New Police airbase at North Weald Airfield

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Building work has started on a £4 million police airbase at North Weald Airfield.

From left, Philip Stuart, Senior Quantity Surveyor, from Kier Group; Councillor Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council; Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner of West Yorkshire and Ollie Dismore, Temporary Accountable Manager of the National Police Air Service at the site of the new NPAS North Weald base

Construction of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) airbase at North Weald Airfield is expected to run until autumn, with the first flights taking off before the end of 2019.

Police helicopters and police planes will be able to fly from the base which will operate 24/7, 365 days a year, and primarily serve London and the South East.

Crews in these aircraft will be regularly supporting police colleagues on the ground to find missing people and search for suspects. They’ll also provide an aerial view to help local police ensure crowd safety at major events and support police forces bring many other crimes in action to an end.

North Weald will be among a network of 14 NPAS bases offering support to the 43 police forces of England and Wales. NPAS collectively responds to more than 20,000 incidents every year.

Epping Forest District Councilor Anne Grigg, Portfolio Holder for Commercial and Regulatory Services, said: “North Weald Airfield has a long standing history of protecting our community since opening as an airfield in the 1st World War, and becoming a Battle of Britain airfield in the 2nd World War, providing a home to spitfires and hurricanes. It is good to see North Weald continuing to play a crucial part in the local and wider community in the 21st Century.”

Temporary Chief Constable John Robins, said: “This purpose-built base will be a superb addition to NPAS and we’re looking forward to the service going live.

“Police air support is a vital tool available to police forces to help keep communities safe. Flying at average speeds of 138mph, combatting crime and disorder, searching for missing people or providing support to officers on the ground by air is 20 times faster than other options and saves local police valuable time when it matters.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) of West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, Chair of the NPAS Strategic Board, said: “The construction of the new base represents the continued progress of the National Police Air Service and is recognition of its crucial role in keeping people safe.

“This addition will further bolster our nationwide network, offering an increased level of support in preventing and detecting crime, whilst protecting some of the most vulnerable in society.

“The round the clock nature of the base also means it will be a key hub of activity, which will make a significant contribution to policing and police aviation services.”

Planning permission was granted for the scheme by Epping Forest District Council last year.

Building work is being carried out by Kier Group.

Phil Oades, Regional Director for Kier Capital Projects, said: “Working collaboratively with the National Police Air Service, we are delighted to be starting work on the new airbase at North Weald Airfield. Over the last three years, we have worked with NPAS to deliver vital new buildings and infrastructure to bases across the country. We look forward to carrying out this work which will directly benefit residents in London and the South East.”

Epping Club 195 licence suspended pending review

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Club 195 in Epping had its licence suspended on Friday 4 January 2019 following concerns by police about incidents of violence at or in the vicinity of the premises.

Essex Police applied for a review of the licence for Club 195 following a number of incidents across 2018.

Club 195 suspension notice

Same day suspension

Epping Forest District Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee suspended the licence on the same day the application was received.

Licensing activity not permitted

A council spokesperson said: “The decision was taken by Licensing Sub-Committee Councillors to temporarily suspend the licence with immediate effect. Licensable activities are not permitted to take place in the interim period between 4 January and the full hearing – unless an interim hearing is applied for by the licence holder.”

Full hearing

The spokesperson continued: “A final decision will be reached at the full hearing. Councillors will assess the evidence brought by Essex Police and make the decision to either amend the licence or its conditions, allow it to remain in place or revoke the licence completely.”

The applicant, Essex Police Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: “A full hearing to review Club 195’s licence will take place in due course at which Essex Police will ask for the licence to be revoked.”

Builder fined for unauthorised work to Epping café

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Mr, Halil Kanteper of Stoke Newington Road London has been  fined £1,200 for carrying out unauthorised building works to the listed building at 309 High Street Epping known as Poppy’s Café and the first floor of that building.

He pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates court on 15 November 2018 when a prosecution was brought by Epping Forest District Council. He was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £120.

Consent for an extension and conversion of the first floor into 2 flats and for a replacement shop front at the property was granted in 2016 and 2017.

On 15 August 2017 the Council received reports that work being carried out to the listed building may be more extensive than agreed. Council officers visited the property the same day and it was immediately clear that substantial unauthorised work had been carried out, including walls being stripped of their historic lath and plaster, ceilings floors and joists removed in their entirety and stud walls being removed.

Mr Kanteper, the builder for the property admitted carrying out the work without the knowledge of the owners. He told the Council he believed the work was required due to a leak in the roof causing substantial damage to the building. No evidence of this was supplied to the Council and the Council’s Senior Conservation officer had not seen any evidence of this when visiting the property on several occasions prior to the work being carried out. In her opinion any leak would not have resulted in so much harm being caused to justify the amount of unauthorised work being needed.

Councillor John Phillip responsible for Planning at Epping Forest District Council said: “Listed building status is meant to protect the historical interest of a building. It is a criminal offence to carry out any building works without the correct authorisations from the local authority. Here at Epping Forest District Council we take such an offence very seriously and will seek prosecution if necessary.

“People who take it upon themselves to carry out unauthorised works without consulting the local conservation officer as in this case, can result in significant damage to the character and historical interest of the building.”

Works are being carried out now in line with new planning approvals and it is hoped the café will be able to reopen in the near future.

Full Council 20 December 2018

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Councillors voted themselves no ‘rise’ at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 20 December. Councillors are unpaid but receive an allowance to cover their costs – the basic allowance of £4,300 per councillor per year will remain unchanged in 2019/20.

Highlighting homelessness

Council Chairman Richard Bassett welcomed fellow councillors to the last meeting before Christmas. Earlier in the month, Councillor Bassett took part in an event to highlight the plight of homeless people sleeping rough. He said that one night sleeping rough had given him a completely different perspective. He thanked everyone who donated money to support his efforts on behalf of local homeless people.

Housing Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou then reported on the many steps taken by the Council to support homeless people and rough sleepers. Anyone concerned about rough sleepers can contact the Council’s Homelessness Support Team.

Councillor Bassett also made special mention of the inspiring special needs children and their parent he had met in Waltham Abbey

Reducing plastic

Environment Portfolio Holder Nigel Avey welcomed the recent government announcements on reuse and recycling. He emphasised the strategy for reducing plastic and the diversion of food waste – the main producer of methane gas – away from landfill. Councillor Avey repeated the widely publicised advice on how and when to recycle Christmas Trees in the New Year and also responded to concerns about the difficulty of recycling black plastic commonly used in food packaging.

In other environmental news, Special Project Portfolio Holder Alan Lion is to work on the delivery of charging points for electric cars across the District.

Leader highlights councils progress

Council Leaders Chris Whitbread reminded fellow councillors of the progress made by the Council over the last 12 months including additional police resources, the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre and the Council’s plans for the developments of St John’s Road and the new offices in North Weald.

He was also very pleased to confirm the news that Essex County Council has agreed to allow street lights to be turned on again throughout the night.

Sam Kane – Portfolio Holder for community safety reported on recent incidents in Loughton and cautioned against misleading and inaccurate social media reports.

Council Leader Chris Whitbread joined independent Councillor Stephen Murray in applauding the local foodbank and all those people who support it. He put on public record his hope that the Foodbank would approach the Council for funding.

Councillor John Philip confirmed arrangements for the public examination of the Local Plan to make sure as many people as possible can see the proceedings in person and via webcast.

Council approved £140,000 to complete alterations prior to letting commercial units on the ground floor of the new Landmark Building in Loughton Broadway. The new units are expected to generate rental income of £250,000 a year to support Council services.

In other matters, councillors approved the latest version of the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy, Licensing Act Policy and the appointment of various officers under the Council’s schedule of delegation.

Councillors put their thanks to Service Director Simon Hill on record. Mr Hill takes up a new appointment with Harlow District Council in January following 27 years of service to Epping Forest District Council. Councillor Bassett concluded by wishing fellow councillors a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Council leaders‘ concern over London’s homeless

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A letter signed by every Essex council leader highlighting concerns about families being re-housed from London into the county has been sent to senior politicians in the capital.

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Issues highlighted by housing officers across the county

Agreed by the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, the letter raises 11 issues which have been highlighted by housing officers across the county.

Issues include a lack of communication between London authorities and Essex councils informing them of people being moved into the area, families being placed in inadequate housing, and the impact on local services.

It also warns of cases where families have been moved far away from support networks such as friends, family and jobs, meaning their situation can actually worsen.

The Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group includes all 12 district and borough councils, Essex County Council, Southend and Thurrock unitary authorities and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Concerns

The letter, which has been sent to the Mayor of London and the leaders and directly elected mayors of each of the London Boroughs, also details some positive steps to resolve the concerns raised and also invites politicians on both sides of the county divide to work together to lobby government on related national issues.

Neil Stock OBE, Leader of Tendring District Council and chairman of the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, said the actions of some of the London Boroughs had been despicable.

He said: “We understand why people want to come to Essex, which is a fantastic place in which to live, work and visit, and we don’t want to stop people moving to the county.

“However, this needs to be in the right way and because people want to move here, not because they are being forced to or financially encouraged to by their London council as a way of removing a problem.

“So far efforts by individual Essex councils to draw this to the attention of London Boroughs and the Mayor of London have largely been ignored, which is why as a group of leaders we have taken the decision to send this letter.

“We now hope that those in power in London will sit up and take notice, and work constructively with us to resolve these issues.”

Cllr Syd Stavrou, Portfolio holder for Housing  at Epping Forest District Council said:

“Sending homeless people to Essex might solve the immediate problem for the London Boroughs but it is not the best answer. Apart from the disruption it causes for councils managing their own homeless families in Essex, it is far better for people from London to stay in London as close as possible to their support networks of schools, work, family and friends.

“We would like to see the London Boroughs addressing  the situation within their own area to avoid impacting Essex Councils in this way.”

More information

For more information contact Tendring District Council

  • Communications Manager Will Lodge
  • Call 01255 686338

Confident and bold decisions taken at Cabinet

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A series of far-reaching decisions were taken at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet, meeting at the Civic Offices on 10 December.

New home for Council

Councillors have agreed in principle to relocate staff to North Weald. While customer services, civic and democratic functions will remain at the Civic Offices in Epping, new purpose-built offices will provide space for up to 380 staff at Blenheim Way, North Weald within three years.

New partners will join remaining council staff in Epping, ensuring the northern end of the town retains a strong employment focus and economic footfall for High Street shops and businesses.

Demolition of the 1960s Conder Building attached to the Civic Offices will clear the way for a mix of new homes behind the Civic Offices.

St John’s Road Cinema, Homes and Leisure Centre

As the Civic Offices evolve, the Council will also be transforming the southern end of Epping with a new leisure centre, cinema, homes, businesses and parking. Subject to detailed negotiation and agreement, Epping Forest District Council proposes to work in partnership with Epping Town Council and leisure provider Places Leisure (also known as Places for People) to deliver the development.

The existing sports centre in Epping will be redeveloped for housing following completion of the new St John’s facility, allowing the Council Offices, St John’s Road and Hemnall Street to make a substantial contribution to housing demand identified in the emerging Local Plan.

Council staff working from the current housing depot off Epping High Street will move to new facilities already built at Oakwood Hill, Loughton.

Harlow and Gilston Vision and Design

Three strategic housing locations at Water Lane, Latton Priory and East of Harlow have been identified in the Local Plan for large housing developments on the boundaries of Harlow but within Epping Forest District. Councillors approved the vision and design guide – working documents developed by Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Harlow and East Herts District Councils for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

£97 million Capital Programme

Ongoing development of new council houses form the major part of the five-year capital programme put before councillors at the start of the New Year budget setting process. Aside from approximately £8 million for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre, completed in November 2018, around £80 million is identified for a combination of new council housing and improvements to the Council’s existing stock over five years.

Landmark Building

Councillors approved £140,000 to complete work necessary to let commercial units at the new Landmark Building in the Broadway, Loughton. Once let, rental income of around £250,000 a year will be used to support the Council’s public services.

A forward-thinking council fit for the future

After the meeting, Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “This is probably one of the most significant Cabinet meetings in years. The strategic development of council services based in Epping, North Weald and our new depot at Oakwood Hill, Loughton dovetail with our determination to build much need new homes sympathetically and boost economic activity across the district.”

“These are bold decisions. They demonstrate vision, confidence in our council, commitment to our residents and belief in the future of our district.”

Floods Destroy – Are you at Risk? Are you Prepared?

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With the onset of winter, the Environment Agency has launched its annual Flood Action Campaign.

This year it’s titled Prepare, Act, Survive and is aimed at young people who are most at risk in a flood because18-24’s are least aware of dangers of flooding in their area and more than half would not know what to do in an emergency. The Environment Agency and British Red Cross are urging young people to learn how to protect themselves and help their communities when flooding hits.

Self-help

“We are all individually responsible for the safety of ourselves, and our homes in the event of a flood,” said Cllr Nigel Avey, Cabinet Member for the Environment.

“There is so much self-help information available that there is no excuse for not being prepared in the event of a flood.”

“For instance flood doors and boards are available to hold back the water if you live in an area that is in danger of flooding, or you can buy self-inflating ‘sandbags’ that only take up a fraction of the space of traditional sandbags and can be deployed rapidly. We must all be prepared to help ourselves should the worst happen.”

I would also encourage all residents to check the flood risk in their area by visiting the Environment Agency’s website and if necessary sign up for automated email and text Flood Alerts.

Be prepared

The Environment Agency’s advice in their latest campaign is to:

Prepare a bag that includes medicines and insurance documents

Act, turn off gas, water and electricity. Move things upstairs or to safety. Move family, pets and car to safety

Survive Call 999 if in immediate danger, follow advice from emergency services, keep yourself and your family safe.

More useful information is available on:

https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk

http://www.essexprepared.co.uk/

http://bluepages.org.uk/

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

#JustOneThing on YouTube

You wouldn’t leave your belongings out to be stolen, so why let them be taken by a flood? What #JustOneThing would you hate to lose in a flood?

Meeting to discuss proposals for new homes in Stapleford Abbotts

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Local residents living in and around Stapleford Abbotts are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss plans for a new housing development on the edge of the village

When: Tuesday, 11 December, 7pm to 9pm

Where: Stapleford Abbotts Primary School, Stapleford Road, RM4 1EJ

Plans for residential units, together with associated landscaping, car parking and highway works are proposed for the Land at Oak Hill Road, opposite the junction with Tysea Hill. The proposals relate to site STAP.R1 in the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version.

Epping Forest District Council is hosting the Development Management Forum along with Developer Magenta Planning Ltd. in order for local residents and all other interested parties to view plans and learn about the proposals prior to the submission of a planning application.

There will be a presentation at the start followed by a chance to discuss and put questions to representatives from Magenta Planning LTD and a Planning Officer from the District Council.

This type of forum allows for issues to be raised about the proposals and to explore any amendments and agreement between all parties in a positive and constructive way before any considerations are made at a planning committee.

Loughton man prosecuted for failing duty of care

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A shop in The Broadway, Loughton had rubbish dumped in it’s trade bin which was traced back to a resident living in Willingale Close.

Investigations by Epping Forest District Council led to the prosecution of Mr Christian Akinrinade. The waste included a number of cardboard boxes and a leather bag which were identified as having originated from Mr Akinrinade’s property in Willingale Close Loughton.

Mr Akinrinade pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to transferring household waste to an unauthorised person. He told the Council he had given the waste to builders working at a property in his road and had paid them approximately £30 to do so.

He was fined £1153 and ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £627.82 together with a victim surcharge of £115.

Fly tipping prosecution

“We take fly tipping, and residents’ responsibility to ensure they are disposing of their waste legitimately and responsibly very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute,” said Cllr Nigel Avey, Portfolio Holder for Environment.

“Our message is simple: Before handing your waste to somebody else, always check, consider and record in order to protect yourself, and reduce fly-tipping by rogue traders. It is a crime not to care.”

Advice on how residents can protect themselves from rogue traders who fly-tip for profit is available on the Council’s Website. Click here for more information Crime Not to Care. A series of short films produced by the Cleaner Essex Group (a campaign group made up from representatives from local authorities across Essex), are also available to view on this web page.

Decisions from Plans East on 5 December

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 5 December 2018.

Decisions 

  • EPF/1117/18 The Drive, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2060/18 61 Pancroft, Lambourne, RM4 1BX
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2120/18 Lindsey House, Lindsey Street, Epping, CM16 6RB
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2481/18 8 Garden Fields, Stanford Rivers, Ongar, CM5 9PL
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2503/18 Warreners, Theydon Road, Theydon Bois, CM16 4EE
    Permission granted

Planning application search