Landlord fined £21,575 for illegal HMO

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council successfully prosecuted and fined Mr Veli Bunul £21,575, when found operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and breaching legislation designed to protect tenants.

HMO Licence

The Council was called to inspect a three storey family town house in Tillingham Court Waltham Abbey, found to be occupied by three separate families, each with young children, all sharing one kitchen and two bathrooms.

Potential tragedy

Housing 11 occupants, the property was overcrowded, had inadequate fire precautions or a safe means of escape in event of an emergency.

Basildon Magistrates court was particularly concerned about these failings which could have potentially led to lives being at risk and tragic circumstances.

The Court heard that Mr Bunul of Chase Side, London E14 had ignored all of Epping Forest District Council’s warnings about his responsibilities to licence the property and his obligation to make it safe.

He alleged he was unaware that the property was being occupied by several families, claiming someone else collected the rent on his behalf. The court did not find this a reasonable excuse and so carried his conviction alongside a hefty fine.

Zero tolerance

Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said, “We will not tolerate landlords who rent properties which fail to meet standards.  The Council has a commitment to ensure that private landlords in the Epping Forest district do not take financial advantage of vulnerable tenants and put their lives at risk.  We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants”.

New licensing rules

The Government are bringing in an extension to the  current licensing regime. From 1 April 2018, any property with five or more people from two or more households will require a licence regardless of how many floors there are in the property.

Landlords must comply with licence conditions to ensure properties are safe for the amount of people occupying them. In addition, minimum space requirements are to be imposed to prevent exploitation by overcrowding.

Advice to Landlords

Landlords that currently operate a licensable HMO in Epping Forest District (3 or more storeys, occupied by 5 or more people living as 2 or more households) but do not currently hold a licence should contact the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team immediately to avoid prosecution.

Anyone operating such an HMO without the appropriate licence is committing an offence, risks a criminal record and an unlimited fine on summary conviction.

Other landlords operating or thinking of operating an HMO that will fall under the new licensing regime from 1 April 2018 are encouraged to contact the Private Sector Housing Team for further information and advice.

Advice to tenants

If you think you may be living in a property that requires a licence and one is not displayed in the property, or you are concerned about the property conditions, please contact the Private Sector Housing team on the details below.

Contact

Decisions from Plans East 7 March 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Democracy, Epping, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 7 March 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2522/17 – Walnut Barn Bushes, Wind Hill, Magdalen Laver, Ongar, CM5 0DS
    Deferred
  • EPF/2582/17 – Walnut Barn Bushes Wind Hill Magdalen Laver, Ongar, CM5 0DS
    Deferred
  • EPF/2654/17 – The Chequers, Matching Green, Matching, CM17 0PZ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2933/17 – Maes Mawr, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3153/17 – 73 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4ND
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3364/17 – Granville, 119 Theydon Park Road, Theydon Bois. CM16 7LS
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3503/17 – 38 High Road, North Weald, Epping, CM16 6BU
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0026/18 – Oak Lodge, Weald Hall Lane, Thornwood Common, Epping, CM16 6ND
    Permission refused

Planning application search

Help to Buy Home Show coming to Chelmsford

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home, Your money

If you’re looking to get onto the property ladder, come along to the ‘Help to Buy Home Show’ on Saturday 24 March 2018 at Chelmsford City Racecourse, to explore your home buying options. This FREE event is an excellent opportunity to discover existing and upcoming developments and speak to friendly housing professionals, financial advisors and solicitors.

Essex Home Show 24 March

Event details

  • Saturday 24 March 2018
  • 10:30am – 3pm
  • Chelmsford City Racecourse, Moulsham Lane, Entrance (gate 11), Great Leighs, CM3 1PZ (View location on map)
  • FREE to attend

Help to Buy Schemes

Come and see housing associations and developers showcasing their shared ownership and equity loan homes they have available with Help to Buy.

  • Shared Ownership – buy a percentage of a property and pay rent on the rest
  • Equity Loan – buy a new property with as little as a 5% deposit

Even if you aren’t ready to buy yet, don’t miss this great opportunity to see what is available and review your options. Independent financial advisors and solicitors will be on hand to give you advice, guidance and help.

Further information

Eggcellent Easter activities for the kids

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council have another 2 weeks of exciting activities planned for the kids this Easter 2018.

Firm favourites are back, including our multi-sports days, play in the park and play in the forest, alongside new activities in the form of creative workshops.

Book your child’s space online now!

Easter p1

Multi Sports Days

Come and join our experienced coaches for a day of exciting activities

We believe there is an activity and a sport for everyone. At our multi sports days, young people can expect to get to try a mixture of traditional and non-traditional sports from tennis to American football – with some wacky games and competitions thrown in for good measure.

  • Monday 9 April to Friday 13 April 2018 – every day!
  • Leverton Junior School, Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3BE
  • 8.45am – 3.30pm
  • Suitable for ages 5 – 14
  • £16.50 per day
  • Book online

Play in the park

Play in the park is all about playing and having fun outside.

The Play in the Park team bring along a range of sports equipment and arts and crafts resources for young people to enjoy. The team also help organise activities and games, this activity is FREE to all those that show up!

The activities are being held at different times and locations around the district.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

  • Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Roding Road, IG9 6BJ – 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Wednesday 4 April 2018

  • Stonards Hill Recreation Ground, Stonards Hill, Epping, CM16 4QF – 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Thursday 5 April 2018

  • Town Mead Leisure Park, Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JH – 10am to 12pm
  • Shelly Park, St Peters Avenue, Ongar, CM5 0BT – 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Friday 6 April 2018

  • Roding Valley Recreation Ground (near the tennis courts) Roding Road, IG10 3BS – 10am to 12pm

Monday 9 April 2018

  • Larsons Recreation Ground, Rochford Avenue, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1SE – 10am to 12pm

Tuesday 10 April 2018

  • Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Roding Road, IG9 6BJ – 10am to 12pm

 Wednesday 11 April 2018

  • Roydon playing fields, Occupation Lane, CM19 5HL – 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Thursday 12 April 2018

  • Larsons Recreation Ground, Rochford Avenue, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1SE – 10am to 12pm
  • Jubilee Park, Love Lane, Ongar, CM5 9BL – 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Friday 13 April 2018

  • Roding Valley Recreation Ground (near the tennis courts) Roding Road, IG10 3BS- 10am to 12pm

Play in the forest

Play in the forest is all about playing games and having fun in the forest!

Join us for this Easter and Spring themed activity for bug hunting, den building and live storytelling session as well as a host of other Easter activities.

  • Wednesday 4 and 11 April 2018
  • High Beach, opposite the Visitor’s Centre, Loughton, IG10 4AE
  • No need to book, drop by at any time between 10am – 12pm
  • Suitable for all ages
  • £3 per session
  • No need to book, just turn up

Make a stepping stone workshop

Come along to learn this new artistic skill!

Leave a lasting art impression in the Epping Community Garden that will be admired for many years to come.

  • Tuesday 3 April 2018
  • Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU
  • 10am – 12pm
  • Suitable for ages 6 – 15
  • Cost £5.50
  • Book online

Learn to make wind chimes workshop

Learn the art of wind chime making using lots of different recyclable items.

Tin cans, bottles, bamboo canes all make amazing sounds when put together. Add a little sparkle to your garden to help you chill.

  • Tuesday 10 April 2018
  • Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU
  • 10am – 12pm
  • Suitable for ages 6 – 15
  • Cost £5.50
  • Book online

Customise your own t-shirt workshop

Be bang on trend this Easter and learn how to create your very own fashion masterpiece.

Learn how to cut and embellish your t-shirt to make unique and individual designs. We will provide you with your own t-shirt and everything else you need to help you stand out from the crowd!

  • Tuesday 10 April 2018
  • Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU
  • 6pm – 8pm
  • Suitable for ages 11 – 16
  • Cost £10
  • Book online

Update on council services

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Epping, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Updated plans for refuse and recycling collections

As the severe weather continues into Friday 2 March 2018, we are adapting operations to maintain waste collection services, making allowances for reduced resources and challenging conditions for our waste collection crews.

We are continuing to focus on fortnightly black wheelie bin, recycling sacks and blue box collections. Access to residential roads can vary in these conditions with properties located in rural areas or down narrow lanes are likely to experience more disruption than others.

Black wheelie bins, recycling sacks and blue boxes

  • Please leave your waste out on the boundary of your property until 5pm on Friday 2 March
  • If your waste is not collected by 5pm, please bring it in over the weekend
  • On Monday 5 March extra crews have been laid on to try and catch up any missed areas, so please make sure your bins are out again by 7am
  • If your bins have not been collected by 5pm on Monday, please take them back in and out in time for your next scheduled collection

Please accept our apologies for this disruption. We will endeavour to collect any waste that has been missed.

Food and garden waste

We will continue to focus our resources on the fortnightly collections throughout Friday 2 March as above. Therefore

  • We are not collecting any green lidded bins for food and garden waste
  • If you were expecting a collection this week, please take it back and put it out again on your next normal collection day.

Our customer service team is continuing to operate with fewer staff  due to the adverse weather so you may experience longer hold times on the phone than usual, so please only call if it is urgent.

Minimising disruption to residents

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Biffa’s tremendously dedicated and hardworking staff. Despite the terrible weather we’ve experienced over the past few days they’ve been out on our streets, battling the elements, doing their best to ensure our waste and recycling is still collected.”

“I want them to know that their commitment to delivering the service and minimising disruption to our residents is greatly appreciated. I’d also like to thank our residents for the understanding and patience they have shown as we contend with these very difficult conditions.”

Contacting the Council

Not urgent?

If your enquiry is not urgent, please contact us by email or use our online reporting tool to contact us to help us reduce waiting times. Someone will be in touch with you as soon as they can.

If your enquiry is urgent and you need to speak to someone, please call us on the telephone numbers below.

If it’s urgent

  • General and refuse – 01992 564000
  • Benefits – 01992 562059
  • Council Tax – 01992 564188
  • Council housing – 01992 564716
  • Housing repairs – 01992 564199

Please keep checking the website and our social media channels for updates and further information.

Check for updates

Decisions from Plans South 21 February 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 21 February 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2662/17 – Chigwell Library, Victory Hall, Chigwell Parish Offices, Chigwell Members Club, Hainault Road, Chigwell IG7 6QX
    Deferred to DMC
  • EPF/1893/17 – 60 Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1TD
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3438/17 – 160 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5PX
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3397/17 – 2 Glenside, Chigwell, IG7 5RE
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2954/17 – 17 Tomswood Road, Chigwell, IG7 5QP
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3059/17 – Sir Winston Churchill (Now Landmark House), The Broadway, Loughton, IG10 3SP
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3005/17 – 7 Briar Close, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5EF
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3336/17 – 6 The Rise, Roding View, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6AG
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2863/17 – 20 Tomswood Road, Chigwell, IG7 5QS
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3314/17 – 13 Pyrles Green, Loughton, IG10 2NP
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3036/17 – 1 Woodbury Hill, Loughton, IG10 1JB
    Permission refused

Planning application search

Essex Police advice for road safety

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Essex Police are advising motorists to stay safe on the county’s roads this week during the poor weather conditions. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for Essex with further snowfall and freezing temperatures predicted up until Friday 2 March 2018.

Snow - February 2018

Advice for driving conditions

The Safer Essex Road Partnership (SERP) has issued the following advice to keep you safe during the difficult conditions

  • Plan your journey in advance and make sure the roads you are using are on the salting route (visit www.essex.gov.uk/gritters)
  • Check up-to-date information and listen to local and national radio for travel and weather information
  • Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and drive at appropriate speeds
  • Overtaking vehicles in wintry conditions can be extremely dangerous. Be patient and allow extra time for your journey
  • If you are in charge of staff at work, have a contingency plan before the bad weather arrives
  • Drivers should check their tyre pressures and tread, that their vehicle lights are clean and working, that wiper blades are effective and that your battery is in good condition and fully charged. Clear windows and mirrors of ice or condensation before leaving
  • Keep items in your car including warm clothes, ice scraper, de-icer, torcher, phone charger, first aid kit, food and drink, high visibility jacket, shovel and blanket

Contacting the police

During poor conditions, Essex Police control officers deal with an increased number of calls.

Council Tax is set for 2018/19

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Council tax, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Leader, Local business, Loughton, Meetings, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

At a meeting of Council on 22 February 2018, Epping Forest District Councillors made the decision to increase Council Tax for the first time since 2010, following the inclusion of law and order initiatives to improve anti-social issues in the district.

Tax levels may be set higher still as Essex County Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue and some Town and Parish Council’s have confirmed increases their Council Tax share too.

An average Band D property will pay an extra £3.69 a year for their District Council Tax contribution.

 

Council Tax

Epping Forest District Councillors agreed the 2.48% increase in the District Council’s portion of Council Tax to absorb the cost of 3 extra police officers employed to work closely with the Community Safety Team. The decision was taken as residents call for more visible policing to deter and deal with cases of anti-social behaviour in local towns and villages.

Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gagan Mohindra said: “This budget is a significant departure from our policy in recent years as it proposes the first increase in Council Tax since 2010/11. This change is necessary to provide additional funds to combat the scourge of anti-social behaviour. Earlier we discussed the problems being faced by our residents on a daily basis and it is vital that we act to address these. We hope that over the 3 year trial period we are providing funding for, the police will be in a better place than they are now and that it will be possible to withdraw our support.”

“This is the first time for eight years that we are increasing the Council Tax but it is for a specific reason and for a limited time period, to provide the public with additional services they have said they want.”

Derek Macnab – Chief Executive

Following the announcement that Epping Forest District Council’s Chief Executive Glen Chipp, is leaving to become Chief Executive of Horsham District Council, Council agreed the recommendation to appointment Derek Macnab as acting Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services with immediate effect.

Council Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread, thanked Glen Chipp for his service to Epping Forest District Council and its residents before welcoming the appointment of Derek Macnab.

He said: “Derek Macnab’s brief is to maintain the momentum of our modernisation and organisational development of the Council. No doubt he will bring his own personal style and approach to the process, but the drivers for change remain. We are a strong, well-managed Council moving towards a position of financial independence as central government funding ends.”

A minute for reflection

A minute’s silence was observed by Council in memory of Councillor Brian Surtees and former Council Leader Di Collins, who both passed away earlier this month.

A heartfelt speech was first given by Council Leader Chris Whitbread, offering sincere condolences to the friends and family of both former Councillors. An abundance of tributes from Councillors from all parties followed, praising and sharing kind words in memory of both Councillor Brian Surtees and Di Collins.

Elections 2018

Simon Hill has been appointed as Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer for Epping Forest District Council in advance of this year’s elections, on 3 May 2018.

Mr Hill was also appointed Monitoring Officer for the Council, a role which is responsible for the governance of Council officers and elected Councillors.

Decisions from Plans East 7 February 2018

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Local business, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 7 February 2018.

Decisions

  • 1. EPF/2363/17 – Rozel, Loughton Lane, Theydon Bois, Essex, CM16 7JY
    Granted
  • 2. EPF/2666/17 – Land to rear of 40 -62 Hoe Lane, Abridge, RM4 1AU
    Deferred – site visit
  • 3. EPF/2771/17 – 21 Princes Close, North Weald, Epping, CM16 6EN
    Refused
  • 4. EPF/3007/17 – Oxford Lodge, Tysea Hill, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford, RM4 1JP
     Granted
  • 5. EPF/3025/17 – 43 Woodland Way, Theydon Bois, CM16 7DY
    Granted
  • 6. EPF/3135/17 – 7 Centre Avenue, Epping, CM16 4JU
    Granted
  • 7. EPF/3216/17 – Esperanza Nurseries, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ
    Refused
  • 8. EPF/3124/17 – 2 Theydon Place, Epping, CM16 4NH
    Granted
  • 9. EPF/3219/17 – 1 Theydon Place, Epping, CM16 4NH
    Granted
  • 10. EPF/3259/17 – 121 Theydon Grove, Epping, CM16 4QB
    Refused
  • 11. EPF/3284/17 – 9 Church Hill, Epping, CM16 4RA
    Deferred – site visit

Planning application search

Businesses beware bogus Council Officers

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Businesses beware, bogus Environmental Health Officers and Licensing Officers have visited businesses across Essex, issuing fake on the spot fines for non-compliance and asking for annual fee payments in cash.

Council tax scam warning

The Council has received 3 reports of individuals falsely presenting themselves as Epping Forest District Council Environmental Health Officer’s to food establishments within the Waltham Abbey area.

The imposters demanded the business owners pay fines for not complying with regulations.

Licensing scam

Licenced businesses within Essex have also received visits from individuals pretending to be Council Licensing Officers, requesting licence fees be paid in cash.

These people are very convincing as they know how much your licence is and they also use the names of real licensing officers.

Real Council Officers

Real Environmental Health Officers and any of the Council’s Licensing or Enforcement Officers will be happy to let you see their badges to check their identity.

On the back of their badges, you will find a list of their authorisations and a telephone number, which you can call to verify they are who they say they are. Remember you are well within your rights to request to check their authorisations and be especially careful if they do not allow you to do this.

Environmental Health Officers and Licensing Officers will not ask you to pay an on the spot fine or take cash from you.

If a scammer calls

If you are in any doubt as to whether someone demanding money from you is legitimate, you should contact the Council as soon as possible to check his or her identity. Do not pay them.

Report it

If you suspect you have been visited by a bogus caller please contact the Council and the Police as soon as possible.