New arrangements for pre-application planning advice

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Epping, Garages, Housing, Local business, Local land charges, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

New arrangements for pre-application planning advice on domestic extensions, adverts and other commercial alterations will be starting from 1 May 2015.

Planning

We are expanding our pre-application planning service in order to ensure prospective planning applications are well-prepared and have the appropriate information and drawings.

The fee for this service is £48 (including VAT) which is payable at the time of the enquiry. This fee can be paid by debit or credit card over the phone or by sending a cheque or banker’s draft to the planning office.

Find out more

 

Gale warnings and power cut advice

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Housing, Local business, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The Met Office has issued severe gale warnings for Essex for Wednesday 14 February and Thursday 15 February. Gusts may exceed 60mph.

Find out more on the Met Office website.

Advice from UK Power Networks

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can affect overhead power lines. Our emergency plans have been put in to place, with hundreds of extra engineers and other staff on duty to deal with situations as and when they arise. In communication with customers, we urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to UK Power Networks.

For any power cut enquiries please contact us 24 hours a day by

UK Power Networks has a Priority Service Register for those who may be more vulnerable and require extra assistance in a power cut. You can find out more information at http://bit.ly/1c3CkOO. We currently work with the British Red Cross who can activate their volunteers to support vulnerable customers if power is affected.

Preparing for a power cut

Advice on how our customers can prepare for a power cut

  1. Keep our freephone number handy
  2. See the website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut
  3. Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
  4. Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
  5. Dress warmly in several layers of clothing, stay in one room or even get into bed
  6. Take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
  7. Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
  8. Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
  9. Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
  10. Look out for elderly neighbours – please consider taking them round a flask of hot water or hot food

 

Council Leader talks to the Guardian

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Council tax, Councillors, Housing, Leader, Local business, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Recycling and waste, Supporting business, Your council, Your home, Your money

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council has responded to a request from the Epping Forest Guardian for his reflections on the past year and some thoughts on the future.


Councillor Whitbread is also a local businessman based in Epping.

Councillor Whitbread says that looking back, 2014 was a generally good year for Epping Forest District Council. The Tour de France stands out as a fantastic event and showed what can be achieved by the community. He is optimistic about the local economy, saying that it has definitely picked up with busier high streets.

The Council continued to cut costs and improve services such as the new waste and recycling contract. Councillor Whitbread says it was with great pride that councillors started building new council houses for local families for the first time in many years.   However, the year was tinged with a note of sadness as the Council lost three dear friends and colleagues, Councillors Penny Smith and Ken Avey and former Councillor Joan Davis.

Looking ahead, Councillor Whitbread says the Council faces further challenging savings targets but he is confident and committed to protecting services that matter to residents as well as keeping the Council Tax low. He explains that Epping Forest District Council has always used its assets to fund services. It has industrial estates, shopping parades and North Weald Airfield.

Following the award of the new refuse and recycling collection contract, the Council is looking to turn Langston Road depot in Loughton into a brand new retail park. As the income from the park comes on stream in years to come, Councillor Whitbread says there is good reason to be confident for council services going forward.

 

Winter business briefing published

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Chairman, Commercial properties, Councillors, Environmental health, Food safety, Grants, Licensing, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your council, Your home, Your money

The latest issue of One Business Briefing is now available. It includes articles on how to make marketing and social media work more successfully for you and funding to help train staff in digital skills and much more.

Cover of Winter 2014 One Business Briefing

Download the briefing

The winter issue focuses on opportunities for new and established businesses across Epping Forest – from free sessions and guidance to make marketing and social media work more successfully for you to funding to help train staff in digital skills and for strategic advice to grow your business.

Several successful events in recent weeks demonstrated the variety of business owners in our district, as well as the passion and drive that fuels our local economy.

As we move into the New Year, the importance of investing in the future is highlighted; specifically in supporting young people at the very start of their careers, as well as providing support for key sectors and geographic areas. This is reflected in our latest issue of the briefing, which reports on the recent Investors in Young People Awards Celebration and announces support for tourism and town and district centres across our patch.

Join our mailing list

If you would like to receive future editions of One Business Briefing

As always, we would welcome any feedback on how useful these updates are and suggestions for future editions.

Empty homes week

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Housing, Housing repairs, Media, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Empty Homes week is organised by national charity Empty Homes to highlight the work that’s taking place to bring homes back into use – and to call for continued efforts to bring increasing numbers of empty homes back into use.

New research from Halifax and Empty Homes shows how strongly the public feel about empty homes. They want the government and local authorities to do more about them.

Empty homes week

Help reduce the number of empty properties

There is no sound economic reason for an owner to leave a property empty. An empty property can cost up to £10,000 in maintenance, it can increase your Council Tax payments by 50% and your insurance premiums can increase. What’s more, you could be missing out on valuable rental income.

Owners

A property left empty is a wasted resource and can be costly in terms of increased insurance, increased council tax, emergency repairs, vandalism and arson.

Neighbours

It is estimated that the home next door to an empty property can be devalued by about 10%. There is also the worry of nuisance, vermin, arson, vandalism and anti social behaviour.

Community

There are currently approximately 380 properties that have been empty for more than 6 months in our district. Empty properties provide valuable homes for local people and reduce the demand for building on the Green Belt. For every property brought back to use the council receives a financial reward known as the New Homes Bonus. This can be included in the budget for providing services to residents of the district.

To help the owners we can offer

We are committed to reducing the number of empty properties in the district, and in some cases we can offer financial help. Bringing an empty property back into use can be difficult if it’s in a poor state of repair and cannot be lived in, let or easily sold.

This scheme offers up to £10,000 if there is an empty property in poor condition that you would like to live in yourself. The money is repaid when you eventually sell the property.

This scheme offers up to £25,000 to renovate a property in order to sell it or rent it out. This is an interest free loan and is paid back within 2 years if you sell, or 5 years if you let the property.

Tell us about an empty property

Give us the address, and any other information you may have, and we will do our best to contact the owner. We will work with the owner to bring the property back to use. All calls are treated in confidence.

Want to know more

For further information and advice, or to report an empty property, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team

 

One Shops Local champions local business

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Support local business in Epping Forest – add your business to or join the One Shops Local mailing list.

As the world around us changes, so must we and the world of business is no exception. One Shops Local was created to support local independent businesses within Epping Forest, and help them to survive and thrive in today’s tough market.

The campaign was created nearly 3 years ago by the One Epping Forest Local Strategic Partnership, in the belief that independently owned businesses play a vital role in ensuring we have a vibrant, resilient economy.

One Shops Local logo

How can shopping locally benefit me?

Many people may be concerned that shopping locally is more expensive and less convenient, however this is not necessarily the case. In fact shopping locally can benefit the community, not just the business owner.

When you spend money in locally run, independent businesses, more of your money is returned to the local economy than if you were to spend the same amount in a national chain. Putting money into the local economy, rather than displacing it elsewhere creates jobs for local people, and helps fund many things from the maintenance of the local infrastructure to the emergency services.

Despite all this, you may still be asking how can shopping locally directly benefit me? The answer is that local shops can tailor their business to suit the specific needs of local people, create  unique, bespoke items to suit you, and often give you a great deal to boot. After all, they want you to come back again, and what better incentive than VIP treatment?

Get involved

So how can you get involved? Whether you are a business owner or a resident or visitor, you can help your local economy to thrive by being part of the One Shops Local campaign.

If you own your own independent business within Epping Forest you can sign up for free and have free advertising to over 1,250 subscribers and 2,000 monthly website visitors. If you’re a resident or visitor, your support is still greatly needed. You can do this by

You will get access to many great deals and offers as well as unique shops and businesses that you may not yet have discovered.

Visit www.oneshopslocal.com, add your business or join our mailing list, support local business in Epping Forest.

 

Latest business briefing published

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Sports, Supporting business, Tour de France, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

To celebrate the Tour de France passing through our district this month, our latest Business Briefing is a special edition, available now to download for free.

The sporting event will provide a unique opportunity for business owners and shopkeepers alike. Thousands of spectators and tourists are expected to line the streets to catch a glimpse of the excitement as the eyes will focus on Epping Forest for a brief but invaluable time. An illustrated, pull-out route map can be found in this edition of the Briefing, as well as tips on how to make the most of this momentous occasion.

As well as highlights on what’s to come from Le Tour, July’s issue looks at the achievements of the Council’s apprenticeship scheme, which provides crucial opportunities for young people to gain the skills and experience they need to give them a helping hand in kick-starting their careers. In addition, are updates from the Chamber of Commerce, Town Centre Initiative Funding, the launch of the Investors in Youth Awards 2014 and more.

Le Tour edition of One Business Briefing (pdf 4.8MB)

 

Exhibition display available for comment

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

A public exhibition was held on Saturday 28 June 2014 at North Weald Bassett Village Hall for people interested in the future of North Weald Bassett village and airfield.

Presentation boards were on display which showcased the possible scenarios for the growth of North Weald Bassett, arising from the master-planning study commissioned by Epping Forest District Council.

Exhibition display

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

Download pdf of each display board to view in detail.

  1. North Weald Bassett exhibition 28 June 2014 – display board 1 (pdf 1.4MB)
  2. North Weald Bassett exhibition 28 June 2014 – display board 1 (pdf 1.3MB)
  3. North Weald Bassett exhibition 28 June 2014 – display board 1 (pdf 770KB)
  4. North Weald Bassett exhibition 28 June 2014 – display board 1 (pdf 5.9MB)
  5. North Weald Bassett exhibition 28 June 2014 – display board 1 (pdf 400KB)
  6. North Weald Bassett exhibition 28 June 2014 – display board 1 (pdf 1.1MB)

Comment

If you would like to comment on the presentation boards, please do so by Monday 14 July 2014

  • by email LDFConsult@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
  • by post to Planning Policy – Neighbourhoods Directorate, Epping Forest District Council, Freepost CL3360, EPPING CM16 4YA

 

Were you affected by the winter floods?

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Commercial properties, Drainage, Emergencies, Housing, Local business, Media, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your environment, Your home

We have a number of measures in place to support residents and businesses affected by the recent floods. They include repair and renewal grants, council tax exemption and the business rates relief scheme.

Financial support, in the form of grant schemes and reliefs, is available for homes and businesses that were affected by flooding between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014.

We can assist with

  • Flood resilience grants for residents whose homes were flooded
  • Business rate relief and flood resilience grants for businesses affected by flooding

Driving through flood water at Broadley Common

Repair and renewal grant

Residents or businesses should contact the Private Sector Housing Grants Team for information on the repair and renewal grant.

Download the form

Please return your completed form to the address on the back page by 31 August 2014.

Business rates

Businesses should contact the council’s business rates office for details of business rate relief.

Find out more

 

North Weald Bassett community exhibition

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

Local residents and everyone else interested in the future of North Weald Bassett village and airfield are invited to an exhibition showcasing the possible scenarios for the growth of North Weald Bassett, arising from the master-planning study commissioned by Epping Forest District Council.

North Weald Bassett Community Exhibition 28 June 2014

Development options

The exhibition in the North Weald Village Hall, North Weald High Road on Saturday 28 June 2014 from 11am to 3pm, is another opportunity for members of the local community to be updated on the master-plan progress. Visitors will be able to review a range of development options influenced by the feedback of residents and stakeholders received so far. These options flow from what local people identified as key issues and priorities for them in establishing a vision for the future of the village.

Please come along

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council wants to encourage as many people to attend as possible. He said: “The initial consultation was incredibly successful. Local residents, business people and airfield users all sat down with our planning experts to talk through the options. We listened hard but we are not rushing it and want to talk to everyone one more time. So if you are interested in the future of North Weald Bassett and the airfield, whether or not you participated in the last consultation, please come along to the Village Hall and see what you think.”