The Burton Road fire, proposals for the St Johns Road development, the Epping Forest Shopping Park and the Epping Forest District Local Plan submission were amongst the topics of discussion at Full Council on 25 September 2018.
Burton Road fire
Council Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread set the record straight in response to questions asked by Councillor Steven Neville relating to the fire at Burton Road on 17 August 2018.
Councillor Whitbread said: “Having read the comparisons with the Grenfell disaster on the front page of the local paper recently, we are concerned that sensational headlines will cause a great deal of unnecessary anxiety for potential tenants. Links with the Grenfell Tower do a disservice to the people involved in that disaster as well as families currently waiting for a new home on our waiting list.
He urged: “Burton Road is a completely different building and it is not yet finished. The fire was caused by a construction related accident, not the materials used. Unlike Grenfell, Burton Road only has four floors. The interior was practically untouched by the fire. Even if it had been possible for such a fire to start once the building was finished and occupied, all the evidence suggests people would have been able to escape unharmed. The building stood up remarkably well to the blaze.”
St Johns Road proposals
Options for a new leisure centre at the St Johns Road development site in Epping are being explored. Proposals are being discussed with the District Council’s current leisure provider Places for People and Epping Town Council.
The new leisure centre could form part of the larger St Johns development and could potentially include the first cinema in the town for decades, new shops, public open space and housing.
Local Plan progress
Planning Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Philip announced that Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan, a set of policies to manage development within the district up to 2033, has been submitted for approval to the Planning Inspectorate.
The Local Plan’s submission was delayed following a Judicial Review brought by CK Properties in March 2018.
New leisure hub for Waltham Abbey
Council was given an update on the new leisure centre in Waltham Abbey by Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Communities, Councillor Helen Kane. She informed Council that the new health and wellbeing hub is now in the final stages of construction and is on target to achieve its scheduled opening on 17 November 2018.
It’s a ‘Crime Not To Care’
In a bid to combat fly-tipping and increase awareness throughout the district, the Cleaner Essex Group will be ‘recycling’ the Crime not to Care campaign this year to highlight issues caused by fly tipping and how residents can help.
The campaign, due to launch in October, will ask residents and businesses to ‘Check, Challenge and Record’ when handing their waste over for disposal – ensuring waste is kept out of the hands of the rogue traders that fly-tip for profit.
New brands at Shopping Park
Home Bargains and Boots Plc are the last two brands to join the group retailers at the Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton.
Home Bargains opened its doors on 1 September 2018 and the lease on the final retail unit has now been agreed with Boots Plc, with completion imminent pending approval of the shop fit out.
Funding granted for inclusion project
Councillors noted a report which referred to the grant of extra funding from Action for Children, for the Epping Forest Inclusion Project. The project provides an important resource, offering a wide range of sport and leisure activities for children and young people with disabilities and their families.