The Epping Forest District Council Cabinet met on Monday 14 July 2008 to discuss a wide range of issues ranging from the East of England Plan to private sector grants. This meeting was webcast in the continuation of the Council’s commitment to informing the public of the democratic process.
Adoption of East of England Plan
Councils must co-operate with each other in the delivery of the East of England Plan. The Cabinet received a report by Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg (Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder) setting out proposals to work with Harlow, East Herts and other Councils in the delivery of new homes.
The region-wide East of England Plan requires the construction of major residential development on the northern side of Harlow in East Herts. Smaller expansion of Harlow along its western, southern and eastern boundaries with Epping Forest is also required. By co-ordinating and working constructively together, it is hoped to reduce the impact of the new homes on the local environment. Some impact on the Green Belt is inevitable and the report refers to a strategic review.
Councillor Mrs Grigg reminded members of the Cabinet that despite the additional housing, North Weald had been excluded from the East of England Plan. Harlow would grow by 16,000 homes. She remained concerned by the need to address infrastructure in support of new homes, a point emphasised by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Di Collins.
Members heard from Principal Planning Officer Ian White that further research on potential infrastructure requirements had been commissioned by Epping Forest District Council. He also assured members that transport, especially for young people, would be included in the research.
The Loughton Broadway Town Centre Enhancement Scheme
Phase Two of the £3.175 million Loughton Town Centre Enhancement Scheme has been given the go-ahead.
Apart from a break during the Christmas trading period to help local businesses, Members of Epping Forest District Council`s Cabinet want to see as much work as possible completed in the current year.
Having completed work in Burton Road, Vere Road and CCTV installations, Phase Two consists of the main enhancement work to the Broadway itself. Members also accepted an offer of £100,000 towards the scheme by Essex County Council and welcomed the re-inclusion of a landmark feature – to be designed through a competition for local schools. Councillor Mrs Grigg (Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder) explained how consultation with local traders had encouraged the Council to avoid construction work over Christmas. She also drew attention to the amendment of the scheme to provide free parking along The Broadway in support of local business.
Investments in Car Parks
Subject to hearing the views of the Housing Scrutiny Panel, the Cabinet welcomed proposals to divert an underspend of £300,000 for off-street car parking on congested housing estates.