Access a range of services over Christmas

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Our building may be closed from 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017 until 9am Tuesday 2 January 2018, but we are still providing a wide range of services by phone and online throughout the Christmas break.

Self serve online

Contact us

Non emergency

You can report missed bin collections, noise complaints, fly tipping, fraud, abandoned vehicles online

Emergency

If you need to report an emergency, please contact us on the below details.

  • Call 01992 564199 for housing related emergencies (loss of power, blockages, uncontainable leaks, if you are locked out of your home)
  • Call 01992 564000 for all other emergency enquiries

Your call will connect to the Mears support desk which will be manned 24/7 until the offices reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Social media

We will be able to assist you through the council’s social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook from 9am until 9pm every day throughout the Christmas period.

Pay for it

You are able to pay your council tax, rent, business rates and leasehold charges via the online payment portal and by phone 24/7.

  • Pay online
  • Pay by phone 01992 564600
  • The Debden Broadway cash office will close at 4:30pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopen 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2018
  • The payment kiosks in the civic offices, Epping will close at 4:40pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2018
  • The payment kiosk in Waltham Abbey library is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours

Benefit payments revised dates

2 scheduled Benefit payments will be made earlier than usual over the Christmas period.

  • Payments due on 25 December 2017 will be made on Friday 22 December 2017
  • Payments due on 1 January 2018 will be made on Wednesday 27 December 2017

Please remember that the period until the next payment will be slightly longer because it will revert to the original schedule.

Apply for it

Apply for planning permission, building regulations, council housing, licensing, jobs applications and more online. Applications made throughout this time will be processed when the offices reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Waste and recycling

Revised collections

  • Collections due Tuesday 26 December 2017 will be collected on Wednesday 27 December 2017
  • Collections due Wednesday 27 December 2017 will be collected on Thursday 28 December 2017
  • Collections due Thursday 28 December 2017 will be collected on Friday 29 December 2017
  • Collections due Friday 29 December 2017 will be collected on Saturday 30 December 2017

Your usual collection dates will resume on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Recycling REAL Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste throughout January 2018.

Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection. We are unable to recycle your fake Christmas trees, so please leave us real trees only!

Special collections

Our special collections service will close at 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and will resume at 9am on 2 January 2018.

Lost or found dogs

If you have lost or found a dog within the area, please contact us on the below number. Calls are monitored and handled by the Waltham Forest dog team.

  • Call 07815 512833

Car parks

Free weekend parking in December! All of our car parks are free on weekends throughout December and bank holidays.

Epping Forest District Museum

Epping Forest District Museum is closed from 4pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopens 10am on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Local Plan Council 14 December 2017

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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.

Free weekend parking throughout December

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We are offering free car parking on Saturdays and Sundays in 18 Epping Forest District Council owned car parks from Saturday 2 December to Sunday 31 December 2017.

car parks

Support local

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Sam Kane said: ”We hope that by relaxing the car parking charges over the weekends in the lead up to Christmas, we will help encourage our residents to shop locallySupporting our retailers and town centres throughout the Christmas period.”

”There are so many benefits to shopping locally. We want to give our residents easier access to our shops throughout the festive season, hopefully reducing the need to visit busy, overcrowded shopping centres and taking their custom outside the district.”

Further information

Council takes back management of car parks

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From 1 April 2017 Epping Forest District Council will take over the management of their 18 car parks, saving at least £58,600 each year for local taxpayers.

Car park

The District Council will now be responsible for processing season tickets, penalty charge notices (PCNs) and other associated functions run until now by the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).

New company to enforce

The Council has engaged a specialist company, NSL, to carry out day-to-day enforcement activities, as well as cash collection from the pay-and-display machines in the car parks.
Since 2011 Epping Forest District Council has partnered Essex County Council in NEPP, together with Harlow, Uttlesford, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring councils.

NEPP manage on-street parking

Until now NEPP has managed both on-street and off-street parking services in Epping Forest district for a number of years, and will continue to operate on-street parking enforcement and services in the district.

Efficiency improvements

The transfer of off-street management follows an analysis by the District Council which found that a number of efficiency improvements could be made, benefiting local taxpayers.

Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, commented: ”I am delighted that these new arrangements for our car parks are now being put in place. By taking functions back in-house and engaging the services of NSL, we can make very worthwhile savings, and I believe we shall provide a better service to the public as well.”

”Not only will the parking charges remain at the current level but we shall continue to operate car parks that have received the prestigious ParkMark award, demonstrating that they continue to attain the very highest standards in terms of safety and security.”

Cabinet 9 March 2017

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The Local Plan, better use of council assets, housing for homeless people, pay and display car parks and the investment of additional fees in the planning service dominated debate at Cabinet on 9 March.

Draft Local Plan consultation

Preliminary findings from the draft Local Plan consultation were presented by Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor John Philip to the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 9 March.

Councillor Philip outlined some clear themes coming through for more work on infrastructure and employment sites including the wider area of East Herts and Harlow. New potential sites and changes to previously identified sites are also being reviewed and will be fed into the revisions of the draft plan. A new transport assessment is also being done in conjunction with Essex County Council.

Councillor Philip emphasised that publication of the next draft depended on full analysis and assessment of the additional work programmed in over the next year or so. Councillors noted the initial findings of the consultation, agreed progression of the Local Plan to the next stage and approved the publication of the Council’s updated Local Development Scheme online.

Better use of council buildings

The interests of residents and customers must remain at the heart of council services. Council Leader Chris Whitbread received Cabinet support for proposals to reduce the need for office space at the Civic Offices in Epping.

Reports show flexible working by staff including home and remote working, and use of other council buildings could allow the Council to move out of the older part of the Civic Offices known as the Conder Building. Councillor Whitbread described the proposals as part of the wider transformation programme to improve services.

Pay and Display set to save £58,000

Final preparations have been agreed for the transfer of the council’s off-street parking management from the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) to NSL.

Portfolio Holder Gary Waller reminded fellow councillors of the improvements the change of contract will bring to residents and the Council. The Council will save £58,600 under the new arrangements even though Councillor Waller said that NSL did not submit the cheapest bid. They did submit the best quality bid. Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) rates remain the same.

Housing for Homeless People

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor Syd Stavrou received approval to progress plans for a small pilot scheme of three ‘Pods’ to accommodate people at Norway House in North Weald. The pods containing individual living accommodation and shared kitchens are manufactured by a North Weald based company. Subject to planning approval, the Council plans to help homeless people who would otherwise find themselves in Bed and Breakfast.

Increased planning application fees

Cabinet accepted an offer by the Department of Communities and Local Government to increase planning fees. Governance Portfolio Holder Richard Bassett confirmed that any extra income would be reinvested in planning services.

Free weekend parking in December 16

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There will be no pay and display car park charges in Epping Forest District Council car parks in the run-up to Christmas this year!

car parks

It will be free to park in Council car parks on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays throughout December 2016.

Making shopping locally easier

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller said: ”We have relaxed the car park charges throughout the month of December again this year, to make shopping as easy as possible for our residents in the run up to Christmas.”

Supporting local retailers

He continued: ”We hope that this will help to support our local retailers and town centres too, encouraging our residents to shop locally rather than taking their custom outside the district.”

Our civil enforcement officers will be patrolling as usual and all other conditions of the council car parks will still be in force.

Cabinet 1 December 2016

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The draft Local Plan, changes to the district’s off-street parking and the Council Tax Support Scheme were all subjects for discussion at Cabinet on 1 December 2016.

Changes to draft Local Plan will be public

Responding to a public question at Cabinet on 1 December, Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip gave assurances that all changes to the draft Local Plan would be made public. Councillor Philips said that the council had factored in comments from previous consultation as well as new evidence in formulating the draft Local Plan. He expected further changes to the draft Plan following analysis of the latest consultation. Separately Councillor Philip provided a financial update on the production of the Local Plan.

Partnership savings

Governance Portfolio Holder Councillor Richard Bassett received Cabinet approval to extend the shared Internal Audit arrangements between Epping Forest District Council, Harlow and Broxbourne. Thanks to the partnership, savings of more than £58,000 a year for 2016/17 and 2017/18 have been achieved.

Amendments to Council Tax Support Scheme

Review and amendment to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme and capital budget were presented by Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra. Major capital projects within the £124 million budget include Loughton Shopping Park, St John’s Road and improvements to council housing and new-build housing projects. Many of the Council’s capital projects are aimed towards long term revenue generation, helping Epping Forest District Council become financially self-supporting.

Councillor Mohindra also assured Cabinet colleagues of his determination to achieve value for money with a £100,000 fund to support joint working with other organisations.

Update on Biffa collection costs

Councillor Gary Waller presented a report on domestic waste collection and recycling on behalf of Environment Portfolio Holder Will Breare-Hall. Collection costs have gone up since the introduction of the new Biffa contract. Provision of more recycling sacks combined with cross-contamination reducing income and additional collections due to the building of new houses has led to an increase of £343,000 in the contract.

Changes to off-street parking ahead

“Car parks are essential to our town centres” said Council Leader Chris Whitbread as he welcomed changes to off-street Pay and Display parking. Councillor Waller reported a saving of £58,600 a year from 2017/18 after moving off-street Pay and Display parking enforcement, cash collection and machine maintenance from the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) to NSL Ltd.

Later on the agenda, Councillor Waller received Cabinet approval to manage Waltham Abbey car parks owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park. He also received approval to demolish and replace garages in Vere Road with 20 new parking spaces. A further 11 spaces are to be created behind shops 49 and 41 in The Broadway.

Planning wait times improved

Residents can expect to see planning decision times improved by up to five days. Councillor Richard Bassett secured Cabinet approval for a new officer and further computerisation to speed up the planning application and validation process.

Town and Village Centres Fund

The Town and Village Centres Opportunities Fund has been renamed the Epping Forest District Economic Opportunities Fund. The rebranding reflects widening the availability criteria beyond town and village centres.

Cabinet 3 November 2016

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Energy consumption at the Council offices in Epping has been cut dramatically. That and other items including Council Tax discounts, on-street car parking, and the creation of three new small pay and display car parks were among the items discussed at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 3 November.

Watch our council meetings online

Solar Energy

The installation of new windows and solar panels has led to significant reductions in energy consumption at the Council’s headquarters in Epping. The report by Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Alan Lion noted the generation of 35,760 KWh in the first seven months of panel operation. Electricity consumption was reduced by 13.4% in 2015 compared to 2014.

Incentive to reduce empty housing

Councillors agreed reductions in the Council Tax discount available for empty homes. Finance Portfolio Holder Gagan Mohindra presented the report. He said that the changes would make a relatively small difference to the amount of tax collected. However, the Council hopes that the reductions will incentivise local landlords to speed up the re-letting or sale of empty houses for occupation.

County Council Parking Enforcement

Councillor Gary Waller, Portfolio Holder responsible for working with Essex County Council and the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) assured fellow councillors that he would pass on their dissatisfaction with on-street parking enforcement across the district.

Essex County Council is set to extend the current NEPP contract for a further four years. Supported by fellow Councillors Chris Whitbread and Chris Pond, Councillor Waller said that his criticisms were aimed at the operation of NEPP rather individual members of staff working within the district.

New Pay and Display

Later on the agenda, Councillor Waller received Cabinet approval for three small new pay and display car parks in Debden. Two short stay car parks accommodating a total of 40 spaces are to be created at the northern and southern ends of Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate. Fifteen new long stay spaces are to be created behind Loughton Broadway in Burton Road.

Untaxed vehicles crackdown

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In a national drive to crack down on untaxed vehicles on public roads, Epping Forest District Council will be working in partnership with the DVLA from 1 August 2016.

Untaxed vehicles

Clamped or seized

With the assistance of the DVLA, Council officers will be able to check the road tax record of any vehicle. If the vehicle is not taxed, it will be either clamped or seized and taken to a DVLA contractors depot.

The owner could have to pay as much as £160 (plus storage costs) and will have to prove the vehicle has valid road tax before the vehicle can be reclaimed.

Delighted to be working in partnership

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ‘’I am delighted that the council is working in partnership with the DVLA. Untaxed vehicles are often difficult to trace, but with our help, the DVLA will broaden their ability to find the offenders and reduce the number of untaxed vehicles within our district.”

He continued: ‘’Untaxed vehicles contribute to congestion, take up valuable parking spaces and use resources paid for by others. Their drivers are more likely to commit traffic offences such as speeding, illegally parking and driving without insurance, which presents risks for other drivers. Untaxed vehicles are often abandoned and eventually become vandalised. Working alongside the DVLA will help to improve road conditions for our residents and other road users.’’

Cabinet 11 January 2016

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Epping Forest Shopping Park, North Essex Parking Partnership, trainee planning officers and aerial cameras were discussed at Cabinet on Monday 11 January 2016.

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Epping Forest Shopping Park 

A £2 million highway works contract associated with improvements to the junction of Chigwell Lane and Langston Road, Loughton was approved by Cabinet at Epping Forest District Council on Monday 11 January 2016.

Councillors approved the tender of £2,070,029 from Walker Construction (UK) Ltd for road works relating to the development of the Epping Forest Shopping Park, due to open at Easter 2017.

Pay and display car parks

The management of Epping Forest District Council’s off-street Pay and Display car parks came under the spotlight at Cabinet. A report by RTA Associates suggested the council could get better value for money if it withdrew from its current management arrangement with the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).

Councillors agreed the principle of giving the NEPP 12 months notice during which time councillors will be able to choose between another contractor and in-house operation by council staff. Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller said that further reports would come to Cabinet. Savings could range from £31,000 up to £113,000 depending on detailed evaluation of the alternative options.

Planning

Cabinet approved budget provision of £90,000 over 2 years to cover the legal costs awarded against the council at planning appeals. Councillors also supported funding proposals for 2 new trainee Planning Officers and a trainee Contaminated Land Officer to be paid from planning income received during 2015/2016.

Aerial cameras

2 aerial cameras are to be bought by Epping Forest District Council from its special ‘Invest to Save’ budget. The cameras and associated training will enable the council to carry out its own photographic surveys. Uses as diverse as planning enforcement, housing repairs, and land drainage, surveys are expected to benefit from the equipment costing £3,500 plus £1,500 for training and software expenses.