Local Plan Planning our Future – website launched

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Democracy, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council has launched a new Planning Our Future website, so that residents in the District can find out how to get involved in the upcoming consultation for the next stage in the Local Plan process.

Website launch infographic

Planning our future 

Every district is required to have an up-to-date Local Plan, and with a renewed emphasis from Central Government on the need for a Local Plan to be in place in early 2017, Epping Forest District Council will be consulting on its Draft Plan during November and December 2016.

The new Planning Our Future website, will be a one stop shop for all the information about the Local Plan and what it means for Epping Forest District, registering for updates, as well as a quick and easy way to provide feedback.

Give us your feedback

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy at Epping Forest District Council,stated: “This is your Local Plan. Get involved and give us your feedback. Our new Planning Our Future website has been launched two months before the start of the consultation, so that everyone who wants to can get involved in the different events we are holding across the District in November and December.”

Epping Forest District’s Full Council will meet on 18 October to agree whether the Draft Local Plan can go out to consultation for six weeks. If approved, the consultation on the Draft Plan is expected to run between 31st October and 12th December.

This will be a chance to have a say over the direction of the Local Plan document before it is submitted to the Government. The document will be a blueprint for all development in the District up until 2033.

The Local Plan is not simply about how many homes are needed, but guides where the new homes are most sustainably and suitably located in Epping Forest District. It also supports the success of local businesses. It sets out the retail and leisure requirements. It will ensure the right facilities and infrastructure are delivered by developers. It will protect and enhance the District’s natural environment.

Keep updated 

In addition to the new Planning Our Future website, regular updates about the Local Plan will be available via;

Use the #EFDCLocalPlan to join in the conversation.

Have your say on our trees and green spaces

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Meetings, Our countryside, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Working with the council, Your area, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Residents are being invited to take part in our Trees and Green Infrastructure – Community Consultation Meeting.

Views over Epping

Have your say

Epping Forest is a green district which is why it’s important to hear your views on our districts trees and green spaces.

We want to hear the issues that affect you, your family and neighbours, what is working well and what needs improving.

The meeting

  • Trees and Green Infrastructure – Community Consultation Meeting
  • Monday 12 September
  • 7pm
  • Epping Hall, St Johns Road, CM16 5JU

The result will feed into an action for the local area as well as influencing future strategy across the whole district.

Refreshment will be provided

Teddy Bears Picnic

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Trees and landscapes, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Come and join Countrycare for some fun outdoor activities at our Teddy Bears Picnic at Linder’s Field Nature Reserve, Buckhurst Hill on  Wednesday 31 August 2016, 12pm – 2pm – and don’t forget to bring your teddy bear with you!

Teddy Bears Picnic

Bring along a picnic and enjoy bug hunting, crafts, nature trails and more …

The reserve entrance is located on Roebuck Lane – where it meets Russell Road. The gates to the reserve are covered with brass animals, so you can’t miss them!


Epping Forest present findings to Overview and Scrutiny

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Working with the council, Your area, Your council

Paul Thomson, Superintendent of Epping Forest and Judy Adams, Chairman of the Friends of Epping Forest, presented the outcome of the City of London’s recent consultation to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday (7 June).

COL EppingForest

Ensuring the forests future

Forest Management costs £5 million and attracts 4.4 million visitors each year. The Friends of Epping Forest have been active for 45 years and encourage enjoyment of the Forest. They see this as the best method of ensuring its future.


Pressure to open up the Forest for cycling, access for all and creating a safe place for visitors were among the top issues to emerge.

Maintenance of the forest including mowing and grass cutting were a main issue. The consultation found the concept of commoners’ rights and cattle grazing were mostly supported. An Introduction of fees and charges to car parks as well as speeding was also a big concern. Mr Thompson also expressed unhappiness at the granting of some recent planning applications.

Litter is an ongoing problem. 150,000 bags of rubbish are removed each year. People want to see more bins. Fly-tipping costs thousands of pounds a year. People do not want to ban commercial dog-walking. There is support for encouraging filming as a means of income generation.

Copped Hall is one historic site prompting debate about conservation. Paul Thompson and Judy Adams agreed that the Forest is not a park.

Moving forward

Horses have been part of the Forest landscape for centuries. Paul Thomson acknowledged that current licensing arrangements could be improved. He also recognised the need to look at the deer sanctuary in Theydon Bois and also advised management of the deer population is linked closely to road safety.

Following a long and detailed question and answer session, Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman Councillor Mary Sartin thanked Paul Thomson and Judy Adams for a very informative presentation.

Young volunteers help protect wildlife

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Community, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Epping Forest Youth Councillors along with young volunteers cleared 5 tons of woodland in just 6 hours during their school half term break.

Epping Forest Youth Council volunteering at Chingford Plain

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

Project Nightingale

The young volunteers worked under the guidance of The City of London and Epping Forest District Council’s Youth Engagement team to clear an area of woodland, returning it back to grassland as part of Project Nightingale, The City of London’s project working to create favourable habitats for nightingales and other songbirds. Cutting back scrub plants such as blackthorn and hawthorn, together with young tree species such as oak, birch and willow.

These plants will regrow into a thick bushes open to the sunshine. Without the scrub habitat many of Britain’s declining songbirds may be lost from the Forest forever.

The block of scrub the young volunteers worked on is one of several in the area which will be cut on rotation over the next few years. Creating a mosaic of differently aged plants with a range of heights and thicknesses.

In the last few years, several pairs of nightingales have returned to Epping Forest as a direct result of scrub management regime.

Seeing the difference

Youth Councillor Joseph Pascoe said ‘we had a great day, it was exhausting but also exhilarating, as we cut back so many trees, you could really see the difference we had made also not many people can say they had a BBQ in the forest in mid February’.

Volunteering opportunities

The day was funded by the Jack Petchey Education Fund.

To find out about volunteering opportunities, please go to;

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.


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


Conservation volunteers thanked

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Countrycare, Health, Media, Older people, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Our Countrycare team was joined by 53 amazing volunteers on their Thursday project days during 2014. They helped with a wide variety of conservation tasks ranging from pond restoration to building paths and bridges. 5 volunteers attended over 40 times last year.

Volunteers on the annual summer walk at Moreton

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

Conservation work was carried out on 19 sites with both Chigwell Row Wood and Linders Field in Buckhurst Hill having the most visits with 6 each. The team worked closely with Essex Wildlife Trust and 6 local Town and Parish councils. They have taken on new work to manage a copse to the north of Sheering.

Their generosity equates to 670 volunteer days in 2014, this was slightly down on 2013 due to the unusually high rainfall in early 2014.

Well done and thank you

Councillor Gary Waller said: “Last year you gave us an incredible 670 days of your time and hard work. This is a fabulous achievement, which we greatly appreciate. You have helped make big improvements to our sites for the benefit of both wildlife and the public. Well done and thank you!”

The Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder ended: “If you have a few hours to spare on a Thursday, why not come and join our Countrycare team and volunteers to help make it easier for people to enjoy our beautiful countryside – it’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and have fun!”

Get involved

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Countrycare, find out how you can get involved.


Swaines Green wins Living Landscape Award

Written on . Posted in Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Media, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Friends of Swaines Green and Epping Forest Countrycare received a prestigious Wildlife Trust Living Landscapes Award for their work in managing and maintaining Lovelock’s Meadow in Epping.

The award is given to sites which create landscape links enabling species and people to move through. Swaines Green forms an important green corridor on the north side of Epping linking sections of Epping Forest.

Wildlife Trust Living Landscapes Award

Lovelock’s Meadow, Epping

The site is owned by Epping Town Council and is designated as a Local Wildlife Site. It was formerly grazed but stripped of turf in the 1970s and subsequently became secondary woodland covered in blackthorn, bramble and rose.

The Friends of Swaines Green group was formed to manage the site with the help of Countrycare, who have produced management plans and helped volunteers in the clearance of scrub and regular mowing.

The presentation was made by well known naturalist Simon King on behalf of the Essex Wildlife Trust. Kevin Mason from Countrycare collected the award on behalf of The Friends of Swains Green, on Saturday 21 June during the Trust’s annual general meeting at Langdon Hills near Basildon.

Wildlife Trust Living Landscapes Award presentation

The Living Landscapes award recognises those organisations, groups, businesses and individuals who can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Essex Wildlife Trust Panel that they are helping to deliver Living Landscapes because their project or work meets the following criteria

  1. Good for wildlife
  2. Good for people and the community
  3. Good for the local economy

5 sites in the district have received awards since 2012

  1. Linder’s Field Local Nature Reserve in Buckhurst Hill
  2. Weald Common Local Nature Reserve in North Weald
  3. Bobbingworth Nature Reserve in Moreton
  4. Cripsey Brook Nature Reserve in Ongar (managed by Ongar Town Council)
  5. Lovelock’s Meadow in Epping (part of Swaines Green)

Find out who the other Living Landscapes Award Winners 2014 on the Essex Wildlife Trust website.


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 www.oneshopslocal.com, add your business or join our mailing list, support local business in Epping Forest.


Funday Sunday at North Weald

Written on . Posted in Building control, Chairman, Community, Drainage, Emergencies, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The sun shone as record crowds enjoyed the best Funday yet at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 7 September.

Thousands of happy families and plane enthusiasts started arriving early in the day for the latest event organised by Weald Aviation and Epping Forest District Council.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane completed the first official air display at North Weald Airfield for 15 years (1999 being the last). Stalls, exhibitions, music, classic cars and a funfair for children kept everyone happy on the ground.

The Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre and the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Tony Boyce were joined by members of the Royal British Legion and veterans of Afghanistan to take the salute. The Epping Forest Pipe Band led the march past and the Last Post was played in remembrance of all who have lost their lives in defence of freedom.

Band of Brothers

2014 is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings marking the start of the liberation of Europe in 1944. North Weald Airfield played a major role in the invasion as the starting point for Czech soldiers in the multi-national airborne force. 50 years later it reprised a similar role as the backdrop to Band Of Brothers, the landmark television series produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Visitors were able to see a special exhibition about the filming of scenes at the airfield with a real DC3 Dakota and many military vehicles forming the backdrop to a display of photographs taken from the film sets.

Fun of the fair

Fairground rides, slides and bouncy castles were free for children in the main arena. Classic cars including Ford Mustangs, MGs and Volkswagen Campers were on show. Many of the airfield’s classic cold-war jets including 2 Gnats made famous by the Red Arrows were on static display. The pride of North Weald’s Cold War jets Hawker Hunter Fox 1 formed up for a spectacular flying display with the ‘Norwegian’ Vampire.

Lord Petre and Councillor Tony Boyce

Marvellous event

District Council Chairman Tony Boyce congratulated everyone involved in the event. He said: “I want to say thank you to everyone at EMAS Weald Aviation, Epping Forest District Council, and the huge number of individuals and other organisations that made it such a fantastic day. It was a marvellous event and a true measure of the community spirit that makes our district such a great place.”

He continued: “I also want to pay a special tribute to the veterans, young and old, who joined us for the day. It was a real privilege for me and the Lord Lieutenant to stand and take the salute with them. In particular I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting RAF medics Kevin and Laura McClean and their young daughter. Both must have saved many lives while serving in Afghanistan on casualty evacuation duties. Kevin is still in the RAF while Laura now works in a local hospital. For me they epitomized all that is best about our great Country and I was proud to stand beside them.”

Profits from the North Weald Airfield Community Day will be donated to the Royal British Legion and the Herts Air-Ambulance.

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow.