King Harold students’ takeover day at Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

On Friday 23 November, Year 8 students, from King Harold Business & Enterprise Academy, transformed Epping Forest District Museum, as part of Takeover Day.

Visitors, including Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett, took part activities, and were taken on a tour of the museum, both devised and led by the pupils.

They worked with museum staff, in a series of workshops and preparation days, to learn more about the day to day running of the museum.

The students also put together a special exhibition, from items in our First World War collection, to add to the current ‘Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace’ exhibition. Their addition will be on display until the exhibition closes on Saturday 22 December. The activities were linked to the exhibition too; there was a Spradbery themed quiz and medal making, based on the First World War medals on display.

Takeover Day

Takeover Day is a national celebration (created by Kids in Museums) of young people’s contributions to museums, galleries, arts organisations, archives and heritage sites. It’s a day on which they work alongside staff and volunteers to participate in the life of the organisation or venue.

To find more, visit

New paintings on display at EFD Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Museum is host to two new paintings by local artist Martin Barrall, visit before March 2019 to enjoy them.

Pictured above: Martin Barrall and Bradley Melton with paintings

Exhibition details

Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

When: November 2018 – March 2019

Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm

Free entry

The paintings show the famous tea hut, near Fairmead Road in Epping Forest; a friendly stop-off point for bikers, horse riders, dog walkers and other forest visitors. One shows Bradley (who runs the hut), surrounded by the treats and snacks for sale; the other is of a typical afternoon, during a rain storm, with the car park full of bikers and walkers.

The paintings were revealed in an intimate private view on Friday 16 November, at the museum, with Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Richard Bassett, the artist, Bradley Melton and guests. The paintings will be on display until March 2019.

Pictured above: Martin Barrall, Bradley Melton and EFDC Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett

Martin Barrall

This is the first time that Martin has displayed his work in the district. The ‘Bradley’s Tea Hut’ artwork was recently on display at The Royal Academy as part of their 250th summer exhibition, curated by artist Grayson Perry.

Martin said, “I have entered the Royal Academy summer exhibition a few times before, getting paintings shortlisted but this was the first time I have had a picture hung.”

Martin worked in Art and Design education from 1974 to 1996 then slowly moved back to painting full time. He has painted many different subjects and themes, from country landscapes to Formula 1, and city scenes and over the last 5 years has mostly painted themes based on Epping Forest.

For more information, visit

Bradley’s Tea Hut

The tea hut, officially named ‘Original Tea Hut’, has been in Bradley’s family since the 1930s. It has become a big part of people’s visit to the forest; artist Grayson Perry is a fan of this hidden gem and was responsible for picking Martin’s paintings to be part of The Royal Academy’s exhibition. The private view was the first time Bradley had seen the paintings; he was delighted to see the painting as never got the chance to see it when it was in London.

Make someone’s Christmas special

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Each year, big hearted employees at Epping Forest District Council collect Christmas gifts for mums and their children living in refuges across Essex over Christmas and for the first time, we’re inviting residents to take part too!

We’re asking you to bring your unwrapped gifts to the Council Offices in Epping before midday on 14 December.

This year’s collection kicked off on Monday 26 November and was championed by Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett, he said: “Please get involved this year and make someone’s Christmas special. Gifts must be unwrapped and suitable for women, and children aged 0-16. Please leave gifts in main reception of the Council Offices in Epping and don’t worry – they will be beautifully wrapped ready for delivery to refuges in time for Christmas!

“Please make sure your gift is new and isn’t sharp, broken, faith-based or toy weapons such as guns or swords.”

The deadline for accepting gifts is midday on 14 December.

J9 at Christmas Tree Festival in Epping

Councillor Bassett continued: “This year to further promote our support of the J9 initiative – which raises awareness and increases knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse – we are decorating a Christmas tree in pink as part of the Christmas Tree Festival taking place at St John’s Church, Epping between 7 and 10 December.

“So pop along and see the trees and to find out more about J9 and how you can help to support victims of domestic abuse visit: or donate a gift and make a child’s Christmas special.”

Tell us your views on old pool site proposal

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Meetings, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council want your views on the proposal to build new homes on the old Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool site in Roundhills before 10 December 2018.

Proposed development site outlined in red above


The King Georges Fields were established and dedicated to the memory of King George V for the use and enjoyment of the people. The Waltham Holy Cross Urban District Council dedicated land at Waltham Abbey to be used as a King George Playing Field. The use of the playing field is regulated by the charity Fields in Trust.

In 1967 the Waltham Abbey swimming pool was built on the Trust land. Consent was obtained as the land was no longer to be used as playing fields. In recent years, the pool required extensive repairs and the Council decided that it should be demolished and replaced by the new Leisure Centre at Hill House.


The site of the old pool remains part of the King Georges Field. However, instead of changing the use back to that of playing fields, the Council is proposing to use the site to bring much needed housing into the area.

It is therefore intended to dedicate an area of land adjoining the new Leisure Centre at Hill House as a replacement King Georges Field. This area is about 20% larger than the existing pool site and will ensure the continued provision of land held in trust for leisure purposes in the Hill House area. The area of land at the King Georges Playing Field adjoining Roundhills (next to the old swimming pool site) that is currently used for recreation will remain the same.

Access to the playing fields through the pool site from Roundhills will remain open until redevelopment works commence, then it will be closed while construction works take place. Other access points will not be affected.

Consultation and approval

The Council is now undertaking a consultation seeking comments from residents and anyone else with an interest in the proposal is welcome to comment before 10 December 2018.

Following the consultation period, the Council’s Housing Portfolio Holder will consider the responses and Cabinet will be asked to approve the proposal at its meeting in January.

Results will be presented on our website.

Further information

Please email for further information about the proposals.

Grant Aid for local groups in Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Grants, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Local groups across Epping Forest District have been awarded a share of nearly £50,000 from Epping Forest District Council’s Grant Aid Scheme for 2018/19.

The grants, awarded on a one-off basis, have gone to:

  • The Bridge Club XL Youth
  • Epping Town Football Club
  • CanalAbility
  • Open Door
  • The Lopping Endowment
  • Ongar United Reformed Church
  • Epping Forest Sunflower Group
  • Ongar & District Twinning Association
  • Loughton Methodist Church
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest
  • Youth Employment Services Partnership
  • Spark
  • Loughton Voluntary Care
  • Epping Forest Neighbourhood Watch
  • Epping Forest Singers
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Hastingwood Village Hall
  • Cunningham Can Do
  • Nazeing Litter Pickers

Apply again next year

Cllr Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services said: “We considered grant applications from lots of worthy organisations across the district so it was a difficult task making the final decisions.

“I would urge any groups who were unsuccessful this year not to be disheartened, but to apply again next year.”

To apply online visit

Ambitious council unveils plans

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Our activities, Our performance, Planning, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Ambitious plans coordinating developments in Epping and North Weald with modernisation of Epping Forest District Council are set out in reports coming to the next Cabinet meeting on 10 December.

St Johns Road redevelopment

Councillors are being asked to approve the next steps in the redevelopment of St Johns Road, to include a new leisure centre, cinema, shops and houses. A planning application to demolish the former primary school site has already been submitted. At the same time, councillors are being asked in principle to approve the relocation of many district council staff to new offices at Blenheim Way in North Weald.

Site of the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall

Site of the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall

Retaining the newer part of the Civic Offices in Epping for civic, democratic and customer service functions, the proposals involve the demolition of older buildings in preparation for a new residential development identified in the draft Local Plan.

Partnership opportunities

Epping Forest District Council is keen to explore partnership opportunities with Epping Town Council and North Weald Bassett Parish Council. Epping Town Council is already considering potential office sharing. The construction of a new leisure centre at St Johns Road would also pave the way for the redevelopment of the old site in Hemnall Street for housing.

Potentially only needing the ground floor of the Civic Offices in Epping, the district council is in the early stages of informal talks with other prospective partners to lease other parts of the Civic Offices. There will be further opportunities for commercial leases to small businesses on the top floor.

Protecting the High Street economy

Protecting the High Street economy is central to the council’s proposals.

Leader of Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “Epping Forest District Council is modernising to ensure we are fit for the future. The overall number of staff we employ is reducing. Along with agile home working, we are radically reducing our need for office space.”

“Moving all but our customer facing, civic and democratic staff to North Weald will significantly reduce our office costs but that must not come at an economic price to Epping High Street. Bringing new commercial businesses and long-standing partners such as Essex Police into Epping will help to ensure a healthy lunchtime cashflow for High Street businesses. Leasing out the Civic Offices also gives the district council more income to spend on local services.”

“There will also be major investment at the other end of Epping High Street as we deliver the proposals residents said they wanted, including the new cinema and leisure centre, further boosting High Street footfall.”

“The redevelopment of the old Hemnall Street sports centre for housing, along with the residential developments at the council offices and St Johns will also make a significant contribution to meeting our housing obligations in the draft Local Plan.”

The Civic Offices in Epping

The Civic Offices in Epping

North Weald offices

On North Weald, Councillor Whitbread said: “This is also very good news for North Weald. Building offices on land we already own next to the airfield will bring new business and employment opportunities to the village. Rationalising our office needs also presents opportunities to talk to North Weald Bassett Parish Council.”

“We are already discussing office sharing possibilities with Epping Town Council at the Civic Offices that will cut everyone’s costs, particularly good news for our Council Tax payers. We will be keen to explore similar opportunities at North Weald.”

Exciting times

Councillor Whitbread continued: “It is rare for a district council to have the capacity and the ambition to deliver on proposals of this scale. Epping Forest District Council is different. Against the backdrop of falling central government spending, we have invested where it counts. We are funding additional police officers.”

“The Epping Forest Shopping Park, our brand-new leisure centre in Waltham Abbey, new council housing and new partners such as the National Police Air Service arrival at North Weald Airfield show what we can do.”

“Quietly, efficiently and effectively, we are delivering the projects and services our residents, businesses and customers want. This is an exciting time and I am very proud of the leading role Epping Forest District Council is taking in the delivery of a better future.”

Further information

Epping Forest District Council is in discussion with Epping Town Council regarding their involvement in the scheme.

As a precursor to development, a planning application has been registered on behalf of Epping Forest District Council for demolition of the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall including adjacent ancillary buildings, fences and walls.

The locally listed former Cookery School Building and Centre Point building to be retained. Epping Town Council owns Epping Hall and they will decide whether Epping Hall will be involved in any development plans.

Negotiations are in the early stages and no decisions have been made by Epping Town Council at this stage.

Comment on the application

Residents have until 15 December to comment on the application:

Free weekend parking in December

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Park in an Epping Forest District Council owned car park on weekends from Saturday 1 December until Sunday 30 December 2018 and park for FREE!

So many reasons to shop local

Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey said: ”We hope that by relaxing the car parking charges over the weekends in the lead up to Christmas, we will encourage our residents to shop locally. Supporting our local retailers and town centres throughout the Christmas period.

”We want to give our residents easier access to our shops throughout the festive season, hopefully reducing the need to visit out of town shopping centres and taking valued trade outside of the district.

“There are so many reasons to shop locally, we hope we’re providing our residents with another!”

Further information

Paying for policing, Roger Hirst needs your opinion

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Do you want to see an improved Police Service in Essex? And are you willing to pay more Council Tax to provide it? Those are the questions being asked by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

Essex residents are being asked to fill in a survey so Mr Hirst can see what the county’s opinion is on increasing resources for Essex Police. He also wants to know what they think about the policing priorities for Essex.

Police funding

Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources – central Government and local Council Tax. Taking these two funding sources into account, Essex Police receives the second lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has one of the lowest Council Tax precepts for policing. Next year we are also expecting significant additional costs from increases in police officer pay, higher insurance costs and changes to police officer pensions.

There will also be costs as a result of extending the police’s Airwave radio system due to delays in the roll out of the National Emergency Services Communication Programme.

Tell the Police what you think

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I want to provide the best possible policing service, which is what the people of Essex rightly deserve. Increasing investment will help the Chief Constable deliver this. I am working hard to lobby the Government but we cannot yet know the scale of any increase in central Government funding.  I can of course raise the policing precept. Before I do that I want to know what people think.”

5,000 responses to last survey

Last year, Mr Hirst carried out a similar survey which received more than 5,000 responses. Approximately two thirds of the people who answered (65 per cent) said they would be prepared to see the police element of local Council Tax increased by more than two per cent so more money could be made available for policing in Essex. More than half were prepared to pay up to £20 more per year.

Additional officers by Feb 2019

Mr Hirst said: “In light of the results from last year’s survey, I raised the policing element of the Council Tax by up to £12, or £1 a month for a Band D property. This increase, as part of the £450 million in police funding secured nationally from the Government last year, allowed Essex Police to recruit 150 more frontline officers, bringing the total amount of Essex Police officers to at least 3,000. These additional officers are being recruited and trained and will be arriving in local communities by February 2019.”

He added: “Whilst filling the survey I would also like people to give their views on the policing priorities for Essex. I want to make sure that they reflect the needs of the communities that Essex Police serves.”

Complete the survey

People can fill in the survey online via this link

The survey will be live from 1am on Tuesday, November 6 and will close at midnight on Tuesday, November 27.

Further information

Hard copies are also available on request.  Please contact the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner on 01245 291600 if you would like a copy or you can email

You can also write to PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB.

The Band D Council Tax for policing in Essex for 2018/19 is £169.02 per year.

This is not a referendum, it is an opportunity to gauge opinions so those views can be taken into account as part of the decision making process. The survey only reflects the policing element of the Council Tax precept and not the precept relating to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Decisions from Plans South on 21 November

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Meetings, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Trees and landscapes, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 21 November 2018.


  • EPF/2019/18 – 229 Fencepiece Road, Chigwell, IG7 5EB

         Permission granted

  • EPF/1950/18 – Woodberrie, Kings Hill, Loughton, IG10 1JE

          Referred to District Development Management Committee

  • EPF/2040/18 – 69 Church Hill, Loughton, IG10 1QP

         Deferred pending site visit

  • EPF/2114/18 – 89 Princes Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5DZ

         Referred back to officers (Parish Council did not attend)

  • EPF/2624/18 12 Albion Park, Loughton, IG10 4RB

         Permission granted

Planning application search

Museum opening late for Cavalcade of Light

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Join us at Epping Forest District Museum for festive fun and a late-night opening on Friday 30 November 2018.

As part of Waltham Abbey Town Council’s Cavalcade of Light event, we are opening the museum doors before the big event for an evening of festive fun, including music from King Harold Academy and Christmas songs from the students at Upshire Primary.

Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

When: Friday 30 November

Time: 5pm – 7pm

Free entry (donations gratefully received)

£1.50 per person for craft activity

There will be a Walter Spradbery trail to take you around the museum and you can have your own silhouette created, a wonderful gift for someone special.

No need to book, just drop in. Festive refreshments will be on offer to help keep you warm.

It’s also a great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping in our gift shop and, of course, look around the museum’s galleries and exhibitions.