. There are many varieties to choose from, many are shaped and fasten with poppers, grips or use Velcro. Modern washing machines can make quick work of cleaning them.

Get in touch

Please email waste.management@essex.gov.uk if you have any questions regarding the £30 cloth nappy incentive. If you have any questions about using cloth nappies, find out who you can contact for support with cloth nappies.

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.


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

Planning application search

Walking Football to get back into sport

Written on . Posted in Community, Health, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Walking football is a slow paced version of the beautiful game, aimed at getting players back in to the sport, keep an active lifestyle and recover from injury.

Epping Forest District Council are now running sessions on Saturdays at 10:30am – 11:30am from 28 April 2018 at Roding Valley Recreation Ground in Loughton.

Walking Football, Roding Valley, Loughton

Session details

When: Saturdays from 28 April 2018

Time: 10:30am – 11:30am

Location: Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Contact: Ezra Folan, efolan@eppingforestdc.gov.uk / 01992 564363


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.

Free compost giveaway

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

We’re giving away free compost to residents to say thank you for recycling your food and garden waste.

This blooming good giveaway is on Tuesday 8 May at North Weald Airfield from 10am to 2pm. Residents must bring their own bags and a spade before helping themselves to up to 3 bags of compost while stocks last.

Compost giveaway 8 May North Weald Airfield

  • When – Tuesday 8 May 2018 10am to 2pm
  • Where – North Weald Airfield, Merlin Way, North Weald CM16 6AA (the entrance is via the A414 on Merlin Way, follow the brown tourist signs for North Weald Market)
  • Why – Free compost! Grab up to 3 bags of compost while stocks last, remember to bring your own bags and a spade

The compost was made from last years green-lidded food & garden waste wheelie bin collections. It is part of a series of events across Essex celebrating International Compost Awareness Week (6-12 May 2018).

Composting advice

Whether you’re a keen gardener or just getting started, come along and get free compost & composting advice. Expert composters will offer advice on how to make an excellent natural soil improver which can be used to dress lawns, pot up plants, revitalise flowerbeds, or mulched as a plant feed for vegetable patches.

Composting is an excellent way to help your garden grow. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly ways to dispose of waste.

Recycle for Essex

Decisions from Plans South 18 April 2018

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


  • 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
  • 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