Epping Forest District Council Local Plan submitted

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The Local Plan, a set of policies to manage development within Epping Forest District up to 2033, has been submitted for approval to the Planning Inspectorate by Epping Forest District Council. The news was announced by Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip at the meeting of the Full Council on Tuesday 25 September 2019.

EFDC local plan logos

Submission followed the end of a legal challenge by property developer CK Properties (Theydon Bois) Ltd after its application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal was refused. CK Properties had already lost its case following a High Court hearing.

Although the Council was successful on all four grounds in the judgment given by Mr Justice Supperstone on 29 June 2018, an injunction continued to prevent the Council from submitting the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for examination until the conclusion of the legal proceedings – this included the subsequent applications for leave to appeal made by the claimants.

11,400 homes by 2033

Councillor John Philip reminded fellow councillors of the key aims of the Plan which includes the delivery of 11,400 new homes over the plan period up to 2033. He congratulated the Council’s planning policy officers.

Councillor Philip said: “I am sorry for the uncertainty this unnecessary delay brought by a property developer has caused to our residents. From the very outset, this Council followed the best legal and technical advice. We were always completely confident of our case. Our approach was vindicated on all grounds at the High Court and again by the Court of Appeal last week.

“Now, at last, we can let the Planning Inspectorate do its job. The Plan will be properly scrutinised in the right forum of an independent examination, where the Planning Inspector will listen to all opinions and come to a proper objective assessment. The District can move forward with a Plan that acknowledges the need for change and growth while protecting the most precious things we love about our district and makes it the place in which we wish to live.”

Modifications expected

Councillor Philip expects modifications to the Plan following its Independent Examination. He said: “The Local Plan is without doubt the most complex project we have ever undertaken. Even with the years of care, consultation and diligent hard work put in by so many people including councillors, staff and residents, there are likely to be small amendments required following examination to take account of changing circumstances.

“I will keep an open mind and I urge fellow councillors and residents to do likewise. We can all welcome that process and look forward to engaging with the inspectorate in the most positive and constructive way. We have taken a major step forward and it is long overdue but the end is now in sight and I look forward to it with relish.”

Background

Planning applications for development are considered within the context of policies and regulations. Overall, councillors must have due regard to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which has a presumption in favour of granting planning applications unless there is good reason to do otherwise.

Councils can supplement this national guidance with a set of local policies tailored to the unique local circumstances of each town, district and borough. These policies are enshrined within a Local Plan.

The production of Local Plans must take account of national as well as local priorities for such things as the provision of new housing, employment, health care and leisure for a growing and changing population. Local Plans must show how infrastructure including roads, public transport and utilities including gas, water and electricity are to be provided.

Before a Local Plan can be adopted and used as a basis for making decisions on planning applications, it must be scrutinised and approved by an independently appointed planning inspector working on behalf of the Government. The Inspector will be looking to ensure the Plan is legally sound and meets all the requirements for national and local policies in a fair and consistent way.

This process is conducted in a transparent manner through Independent Examination. The Planning Inspector will scrutinise all the policies and supporting documents before hearing submissions and taking further evidence from interested people.

Inspectors rarely approve a Local Plan without any modifications. This is usually achieved in consultation with the authority to produce a final version for adoption by the Council.

Once adopted, the Local Plan becomes one of the most important means by which councillors can regulate and ensure appropriate development.

The Planning Inspectorate will schedule the Independent Examination of Epping Forest District Council’s Plan among ongoing examinations of other councils’ local plans. Once submitted, councils may have to wait several months before an examination takes place.

More information can be found at http://www.efdclocalplan.org/

Seeking views on our new enforcement policy

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We are responsible for enforcement in a wide range of areas from planning to licensing.

In order to ensure consistency across our operations, and to continue to meet the standards of the statutory regulatory code, we are looking to update our enforcement policy and now seeking the views of the public.

Consulting

Enforcement can take many forms including inspections, investigating complaints, providing advice, licensing of activities, persons or premises, issuing statutory or fixed penalty notices and taking prosecutions.

A consistent approach

“The decision of when and what enforcement action to take – or not take – can have serious implications and it is important that there is an effective policy in place to ensure a consistent approach,” said Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Whitbread,

“The updated Enforcement Policy encompasses the 5 principles of good regulation by being transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted.”

Cllr Whitbread continued, “In short, the Council aims to treat compliant individuals and businesses with lighter, alternative interventions and other incentives, but for those who commit serious breaches or flout the law it will not hesitate to take all necessary enforcement action.”

Consultation information

We want to get this right, so the views of individuals, businesses and organisations on the proposed new enforcement policy would be greatly appreciated. Please send any comments on the 2018 version of the policy by 29 August 2018.

Comment

Read the policy Corporate enforcement policy 2018

Comments to Robin Ray at rray@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or call 01992 564146.

Post any correspondence to Robin Ray, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ.

Next step – all submitted comments will be considered and where appropriate the policy amended prior to submission to Cabinet for approval and publication on our website.

Statement – Fire at Burton Road, Loughton

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Updated Information – 13.15pm on 17 August 2018

Essex Fire and Rescue Service have announced that the fire is now out.

We cannot speculate on the cause of the fire at the moment, that will come out following an official investigation.

The photo below shows the building now that the fire is out and demonstrates how remarkably well the structure has stood up to the fire.

Council Leader, Chris Whitbread said: “You can always rebuild bricks and mortar, the important thing is that everyone appears to be safe and the fire is now out.”

Original statement made – 12:00pm 17 August 2018

A development of new flats in Burton Road, Loughton has caught fire and the fire service are in attendance.

This is a development of new council housing being built for Epping Forest District Council. A £10 million design and build mixed tenure residential development of 51 affordable rent units, comprising of 17 homes and 34 apartments.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Leader of Epping Forest District Council is at Burton Road.

He said: “Our first concern is for the safety and welfare of all concerned. It looks like everyone is safe. Essex Fire and Rescue is on the scene and it is under control. These flats are still being built. This is a construction site and there are no tenants living here. However we are obviously concerned about everyone working on the site at the time the fire started.

“The development is being built for us by Mulalley – a large construction company with a long and successful track record of building major projects. It is too early to say what caused the fire but it is clearly large. Essex Fire and Rescue has cordoned the site off.

“Our first priority is to ensure people are safe. Neighbouring residents are being asked to stay in their homes. This is bound to cause some travel disruption and people are being asked to avoid the area if they can.

“The council has several roles: we are the client and this is a serious setback for us and all those people we are building these new homes for. More importantly in the short term we have a supporting role to the emergency services and would be in a position to set up rest centres nearby if required for neighbouring residents. At this stage our staff are on standby if rest centres are needed. We also employ specialist building control officers who will be at the disposal of Essex Fire and Rescue to assess the damage and ensure the buildings are made safe once the fire is out.

“In the longer term we will recover. Bricks and mortar can always be replaced and we will rebuild these much needed homes for local people. For now, our thoughts are focused on the safety of everyone living and working in the area.

Please visit the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service website for reliable advice and up to date information about the incident http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/incidents/i7458/

 

Youth Council celebrate ten year anniversary

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Epping Forest Youth Council marked its 10 year anniversary with an evening reception at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by the Right Honourable Dame Eleanor Laing, MP on Wednesday 5 July 2018.

Youth Council 10 year anniversary

(Please click on an image below to begin slideshow)

 

The evening celebrated ten years of local youth democracy in Epping Forest and over 80 Youth Councillors past and present were there to share their experiences.

The Youth Council presented a film highlighting their work, photographs spanning the 10 years were displayed for guests enjoyment alongside examples of their youth-lead project work.

Democratic voice for young people

Through Epping Forest Youth Council, local young people are given a democratic voice and are able to influence the decisions that directly affect their lives.

Youth Councillors have developed and delivered a range of project work covering themes such as; promotion of activities for young people, personal safety awareness, drugs education, youth volunteering and positive mental health campaigns in consultation with their peers.

Inspired speeches

The recently honoured host, Dame Eleanor Laing MP, delivered a key note speech praising the work of the Youth Council over the ten years.

Encouraging and inspiring speeches were given from the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Richard Bassett, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane, Councillor Holly Whitbread, High Sheriff of Essex Bryan Burrough, Roger Hirst, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and 5 current and past Youth Councillors; Ellis Spicer, Jaymey McIvor, Matthew Tinker, Adam Freeman and Florence New.

Further information

If you would like more information about the work of the Youth Council or would like to get in touch with a Youth Councillor about an issue please contact Diane Gilson-Butler

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.

Updated 22 August 2018

However the Council cannot currently submit the plan for examination due to an injunction placed by Mrs Justice Lang in the High Court on 21 March 2018 restraining the Council from submitting the Local Plan until final determination of the legal proceedings.  The claimants made an application for permission to appeal to the High Court which was refused on 13 July 2018.  The order made by Mr Justice Supperstone accepted that final determination of the legal proceedings included any application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  The claimants have now submitted an application to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.  We are currently waiting for that application to be determined by the Court of Appeal.  We understand it is being expedited but we do not currently have a timeline for the decision.

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

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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.

Council 24 April 18 – Freedom of the District – RAF 100 anniversary celebrations

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The ‘red carpet’ was rolled out for the Royal Air Force when the ‘Freedom of Epping Forest District’ was conferred on 56 Squadron. Wing Commander Matt Fleckney, Officer Commanding 56 Squadron, witnessed the sealing of the ‘Freedom’ with Council Chairman, Councillor David Stallan at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

RAF, ATC, North Weald Operations and Airfield Historian Arthur Moreton

(Click on an image to start the slideshow)

The meeting unanimously passed the motion proposed by Councillor Brian Rolfe and seconded by Councillor Anne Grigg.

“That, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, this Council reaffirms its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and the bonds of friendship between our Armed Forces and the people of Epping Forest District through the conferral of the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron – the Royal Air Force”.

The District and the RAF

Epping Forest District has a long and profound relationship with the RAF. The associations stretch back as early as 1916, when the fledgling Royal Flying Corps first arrived at North Weald.

By the end of World War II, the district had three airfields at North Weald, Stapleford Abbotts and Willingale. Blake Hall had become a centre of RAF operations while RAF Chigwell – known as the ‘Balloon Site’ for its barrage balloons also became an intelligence centre. In Nazeing a dummy airfield was created in to draw enemy bombers away from their real targets.

Norwegian connections

North Weald also became an important focus of Norwegian national resistance. Escaping the invasion of their homeland, Norwegian pilots flying Spitfires under the colours of the RAF became some of the most successful squadrons of WWII.

Squadron 56

However, 56 Squadron has by far the longest relationship with the District. Based at North Weald from 1927 until 1941, 56 Squadron’s honors include Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. The 56 Squadron Standard is displayed in St Andrew’s Church, North Weald.

Personal accounts and tributes

Before opening the debate to Councillors, Councillor Stallan broke with convention by asking the Council’s Director of Communities, Alan Hall to read a personal statement. Alan Hall, spoke with pride of his father, Sergeant Bill Hall, an instrument maker who worked on the Hurricanes of 56 Squadron at North Weald. In later years, Bill Hall left no doubt of his affection for the ‘Fighting 56’ frequently reminding his family how it was his job to turn on the light at the top of St Andrew’s Church tower to guide the pilots safely back the base after dark.

Councillors spoke with emotion. An RAF veteran in his own right, Councillor Rolfe led the calls for the ‘Freedom’ to be conferred. Councillor Stephen Murray spoke of the military traditions of his own family and the insight he had received through his brother’s RAF service.

Councillor Chris Pond described the history of a previous owner of his house in Loughton – a young RAF officer shot down and killed in defence of his country. Councillor Anne Grigg joined Councillor Murray is speaking of the proud record of 56 Squadron and it’s sad distinction of being the first RAF squadron to lose a pilot – killed in action – in World War II.

Councillor Jon Whitehouse spoke of joining the Chairman only a few days previously to rededicate a war memorial, counting the cost of war and what we ask members of the armed services to do.

Perhaps the most moving contribution from Councillor Syd Stavrou described the loss of the father she never knew – part of a Lancaster crew, shot down and killed in Germany months before she was born.

Freedom accepted

Wing Commander Matt Fleckney was joined in the Council Chamber by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman and officers of 56 Squadron. He took great pleasure in accepting the Freedom of the District. Describing North Weald as the ‘Spiritual Home’ of 56 Squadron, the Wing Commander also reflecting on the RAF’s wider connections across the district, the ‘finest hour’ in the sky above, the jet age and some of the brave people who did not return.

56 Squadron will exercise the Freedom of the District with a parade from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian on Sunday 10 June.

Other business

In keeping with protocol, the agreement to confer the Freedom of the District concluded the business of the extraordinary meeting of Full Council. Following a short break, the second meeting of the evening convened at 8pm with a minutes silence to remember former councillors Ron Braybrook and Peter Riley, plus Peter Adams, an independent member of the Standards Committee since December 2012.

Portfolio Holders answered questions on a range of subjects including:

  • Lorry parking in Waltham Abbey
  • Food banks
  • Progress towards the redevelopment of the St John’s Road area of Epping
  • The Local Plan
  • Pollution caused by stationary cars with idling engines
  • Recycling (Epping Forest District Council’s domestic recycling is the 22 highest of all 350 English councils)
  • Additional council funded police officers due to begin work in June
  • The completion of a £1.1million refurbishment of Epping Sports Centre and plans to provide even better sports facilities for residents in the future
  • Epping Forest Shopping Park, the Broadway and its new Landmark Building
  • Sport and Leisure Centre water quality at Loughton and Ongar
  • Council House building programme
  • Electoral Review
  • The Restore charity
  • Waltham Abbey’s new leisure centre due for completion in November
  • Reduced price home composting bins
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest

Comments wanted for Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan

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The Council is publicising the submission version of the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan and are are seeking comments from residents, business and other interest stakeholders on the Plan and supporting documents.

The publication period is from 12 noon on Tuesday 15 May to 4pm on Tuesday 26 June 2018.

Representations

All representations received regarding the plan proposal will be forwarded to an appointed examiner, who will assess the plan proposal and supporting documents against the basic conditions set out in national policy.

The 7 basic conditions that a neighbourhood plan / neighbourhood development order must meet are

  1. having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is appropriate to make the order (or neighbourhood plan)
  2. having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  3. having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  4. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.
  5. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area)
  6. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with EU obligations
  7. prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan)

How to make a representation

For more details and how to make a representation please visit the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 publication and examination page on the Council’s website at

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

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