Local Plan report to be considered

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Statement following the Co-operation for Sustainable Development Board meeting held on 22 September 2015.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need report

On 8 October 2015 the Epping Forest District Council cabinet will consider a report on Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) within Epping Forest, Harlow, Uttlesford and East Herts. This joint report was produced by external consultants on behalf of the 4 authorities. The Epping Forest District Council cabinet report is due to be published on 1 October 2015.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment update

On 22 September 2015, the Co-operation for Sustainable Development Board (the Board) noted the updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the West Essex/East Herts area (covering East Herts, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford districts) and an associated joint report on economic growth.

The revised SHMA identifies the objectively assessed housing need for the SHMA area using the latest published population projections as the starting point. The new SHMA identifies a total objectively assessed housing need for the Housing Market Area as a whole of 46,100 net additional dwellings over the Local Plan period 2011-2033.

The figures are broken down by district

  • East Herts DC 16,400
  • Epping Forest DC 11,300
  • Harlow DC 5,900
  • Uttlesford DC 12,500

It also gives a breakdown of the OAHN for each district by tenure and dwelling size. The identification of the objectively assessed housing need is not the number of houses to be provided but forms the basis for each authority to develop its own housing requirements. Taking account of policy, supply factors and other constraints, all 4 authorities will be considering the SHMA and economic reports at a local level.

Not the final figures

Planning Policy Portfolio Holder, Councillor Richard Bassett, reiterated that “these figures should not be portrayed as the final figures for our housing requirement. Further work will need to be done to assess the constraints within the district e.g. Green Belt land, flood zones and of course Epping Forest itself. Having done this, it may prove necessary to negotiate with our partnering authorities to identify locations across the SHMA that have the greatest ability to accommodate growth.”

Discuss the distribution of proposed housing

In accordance with the legal obligations of the Duty to Cooperate the Board continues to discuss the distribution of proposed housing and jobs growth across the Strategic Housing Market Area/Functional Economic Market Area. This includes ensuring that Strategic Housing Market Area housing needs are met, taking account of availability, viability and deliverability, with the outcomes of any discussions being taken back to the individual authorities for decision making.

The Board will work towards the production of a memorandum of understanding to support the joint working and meeting the duty to cooperate.

This report will be used to inform policies for Epping Forest District Council’s draft Local Plan.

 

First Steps – Epping Upland Neighbourhood Plan

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Epping Upland Parish Council are inviting comments on their proposal to designate the parish as a Neighbourhood Area.

Epping Upland Parish Council has begun preparation for a Neighbourhood Plan. They have submitted an application for the designation of the parish as a Neighbourhood Area to Epping Forest District Council. The first stage of consultation is to identify the potential plan area. Formal consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan itself will come later.

Epping Upland

Proposing a Neighbourhood Plan

Any Parish or Town Council can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.  The Plans give communities an opportunity to shape the way in which their local area develops over the coming years. Neighbourhood Plans must be prepared in accordance with the District Council’s Local Plan and can be used to:

  • Develop a shared vision for the local area;
  • Choose where new homes, community facilities and other forms of development should be built:
  • Identify and protect important local green spaces; and
  • Influence what new buildings should look like.

Consultation on the area to be covered started on 17 August 2015 and runs for 4 weeks until 5.00pm on 14 September 2015.

Wish to comment on the proposed plan?

Send your comments to ldfconsult@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or by post to:

Forward Planning, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ.

Please be aware that all comments received will be publicly available and may be included on our website. Personal details such as the respondents address, telephone number and signature will not be published.

Councillors discuss Local Plan and elections

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Councillors received updates on a wide range of projects when Cabinet Portfolio Holders reported to the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 28 July 2015.

Democracy live - watch our council meetings online

Local Plan

Items included a comprehensive report on the Local Plan, progress on major schemes at Langston Road (Epping Forest Retail Park) and St John’s Epping, significant improvements following the troubled introduction of the new 4-day domestic waste collection contract and a summary of the council’s latest financial position following the Chancellor’s first budget since the General Election in May.

Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

Councillor John Philip reported on successful introduction of Individual Electoral Registration before the last General Election. Epping Forest District Council produced the best electoral register in the country according to statistics released by the Electoral Commission. Councillor Philip made the announcement as the canvass for the first update to the register begins.

More than half of all households have already responded to the update, although that means some 25,000 households are still to reply. Councillor Philip was pleased to say that the vast majority of replies have been received electronically saving time and money. He appealed to fellow councillors to encourage residents to complete the canvass by returning all outstanding forms electronically as soon as possible.

Council housing rent reductions

Housing Portfolio Holder David Stallan responded to concerns raised about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on council housing rent reductions. One per cent per cuts per year over the next 4 years could impact on the council’s ability to build more new homes.

Further concerns were raised regarding plans to make councils sell high value houses. Councillor Stallan said that further evaluation would help to assess the impact on the Epping Forest district.

St John’s Road development

Assets Portfolio Holder Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg said that consultation would take place as the St John’s Road development reached planning application stage.

Overview and Scrutiny

Councillors welcomed the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which highlighted the investigative role of the council in checking the work of its own cabinet and other organisations as diverse as the police, public transport, health, education and social services.

Mick Merrick

Council Chairman Councillor Liz Webster paid tribute to Mick Merrick, one of the council’s best known and popular members of staff who passed away earlier in the year. Flowers and condolences are to be sent to his family.

 

Cabinet accelerates council housebuilding

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The new council housebuilding programme is to be accelerated by Epping Forest District Council. Housing Portfolio Holder David Stallan reported progress on a host of new schemes at various stages of planning and development to the meeting of Cabinet on 23 July 2015.

New council housing is being planned and developed across the district including Nazeing, High Ongar, Chipping Ongar, Theydon Bois, Matching Green, Roydon, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton.

Cllr David Stallan at cabinet

Finance Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou continued the Housing theme with Councillor Stallan as they outlined measures to protect and retain housing related assets within the district.

Councillor Stavrou reported a 97.79 per cent Council Tax collection rate for 2014/15. Councillors then went on to approve the terms of consultation with residents for the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2016/17.

The special status of Copped Hall was noted when Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller reported on the latest Character Appraisal for the Copped Hall Conservation Area. Councillor Waller referred to the rich history of Copped Hall as far back as the 13th century and its connections with William Shakespeare and the first performance of A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. Cabinet approved the Appraisal and amendments to the Conservation Area boundary.

Safeguarding local people

Councillor Waller described the Council’s Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan as a comprehensive piece of work produced with meticulous care and attention. Councillors and Staff of all councils are required to meet duties of care under Section 11 Children Act and Care Act 2014. Many different people may be considered vulnerable and both councillors and staff receive training in recognising and reporting their concerns.

Cabinet went on to confirm the adoption of the Prevent Policy and Action Plan as part of the Safeguarding agenda directed particularly against radicalisation and extremism. Epping Forest District Council has invested in ‘first-class’ individuals to support safeguarding. Cabinet approved a request by Councillor Waller to include a bid for future staff funding in the next budget.

CCTV

Continuing the theme of protecting local residents, Cabinet agreed a report proposing to review CCTV funding. Councillors heard that around 480 CCTV cameras at around 40 separate sites are currently monitored and maintained by the Council.

Cameras installed several years ago are reaching the age at which replacement will become necessary. Pressure for the installation of additional cameras continues. Cabinet authorised the Director of Communities to prepare a fully costed CCTV Strategy and Funding Plan for future consideration.

Local Plan

Cabinet approved the latest steps for introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Progress forms an important part of the development of Local Plan policies on which the Council will consider planning applications. Money paid by developers to CIL as part of planning permissions would help to meet the costs of providing smaller infrastructure items to meet local need.

Waste and recycling service improving

Cabinet welcomed recent improvements to the waste and recycling service since the problematic introduction of the four-day collection weeks in May. Portfolio Holder John Philip repeated the Council’s apology to residents. He said that people had suffered difficulties and not all problems had been resolved although the situation was much improved.

Cabinet approved a report that individual compensation to a small number of complainants was not suitable. Further reviews of progress would follow and once the service was working properly it would be more appropriate to look at the issue district-wide.

Broadway and Langston Road developments

Portfolio Holder Councillor Ann Grigg received Cabinet approval to allow Higgins Homes PLC to take responsibility for the construction of a new land-mark building on the site of the Winston Churchill pub in Loughton Broadway.

Cabinet went on to note progress on the Epping Forest Retail Park at Langston Road following the purchase of the T11 site adjoining the Council-owned depot, and a licence to enable temporary car parking on T11 pending development.

Discussions are at an advanced stage with a number of potential retail tenants while plans are progressing for highway improvement works.

 

Waste contractor taken to task

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The changes to waste and recycling leading to significant problems with kerbside collections must improve according to Cabinet Portfolio Holder Councillor Will Breare-Hall. In a statement to Cabinet on 11 June 2015, Councillor Breare-Hall outlined a list of different problems and steps being taken to get the service improved.

Cllr Will Breare-Hall at cabinet

Waste and recycling statement

Councillor Lesley Wagland pressed Councillor Breare-Hall on the underlying problems of the contract. Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread apologised to residents for the disruption and assured councillors that the issues would be resolved.

Cabinet 11 June 2015

Health, planning and housing at cabinet

Councillor Richard Morgan, Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee briefed Cabinet on the presentation by Barts Health NHS Trust and the serious failings at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Among other items, Planning Portfolio Holder Richard Bassett brought a report to Cabinet on the designation of North Weald Bassett Neighbourhood Plan. He also asked Cabinet to agree the updated Local Development Scheme and consider future spending on the Local Plan. Council Leader Chris Whitbread stressed the importance of getting the process right and ensuring the final Local Plan is sound.

Housing Portfolio Holder David Stallan reported on housing-related support charges to council tenants and private users of the Careline service. Councillor Stallan sought Cabinet approval to ask the Housing Select Committee to look at the merits of de-designating some council properties reserved for older people so that they can be let to younger tenants.

Subject to the support of residents, Cabinet also approved a proposal by Councillor Stallan to bring forward construction of the proposed Torrington Drive off-street parking scheme. Each of 64 households in the affected area of Torrington Drive would be offered a permit at a cost of £43 per year.

Cabinet went on to approve the final set of Standard Licensing Conditions for Holiday Caravan and Camping Sites in Epping Forest District proposed by Councillor Stallan.

Making way for Epping Forest Shopping Park

Cabinet accepted the £2.4 million tender from T J Evers Ltd to design and build a new Grounds Maintenance and Fleet Operations depot for the Council at Oakwood Hill. Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg recommended approval of the tender. The new depot is needed to accommodate services vacating Langston Road depot prior to its redevelopment as Loughton’s new Epping Forest Shopping Park.

Insurance

Epping Forest District Council has saved £125,000 on the renewal of its insurance policies with Zurich Municipal.

 

Waste and recycling statement by Councillor Will Breare-Hall

I’m grateful for this opportunity to update the Cabinet, Members and residents on the latest situation with the waste, recycling and street cleansing services, delivered by our contractor, Biffa.

I’d like to begin by making it clear that I consider Biffa’s failure to deliver a universally acceptable service, of the standard we require and our residents expect, to be extremely serious. I share the very real anger and frustration of all those who Biffa have let down, and especially those who have suffered repeated missed collections. I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to all those affected, and assure them that I and the council’s officers are doing all in our power to compel Biffa to urgently resolve these problems. My statement this evening is not, therefore, a defence of this situation. Rather, it is an account of what has happened and what is being done to correct it.

I’d like to briefly remind the Cabinet of the procurement exercise that led to the appointment of Biffa.

The previous waste management contract expired in November last year. In March 2013 we began the procurement process by means of Competitive Dialogue, with initially eight bidders, which was reduced to 4 by the time we reached the final stage. In the early stages of the exercise the tender assessment criteria was based 60% on price and 40% on quality, but at the final stage this was changed to 50% for both price and quality, to reflect and emphasise this council’s focus on quality. The 50% awarded for quality was subdivided into 40% for a technical assessment by officers and 10% for a Member interview panel.

The procurement process was led by a project team that consisted of officers from this council and representatives from Essex County Council and the Council’s specialist consultants, WYG Limited. Key elements of the assessment process included considering company structure; company finances and insurances; the ability to deliver the services being tendered; health and safety; equalities, and business continuity.

At the Final Tender stage the council asked the 4 remaining contractors to bid on 2 service levels – a Monday to Friday service and a Tuesday to Friday service – and agreed that the lowest priced submission for each of these would be considered for assessment. The highest scoring tender bid was from Biffa and that was based on a 4 day collection service – something they deliver in authorities elsewhere in the country. Biffa’s bid was assessed by technical officers and the council’s expert consultants, WYG, who confirmed that the level of resources Biffa had allocated for the new service were sufficient and that there was no operational reason why a 4 day service would not be feasible.

The decision to award the 10 year contract to Biffa was made by Cabinet on 19 May 2014. There followed a mobilisation period to ensure a smooth transition from the previous contractor and this was completed on the 4 November last year, when Biffa assumed responsibility for the service.

In their tender bid, Biffa proposed that the 4 day service commence in March of this year but, mindful that such a major service change would require considerable preparation, I instructed that this be put back to at least May. Accordingly, the new service commenced on the 12 May. Biffa had, therefore, operated the service successfully for 6 months prior to the introduction of their new fleet, new technology, and the 4 day collection schedule.

Unfortunately, as is now widely recognised, a number of problems have beset the service from the 12 May, not all of which are directly linked to the introduction of the 4 day service.

These include

  • IT failures affecting the in-cab technology that contains the new collection rounds and the supply of live information back to Biffa management and the council
  • issues with the compactors on some of the new freighters not operating whilst the vehicles were in motion
  • problems with safety sensors on the bin lifts
  • faults with the on-board weighing equipment, that prevented the freighters from accepting the full pay load
  • the need for the work force to familiarise themselves with new rounds and adapt to longer working days

For many residents, the switch to a 4 day service also necessitated a change in the day, and time of day, of their collection. For some, notably those in Chigwell, Debden and Waltham Abbey, it also resulted in a change in the collection week of their recycling and black bin. A letter was sent to every household in the district detailing these changes, but a number of residents remained unclear as to the new arrangements and I accept that this communication could have, and should have, been clearer and measures put in place to mitigate the impact of the week change. I have instructed officers to issue a reminder to residents of their collection day, mindful that the numerous catch-up collections Biffa have had to undertake has caused many people additional confusion. Further publicity will be distributed once the collection service is stabilised.

Of course, not all the services that Biffa provides have been affected. The vast majority of collections are completed successfully, and street cleansing services have continued with little or no disruption, but a significant number of residents, located across the district, have endured some, sometimes severe, disruption and inconvenience. It is estimated that the number of missed collections over the initial 4 week period was around 15,000, out of a total of 432,000. To date, this has generated around 9,000 phone calls and 3,000 emails to the council’s customer contact centre.

As an outsourced service the ability of the council to directly influence its delivery is inevitably limited but, from the moment these problems were identified, the council’s officers and staff have been working tirelessly to help Biffa address them, and to minimise the impact on residents. They have worked long hours, and in many cases over weekends, in often difficult circumstances. I would like to thank each of them for all they continue to do on behalf of our residents. If effort alone were sufficient to solve the problems Biffa have encountered they would have been resolved a long time ago.

Biffa themselves have committed significant additional resources to dealing with the problems they have encountered, bringing in extra staff and vehicles and undertaking catch-up collections on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. However, the problems are not yet resolved, and collections are still being missed, so, together with the Leader, Chief Executive and the Director of Neighbourhoods, I continue to put pressure on Biffa at all levels of the company. Meetings are taking place with the Managing Director of Biffa Municipal, the Director Commercial, the Director Operations, the Regional Manager, the Business Manager, the Project Mobilisation Manager, the Process, Quality and Information Manager, and the Senior Business Manager, amongst others. The next of these is tomorrow morning, after which I will be able to update Members again.

At the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on Tuesday of this week I asked that they undertake a thorough review of the implementation of the 4 day collection service, which I’m grateful to them for agreeing to do. It’s very important that the causes of the problems we’ve faced are both identified and understood, and that lessons are learnt for the future. In the meantime, I can assure the Cabinet that my priority, and that of all those involved, is to bring a swift resolution to this situation.

 

New arrangements for pre-application planning advice

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Epping, Garages, Housing, Local business, Local land charges, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

New arrangements for pre-application planning advice on domestic extensions, adverts and other commercial alterations will be starting from 1 May 2015.

Planning

We are expanding our pre-application planning service in order to ensure prospective planning applications are well-prepared and have the appropriate information and drawings.

The fee for this service is £48 (including VAT) which is payable at the time of the enquiry. This fee can be paid by debit or credit card over the phone or by sending a cheque or banker’s draft to the planning office.

Find out more

 

First steps for Loughton Neighbourhood Plan

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Loughton Town Council has taken the first steps towards preparing a Neighbourhood Plan by informing Epping Forest District Council of their intentions and submitting an application for the designation of their parish as a Neighbourhood Area.

Any Parish or Town Council can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan if they wish. The Plans give communities an opportunity to shape the way in which their local area develops over the coming years. Neighbourhood Development Plans, which must be prepared in accordance with the District Councils Local Plan, can be used to

  • Develop a shared vision for the local area
  • Choose where new homes, community facilities and other forms of development should be built
  • Identify and protect important local green spaces
  • Influence what new buildings should look like

Loughton Town Council

Loughton Town Council has identified the area to be covered by the plan as the whole parish. Epping Forest District Council, as the local planning authority, is required to publicise this proposed area for a period of at least 6 weeks so that people can comment on it.

This is a consultation on the identification of the potential plan area, not a formal consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan itself, which will come later as the Plan progresses.

The consultation commences on 9 February 2015 and will run for 6 weeks until 5pm on 20 March 2015. Due to technical difficulties the consultation has been extended to 5pm on 27 March 2015.

Comments

About Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by Government through the Localism Act in 2011.

Once they have successfully completed the preparation process, Neighbourhood Plans will legally have policy status and will be used to help decide planning applications. Within the parameters set by the district-wide local plan, a neighbourhood plan must be used to positively encourage sustainable development.

Following the end of this 6 week period, the District Council must decide whether to designate the proposed neighbourhood area. It should be noted that once a designation is made no other organisation or body may be designated for that neighbourhood area until that designation expires or is withdrawn. One designated, the Parish Council may commence work on preparing the Neighbourhood Plan.

A draft Plan must be subject to a formal 6 week public consultation before being submitted to the District Council for examination by an independent Examiner. If the Plan is approved, a referendum is held within the Parish to decide whether the Plan should be used by the District Council to decide upon planning applications within the neighbourhood area.

Within the Epping Forest district, Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Parish Council, Chigwell Parish Council, Theydon Bois Parish Council, Buckhurst Hill Parish Council are already working on a Neighbourhood Plan for their area.

 

Please be aware that all comments received will be publicly available and may be included on our website. Personal details such as the respondents address, telephone number and signature will not be published.

 

Energy switch, M11 and night lighting discussed at council

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

A new M11 junction, saving money on energy bills, Essex part-night lighting, council house building and more were discussed at council on Tuesday 4 November 2014.

Duty to cooperate

Councillors Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council, and Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder, met representatives from neighbouring council areas to discuss issues of mutual interest in the production local plans. Among the items debated was a consensus of support for the development of a new Junction 7a on the M11.

Councils are required to meet and work together as far as possible in the coordination of local plans setting out housing, economic and environmental policies for the next 20 years or so. Known as the Duty to Cooperate Board, other councils in the group include Harlow, Uttlesford, Broxbourne, East Herts, Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council and the London Boroughs of Redbridge, Enfield and Waltham Forest.

Chairman’s schedule

Council Chairman Tony Boyce, outlined a packed schedule of recent civic activities. This included a trip on the Epping Ongar Railway and the promotion of the district as a visitor attraction to other council chairmen and mayors. He also opened the CAB annual general meeting, went on a trip with older residents on a Community Transport bus between North Weald and Epping, visited refurbished halls in Roydon and North Weald, attended community events at Waltham Abbey, spent an evening with the air-cadets and visited Chelmsford to learn more about the Territorial Army.

Energy switch

Residents will be given the opportunity to cut their energy bills. Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Gary Waller recommended that anyone wishing to save money look out for more information to appear in the Christmas edition of The Forester and on the council website.

The second Essex Energy Switch starts on 2 December 2014. It is run in conjunction with Essex County Council and offers residents who want to switch providers the chance to pay less for their gas and electricity bills. A previous scheme earned savings of several hundred pounds for Essex residents.

Train diplomacy lights up district

District councillors called upon Essex County Council to think again on the part-night lighting  scheme early in the morning when people are going to work. A motion was presented by councillor Stephen Murray. He briefly listed the number of trains taking local residents to work before 6am each day as well as early morning buses. Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Gary Waller supported the motives of councillor Murray.

With tongue firmly in cheek, councillor Waller described how he and fellow district councillors had discussed the very same issue with County Council Portfolio Holder Rodney Bass in a first class carriage compartment on the Epping Ongar heritage railway visit hosted by council Chairman Tony Boyce. Surrounded by district councillors Gary Waller, John Philip, Anne Grigg, David Stallan and Will Breare-Hall in a scene reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel, Councillor Bass was made aware of the feeling across the district council chamber in supporting of turning the lights on earlier. Councillors expected confirmation of good news from Essex County Council in the next few days.

Operations Partner – North Weald Airfield

Councillors agreed to set aside up to £60,000 to procure and appoint marketing agents to help the council seek an operational partner for aviation management at North Weald Airfield.

Children’s services

Overview and Scrutiny Chairman councillor Richard Morgan appealed to fellow councillors to get their questions ready for a presentation by Essex County Council on children’s services at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 10 November. Members of the public can also submit a question to Essex County Council by emailing democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk by 4pm on the day of the meeting.

Council house building

As the new council house building programme gathers momentum, the collaborative approach and consultation with ward members was welcomed by councillors. Reflecting the importance of the house building programme, the revised terms of reference were approved for the Council House Building Cabinet Committee.

 

Cabinet

Written on . Posted in Housing, Local plan / planning our future, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Your area, Your council

North Weald Bassett Masterplan Study, Epping Town Neighbourhood Area Consultation, Survey of the River Roding and more were discussed at cabinet on Monday 6 October.

Local Plan

Another significant step towards the production of the Local Plan took place at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on Monday 6 October when the North Weald Masterplanning Study was accepted into the evidence base. The Study includes options for housing, transport, employment, aviation and defensible green belt boundaries.

As one of the largest assets in the ownership of the Council, the report represents an important step as landlord as well as planning authority. However, councillors were anxious to make clear that the adoption of the Masterplan does not mean any final decisions have been taken. The Plan only outlines different options for the future of the airfield and surrounding area based on the expertise of technical consultants and consultation with local people.

Following the adoption of the Masterplan, Cabinet went on to agree proposals to find an operational partner to work up an aviation business plan for the airfield. The aim is to secure a sustainable future for aviation with the aid of an existing commercial airfield operator with the expertise to increase income, improve efficiency and help guide future plans. Cabinet agreed to seek the approval of up to £60,000 from Full Council to take its proposals forward.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council welcomed the reports and the drive to maximise income from the airfield including potential Park and Ride proposals supported by local residents.

New housebuilding schemes

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor David Stallan presented reports on progress with the Council’s new housebuilding schemes. Among the decisions approved by Cabinet was the acceleration of the annual Housebuilding programme from 20 to 30 properties per year in phases 3 to 6. Phase 1 is already well under way and Phase 2 proposes a 56 home development at Burton Road.

9 new homes to be built in Waltham Abbey as part of Phase 1 are to be named after the Council’s former District Health and Housing Officer and joint Chief Executive. The flats in Harveyfields will be called John Scott Court.

Councillors supported proposals to accept delegated powers from Essex County Council, allowing Epping Forest District Council to optimise the control of works to ‘ordinary’ watercourses in order to minimise flood risk.

River Roding

Erosion and the condition of bridges across the River Roding will be investigated. Cabinet agreed a budget of £15,000 towards survey costs.

Neighbourhood Plan

Epping is the latest town or parish to seek approval for a designated area to cover a Neighbourhood Plan. It joins a growing list of local councils including, Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers, Chigwell and Theydon Bois, seeking greater involvement in planning through the Neighbourhood Plan process. Applications have also been received from Buckhurst Hill and North Weald Parish Councils.

 

First steps towards a Neighbourhood Plan for Buckhurst Hill Parish Council

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Consultation, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council has taken the first steps towards preparing a Neighbourhood Plan by informing Epping Forest District Council of their intentions and submitting an application for the designation of their parish as a Neighbourhood Area.

Any Parish or Town Council can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan if they wish. The Plans give communities an opportunity to shape the way in which their local area develops over the coming years. Neighbourhood Development Plans, which must be prepared in accordance with the District Councils Local Plan, can be used to

  • Develop a shared vision for the local area
  • Choose where new homes, community facilities and other forms of development should be built
  • Identify and protect important local green spaces
  • Influence what new buildings should look like

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council has identified the area to be covered by the plan as the whole parish. Epping Forest District Council, as the local planning authority, is required to publicise this proposed area for a period of at least 6 weeks so that people can comment on it.

A copy of the application, along with further information on neighbourhood planning, can be viewed at www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning

This is a consultation on the identification of the potential plan area, not a formal consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan itself, which will come later as the Plan progresses.

The consultation will run for 6 weeks from 22 September 5pm on 31 October 2014.

Comments

Please be aware that all comments received will be publicly available and may be included on our website. Personal details such as the respondents address, telephone number and signature will not be published.

About Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by Government through the Localism Act in 2011.

Once they have successfully completed the preparation process, Neighbourhood Plans will legally have policy status and will be used to help decide planning applications. Within the parameters set by the district-wide local plan, a neighbourhood plan must be used to positively encourage sustainable development.

Following the end of this 6 week period, the District Council must decide whether to designate the proposed neighbourhood area. It should be noted that once a designation is made no other organisation or body may be designated for that neighbourhood area until that designation expires or is withdrawn. One designated, the Parish Council may commence work on preparing the Neighbourhood Plan.

A draft Plan must be subject to a formal 6 week public consultation before being submitted to the District Council for examination by an independent Examiner. If the Plan is approved, a referendum is held within the Parish to decide whether the Plan should be used by the District Council to decide upon planning applications within the neighbourhood area.

Within Epping Forest District, Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Parish Council, Chigwell Parish Council, Theydon Bois Parish Council are already working on a Neighbourhood Plan for their area.