Epping Forest Shopping Park open for Christmas

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Out and about, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The new Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton is up and running and open for Christmas.

Epping Forest Shopping Park

Stores open

Stores open in time for Christmas are

The new shopping park at Langston Road in Loughton is owned by Epping Forest District Council. It’s a short walk from Debden tube station with over 300 parking bays including 10 charging points for electric vehicles. There’s cycle racks for 34 bikes as well.

A fantastic range of well-known and popular retailers

“I’m delighted to see our new shopping park open,” said Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development portfolio holder at Epping Forest District Council. “We’ve got a fantastic range of well-known and popular retailers, and for many it’s their first store to open in the Epping Forest district.”

“Analysis showed us 75% of local residents travelled out of the district to shop. Now the Epping Forest Shopping Park can plug that gap and residents can now shop locally at the stores they want.”

Epping Forest Shopping Park logo

New jobs for the local area

Councillor Grigg ended with: “The retail park not only provides new jobs for the local area, it’s rental income will be put back into local services, contributing to keeping Epping Forest District Council a low Council Tax council.”

Free weekend parking throughout December

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Parking, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

We are offering free car parking on Saturdays and Sundays in 18 Epping Forest District Council owned car parks from Saturday 2 December to Sunday 31 December 2017.

car parks

Support local

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Sam Kane said: ”We hope that by relaxing the car parking charges over the weekends in the lead up to Christmas, we will help encourage our residents to shop locallySupporting our retailers and town centres throughout the Christmas period.”

”There are so many benefits to shopping locally. We want to give our residents easier access to our shops throughout the festive season, hopefully reducing the need to visit busy, overcrowded shopping centres and taking their custom outside the district.”

Further information

Council reacts to Government consultation on housing requirements

Written on . Posted in Business, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Epping Forest District Local Plan is moving closer to completion as the Council acts to finalise the Plan before new changes are introduced by the Government.

Local plan time line

Last month the Government published proposals to change the way in which housing requirements are calculated for Local Plans. Such proposals would result in major changes being required to the Epping Forest District Local Plan to significantly increase the amount of new housing for the District from 11,400 homes identified in the Draft Local Plan to 20,306 if the Plan has not been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination before the end of March 2018.

As a result the Council is aiming to publish the Plan towards the end of December for a period of six weeks, at which stage it will be possible to make representations in relation to the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan before the Council submits it for Examination. Any representations received will then be made available to the Planning Inspector appointed to undertake the Examination.

By submitting the Plan for Examination before the end of March 2018, the Council is seeking to ensure that the District will be covered by an up to date Plan to meet future development and infrastructure needs at the earliest possible opportunity. The Plan will require high quality development to be accompanied by required infrastructure in the most sustainable locations, enabling the Council to resist development proposals which are deemed to be inappropriate.

Latest update sent to stakeholders

Cabinet Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip is writing to update relevant partner organisations and stakeholders.

Councillor Philip said: “We received more than 3,000 representations to last year’s consultation as well as suggestions for new sites. The sites we identify need to be practical and sustainable. Protecting the character of the district remains one of our top priorities while recognising we must have new housing if we are to meet local need. With housing we also need infrastructure, everything from, roads, public transport and electricity supply to schools, health facilities and leisure centres.”

Councillor Philip continued: “There is a severe housing shortage in the South East and a great deal of external pressure on our district. If we don’t finalise and submit our Local Plan before the end of March, new government proposals could require us to go back to the drawing board and that would leave us without an up to date Plan to guide and manage future growth. Therefore, it is now more important than ever that we get the Plan to the Inspectorate without delay.”

Town and Parish councils, residents associations, environmental groups and individuals are among those receiving the latest update on Local Plan progress.

Meet the buyer comes to Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Doing business with the council, Equalities, Jobs, Local business, Media, Meetings, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Do you own a small business in the district and want to learn more from the big companies? Then join us at our free ‘meet the buyer’ event on Thursday 23 November.

Meet the Buyer logoSharing knowledge

Sponsored by the Marriot Hotel and organised in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, ‘meet they buyer’ aims to put local small and medium sized companies together with some of the biggest buyers in and around the district.

Local businesses will have the opportunity to hear first-hand how these big organisations buy goods and services, and meet key people with roles in procurement in these organisations.

The day will involve a series of short presentations from key buying organisations and the opportunities for questions and answer followed by time for networking.

Organisations attending

  • Stansted Airport
  • Public Health England
  • Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel
  • Vibrant Partnerships
  • Essex County Council
  • Epping Forest District Council

Bringing buyers and sellers together

Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “This is a really important event. All the organisations we work with are keen to buy more locally, and all our local companies are keen to sell. The event is all about bringing the buyers and sellers together, explaining how procurement systems work, and hopefully enabling local companies to get more business from major organisations.”

Buying locally

Chairman of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce John Price said:  “Many of our small to medium size businesses struggle to manage with the growing trend of people buying products and services outside our district. Buying locally has always been supported by the Chamber whenever possible. Attending businesses will have the chance to meet and discuss opportunities available to them. This could be anything from IT, cleaning services, design, products or others. It will be a good chance to meet fellow businesses in our district as there will be ample opportunities to network.”

Register today

  • When: Thursday 23 November
  • Where: Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 3LX
  • Time: 9am to 12pm

The event is free for local businesses but places limited so register for a place today

For more information contact

Support local history, culture and art and become a trustee

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Local business, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Do you have a have a passion for culture, history and learning? Do you live or work in the Epping Forest District or the Borough of Broxbourne? Think you have the right skill set and expertise to support an exciting new trust? Then apply to become a trustee for our new ‘culture without borders development trust’.

Epping Forest District Museum

Culture without Borders Development Trust

Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums along with Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon are establishing a charitable trust. Aiming to assist with ambitious development plans, promotion, knowledge sharing, history and culture. Not only locally but on a regional and national level.

The trust will play a key role in:

  • Developing funding strategies and fundraising campaigns, including individual giving and legacies
  • Assist with the future development
  • Help to attract or create new exhibitions and events
  • Build upon the strong body of work already undertaken

Trustee skills

Applications for trustee positions are welcome from those who are not only committed to ensuring that the museums’, culture and theatres futures are secured, and go from strength to strength, but also have specialist skills in the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Philanthropy
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Public relations
  • Arts
  • Heritage
  • Leisure and Culture
  • Retail, hospitality and tourism
  • Charity & Social Enterprise

Exciting new venture

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The new ‘Culture without borders development trust’ is an exciting new venture, created to support Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums and the Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon.”

“These platforms do so much for history, culture and the arts throughout the district and beyond. Encouraging learning and enabling our community to come together through creativity and common interests. Our area has such a rich history and I look forward to seeing the team grow and continue to reach more people throughout the region.”

“If you feel you can contribute to our new venture we would love to hear from you, don’t delay get in touch today.”

Apply to be a trustee

The deadline for an expression of interest is 12pm Friday 24th November 2017.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be during week commencing 4 December 2017.

For an informal discussion or for an information pack, please contact:

  • Tony O’Connor
  • 01992 564986
  • aoconnor@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
  • Epping Forest District Museum
  • 39 – 41 Sun Street
  • Waltham Abbey.EN9 1EL

Museum opening late for Cavalcade of Light

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Local business, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Join us at the museum for an evening of festive fun and a late night opening, celebrating Waltham Abbey Town Council’s cavalcade of light.

Cavalcade of Light

Welcome in the festivities with an evening of music, refreshment and crafts before the towns parade and light switch on.

Enjoy music from:

  • St Andrew’s Primary School choir
  • King Harold Academy Samba band
  • An acoustic set from Epping Forest College

Get creative and decorate your own Chinese lantern to join in with cavalcade.

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Friday 24 November 2017
  • Time: 5pm to 7pm
  • Free entry
  • Donations gratefully received
  • £2.50 per person for craft activity

Bring in the festive season

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The Cavalcade of light and light switch on really brings the festive spirit to Waltham abbey. It’s a great event open to the entire district.

Join in the fun early with our museum on Sun Street, take in festive performances by local bands and choirs whilst enjoying some festive refreshments. And why not come in from the cold and take a look around the museum’s galleries and exhibitions.

There’s fun for all the family and we would love to welcome you to get in the festive mood.”

More information

For more information on the Epping Forest District museum visit

Chairman celebrates district’s attractions

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Chairman of Council Councillor Dave Stallan celebrated the district’s tourist attractions at North Weald Airfield and on the Epping Ongar railway recently.

Chairman's Civic lunch on the Epping Ongar railway 2017

A host of distinguished guests from authorities across Essex and the newly appoint Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst enjoyed a trip on a vintage bus to North Weald Station.

From there, guests were taken on a Diesel Multi Unit (DMU) train to Coopersale. On return to North Weald they changed trains and enjoyed a trip on a magnificent steam engine the Metropolitan E Class No. 1, which was built around 1901.

Rodger Green a long-serving volunteer at the railway gave a fascinating tour and talk on the history of Ongar Station and the Epping Ongar Railway. Everyone then returned to North Weald Station and onwards again on the bus to North Weald Airfield.

Showcasing what the district has to offer

The Chairman of Council, Councillor Stallan who was given the opportunity to ride the steam engine said: “As a North Weald resident, I often hear the trains pass along the track, whilst on the train I was amazed at the heat and the amount of work it takes to keep the coal fire fed to keep the steam at the correct pressure.”

“From the train I was able to enjoy a glorious view of the surrounding countryside and the beautiful Autumnal colours of the forest along the line.”

Councillor Stallan also added “This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that the district has to offer to residents and visitors alike.”

I am most grateful to the Epping Ongar Railway for hosting us on the day. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves but more importantly, many more people are now aware of this attraction and will spread the word about our marvellous district and all it has to offer.”

Everyone welcome

Managing Director of the Epping Ongar Railway, who was also the bus driver for the day, Roger Wright said: “We are all very proud of the Epping Ongar Railway and hope that we will be welcoming many more visitors soon.”

£500 raised for Chairman’s charities

On the day the Chairman raised a total of £500 for his charities and local causes

  • The Norway House Garden Project
  • Safer Places
  • Epping & Ongar Air Cadets
  • Diabetes UK

Epping Ongar Railway

Enjoy the Epping Ongar railway for yourself. More information can be found at:

12k in grants given to community groups

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Equalities, Grants, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

6 local community and voluntary groups have been awarded £12,840 in grants helping the district’s social and physical wellbeing.

Grant aid banner

Grants awarded

  • Hertfordshire Boat Rescue
    £830 for radio equipment for use by volunteers on rescue missions and events
  • Playground at Theydon Association (PAT)
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the Theydon Bois playground
  • Fyfield Bridge Club
    £1,200 contribution towards the cost of new scoring equipment for the club
  • Ongar & Villages Voluntary Care
    £1,770 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Loughton Voluntary Care
    £1,540 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Fyfield Village Hall
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the gentleman’s toilets and cloakroom

Keeping our communities thriving

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “Our grants go on to help such a wide variety of people throughout our community, giving our parents and children a social place to be active in new playgrounds, to giving our older resident’s opportunities to get out of the house and gain more independence with Loughton’s voluntary care community transport service.”

“I am proud that these grants are actively helping people in our district, giving much needed and valued services the boost they need to go on and keep our communities thriving. Can you think of a community group or voluntary service that could use a cash boost? Don’t delay, apply now.”

Apply for a £5k grant

If your community group could use up to £5,000 to help with your one-off project, initiative or even the further development of an existing scheme, apply now.

Find out if your group is eligible

Fireworks party at North Weald Airfield

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, North Weald Airfield, 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, Your home, Your money

Come and join us at North Weald Airfield on 3 November 2017, for a spectacular evening of fireworks and fun! Tickets are on sale, so book now to avoid disappointment!

North Weals Airfield fireworks and bonfire party

Click on an image below to begin slideshow of last year’s fireworks event.

Schedule of events

  • 5.00 pm – Gates & Ferris wheel open
  • 5.30 pm – Kids disco starts, with prizes for the best dancers
  • 7.00 pm – Bonfire is lit
  • 7.15 pm – Little Mix tribute band (2 lucky children get to meet the band, keep your ticket number handy)
  • 8.15 pm – Hot air balloons glow to music
  • 8.30 pm – Fireworks display begins
  • 9.15 pm – 80’s tribute band begins
  • 10.30 pm – Licensed bar closes
  • 10.45pm – Last bus leaves
  • 11.00pm – Airfield closes

Every ride on the Ferris wheel you take will see 50% of the price donated to The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, helping to fund their life saving missions!

Tickets available now!

Tickets are available to buy now, so don’t delay and avoid disappointment!

  • Buy tickets online
  • Tickets are also available from The Squadron Café at North Weald Airfield, The News Shop in North Weald and are being sold at Saturday market at North Weald Airfield

Ticket prices

  • £5 per adult
  • £3 per child (2 – 11 years old)

A limited number of tickets will be available on the night and will cost

  • £7 per adult
  • £5 per child (2-11 years old)

Getting to and from the event

By bus

  • Special bus services to the airfield from Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Ongar will be available
  • Return busses to Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Ongar will leave from the control tower from 9:45pm
  • A free bus will pick up passengers from Kings Head bus stop, North Weald

On foot

  • North Weald Airfield (map)
  • A free bus will pick up passengers from Kings Head bus stop, North Weald

By car

Further information

State of the art centre for Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Health, Local business, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

On Thursday 12 October 2017 local school children, councillors and business members gathered to mark the start of construction for Waltham Abbey’s brand new state of the art leisure centre, which is due to open in Winter 2018.

Preparing to place the Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre time capsule

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Exciting times for Waltham Abbey

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure said: “These are exciting times for Waltham Abbey. The first new council housing in 30 years has just been completed in Harveyfields, Roundhills and surrounding roads as we start the construction of this fantastic new leisure centre. Sixty independent living accommodation units providing a positive alternative to residential care and new health facilities replacing the old surgery accommodation in Maynard Court are set to follow in partnership with Essex County Council and NHS England.”

”The leisure centre will be for everyone. Working with Places for People and their construction partners Pellikaan, we are set to deliver a top class leisure facility that will promote health and wellbeing, and provide a place for people to enjoy physical activity and socialise within the community.”

Investing in our community

Councillor Kane continued: “We are investing in our community and our future. Coming hard on the heels of the recently refurbished and extended museum in Sun Street and the development of the brand new Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council is signalling its intent in the best possible way.”

Councillor Sue Lissimore, Cabinet member for housing at Essex County Council added: “These plans breathe new life into taxpayer-owned land. We’ve pledged £42m over the next five years to bring sites like this forward for much needed homes with multi-use developments that also help to drive economic growth. The leisure centre ground-breaking is a fantastic milestone and a great example of public and private sector partners working together across Essex.”

Design, build, operate and maintain

Places for People Leisure were awarded the 20-year Design, Build, Operate and Maintain contract for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre by Epping Forest District Council, along with their construction partners Pellikaan Construction and architects Pozzoni.

£9.5m investment in centre

The new £9.5m leisure centre has been designed with a green roof to complement the surrounding recreational ground and will feature an 80-station fitness suite, 25m six lane pool with 15m learner pool, exercise and group cycling studio, a community room, and café.

Virtual cycling & Les Mills

The Centre will also feature a dedicated Virtual Cycling studio with classes led by Les Mills virtual master trainers, enabling customers to participate at their own convenience when it suits them.

Fantastic community leisure facility

John Bates, Business Development Director at Places for People Leisure said: “We are extremely excited to begin work on what will be a fantastic community leisure facility. Through our partnership with Epping Forest District Council we are looking forward to providing a leisure operation that will capture the local community’s imagination and encourage even more people to adopt a love of physical activity.”

Time capsule

Those in attendance yesterday included pupils from Hillhouse Church of England Primary School as well as representatives from the Epping Forest District Swimming Club who buried a time capsule as part of the ceremony which included the old set of keys to the previous community centre.

The current Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool recently received investment to improve the customer experience and will remain open and fully operational until the new centre opens.