Planned website maintenance on 25 Feb

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Arts, Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Council tax, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Elections, Emergencies, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Equalities, Food safety, Garages, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Jobs, Leader, Licensing, Local business, Local land charges, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Museum, Noise, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Performance, Planning, Playschemes, Private housing, Procurement, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Due to essential maintenance our website and online services, including reporting services, will be unavailable from 12pm to 11pm on Sunday 25 February 2018.

Essential website maintenance

If you experience any problems accessing our online services, please try again on Monday 26 February 2018.

We apologise for any inconvenience that this maintenance work might cause you.

Decisions from Plans West 17 January 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting Wednesday 17 January 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2413/17 – 1 Bentons Cottages, Middle Street, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2LN
    Decision deferred to DDMC
  • EPF/2878/17 – Land at Epping Long Green, Epping Green, Epping, Essex, CM16 6QN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2902/17 – 2 High Street, Roydon, Essex, CM19 5HJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2906/17 – 2 High Street, Roydon, Essex, CM19 5HJ
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Pair fined for damaging tree

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Mrs Helen Kelly–Howe of Chingford was fined £1,850 after pleading guilty to causing or permitting unauthorised work to a tree in a conservation area.

Sycamore 10 High St

Tree within a conservation area

In June, officers were notified that branches of a sycamore tree situated within the grounds of 10 High Street Roydon had been cut back, where they overhung on to the neighbouring property at number 2 High Street.

Standing within the Roydon conservation area a 6 week notice of any intended work to the tree should have been provided. Such a notice would have revealed that consent for the extent of the works would have not been granted in any event.

No checks for consent

Further investigation revealed Mrs Helen Kelly–Howe, a director of the company owning 10 High Street instructed tree surgeon Mr John McAllister to cut the branches back to the boundary.

No checks had been made to find out if the tree was protected and neither sought consent to carry out the works undertaken.

£2,430 worth of fines

Tree surgeon Mr McAllister was fined £300 and ordered to pay a contribution of £250 towards the Council’s prosecution costs plus a victim surcharge of £30.

The Magistrates stated that Mrs Kelly-Howe had a greater role in the matter and was fined £1,000 ordered to pay a contribution of £750 towards the Council’s prosecution costs plus a victim surcharge of £100.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) and conservation areas please contact

Local Plan Council 14 December 2017

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Democracy, Energy efficiency, Epping, Gypsy and traveller, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

District councillors approved publication of the submission version of the Local Plan at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 14 December. The decision paves the way for the start of Regulation 19, a six week period during which residents and other interested parties can comment on the legal soundness of the plan before submission to the government at the end of March.

Development within Epping Forest District up to 2033

The Local Plan contains policies for development within Epping Forest District up to 2033. It includes the designation of areas for housing, employment and the Metropolitan Green Belt.

Publication of the submission version of the Local Plan was accelerated after the Secretary of State Sajid Javid warned councils to expect government intervention and significant additional housing allocations where Local Plans are not in place. Epping Forest District could see the number of new homes almost doubled if it did not submit its plan for inspection by a government-appointed inspector by the end of March 2018.

Invitation of submissions

Councillors agreed the Plan and the invitation of submissions on legality, soundness and the duty to co-operate with neighbouring councils for a six week period commencing 18 December.

The Plan and a special form designed to assist residents make submissions will be available to complete from 12pm Monday on the Epping Forest District Council website. A printable pdf version of the form will also be available to download. Reference copies of the Local Plan and associated documents will also be available to view at the following locations:

  • Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping
  • Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping
  • Epping Forest District Council Loughton Broadway Housing Office
  • Epping Forest District Council Limes Centre Chigwell
  • Epping Sports Centre
  • Loughton Leisure Centre
  • Ongar Leisure Centre
  • Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool
  • Buckhurst Hill Library
  • Chigwell Library
  • Chipping Ongar Library
  • Epping Library
  • Loughton Library
  • North Weald Library
  • Waltham Abbey Library

Final representations must be received no later than 5pm on Monday 29 January 2018.

Need help with your housing repairs?

Written on . Posted in Building control, Community, Energy efficiency, Grants, Housing, Housing repairs, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Uncategorized, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Need a housing repair, energy efficiency works or disabled adaptations? Got an empty home? Financial assistance for home-owners and private tenants is available.

Landscape

Am I eligible?

Under the Housing Assistance Policy there are several types of financial assistance available to home owner and private sector tenants.

What type of assistance is available?

  • Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants are available to provide adaptations for disabled home owners and private tenants. Subject to qualifying criteria the mandatory grant will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £30,000.

The Council also gives 3 main types of discretionary assistance; Decent Homes Repayable Assistance, Empty Homes Repayable Assistance and Small Works Repayable Assistance.

  • Decent Homes Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to owner occupiers and long leaseholders to bring private homes up to the ‘Decent Homes Standard’. Subject to qualifying criteria the Assistance will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £10,000.
  • Small Works Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to owner occupiers and long leaseholders to remove hazards or repair defects that are likely to damage the fabric of a property. Subject to qualifying criteria the Assistance will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £3,000.
  • Empty Homes Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to persons intending to bring empty properties back into use and live in them as their home. Assistance is to a maximum of £10,000.

More financial options now available

Leader of the Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “Needing adaptations or repairs to your home can really put a strain on your finances, we want to give people a fair opportunity to carry out the works they need.”

“Under our new Housing Assistance Policy there are now more financial options available to home owners and private sector tenants.

So don’t put it off, get in touch today to see if you are eligible.”

More information

For more details on eligibility criteria and how to apply please contact

Decisions from Plans West 15 November 2017

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our countryside, Our performance, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting on Wednesday 15 November 2017.

Decisions

  • EPF/1232/16 – Chimes Garden Centre, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Waltham Abbey Essex, EN10 6RJ
  • Permission granted
  • EPF/1492/16 – The Chimes Nursery, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Waltham Abbey, EN10 6RJ
  • Deferred to DDMC
  • EPF/1782/17 – Marydel, Copt Hall Green, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 3TB
  • Permission refused
  • EPF/2047/17 – Land at Burleigh Lodge, Hoe Lane, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2RJ
  • Permission granted

Planning application search

 

Help us bring empty homes back into use

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

Did you know that in the Epping Forest District there are approximately 447 properties which have been empty for more than 6 months?

We are asking for your help this National Empty Homes Week (16 to 23 October 2017) – report empty homes to us, so that we can help the owners bring them back into use.

Empty homes week

Why are properties left empty?

Properties are left empty for a variety of reasons but they can be the source of much misery to neighbours who have to live nearby. It is estimated that the home next door to an empty property can be devalued by 10%.

There is also the worry of nuisance, vermin, arson, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

For the owner, an empty property is a wasted resource and can be costly in terms of increased insurance, increased council tax premiums, property fraud, emergency repairs and break-ins.

Financial assistance

We are committed to reducing the number of empty properties in the district and can offer financial help in certain circumstances. It is recognised that a stumbling block can be that the empty property is in disrepair and cannot be lived in, let or easily sold in its condition.

We can offer the following schemes:

  • The Empty Homes Repayable Assistance offers up to £10,000 if there is an empty property that you intend to live in yourself, but is in poor condition. The money is repaid when you eventually sell the property.
  • The PLACE Loan offers up to £25,000 if you have a property that you would like to have renovated in order that you can sell or rent it out. This is an interest free loan and is paid back within two years in the case of a loan to sell, or five years in the case of the loan to let.

We always prefer to work with owners in a constructive way. We have certain enforcement powers that we may use to ensure an empty property is brought back to use, particularly if it has been empty a long time and is problematic to the local community.

Help for empty home owners

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Housing Portfolio Holder, said: “As a council we are fully committed to bringing empty properties back into use and are looking to help owners in every way we can. However where all other measures have failed, we are prepared to take enforcement action as a last resort.”

She added: ”If you are aware of an empty property or own one yourselves, please let us know. We will need the address and any other information you think might be helpful. We will do our best to contact the owner and work with them to bring the property back to use, and all calls are treated in confidence.”

Report an empty property

Further information

Decisions from Plans East 11 October 2017

Written on . Posted in Commercial properties, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting on Wednesday 11 October 2017.

Watch the webcast

Decisions

  • EPF/2523/16 – Brent House Farm, Harlow Common, North Weald, Essex CM17 9JD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1629/17 – 13 Vicarage Lane, North Weald Bassett, Essex CM16 6ET
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2057/17 – 95 High Road, North Weald, Epping, Essex CM16 6HS
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1913/17 – Ellensmead, Stondon Road, Ongar, Essex CM5 9BU
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1762/17 – Land to the rear of Mountford and Bishops Bron, Oak Hill Road, Stapleford Abbotts, Essex RM4 1JL
    Deferred for a site visit
  • EPF/2041/17 – 1 Curtis Mill Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford, Essex RM4 1HS
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2174/17 – Trade Winds, Oak Hill Road, Stapleford Abbotts, Essex RM4 1EH
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1973/17 – Newstead, 19 Coopersale Common, Coopersale, Epping, Essex CM16 7QS
    4 members stood so will go to D.D.C
  • EPF/2086/17 – 49 Ash Groves, Sheering, Essex CM21 9LN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1824/17 – The Downtons, 114 Crown Close, Sheering, Essex CM22 7NE
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2591/15 – Belgique (Theydon) Ltd, 14 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex CM16 7EY
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1628/17 – 56 Dukes Avenue, Theydon Bois, Essex CM16 7HF
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Woman guilty of subletting council property

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Chigwell, Council tax, Equalities, Housing, Loughton, Our performance, Performance, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Ms Paula Callaway of Dunmow Essex has been given a 12 month suspend sentence and 150 hours community service after being found guilty of 2 counts of Social Housing fraud.

Subletting council property

Paula Callaway became a tenant of Moat Housing housing association in 1999. The tenancy agreement required Ms Callaway to live at the property 49 Ravenoak Way Chigwell as her main home and not to sublet it without prior written permission.

In November 2011 Paula Callaway sought permission to carry out a mutual exchange with the tenant of a one bedroom flat Council property at 9 Felstead Road Loughton.

Reasons given for requesting the exchange was that Ms Callaway wished to downsize following her children leaving home. The mutual exchange was approved and took place in January 2012.

Confidential fraud hotline

Following a report to the Council’s confidential fraud hotline officers launched an investigation which revealed that Paula Callaway had purchased a three bedroom new build property and had been living in Dunmow since October 2009, whilst still claiming to be a tenant at Ravenoak Way, Chigwell.

Ms Callaway had not informed Moat Housing that she had moved out and had left her son at that property and also rented out to property to at least another five people.

The mutual exchange was therefore fraudulent and the reasons given false.

Further fraudulent activity

At trial it transpired that the tenant Ms Callaway carried out the mutual exchange with was her sister in law and the real reason for wanting to exchange was that her sister in law wanted to move to a three bedroom property.

Having then gained the tenancy of the one bedroom flat 9 Felstead Road, Callaway then illegally sublet it again. She moved in two individuals from Ravenoak Way into 9 Felstead Road, whilst still living in her own property in Great Dunmow, acting as the landlord for the 2 council owned properties.

Depriving families of a home

After a five day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court Ms. Callaway was found guilty of 2 offences relating to Social Housing fraud. Having previously pleaded guilty to the criminal offence of dishonestly subletting a property, she was sentenced with a 12 month suspended sentence on both counts of fraud, 150 hours community service and a victim surcharge.

The Judge stated: “You were given social housing once you had bought a home of your own. There is chronic shortage of social homes and you deprived a family from living in a home for six years. This went on far too long. It went on but you must know what you did was wrong.”

Fraudsters cheat us all

Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra said: “Fraud affects everyone. Money stolen by housing tenancy fraud, council tax fraud or business rates fraud is depriving our public services of the vital resources they need.”

“Please tell us if you suspect someone is committing fraud by filling in our online form or by calling our fraud investigation team”

You can report anonymously and don’t have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.

Decisions from Plans South 27 September 2017

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Out and about, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting on Wednesday 27 September 2017.

Watch the webcast

Watch the webcast with slides

Read the agenda

Decisions

  • EPF/0479/17 – Amar Nivas, 146 Hainault Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5DL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1390/17 – The Lodge, Woolston Hal,l Abridge Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6BX
    Referred to DDMC
  • EPF/0973/17 – 46 Stradbroke Drive, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5QZ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1064/17 – Braeside Junior School, 82 Palmerston Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5LG
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1404/17 – 25 Felstead Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3BB
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1582/17 – 13 Barfields Path, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3JJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1642/17 – Greengate,s 24 Albion Hill, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4RD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1643/17 – Roman Lodge, 64C Russell Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5QE
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1848/17 – Debden Park High School, Willingale Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 2BQ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1870/17 – 54 Ollards Grove, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4DW
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1895/17 – 2 The Avenue, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4PT
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1916/17 – Northcote, 2 Farm Way, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5AH
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1930/17 – 95 Jessel Drive, Loughton, Essex, IG10 2EQ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1932/17- 17 Chigwell Rise, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6AQ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2091/17 – 34 Gladstone Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5SW
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2614/16 – 21 Park Hill, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4ES
    Permission refused

Planning application search