Man fined for failing to clear nature reserve site

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A man from Waltham Abbey has been prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council for failing to clear waste that was adversely affecting the character and visual attractiveness of land within Roding Valley Meadow Local Nature Reserve.

Prosecution

Click on an image below for slideshow

Former underground bunker site

Mr Raymond Sturgess of Stanford Court in Waltham Abbey was successfully prosecuted in June 2018. He failed to respond to a notice served on him requiring him to remove waste, plastic, card, building materials and household items from the former Royal Observer Corps underground bunker site, which he originally intended to renovate when it was bought in 2015.

Fined

Sturgess pleaded guilty and received a reduced fine of £200, was ordered to pay £200 towards the Council’s prosecution costs together with a statutory victim surcharge of £30.

Ample time to comply

During mitigation Mr Sturgess told the Magistrates that was unable to comply with the notice because he had injured his knee, he claimed that vandals and fly-tippers had gained access to the site and were responsible for the mess.

The Magistrate concluded that Sturgess had ample time to comply with the notice and they did not accept everything he had told them.

Largest remaining water meadow

The bunker site sits within the Roding Valley Meadow Local Nature Reserve. The Wildlife Trust manage the site and describe it as ‘the largest remaining water meadow in Essex’.

It is reputedly famous for it’s beautiful wild flowers, butterflies, invertebrates and birds. It is important that this site is preserved for its resident wildlife and for future generations to enjoy.

Epping Forest District Council wins Local Plan challenge

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The High Court has dismissed the legal challenge to the Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan Submission Version 2017 paving the way for the Council to submit the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination. The Court rejected all four grounds of challenge brought by property development company CK Properties (Theydon Bois) Ltd, endorsing the lawfulness of the Council decision to approve the Local Plan for 11,400 new homes over the Plan period up to 2033.

EFDC local plan logos

The Council’s Planning Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Philip described the Court’s decision as “good news” and the positive outcome is also seen as vindication of the Council’s approach by its Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread.

John Philip expressed his gratitude to the Court saying: “The production of the Local Plan is possibly the most difficult thing the Council has ever had to do. The issues involved in planning for growth in the District are very sensitive and, inevitably, emotions often run high, but the Court has endorsed the Council’s approach having scrutinised the decision-making process.”

Chris Whitbread was also pleased. He said: “As Councillors we take a balanced view between the protection of the character of the District we love and the need to provide decent homes for local people. We burnt a great deal of ‘midnight oil’ to understand and balance complex issues while collectively studying and guiding the evolution of the Plan through workshops, meetings and engagement before making some really difficult decisions.”

Councillor Philip continued: “I hope CK Properties will see the sense of the Court’s judgment, and pursue their arguments through the Local Plan Examination process, which has always been the proper place to air their concerns, and spare Council Tax payers any additional expense by resorting to the legal appeal process.”

Decisions from Plans South 27 June 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 27 June 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/0637/18 – The Lodge, Woolston Hall, Abridge Road, Chigwell, IG7 6BX
    Referred to DDMC
  • EPF/0610/18 – 113 Church Hill, Loughton, IG10 1QR
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0687/18 –18 Dickens Rise, Chigwell, IG7 6PA
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0826/18 – 48 Russell Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5QE
    Referred to DDMC
  • EPF/1110/18 – 20 Tomswood Road, Chigwell, IG7 5QS
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1159/18 – 100 Rous Road, Bukhurst Hill, IG9 6BT
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Decisions from Plans East 13 June 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 13 June 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/0065/18 – Berwick Farm, Berwick Lane, Stanford Rivers, Ongar, CM5 9PY
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0073/18 – Berwick Farm, Berwick Lane, Stanford Rivers, Ongar, CM5 9PY
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0102/18 – 1 Gun Cottage, Abridge Road, Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7NN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0141/18 – Land East of Church Lane, Sheering
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0615/18 – Steers Pigstye Green Road, Willingale, Ongar, CM5 0QF
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0891/18 – George House High Street Ongar CM5 9JG
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1000/18 – 21/23 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, CM16 7HA
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1002/18 – 21/23 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, CM16 7HA
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1043/18 – 17 Woodland Way, Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7DY
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Check hygiene ratings this Food Safety Week

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

As part of National Food Safety Week (4 – 10 June 2018), Epping Forest District Council has partnered with the Food Standards Agency, to shine a light on food safety and the team working to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe and honest.

Public Health team

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

We love our food, there’s simply no denying it. In fact, as a nation, we spent over £203 billion on food and drink last year alone. But the safety of our food is often something we take for granted. There are a whole host of people that work to keep food safe. The Council has a team of dedicated Environmental Health Officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch.

The Rating Scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps people choose where to shop for food and where to eat out by giving them clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards.

Find the sticker

There are six hygiene ratings ranging from ‘0 – urgent improvement required’ to ‘5 – very good’. Businesses are given green and black stickers for display at their premises and all ratings are published online, so people can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food. The vast majority of food businesses in and around Epping Forest are ranked generally satisfactory, good or very good.

80% rated 3 or above

80% of businesses inspected in Epping Forest received a food hygiene rating of 3 or above, under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, food vans or stalls, canteens, hotels, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and care homes.

Dedicated and hard working team

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Nigel Avey said: “We have a dedicated team that work hard to ensure that food is safe in Epping Forest so that residents and visitors can dine out with peace of mind. Research shows that food hygiene when eating out is the UK’s number one food safety concern so we are really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses hold a rating of 3 or above.”

Angela Towers, Head of the Food Hygiene Rating Team at the Food Standards Agency said: “Working in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and their expert Environmental Health Officers we are dedicated to ensuring that people can trust that the food they buy and eat is safe and honest. Our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme empowers the public to make informed decisions about where to buy and eat food, it’s also proved hugely effective in driving up standards in food businesses across the country”.

Further information

Turn your engines off for Clean Air Day

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council’s main focus for Clean Air Day on 21 June 2018, is to help reduce air pollution by tackling idling vehicles, particularly outside schools.

clean air day

Click on an image below to begin the slideshow

Risk of hefty fines

Epping Forest District Council has adopted legislation to deal with idling cars. It is now an offence to withhold information or fail to switch off your engine if requested by an authorized officer. You could be taken to court, convicted and fined up to £1,000.  Alternatively, an on the spot fixed penalty notice of £20 can be issued by authorised officers.

Air pollution

Leaving engines running while stationary is a significant source of air pollution. Combating this is particularly important in locations where there are high numbers of idling vehicle engines, such as outside schools and hospitals. Not only is idling harmful to the environment but it can be harmful to the vehicle itself and your pocket – as it wastes fuel.

Modern cars no longer need to be warmed up in advance and the act of restarting the engine does not cause damage to the vehicles as it used to with older models. In fact, it can do more damage to keep a stationary vehicle idling than to switch off the engine.

Linked health issues

There are several health issues linked with poor air pollution including:

  • Increased respiratory conditions such as Asthma, coughs and bronchitis
  • Reduced birth weight of babies and premature births
  • Links to Lung Cancer
  • Increased risk of death from cardiac and respiratory issues
  • Possible links to incidence of Dementia, Type 2 Diabetes and Bladder Cancer

Small changes

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey said: “Turning off your engine when stationary is just one of the small changes that can be made to help improve poor air quality. Thursday 21 June sees the return of Global Action Plan’s “Clean Air Day” which the Council are supporting to help increase awareness and reduce air pollution.”

“We have provided local schools with toolkits and promotional materials to help them plan their own Clean Air Day events and on the day Enforcement Officers will be in place at some school gates, to help educate those who still have their engines running while waiting for their children.”

What can I do?

Some of the other small changes you can make to improve air quality include

  • Use your feet! Leave your car at home and walk! Stick to routes away from main roads and boost your steps
  • Use public transport. If it’s too far to walk, go by bus or tube – try alternative methods
  • Car share. Is there anyone you can share your journey with?
  • Maintain your car. Having well inflated tyres and an empty boot helps use less fuel
  • Getting a new car soon? Look into alternative options such as hybrid, electric or LPG

Further information

If you would like more information on Clean Air Day and how you can be involved

Decisions from Plans South 30 May 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 30 May 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/1608/17 – Forest Place, Roebuck Lane, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5QL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2885/17 – 39 Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1SZ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3512/17 – Land to the rear of 33-37, Hillyfields, Loughton, IG10 2PT
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0193/18 – 19 Cranleigh Gardens, Loughton, IG10 3DD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0199/18 – Royal Oak, Forest Road, Loughton, IG10 1EG
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0287/18 – 51 High Road, Loughton, IG10 4JE
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0339/18 – 2 Gladstone Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5SW
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0471/18 – 38 High Beech Road, Loughton, IG10 4BL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0486/18 – 53 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6DN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0487/18 – 53 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6DN
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Shared accommodation standards survey

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If you live in, manage or own shared accommodation, let us know what you think of our proposed Essex-wide amenity standards. This covers bedroom sizes and living space, kitchen and bathroom facilities, number of toilets and other amenities like heating and washing and drying facilities.

Essex HMO consultation

Take the survey

The survey should only take 10 minutes and will close on 19 June 2018.

Landlords and tenants – tell us your views

“It’s really important that both landlords and tenants tell us their views” said Councillor Syd Stavrou, Deputy Leader and Housing Portfolio Holder. “If landlords don’t respond they risk having standards imposed on them that they don’t like and which may be costly. Equally for tenants this is their opportunity to let us know what they would reasonably expect when living in shared accommodation.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou ended by asking landlords and tenants to complete the survey: “It only takes 10 minutes to complete and closes on 19 June 2018, this is your chance to help us better understand your views.”

Clear space and amenity standards

Essex Councils want to ensure that clear space and amenity standards for HMOs are in place across Essex so that landlords and tenants know what is expected.

Please have your say as we seek to ensure that HMOs are safe, suitable and well-managed.

Decisions from Plans South 25 April 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 25 April 2018.

Decisions

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

Planning application search

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