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?

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

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?

Last chance to apply for the 2019 Creativity Award

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Grants, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Don’t miss out on this year’s Creativity Award, there is not long left to submit your application.

The award, of up to £1000, is for young people in the district with a talent or interest in the arts, culture and heritage.

It is open to individuals and groups (with a minimum of 3 people) who are looking for support for their creative activity. A group can already be established (i.e. art clubs, theatre groups, choirs or orchestras) or have formed especially to apply for this funding. The award is also open to heritage projects and other young people’s programmes through our museum service.

To apply

Applicants, who must be aged between 13 and 25 years, are required to show their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help develop their talent. They must be able to demonstrate they are actively pursuing their interest through volunteering, education, exhibition or performance.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 16 December 2018.

To apply, or for more information, visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/creativityawards

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.

Decisions from DDMC on 28 November 2018

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

Decisions

  • EPF/1583/18 – 1 Buttercross Lane, Epping
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1325 – 37 Hanson Drive, Loughton
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1213/18 – Tower Nursery, Netherhall Road, Roydon
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2515/18 – Land at Lippitts Hill, Waltham Abbey
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Grant Aid for local groups in Epping Forest

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Local groups across Epping Forest District have been awarded a share of nearly £50,000 from Epping Forest District Council’s Grant Aid Scheme for 2018/19.

The grants, awarded on a one-off basis, have gone to:

  • The Bridge Club XL Youth
  • Epping Town Football Club
  • CanalAbility
  • Open Door
  • The Lopping Endowment
  • Ongar United Reformed Church
  • Epping Forest Sunflower Group
  • Ongar & District Twinning Association
  • Loughton Methodist Church
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest
  • Youth Employment Services Partnership
  • Spark
  • Loughton Voluntary Care
  • Epping Forest Neighbourhood Watch
  • Epping Forest Singers
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Hastingwood Village Hall
  • Cunningham Can Do
  • Nazeing Litter Pickers

Apply again next year

Cllr Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services said: “We considered grant applications from lots of worthy organisations across the district so it was a difficult task making the final decisions.

“I would urge any groups who were unsuccessful this year not to be disheartened, but to apply again next year.”

To apply online visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/index.php/out-and-about/our-activities/grants-for-sports-arts-leisure-and-community-groups

Free weekend parking in December

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Park in an Epping Forest District Council owned car park on weekends from Saturday 1 December until Sunday 30 December 2018 and park for FREE!

So many reasons to shop local

Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey said: ”We hope that by relaxing the car parking charges over the weekends in the lead up to Christmas, we will encourage our residents to shop locally. Supporting our local retailers and town centres throughout the Christmas period.

”We want to give our residents easier access to our shops throughout the festive season, hopefully reducing the need to visit out of town shopping centres and taking valued trade outside of the district.

“There are so many reasons to shop locally, we hope we’re providing our residents with another!”

Further information

Decisions from Plans South on 21 November

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 21 November 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2019/18 – 229 Fencepiece Road, Chigwell, IG7 5EB

         Permission granted

  • EPF/1950/18 – Woodberrie, Kings Hill, Loughton, IG10 1JE

          Referred to District Development Management Committee

  • EPF/2040/18 – 69 Church Hill, Loughton, IG10 1QP

         Deferred pending site visit

  • EPF/2114/18 – 89 Princes Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5DZ

         Referred back to officers (Parish Council did not attend)

  • EPF/2624/18 12 Albion Park, Loughton, IG10 4RB

         Permission granted

Planning application search

Museum discount for National Lottery players

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From 3 – 8 December 2018, Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum are offering 10% discount in their gift shops to National Lottery players.

UK attractions say thank you

The museums are joining hundreds of other participating National Lottery funded visitor attractions across the UK saying thanks to people, who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

Present a ticket to get a discount

The idea is simple: any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratch card between Monday 3 and Saturday 8 December gets a 10% discount in the museum’s gift shop.

Epping Forest District Museum has received £1,821,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money paid for the recent redevelopment of the museum as well as a range of projects, enabling community engagement and collections acquisition.

Lowewood Museum has received £183,700 for exhibition and engagement projects including two First World War Projects commemorating the centenary of the Armistice.

Fantastic museum offer

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7.8bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to provide a fantastic new museum offer in the Epping Forest District and the opportunities for our community to explore the heritage has been massively enriched.”

Terms and Conditions

  • One National Lottery ticket provides 10% off in the museum gift shop (and refreshment area at Lowewood Museum).
  • All National Lottery games qualify for the offer, including tickets from any National Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratchcard. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The offer is valid on the days the museum is open between Monday 3 and Saturday 8 December. Epping Forest District Museum is open 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
  • Only one ticket can be used per transaction.

For more information, visit: www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum

Community gathered to celebrate opening of Waltham Abbey leisure centre

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Local children created a splash in the pool at the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre when it opened to the public on Saturday.

On time and on budget

The £10m centre – which has been delivered on time and within budget – was formally opened by Councillor Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, and Dave Jolliffe, Area Manager, from Places Leisure which operates the Council’s four leisure centres.

The day was one of celebration for the centre which has been built from scratch on a new site at Hillhouse, Waltham Abbey. Staff showed visitors around the new facilities and there were free taster sessions including public swimming, indoor cycling classes and junior activities.

Great for the area

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services at Epping Forest District Council said: “It was such a pleasure to be at the opening of the new centre. It will be a great asset for the area and will help improve the health and wellbeing of our community.”

Active places for healthy people

Dave Jolliffe from Places Leisure said: “It was a fantastic day and we were delighted to welcome so many members of our community to their new leisure home on our first official day of opening! As a social enterprise it’s our mission to create active places and healthy people and we hope that the new venue and facilities will inspire even more of our community to come along and try a new sport or activity or just pop in to socialise with their friends and family. There really is something for everyone from parent and baby classes to indoor cycling, aqua aerobics and mindfulness sessions.”