Delay in submission of the Local Plan for Independent Examination

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Local plan / planning our future, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Submission of Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan has been delayed following a Planning Court ruling on 20 March 2018.

The Court granted CK Properties Theydon Bois Limited (“CK Properties”) permission to apply for judicial review of the Council’s decision on 14 December 2017 to approve the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017 (“LPSV”) for publication and submission to the Secretary of State for independent examination.

CK Properties complains that its land to the east of Theydon Bois was not allocated for residential development in the LPSV and contends that it has been prejudiced by the unavailability of Appendix B to the Site Selection Report (Arup December 2017), during the Regulation 19 publication period.

The Court ordered that the Council be restrained from submitting the LPSV for independent examination until the final determination of the judicial review claim, or further order. The Court also ordered that the judicial review hearing can be expedited and it is listed for hearing on 23 and 24 May 2018 with a time estimate of 1½ days.

The Council will be contesting all the claims made and to be heard at the full hearing but the ruling means the Council cannot meet the agreed submission date of 31 March 2018.

Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council was disappointed by the Court decision but confident of the final outcome. He said; “It is frustrating but it is not the end of the road. We are ready to submit the Plan but circumstances outside our control have created this delay.”

Councillor Philip continued: “Fortunately, the Government’s deadline  extension means the case can be heard without compromising our position. When all the evidence is placed before the judge, we fully expect to win the review. We are still on target to agree 11,400 homes during the Local Plan period up to 2033.”

Countrycare Easter scavenger hunt 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Come to the Epping Forest District Council Countrycare Easter Scavenger Hunt on Wednesday 4 April 2018 11:00am to 13:00pm at Roughtalleys Wood, North Weald.

Booking is essential and costs just £3 per child.

Easter - countrycare

Come and try your hand at our wildlife riddles and quiz questions hidden in the wood and be in with a chance of winning some Easter treats!

Event details

Local heroes celebrated at awards evening

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The district’s most celebrated residents were recognised at the annual Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards Ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey on Friday 16 March 2018.

Winners at the Civic Awards 2018

You make the world a better place

The glittering awards evening was hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor David Stallan.

Chairman David Stallan said: “Every year we dedicate an evening to celebrate Epping Forest’s residents achievements, successes and their unwavering dedication to the area and their communities. This year was no different.”

“To the winners and runners up, congratulations. It is people like you that make the world a better place. Thank you for your selflessness, generosity and compassion.”

In honour and celebration of the Youth Council’s 10th anniversary this year, serving and former Youth Councillors were asked to present each award to the winners.

Click on the award below for details


Citizens Advice sessions come to Ongar

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Citizens Advice Epping Forest District will now be running regular monthly outreach sessions from Chipping Ongar Library.

Following a successful pilot between October 2017 and February 2018, there has been a steady increase in the number of clients attending the sessions. The good feedback received highlighted the need for the service in the Ongar area.

Citizens Advice Epping Forest District Ongar sessions

Chipping Ongar Library is located at The Pleasance, High Street, Chipping Ongar, Ongar CM5 9AB (map).

An adviser will be available between 10am and 12 noon on every 3rd Tuesday of the month

  • 17 April
  • 15 May
  • 9 June
  • 17 July
  • 21 August
  • 18 September

Citizens advice provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to help people overcome a range of problems.

Most of the issues Citizens Advice Epping Forest District deal with fall broadly into money/debt, benefit, housing, family or employment problems. Whether you are facing a crisis, or just considering your options, come and see their friendly adviser for help to find a solution to your problem.

Contact Citizens Advice Epping Forest District

Visit the Citizens Advice Epping Forest District website

Call them on 03444 770 808

Landlord fined £21,575 for illegal HMO

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council successfully prosecuted and fined Mr Veli Bunul £21,575, when found operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and breaching legislation designed to protect tenants.

HMO Licence

The Council was called to inspect a three storey family town house in Tillingham Court Waltham Abbey, found to be occupied by three separate families, each with young children, all sharing one kitchen and two bathrooms.

Potential tragedy

Housing 11 occupants, the property was overcrowded, had inadequate fire precautions or a safe means of escape in event of an emergency.

Basildon Magistrates court was particularly concerned about these failings which could have potentially led to lives being at risk and tragic circumstances.

The Court heard that Mr Bunul of Chase Side, London E14 had ignored all of Epping Forest District Council’s warnings about his responsibilities to licence the property and his obligation to make it safe.

He alleged he was unaware that the property was being occupied by several families, claiming someone else collected the rent on his behalf. The court did not find this a reasonable excuse and so carried his conviction alongside a hefty fine.

Zero tolerance

Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said, “We will not tolerate landlords who rent properties which fail to meet standards.  The Council has a commitment to ensure that private landlords in the Epping Forest district do not take financial advantage of vulnerable tenants and put their lives at risk.  We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants”.

New licensing rules

The Government are bringing in an extension to the  current licensing regime. From 1 April 2018, any property with five or more people from two or more households will require a licence regardless of how many floors there are in the property.

Landlords must comply with licence conditions to ensure properties are safe for the amount of people occupying them. In addition, minimum space requirements are to be imposed to prevent exploitation by overcrowding.

Advice to Landlords

Landlords that currently operate a licensable HMO in Epping Forest District (3 or more storeys, occupied by 5 or more people living as 2 or more households) but do not currently hold a licence should contact the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team immediately to avoid prosecution.

Anyone operating such an HMO without the appropriate licence is committing an offence, risks a criminal record and an unlimited fine on summary conviction.

Other landlords operating or thinking of operating an HMO that will fall under the new licensing regime from 1 April 2018 are encouraged to contact the Private Sector Housing Team for further information and advice.

Advice to tenants

If you think you may be living in a property that requires a licence and one is not displayed in the property, or you are concerned about the property conditions, please contact the Private Sector Housing team on the details below.


Decisions from Plans East 7 March 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Democracy, Epping, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 7 March 2018.


  • EPF/2522/17 – Walnut Barn Bushes, Wind Hill, Magdalen Laver, Ongar, CM5 0DS
  • EPF/2582/17 – Walnut Barn Bushes Wind Hill Magdalen Laver, Ongar, CM5 0DS
  • EPF/2654/17 – The Chequers, Matching Green, Matching, CM17 0PZ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2933/17 – Maes Mawr, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3153/17 – 73 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4ND
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3364/17 – Granville, 119 Theydon Park Road, Theydon Bois. CM16 7LS
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3503/17 – 38 High Road, North Weald, Epping, CM16 6BU
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0026/18 – Oak Lodge, Weald Hall Lane, Thornwood Common, Epping, CM16 6ND
    Permission refused

Planning application search

Flying the flag for Commonwealth Day

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

The Commonwealth flag flew outside the civic offices in Epping to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday 12 March 2018.

53 countries will come together on Monday 12 March 2018 to celebrate Commonwealth Day under the theme ‘Towards a Common Future’.

Commonwealth Day is held on the second Monday in March each year. It is an opportunity for individuals, communities and organisations to promote the Commonwealth’s shared values of peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich diversity.

Find out more

Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre celebrates a milestone in the snow

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Media, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Waltham Abbey’s new leisure centre celebrated another build milestone with its Topping Out Ceremony marking the highest point of the building work being completed.

Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre topping out ceremony

Representatives from Epping Forest District Council, Places for People Leisure, Pellikaan Construction and Architects Pozzoni attended the ceremony on Wednesday 28 February 2018.

Community representatives and pupils from Hillhouse Primary School in Waltham Abbey were also given a tour of the build.

Coming to life

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder commented: “It’s fantastic to see the design for the new leisure centre coming to life before us. When completed the new modern and sustainable leisure centre will offer a broad range of activities and services to bring the whole community together.”

Places for People Leisure’s plans to improve the leisure offering and the health and wellbeing of the area are truly exciting. Works have already been completed at Ongar Sports Centre and improvements are underway at Loughton Leisure Centre, with a new state of the art gym just being opened at Epping Sports Centre. We are looking forward to working in partnership with them over the coming years for the benefit of the local community.”

Design, build, operate and maintain

Places for People Leisure were awarded the 20-year design, build, operate and maintain contract for Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre by Epping Forest District Council along with the management of the existing Ongar Leisure Centre, Loughton Leisure Centre and Epping Sports Centre.

The new leisure centre which is due to be completed later this year will include a 6 lane 25m pool along with a 15m learner pool. It will also feature a state of the art 80 station fitness suite, exercise and, café and community room, along with a group cycling studio with virtual classes led by Les Mills virtual master trainers.

Create active places and healthy people

Places for People Leisure are looking forward to the completion of construction work, as John Bates, Business Development Director explains: “We are extremely pleased with the progress made to date on the facility by our partner, Pellikaan Construction. The centre is now starting to take shape and we really looking forward to showcasing the new facility when it opens later this year. This will be a fantastic community venue that can be enjoyed by families and people of all ages and abilities.”

“Over the coming months we will continue to work with Epping Forest District Council to ensure that when the new centre opens it enhances the health and wellbeing of the local community in line with our social mission to create active places and healthy people.”

Help save the Willingale Treasure

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Museum is launching an appeal to save the Willingale Treasure and help us keep it in the district.

The Willingale Treasure

Sapphire Gold Medieval Ring

A medieval gold ring has been found in the parish of Willingale and we need you to help us keep it in the district, before the item goes on sale on the open market.

It is the first medieval gem set ring to be found in the district, and the first known finger-ring to be discovered in Willingale. The decoration is of an extremely high standard and, to the best of our knowledge, unique.

Please donate

Donate online at

or make a donation at Epping Forest District Museum, 39–41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

Save the Willingale treasure

In total £11,500 is needed to save the ring ensuring it is on free public display for generations to come. The campaign has already received support from the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and SHARE Museums East and Epping Forest District Museum has committed funding from its reserves leaving £3,000 to be raised.

If the target is reached, the ring will go on public display in the museum’s newly renovated core gallery. If the funding is not raised, the ring may be sold and possibly leave the UK permanently.

Other treasures at the museum

Currently on display is a selection of items acquired by the museum through the national Portable Antiquities Scheme, which recently celebrated 20 years of recording treasure finds. On display are items found from all across the Epping Forest district.

The oldest are a bronze axe and small gold bead, which are some 3,500 years old, also displayed are medieval Noble coins of Edward III found near Abridge and a fine silver gilt medieval crucifix discovered near North Weald.

Help to Buy Home Show coming to Chelmsford

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home, Your money

If you’re looking to get onto the property ladder, come along to the ‘Help to Buy Home Show’ on Saturday 24 March 2018 at Chelmsford City Racecourse, to explore your home buying options. This FREE event is an excellent opportunity to discover existing and upcoming developments and speak to friendly housing professionals, financial advisors and solicitors.

Essex Home Show 24 March

Event details

  • Saturday 24 March 2018
  • 10:30am – 3pm
  • Chelmsford City Racecourse, Moulsham Lane, Entrance (gate 11), Great Leighs, CM3 1PZ (View location on map)
  • FREE to attend

Help to Buy Schemes

Come and see housing associations and developers showcasing their shared ownership and equity loan homes they have available with Help to Buy.

  • Shared Ownership – buy a percentage of a property and pay rent on the rest
  • Equity Loan – buy a new property with as little as a 5% deposit

Even if you aren’t ready to buy yet, don’t miss this great opportunity to see what is available and review your options. Independent financial advisors and solicitors will be on hand to give you advice, guidance and help.

Further information