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.

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

Pair fined for eyesore garden

Written on . Posted in Community, Environmental health, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Mr Salinder Minhas and Mrs Parminder Minhas of 3 Alderton Close Loughton Essex were successfully prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council in April 2018 for failing to comply with Notices served on them under Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 requiring them to clear rubbish from the front and rear of their property.

3 Alderton Close Loughton Essex

Failure to remove building materials

At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 5th April 2018 Mr. & Mrs Minhas each pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to comply with the Notice served on them on 23rd November 2017.

The notice required them to remove building materials, paint pots, plastic items and cardboard from their front and rear gardens and from the flat roof of the garage which were adversely affecting the visual amenity of the area. They should have complied by 21st December 2017.

Over £800 in fines

The Magistrates fined Mr Minhas £110 and ordered him to pay £308 towards the Council’s prosecution costs together with the statutory victim surcharge of £30.

Mrs Minhas was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs of £308 and a Victim Surcharge of £30. The fines had been reduced by one third due to Mr & Mrs Minhas pleading guilty at the first hearing and also taking into account their current financial situation.

Given every opportunity to clear the land

Having seen the photographs taken by the Council the Magistrate told Mr & Mrs Minhas that he was not surprised that neighbours had complained about the state of the property and the Council had quite rightly brought the prosecution having given them every opportunity to clear the land.

Mr & Mrs Minhas informed the court that they would now fully comply with the Notice.

Failure to do so renders them liable to a further prosecution with a possible fine of up to £100 for every day that they do not comply from 5th April 2018.

Report it

If you suspect any planning breaches get in contact with our team via email

Basildon woman guilty of housing fraud

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Housing, Media, Out and about, Performance, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Fadimana Altinsoy of Basildon Essex was successfully prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council in March 2018 of three offences under the Fraud act 2006 and Money Laundering under the Proceeds of Crime act 2002.

Landscape

Change of plea

Initially pleading not guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates Court in February 2017, the Magistrates declined jurisdiction and transferred the matter to Chelmsford Crown Court.

Ms Altinsoy maintained her not guilty pleas at a number of hearings in that court but on the first day of a trial listed for six days in January 2018 she changed her pleas to guilty.

Fraudulent applications

The basis of the prosecution was when applying for Council housing in 2003 Fadimana Altinsoy had failed to declare her ownership of two properties jointly owned by herself and other relatives in Forest Gate London E7 and Grays in Essex RM17.

She was granted tenancy of a property in Copperfield Chigwell 22 January 2007, the following day she completed a further Housing Application form seeking a move from a flat to a house and again failed to state that she jointly owned the properties.

Had the Council been aware of her ownerships, she would not have been given the tenancy of the property at Copperfield Chigwell.

Home ownership grant

June 2010 Ms Altinsoy applied for a home ownership grant to assist her in purchasing a private property and again failed to reveal that she had an interest in two other properties.

Epping Forest District Council awarded Ms Altinsoy one of six available grants of £28,000 which she used to purchase a property in Basildon, SS13 in June 2011.

However having not been entitled to the tenancy of the property in Chigwell, she was  therefore not entitled to have received the home ownership grant.

Over £40,000 worth of fines

After the hearing in January Ms Altinsoy agreed to pay the sum of home ownership grant £28,000 back to the Council together with the prosecution costs of £12,500 before 5 March 2018 and a sentence hearing was fixed for 9th March 2018.

On that date she was given a 2 year suspended sentence, together with 200 hours unpaid work with a probation supervision order for 12 months.

Do you think someone is committing fraud?

Don’t let them get away with it. You can report it anonymously. You don’t have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.

Decisions from DDMC 28 March 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Democracy, Housing, Meetings, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Planning application decisions from the District Development Management Committee Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2662/17 – Chigwell Library, Victory Hall and Chigwell Members Club, Hainault Road, Chigwell
    Permission refused

Planning application search

Celebration of grant aid success

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Community, Democracy, Equalities, Grants, Health, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Recognising the valuable contribution the local community and voluntary sector does for the district was celebrated Friday 23 March at our grant aid celebration event.

Ongar In Bloom

Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos

Diverse mix of groups

A diverse mix of groups helping a wide spectrum of people across the District has received grants in the last year enabling them to continue their much needed and valuable work.

Vital and much needed services

Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor David Stallan said: “It’s so encouraging to see such a wide variety of groups receive these vital grants. This year we have given over £83,000 in grants and it’s great to see the improvements they are making within our communities.”

“The voluntary and community sectors do so much so for our District and its important their much needed hard work is recognised.”

“If you know of any local or community groups that could use our grant aid schemes help, get in contact today.”

Want to know more?

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

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