Green belt debate at cabinet

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Grants, Housing, Leader, Local business, Media, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Councillors discussed the green belt review at length when Epping Forest District Council’s cabinet met on 3 September 2015.

Democracy live

First stage review completed

The first stage of the green belt review for the Epping Forest district has been completed. Councillors received a report on the strategic level review which identifies broad areas for further assessment. Completion of the review and any proposals to alter existing boundaries will become a significant part of the supporting documentation in the new Local Plan.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council reported that from the analysis of the first stage, the second stage of the green belt review will identify

  • Areas where the green belt policy designation should remain
  • Any historic anomalies in the existing boundaries or locations where development has taken place, which may therefore suggest minor amendments to green belt boundaries are required
  • Areas that would be less harmful in green belt terms for potential development purposes

Identification of any parcel of land as a potential area of development does not mean that the council agrees or approves of it. Planning Portfolio Holder Richard Bassett strongly emphasised that the review does not constitute any decisions by the council.

Hierarchy and cooperation

Councillors discussed the status of various settlements within the review with debate on definitions of small villages, large villages and towns. Further discussion will take place with representatives of Buckhurst Hill and Roydon on village or town status. Further discussion will also take place with Chigwell Parish Council on the detail of their submission.

Questions were also raised about proposals to carry out the second stage review in conjunction with Harlow. The council’s legal adviser Mark Beard said that the review should be viewed as an evidence gathering process. Council Leader Chris Whitbread said the ‘duty to cooperate’ was not a ‘duty to agree’ and proposed that cabinet proceed to the second stage review independently.


The rollout of Superfast Broadband to rural parts of the Epping Forest district was welcomed by councillors at the meeting of cabinet on 3 September. Responding to comments on the different types of broadband being introduced nationwide, Portfolio holder Alan Lion assured councillors that the fibre installations being installed by Gigaclear were of the highest quality.

£120,000 boost to help people stay in their own homes

Cabinet increased the disabled facilities grants budget for 2015/16 to £0.5 million with the inclusion of an extra £120,000, with further additional funding bids to be made for three years up to 2018/19. Grants are used to help people remain independent in their own home. Grants are awarded to eligible residents based on occupational therapist referrals to the council.

Epping Forest Shopping Park update

Epping Forest District Council completed the purchase of Polofind’s interest in the Epping Forest Shopping Park on 3 July. Asset Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg updated councillors on progress toward the development of the new shopping park including highway works, approval of the most recent planning application on 10 June, architectural drawings, utility company works, health and safety, appointment of the main contractor, marketing and letting of the units and other matters. The council aims to have the complex fitted out and occupied by tenants in time for Christmas 2016.


Excel in sport with our Young Sports Award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Grants, Health, Loughton, Media, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your money

Are you aged 13 to 25, have a real talent in a sport and need help to develop your skills? If the answer is yes, apply for an Active Epping Forest Young Sports Award ranging from £500 to £1,000 now.

Active Epping Forest Young Sports Award

Active Epping Forest logo

Are you eligible?

You must

  • Be aged 13 to 25 on the closing date of the applications (30 November 2015)
  • Live in the Epping Forest district (or if you are at college or university your family home must be in the Epping Forest district)
  • Be competing at a county, regional or national level in a nationally governed recognised sport (if you are unsure please contact Fabrizio on 01992 564567)

To be considered for an award you will need to be at least regional standard in your sport and be able to support your application with detailed information as well as a referee.

If you are shortlisted you will be invited for an informal talk in December to meet the panel and give them further information about your plans for the future as well and any other developments that may have occurred since your application.

Closing date for applications is 30 November 2015.

Let us help you 

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “Our sports award recognises the hard work, dedication and commitment needed to play sports at the highest level. This is a fantastic way to celebrate the amazing achievements of our young people and help them excel in their chosen sport.”

“If you’re a county or national standard sports person aged 13 to 25, let us help you to develop your skills, apply for an Active Epping Forest Young Sports Award now.”

Want to know more?

For more information please contact Fabrizio Ferrari


Youth Council win prestigious award

Written on . Posted in Community, Grants, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest Youth Council were awarded the High Sheriff’s Shield and received a cheque for £1,000 for their #URNotALone Bullying Awareness project.

Epping Forest Youth Council awarded the High Sheriff's Shield

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

They were presented with the High Sheriff’s Shield at the High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony by Mr Nicholas Charrington, the 834th recorded High Sherriff, at Hylands House in Chelmsford on 18 March 2015. The High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony gives well-deserved tributes and thanks to people who have made a major contribution to community safety and crime prevention in Essex.

The #URNotALone Bullying Awareness project produced and distributed 1,200 wristband memory sticks promoting Bullying Awareness websites. These websites promote support numbers and guidance for young people and parents who need help with bullying. The wristbands were given to all year 9 pupils in the Epping Forest district.

Youth Councillors Matthew Tinker, Joseph Pascoe and Jaymey McIvor along with Di Butler and Louis Walton from the Epping Forest District Community Health and Wellbeing Team, were present to receive the award.

More than 43 voluntary and community organisations were presented with trophies, certificates and grants totalling £23,471.

Award winners from the Epping Forest district

Epping Forest Youth Council

Winner of High Sheriffs’ Shield 2014/15 plus £1,000 to help raise awareness of the impact of bullying amongst young people – Epping Forest Youth Council website.

Crucial Crew Epping Forest

£1,000 to help pay for an educational workbook for use in the 2015 Crucial Crew Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Education programme for 10-11 year old children in Epping Forest and Brentwood districts – video of 2013 Crucial Crew.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF)

Garden maintenance – £600 to buy equipment for a garden maintenance project helping vulnerable, elderly and disabled people across Epping Forest district – VAEF gardening service.

Home safety for older people – £500 to assist with the installation of enhanced key safes in the homes of vulnerable people in Epping Forest district – VAEF home safety.

Waltham Abbey Youth 2000

£1,000 towards the cost of a confidential counselling facility for young people.


Energy efficiency grants

Written on . Posted in Grants, Housing, Housing repairs, Media, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your council, Your home

Feeling the cold? Do you need help with the cost of fitting energy-saving improvements in your home?

We offer financial assistance and grants to home owners for small-scale energy efficiency works such as draught proofing or loft insulation. Limited funding is available for homeowners and private tenants who are disabled or over 60, and on a means tested benefit to assist with energy efficiency measures.

Energy efficiency image

If you are not eligible for this funding, there are other ways we can assist you in making your home more energy efficient.

Grants available

We also offer grants to homeowners, private tenants and landlords for

  • Disabled facilities grants up to £30,000
    (including widening doorways, installing stairlifts, building ramps, etc)
  • Decent homes repayable assistance up to £10,000
    (including work that is necessary to make the property meet the Decent Homes Standard, etc)
  • Small works repayable assistance up to £3,000
    (including repairs to roofs, gutters, windows and improvements to paths, steps and stairs both inside, etc)
  • Empty homes repayable assistance up to £10,000
    (including any work necessary to make the property meet the Decent Homes Standard)

Find out more

Look at our Private Sector Housing information or contact the Private Sector Housing Team (Grants and C.A.R.E.) for details


Winter business briefing published

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Chairman, Commercial properties, Councillors, Environmental health, Food safety, Grants, Licensing, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your council, Your home, Your money

The latest issue of One Business Briefing is now available. It includes articles on how to make marketing and social media work more successfully for you and funding to help train staff in digital skills and much more.

Cover of Winter 2014 One Business Briefing

Download the briefing

The winter issue focuses on opportunities for new and established businesses across Epping Forest – from free sessions and guidance to make marketing and social media work more successfully for you to funding to help train staff in digital skills and for strategic advice to grow your business.

Several successful events in recent weeks demonstrated the variety of business owners in our district, as well as the passion and drive that fuels our local economy.

As we move into the New Year, the importance of investing in the future is highlighted; specifically in supporting young people at the very start of their careers, as well as providing support for key sectors and geographic areas. This is reflected in our latest issue of the briefing, which reports on the recent Investors in Young People Awards Celebration and announces support for tourism and town and district centres across our patch.

Join our mailing list

If you would like to receive future editions of One Business Briefing

As always, we would welcome any feedback on how useful these updates are and suggestions for future editions.

#OurDay a day in the life of your council

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Environmental health, Food safety, Grants, Housing repairs, Media, Meetings, Older people, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Wednesday 26 November 2014 was #OurDay, a Local Government Association (LGA) initiative using Twitter to give the public an insight into the hundreds of jobs councils do every day.

#OurDay is an opportunity for people who work in local government to share about their working day and the services they are providing. From binmen to housing officers, Chief Executive to countryside team, and everyone in between there are lots of local government stories to share.

#OurDay poster

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture and click start slideshow.

Want to know more?

Find out what was tweeted


Cabinet supports homes for local people

Written on . Posted in Arts, Benefits, Business, Consultation, Council tax, Councillors, Grants, Health, Housing, Local business, Our activities, Out and about, Planning, Playschemes, Sports, Supporting business, Your council, Your home, Your money

Proposals for 15 affordable rented housing units on the site of hard to let garages in Vere Road, Loughton received the backing of councillors at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 3 November.

  • Due to technical issues there is no sound in the first few minutes of the webcast.

Affordable homes plan for brownfield site

The proposals to lease the land to Moat Housing Association were presented by Housing Portfolio Holder David Stallan. Subject to planning permission Moat Housing would develop 1 and 2 bedroom flats with associated parking on the site. Epping Forest District Council would receive £425,000 in exchange for a 999 year lease of the land to be used to fund the council’s own house building programme and other regeneration schemes.

Moat and the council would also aim to provide 14 additional car parking spaces for lease to residents of the new development being built next to the site on land formerly occupied by the Sir Winston Churchill public house.

Councillor Stallan assured councillors that full consultation on the proposed development would be carried out with local residents through the planning application process.

Leisure strategy and business loans

Other items debated at cabinet included the council’s leisure and cultural strategy, Council Tax and Local Council Tax Support Scheme, Non Domestic Rates and the Essex voluntary and community sector framework.

The Council is to support a scheme by start-up loans, a Government backed agency that offers loans of up to £10,000 to new businesses in the start up phase or first year of trading. Meetings are being held with the aim of taking the project forward in the next few months. Start-up is one of a series of initiatives to be publicised to local businesses at the Council’s Access to Funding Roadshow to be held at the Civic Offices on 17 November.


Creativity Awards for young people

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Grants, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

If you have a real talent or interest in the arts, culture and heritage, we would like to support you in further developing your skills with our new Creativity Award.

Epping Forest District Council’s Creativity Awards are open to every young person from the Epping Forest district, aged between 13 and 25 years. Ranging from £50 to £1,500, they are designed to support and develop artistic and creative talent.

Creativity Awards flyer

To be considered for a Creativity Award, applicants are required to demonstrate their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help them develop their talent. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are actively pursuing their area of interest – this can be through volunteering, education, exhibition, performance or other routes.

The awards are open to individuals and groups (a minimum of 3 people) who are looking for support for their creative activity. This could be a group that is already established (such as art clubs, theatre groups, choirs or orchestras) or one that is formed especially to apply for funding. This year we’re also opening up the awards to include heritage projects and all young people’s programmes through our museum service.

If you need help with fees for a course or for the purchasing of special equipment, if you live in the district, or volunteer at either of our museums, get in touch today.

Apply now

You can apply online at – the deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 4 January 2015.

Contact us

For more information please contact Epping Forest District Council Arts Development team


Finance roadshow rolls into Epping

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Media, Older people, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your money

In conjunction with the Essex Innovation Programme, we are delighted to be hosting the Access to Finance Roadshow at the civic offices in Epping on 17 November.

This is a free event from 9am to 11:30am on 17 November that will bring together a range of funding organisations to

  • provide details of the funding that is available for businesses
  • introduce businesses to the Essex Innovation Programme
  • introduce businesses to partners and organisations who can offer further assistance and advice to reach new international markets
  • engage with businesses to understand their funding needs

The event will cover

  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Working with universities and colleges (Knowledge transfer partnerships / apprenticeships)
  • European funding
  • Regional funding
  • Funding for rural businesses
  • Project partners/ partner searches
  • Bid writing support
  • Innovation support
  • Business mentoring
  • Academic support

You will also have the opportunity to network with other businesses.

Register here

This is a free event and refreshments will be provided, but places are limited and you do need to register in order to attend. For further details and to register for a place go to the Epping event registration page.

The Roadshow will be taking place across Essex so if you are unable to make it to our event you may be able to go another. For details of all the events  go to the Invest Essex Events page.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the event please contact us

We are pleased to support Global Entrepreneurship Week, 17 to 23 November 2014, the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship.

One Shops Local champions local business

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Support local business in Epping Forest – add your business to or join the One Shops Local mailing list.

As the world around us changes, so must we and the world of business is no exception. One Shops Local was created to support local independent businesses within Epping Forest, and help them to survive and thrive in today’s tough market.

The campaign was created nearly 3 years ago by the One Epping Forest Local Strategic Partnership, in the belief that independently owned businesses play a vital role in ensuring we have a vibrant, resilient economy.

One Shops Local logo

How can shopping locally benefit me?

Many people may be concerned that shopping locally is more expensive and less convenient, however this is not necessarily the case. In fact shopping locally can benefit the community, not just the business owner.

When you spend money in locally run, independent businesses, more of your money is returned to the local economy than if you were to spend the same amount in a national chain. Putting money into the local economy, rather than displacing it elsewhere creates jobs for local people, and helps fund many things from the maintenance of the local infrastructure to the emergency services.

Despite all this, you may still be asking how can shopping locally directly benefit me? The answer is that local shops can tailor their business to suit the specific needs of local people, create  unique, bespoke items to suit you, and often give you a great deal to boot. After all, they want you to come back again, and what better incentive than VIP treatment?

Get involved

So how can you get involved? Whether you are a business owner or a resident or visitor, you can help your local economy to thrive by being part of the One Shops Local campaign.

If you own your own independent business within Epping Forest you can sign up for free and have free advertising to over 1,250 subscribers and 2,000 monthly website visitors. If you’re a resident or visitor, your support is still greatly needed. You can do this by

You will get access to many great deals and offers as well as unique shops and businesses that you may not yet have discovered.

Visit, add your business or join our mailing list, support local business in Epping Forest.