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.

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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.”

Tour de France market day offer declined

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Epping, Leader, Local business, Loughton, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Parking, Residents, Supporting business, Tour de France, Your community, Your council

Tour de France Essex LogoUpdate – Traders have declined an offer to hold Epping Market in Cottis Lane Car Park when the Tour de France comes to the District on 7 July 2014.

 

Tour de France market day offer

Epping Market looks set to go ahead when the Tour de France comes to Epping on 7 July. There were fears that the thousands of spectators in Epping High Street would make it impossible for the market to go ahead. Epping Town Council had been left with no choice but to cancel the regular High Street event. Now, an offer has been made by Epping Forest District Council to provide an alternative venue at Cottis Lane Car Park.

The announcement came at the meeting of Epping Town Council on Tuesday 25 March where Epping Forest District Council’s Emergency Planning Officer, Peter Charman was giving an update on the latest Tour related developments. The District Council has been working with many partners behind the scenes to ensure market traders don’t lose out. Following news that St John’s School would be able to provide additional parking facilities, senior district councillors agreed that Epping Forest District Council can put the Cottis Lane car park at the disposal of Epping Town Council for the market.

The Tour de FranceEpping Market has a charter going back to medieval times. The deal to use Cottis Lane as a one-off is still subject to detailed discussions but Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council is confident the market can now go ahead.

Natursports/Shutterstock.com

He said: “Overall, the arrival of the Tour de France in Epping Forest is one of the biggest boosts to the economy we could wish for. It will be a bonanza for High Street shops as thousands of extra visitors arrive early for the Epping Show on Sunday and take up their positions for the sprint on Monday. The problem has always been what to do with the market. It was clear that for health and safety reasons there wasn’t enough room for the anticipated 20,000 spectators and the market in the High Street. Cottis Lane Car Park behind Marks and Spencer’s is only a few seconds walk from the High Street and should make an excellent temporary location for the day.”

Epping MarketCouncillor Whitbread continued: “I agreed the principle with Cabinet Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller and we will now be talking through the details with Epping Town Council.”

The next edition of the District Council magazine, The Forester due out in April, will provide local residents and businesses with more information about the arrival of the Tour. The message to all residents and businesses from the Council is to plan ahead. The Tour enters the District from Chelmsford and will follow country lanes past Willingale, Fyfield and Moreton before crossing the A414 at the Talbot roundabout. The route north of the Talbot will be closed to all other traffic from 8am.

After crossing the A414, the racers will continue through North Weald. The District Council is developing plans to handle many of the expected spectators by opening up North Weald Airfield as a ‘Park and Walk’ facility after persuading the organisers to keep access between the M11 and the airfield open. Limited caravan and campervan facilities will also be available to allow people to stay overnight at the airfield. Additional temporary campsites and car parks are being planned by a number of farmers to cater for visitors along the route.

The route south of the A414 will be closed to all traffic from 9am in another concession by the organisers to Epping Forest District Council. From North Weald, the racers will sprint down Epping High Street, race to the Wake Arms roundabout and then follow the A104 Epping New Road all the way past Loughton and Buckhurst Hill before leaving the District. The Stage finishes on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

Councillor Whitbread said: “It is going to be an incredible day. The Tour is one of the World’s greatest sporting events and it is entirely free to watch. There will be a carnival atmosphere unlike anything we have seen since the Olympics. It certainly won’t be business as usual, but by getting into the spirit of the occasion and making plans now, I am confident it will be a terrific boost to the District.”

Photos

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

Flooding, be aware and be prepared

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Drainage, Emergencies, Environmental health, Epping, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

If flooding has been forecast where you live, listen to local radio or check the Environment Agency’s website for updates and news.

Driving through flood water

Environment Agency

Latest flood warning updates for the Epping Forest district (in alphabetical order)

Know what the levels of flood warning mean

  • Flood Alert: Flooding is possible. Be prepared
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is expected. Immediate action required
  • Severe Flood Warning: Severe flooding. Danger to life

 

Stay in touch

Listen for flood updates on BBC Radio Essex and Heart Essex Radio.

Get up-to-date weather warnings from the Met Office.

Advice to motorists to take care in bad weather from Essex Police.

Latest incidents from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Advice

Emergency planning advice from Essex County Council.

Information on emergencies from Epping Forest District Council.

The National Flood Forum is a national charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding.

Practical tips and health advice in new flooding leaflet on gov.uk Flooding: advice to the public.

Flooding presents a number of risks to health – advice from Public Health England.

Do you know what to do with your animals if it floods? Advice from RSPCA.

 

Photos from around the district

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

 

Neighbourhood Development Plan for Chigwell

Written on . Posted in Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Local shopping at Chigwell ParadeChigwell residents are being offered the opportunity to shape the future of their area. Chigwell Parish Council has taken the first steps towards preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan covering the whole parish by submitting an application to Epping Forest District Council.

Any Parish or Town Council can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. The Plans give communities an opportunity to shape the way in which their local area develops over the coming years. Neighbourhood Plans must take account of the District Council’s Local Plan and can be used to develop a shared vision for the local area by:

• Suggesting where new homes, community facilities and other forms of development should be built;
• Identifying and helping protect important local green spaces; and
• Influencing what new buildings should look like.

Epping Forest District Council has a duty to publicise the proposal for at least six weeks but the consultation period has been extended to eight weeks to allow for Christmas. A copy of the application, along with further information on neighbourhood planning, can be viewed here.

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder for the District Council said: “Neighbourhood Plans can be a very useful tool in planning future development and I hope as many Chigwell residents will comment on the proposals as possible. This is a consultation on the identification of the potential plan area, not a formal consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan itself, which will come later. The consultation commenced on 16 December 2013 and, in order to allow for the Christmas period, will run for 8 weeks until 5.00pm on 10 February 2014.”

Comments can be sent by email to ldfconsult@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or by post to:

Forward Planning, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ.

Councillor Bassett added: “Please be aware that all comments received will be publicly available and may be included on our website. Personal details such as the respondents address, telephone number and signature will not be published.”

Images of Chigwell

What next

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by Government through the Localism Act in 2011.

Once they have successfully completed the preparation process, Neighbourhood Plans will legally have policy status and will be used to help decide planning applications. Within the parameters set by the district-wide local plan, a neighbourhood plan must be used to positively encourage sustainable development.

Following the end of the eight week period, the District Council must decide whether to designate the proposed neighbourhood area. If agreed, the Parish Council may commence work on preparing the Neighbourhood Plan. A draft Plan must be subject to a formal 6 week public consultation before being submitted to the District Council for examination by an independent Examiner. If the Plan is approved, a referendum is held within the Parish to decide whether the Plan should be used by the District Council to decide upon planning applications within the neighbourhood area.

Within Epping Forest District, Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Parish Council are already working on a Neighbourhood Plan for their area.