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:

Decisions from Plans East 10 October 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 10 October 2018.

Decisions 

  • EPF/0282/18 – 12 Station Road Epping Essex CM16 4H
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1583/18 – 1 Buttercross Lane Epping Essex CM16 5AA
    Deferred to DDMC
  • EPF/1847/18 – 55 High Street Epping Essex CM16 4BA
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1556/18 – Site at Bansons Lane Ongar Essex CM5 9AR
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0429/18 – Hydes Riding School Abridge Road Theydon Bois Essex CM16 7NS
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1406/18 – 1 Mount End Mount End Road Theydon Mount Epping Essex CM16 7PS
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2212/18 – 15 Vicarage Lane North Weald Essex CM16 6ET
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Working together in suicide prevention

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Suicides are more prevalent among men than women in Essex and the most vulnerable age group is men between the ages of 35 and 64.

10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day – an annual event to raise awareness of the 800,000 suicides worldwide every year.

Epping Forest District Council is part of the West Essex Stay Safe team which is today launching a ‘call to action’ of partner organisations in the area to not only raise awareness of suicides, but also to encourage people to talk about suicide and feel confident in doing so.

  • Suicide is among the top 20 causes of death globally
  • 135 relatives, friends, colleagues, are profoundly affected by each suicide
  • Everyone can make a contribution to preventing suicide

Everyone can help

“Don’t be afraid to approach someone you think isn’t coping. Just showing that you care will be a positive step towards supporting them,” said Cllr Sam Kane, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport.

“You don’t have to be able to solve their problems but if you feel you can, offer support and encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling. Ask direct questions and don’t be afraid of frank discussions. Many people do want a chance to talk but don’t want to burden anyone around them.”

Organisations providing support

Further links

Decisions from Plans East 5 September 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 5 September 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/0282/18 – 12 Station Road, Epping
    Deferred for a site visit
  • EPF/0712/18 – Cornerways, The Green, Theydon Bois
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0763/18 – Stationbridge House, Blake Hall Road, Ongar
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0904/18 – Barn Adjacent Great Notts, Moreton Road, Bobbingworth, Ongar
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1062/18 – Land Adj no 24 Vicarage Road, Coopersale, Epping
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1339/18 – Land Adj Hoppit The Street Sheering
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1406/18 – 1 Mount End Mount End Road Theydon Mount
    Withdrawn
  • EPF/1556/18 – Site at Bansons Lane, Ongar
    Deferred for a site visit
  • EPF/1583/18 – 1 Buttercross Lane Epping
    Deferred for a site visit
  • EPF/1834/18 – 171 High Road North Weald
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1847/18 – 55 High Street Epping
    Deferred for a site visit

Planning application search

Applications open for Creativity Award 2019

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Applications are open for the Creativity Award 2019. The award is open to every young person in the district, aged between 13 and 25 years.

Creativity Award 2019

Support developing your skills

If you or your group have a real talent or interest in the arts, culture and heritage, we would like to support you in developing your skills.

A single award, of up to £1000, is available 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 be newly formed. The award is also open to heritage projects and all young people’s programmes through our museum service.

Apply 

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

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

Don’t fall foul of new licensing laws for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

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New licensing laws for landlords, which further protect tenants in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) from poor living conditions, come into effect on 1 October from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

HMO Licence
Landlords who let a property to five or more people – from two or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authority.

The move gives Epping Forest District Council more powers to crack down on those landlords who are renting out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

The new rules set minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding, and landlords must adhere to council refuse schemes to reduce problems with rubbish.

If you’re a landlord of an HMO, here’s what to do

If you’re not sure whether the new requirements apply to you

And in time for your licence to be processed before 1 October 2018

What happens if I don’t?

  • Prosecution or a Civil Penalty of up to £30,000 for committing an offence
  • Banning Order – You may be banned from operating as a landlord or agent in the private rented sector
  • Up to 12 months’ rent and/or housing benefit can be claimed back by the tenant and/or the Council
  • Any Section 21 notice requiring a tenant to leave the property will not be valid.

Property standards

In addition to general requirements affecting all rented properties, a licensed HMO will need to meet the Essex HMO Amenity Standards.  These set the amount of bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities, together with the sleeping and communal living space required, depending on the size of the property.

The property will also need to have adequate fire safety measures in place to protect the occupiers and meet the Management Regulations for cleanliness and maintenance of the property.

“Our Private Sector Housing Team is able to explain the new legislation and offer advice and support to landlords of HMOs,” said Cllr Syd Stavrou Portfolio Holder for Housing..

“Call or email them to arrange an informal discussion or to make an appointment to visit the property so that they can advise on any requirements and possible options.”

More information 

Annual Canvass of Electors – have you filled in your form?

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Updated information

If you have received a phone call, email or message from Epping forest District Council Elections Team asking for some further information, please respond before Friday 21 September 2018.


Around 38.000 households in Epping Forest District responded to their Household Enquiry Forms almost as soon as they received them in August– but there are still 18,500 outstanding.

Annual Canvass 2018

Use an automated service

More than half of those who responded did so by using an automated service – online/phone/text

And to keep costs down we need most of the remaining households to use a similar method because last year we spent £20,000 on sending out reminders.

Get your responses back to us

The HEF forms are a crucial part of our annual canvass of electors which begins in August every year. The first deadline has passed so we would urge everyone who hasn’t already done so, to get their responses back to us immediately.

There is a second stage to the registration process for new people added to the Household Enquiry Form. Unless this is done they won’t be able to vote in any elections or referendums.

It’s a simple process and can be done

Before 29 August.

Here’s what to do…

No changes?

Using the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form:

Changes to make?

  • Amend the information online easily and quickly online or
  • Amend the form and return it in the prepaid envelope – making sure to give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries.

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/

 

Decisions from Plans West 15 August 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting Wednesday 15 August 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/3266/17 – Lakeview Kennels, Claverhambury Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2BL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3359/17 – Land to rear of 54 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1EJ
    Deferred
  • EPF/0600/18 – Skilletts Hill Farm, Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 3QU
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0601/18 – Land between 32a and 33, Downlands, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1UH
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0827/18 – Silverdale Nursery, Hoe Lane, Nazeing, Essex EN9 2RJ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0854/18- Maycroft, Epping Road, Roydon, Essex, CM19 5HT
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1163/18 – Oakleigh Nursery, Paynes Lane, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2EU
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1769/18 – Chimes Garden Centre, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Essex, EN10 6RJ
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Decisions from Plans East 8 August 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 8 August 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/0712/18 – Cornerways, The Green, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex, CM16 7JH
    Deferred for site visit
  • EPF/0859/18 – Ship Cottage, Off New Road, Lambourne End, Essex, RM4 1AJ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1320/18 – 19 High Street, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9DS
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1339/18 – Land adj Hoppit, The Street, Sheering, Essex, CM22 7LR
    Deferred for site visit
  • EPF/1348/18 – 4 Kendal Avenue, Epping, Essex, CM16 4PN
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1374/18 – Ambresbury House, Theydon Road, Theydon Bois, Essex, CM16 4EF
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1406/18 – 1 Mount End, Mount End Road, Theydon Mount, Epping Essex CM16 7PS
    Deferred for site visit

Planning application search