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

Tell us your views on old pool site proposal

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Epping Forest District Council want your views on the proposal to build new homes on the old Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool site in Roundhills before 10 December 2018.

Proposed development site outlined in red above

Background

The King Georges Fields were established and dedicated to the memory of King George V for the use and enjoyment of the people. The Waltham Holy Cross Urban District Council dedicated land at Waltham Abbey to be used as a King George Playing Field. The use of the playing field is regulated by the charity Fields in Trust.

In 1967 the Waltham Abbey swimming pool was built on the Trust land. Consent was obtained as the land was no longer to be used as playing fields. In recent years, the pool required extensive repairs and the Council decided that it should be demolished and replaced by the new Leisure Centre at Hill House.

Proposal

The site of the old pool remains part of the King Georges Field. However, instead of changing the use back to that of playing fields, the Council is proposing to use the site to bring much needed housing into the area.

It is therefore intended to dedicate an area of land adjoining the new Leisure Centre at Hill House as a replacement King Georges Field. This area is about 20% larger than the existing pool site and will ensure the continued provision of land held in trust for leisure purposes in the Hill House area. The area of land at the King Georges Playing Field adjoining Roundhills (next to the old swimming pool site) that is currently used for recreation will remain the same.

Access to the playing fields through the pool site from Roundhills will remain open until redevelopment works commence, then it will be closed while construction works take place. Other access points will not be affected.

Consultation and approval

The Council is now undertaking a consultation seeking comments from residents and anyone else with an interest in the proposal is welcome to comment before 10 December 2018.

Following the consultation period, the Council’s Housing Portfolio Holder will consider the responses and Cabinet will be asked to approve the proposal at its meeting in January.

Results will be presented on our website.

Further information

Please email housinginfo@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for further information about the proposals.

Ambitious council unveils plans

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Ambitious plans coordinating developments in Epping and North Weald with modernisation of Epping Forest District Council are set out in reports coming to the next Cabinet meeting on 10 December.

St Johns Road redevelopment

Councillors are being asked to approve the next steps in the redevelopment of St Johns Road, to include a new leisure centre, cinema, shops and houses. A planning application to demolish the former primary school site has already been submitted. At the same time, councillors are being asked in principle to approve the relocation of many district council staff to new offices at Blenheim Way in North Weald.

Site of the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall

Site of the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall

Retaining the newer part of the Civic Offices in Epping for civic, democratic and customer service functions, the proposals involve the demolition of older buildings in preparation for a new residential development identified in the draft Local Plan.

Partnership opportunities

Epping Forest District Council is keen to explore partnership opportunities with Epping Town Council and North Weald Bassett Parish Council. Epping Town Council is already considering potential office sharing. The construction of a new leisure centre at St Johns Road would also pave the way for the redevelopment of the old site in Hemnall Street for housing.

Potentially only needing the ground floor of the Civic Offices in Epping, the district council is in the early stages of informal talks with other prospective partners to lease other parts of the Civic Offices. There will be further opportunities for commercial leases to small businesses on the top floor.

Protecting the High Street economy

Protecting the High Street economy is central to the council’s proposals.

Leader of Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “Epping Forest District Council is modernising to ensure we are fit for the future. The overall number of staff we employ is reducing. Along with agile home working, we are radically reducing our need for office space.”

“Moving all but our customer facing, civic and democratic staff to North Weald will significantly reduce our office costs but that must not come at an economic price to Epping High Street. Bringing new commercial businesses and long-standing partners such as Essex Police into Epping will help to ensure a healthy lunchtime cashflow for High Street businesses. Leasing out the Civic Offices also gives the district council more income to spend on local services.”

“There will also be major investment at the other end of Epping High Street as we deliver the proposals residents said they wanted, including the new cinema and leisure centre, further boosting High Street footfall.”

“The redevelopment of the old Hemnall Street sports centre for housing, along with the residential developments at the council offices and St Johns will also make a significant contribution to meeting our housing obligations in the draft Local Plan.”

The Civic Offices in Epping

The Civic Offices in Epping

North Weald offices

On North Weald, Councillor Whitbread said: “This is also very good news for North Weald. Building offices on land we already own next to the airfield will bring new business and employment opportunities to the village. Rationalising our office needs also presents opportunities to talk to North Weald Bassett Parish Council.”

“We are already discussing office sharing possibilities with Epping Town Council at the Civic Offices that will cut everyone’s costs, particularly good news for our Council Tax payers. We will be keen to explore similar opportunities at North Weald.”

Exciting times

Councillor Whitbread continued: “It is rare for a district council to have the capacity and the ambition to deliver on proposals of this scale. Epping Forest District Council is different. Against the backdrop of falling central government spending, we have invested where it counts. We are funding additional police officers.”

“The Epping Forest Shopping Park, our brand-new leisure centre in Waltham Abbey, new council housing and new partners such as the National Police Air Service arrival at North Weald Airfield show what we can do.”

“Quietly, efficiently and effectively, we are delivering the projects and services our residents, businesses and customers want. This is an exciting time and I am very proud of the leading role Epping Forest District Council is taking in the delivery of a better future.”

Further information

Epping Forest District Council is in discussion with Epping Town Council regarding their involvement in the scheme.

As a precursor to development, a planning application has been registered on behalf of Epping Forest District Council for demolition of the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall including adjacent ancillary buildings, fences and walls.

The locally listed former Cookery School Building and Centre Point building to be retained. Epping Town Council owns Epping Hall and they will decide whether Epping Hall will be involved in any development plans.

Negotiations are in the early stages and no decisions have been made by Epping Town Council at this stage.

Comment on the application

Residents have until 15 December to comment on the application:

Paying for policing, Roger Hirst needs your opinion

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Do you want to see an improved Police Service in Essex? And are you willing to pay more Council Tax to provide it? Those are the questions being asked by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

Essex residents are being asked to fill in a survey so Mr Hirst can see what the county’s opinion is on increasing resources for Essex Police. He also wants to know what they think about the policing priorities for Essex.

Police funding

Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources – central Government and local Council Tax. Taking these two funding sources into account, Essex Police receives the second lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has one of the lowest Council Tax precepts for policing. Next year we are also expecting significant additional costs from increases in police officer pay, higher insurance costs and changes to police officer pensions.

There will also be costs as a result of extending the police’s Airwave radio system due to delays in the roll out of the National Emergency Services Communication Programme.

Tell the Police what you think

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I want to provide the best possible policing service, which is what the people of Essex rightly deserve. Increasing investment will help the Chief Constable deliver this. I am working hard to lobby the Government but we cannot yet know the scale of any increase in central Government funding.  I can of course raise the policing precept. Before I do that I want to know what people think.”

5,000 responses to last survey

Last year, Mr Hirst carried out a similar survey which received more than 5,000 responses. Approximately two thirds of the people who answered (65 per cent) said they would be prepared to see the police element of local Council Tax increased by more than two per cent so more money could be made available for policing in Essex. More than half were prepared to pay up to £20 more per year.

Additional officers by Feb 2019

Mr Hirst said: “In light of the results from last year’s survey, I raised the policing element of the Council Tax by up to £12, or £1 a month for a Band D property. This increase, as part of the £450 million in police funding secured nationally from the Government last year, allowed Essex Police to recruit 150 more frontline officers, bringing the total amount of Essex Police officers to at least 3,000. These additional officers are being recruited and trained and will be arriving in local communities by February 2019.”

He added: “Whilst filling the survey I would also like people to give their views on the policing priorities for Essex. I want to make sure that they reflect the needs of the communities that Essex Police serves.”

Complete the survey

People can fill in the survey online via this link http://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/policing-precept-survey-2018/

The survey will be live from 1am on Tuesday, November 6 and will close at midnight on Tuesday, November 27.

Further information

Hard copies are also available on request.  Please contact the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner on 01245 291600 if you would like a copy or you can email pfcc@essex.pnn.police.uk

You can also write to PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB.

The Band D Council Tax for policing in Essex for 2018/19 is £169.02 per year.

This is not a referendum, it is an opportunity to gauge opinions so those views can be taken into account as part of the decision making process. The survey only reflects the policing element of the Council Tax precept and not the precept relating to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

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

Consultation on Local Council Tax Support scheme for 2019/20

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Local council tax support for 2019/20 is being reviewed so we are seeking the views of local residents on a new scheme to replace the current one and consultation is open now, until 21 December.

The scheme helps local people in financial need to pay their Council Tax. All local councils must have a scheme that they administer themselves and reviewed annually to see whether any changes should be made.

Epping Forest District Council gets a grant from the Government for its scheme, but that grant is reducing each year and there is now less funding from the grant than the annual cost of the scheme.

“It is important therefore that we have the views of local residents – whether they receive Local Council Tax Support or not – as it could affect the amount of Council Tax they have to pay, or it could mean that we have to cut service to meet the costs of the 2019/20 scheme,” said Cllr Gagan Mohindra, Portfolio Holder for Finance.

People of pension age have been protected by the Government and they have their own scheme for Local Council Tax Support. However, for people of working age, the Council has had to design a scheme that is less generous than the scheme for pensioners.

Epping Forest District Council is not proposing any changes for the scheme in 2019/20 but has to undertake the consultation process..

Consultation is via an on-line questionnaire available until 21 December 2018. Please let us have your views on whether you agree with this or whether you think changes should be made, before we decide on the scheme for next year. The brief questionnaire is available here:

If you would like to make a detailed reply or comment, you can email benefits@eppingforestdc.gov.uk and enter ‘consultation’ in the subject heading. If you do not have access to a computer, you can request a paper copy from the Benefits Division at the Civic Offices. Unfortunately, we will not be able to respond individually to each response. The results of the consultation will be presented to Councillors in February 2019.

Details of the Local Council Tax Support scheme for 2018/19 are available on the Council Tax Support section of our website: www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk

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