Decisions from Plans East on 9 January

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 9 January 2019.

Decisions 

  • EPF/2578/18 34 Theydon Park Road, Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7LP
    Permission GRANTED
  • EPF/2917/18 Ivy House, Coopersale Lane, Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7NT
    Permission REFUSED

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Overview and Scrutiny 18 December 2018

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Councillors received a progress report on changes to Epping Forest District Council’s management structures at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 18 December. The People Strategy was introduced in 2017. Strategic Director Georgina Blakemore took councillors through the latest updates.

People Strategy Update at Scrutiny

The District Council is moving away from the traditional local government operating models based on service structures. Instead a new structure – the Common Operating Model – is being introduced which builds council services around the customer. New Customer Services and Business Support areas have already been introduced. Specialist and technical services are being grouped separately.

The senior management structure is largely in place. Georgina Blakemore was recruited as the Council’s Strategic Director earlier in the year and was instrumental in the appointment of new Service Directors. The new approach sees only four layers of management geared towards improved efficiency and effectiveness with front-line staff empowered to make decisions as close to service delivery as possible:

  • Level 4 – the Chief Executive and Strategic Director
  • Level 3 – the Service Directors (also known as the managers of managers)
  • Level 2 – 17 new Service Managers currently being recruited and due to be in position by the end of January
  • Level 1 – Team Managers along with several specialist and technical roles due to be in place by the end of June.

Other strands to the people Strategy include the use of modern technology to encourage home and agile working. A review of staff pay and benefits is underway.

Georgina Blakemore emphasised the aims of the People Strategy, focusing on leadership, staff skills, capacity and resources including the ability to attract and retain good people with competitive pay and benefits.

A reduction in senior management has achieved more than £600,000 in savings during 2018/19. The Council needs to find a further £1.5m in 2019/20 from savings and additional income. It has a policy of doing all it can to avoid compulsory redundancies and is aiming to complete the implementation of the People Strategy within 18 months.

Other items at Overview and Scrutiny

Councillors also considered reports looking at the future arrangements for Overview and Scrutiny, a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations, the forward plan of key decisions, the Corporate Plan and the committee’s own work programme for 2018/19.

Epping Club 195 licence suspended pending review

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Club 195 in Epping had its licence suspended on Friday 4 January 2019 following concerns by police about incidents of violence at or in the vicinity of the premises.

Essex Police applied for a review of the licence for Club 195 following a number of incidents across 2018.

Club 195 suspension notice

Same day suspension

Epping Forest District Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee suspended the licence on the same day the application was received.

Licensing activity not permitted

A council spokesperson said: “The decision was taken by Licensing Sub-Committee Councillors to temporarily suspend the licence with immediate effect. Licensable activities are not permitted to take place in the interim period between 4 January and the full hearing – unless an interim hearing is applied for by the licence holder.”

Full hearing

The spokesperson continued: “A final decision will be reached at the full hearing. Councillors will assess the evidence brought by Essex Police and make the decision to either amend the licence or its conditions, allow it to remain in place or revoke the licence completely.”

The applicant, Essex Police Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: “A full hearing to review Club 195’s licence will take place in due course at which Essex Police will ask for the licence to be revoked.”

Full Council 20 December 2018

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Councillors voted themselves no ‘rise’ at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 20 December. Councillors are unpaid but receive an allowance to cover their costs – the basic allowance of £4,300 per councillor per year will remain unchanged in 2019/20.

Highlighting homelessness

Council Chairman Richard Bassett welcomed fellow councillors to the last meeting before Christmas. Earlier in the month, Councillor Bassett took part in an event to highlight the plight of homeless people sleeping rough. He said that one night sleeping rough had given him a completely different perspective. He thanked everyone who donated money to support his efforts on behalf of local homeless people.

Housing Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou then reported on the many steps taken by the Council to support homeless people and rough sleepers. Anyone concerned about rough sleepers can contact the Council’s Homelessness Support Team.

Councillor Bassett also made special mention of the inspiring special needs children and their parent he had met in Waltham Abbey

Reducing plastic

Environment Portfolio Holder Nigel Avey welcomed the recent government announcements on reuse and recycling. He emphasised the strategy for reducing plastic and the diversion of food waste – the main producer of methane gas – away from landfill. Councillor Avey repeated the widely publicised advice on how and when to recycle Christmas Trees in the New Year and also responded to concerns about the difficulty of recycling black plastic commonly used in food packaging.

In other environmental news, Special Project Portfolio Holder Alan Lion is to work on the delivery of charging points for electric cars across the District.

Leader highlights councils progress

Council Leaders Chris Whitbread reminded fellow councillors of the progress made by the Council over the last 12 months including additional police resources, the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre and the Council’s plans for the developments of St John’s Road and the new offices in North Weald.

He was also very pleased to confirm the news that Essex County Council has agreed to allow street lights to be turned on again throughout the night.

Sam Kane – Portfolio Holder for community safety reported on recent incidents in Loughton and cautioned against misleading and inaccurate social media reports.

Council Leader Chris Whitbread joined independent Councillor Stephen Murray in applauding the local foodbank and all those people who support it. He put on public record his hope that the Foodbank would approach the Council for funding.

Councillor John Philip confirmed arrangements for the public examination of the Local Plan to make sure as many people as possible can see the proceedings in person and via webcast.

Council approved £140,000 to complete alterations prior to letting commercial units on the ground floor of the new Landmark Building in Loughton Broadway. The new units are expected to generate rental income of £250,000 a year to support Council services.

In other matters, councillors approved the latest version of the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy, Licensing Act Policy and the appointment of various officers under the Council’s schedule of delegation.

Councillors put their thanks to Service Director Simon Hill on record. Mr Hill takes up a new appointment with Harlow District Council in January following 27 years of service to Epping Forest District Council. Councillor Bassett concluded by wishing fellow councillors a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Council leaders‘ concern over London’s homeless

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A letter signed by every Essex council leader highlighting concerns about families being re-housed from London into the county has been sent to senior politicians in the capital.

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Issues highlighted by housing officers across the county

Agreed by the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, the letter raises 11 issues which have been highlighted by housing officers across the county.

Issues include a lack of communication between London authorities and Essex councils informing them of people being moved into the area, families being placed in inadequate housing, and the impact on local services.

It also warns of cases where families have been moved far away from support networks such as friends, family and jobs, meaning their situation can actually worsen.

The Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group includes all 12 district and borough councils, Essex County Council, Southend and Thurrock unitary authorities and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Concerns

The letter, which has been sent to the Mayor of London and the leaders and directly elected mayors of each of the London Boroughs, also details some positive steps to resolve the concerns raised and also invites politicians on both sides of the county divide to work together to lobby government on related national issues.

Neil Stock OBE, Leader of Tendring District Council and chairman of the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, said the actions of some of the London Boroughs had been despicable.

He said: “We understand why people want to come to Essex, which is a fantastic place in which to live, work and visit, and we don’t want to stop people moving to the county.

“However, this needs to be in the right way and because people want to move here, not because they are being forced to or financially encouraged to by their London council as a way of removing a problem.

“So far efforts by individual Essex councils to draw this to the attention of London Boroughs and the Mayor of London have largely been ignored, which is why as a group of leaders we have taken the decision to send this letter.

“We now hope that those in power in London will sit up and take notice, and work constructively with us to resolve these issues.”

Cllr Syd Stavrou, Portfolio holder for Housing  at Epping Forest District Council said:

“Sending homeless people to Essex might solve the immediate problem for the London Boroughs but it is not the best answer. Apart from the disruption it causes for councils managing their own homeless families in Essex, it is far better for people from London to stay in London as close as possible to their support networks of schools, work, family and friends.

“We would like to see the London Boroughs addressing  the situation within their own area to avoid impacting Essex Councils in this way.”

More information

For more information contact Tendring District Council

  • Communications Manager Will Lodge
  • Call 01255 686338

Confident and bold decisions taken at Cabinet

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A series of far-reaching decisions were taken at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet, meeting at the Civic Offices on 10 December.

New home for Council

Councillors have agreed in principle to relocate staff to North Weald. While customer services, civic and democratic functions will remain at the Civic Offices in Epping, new purpose-built offices will provide space for up to 380 staff at Blenheim Way, North Weald within three years.

New partners will join remaining council staff in Epping, ensuring the northern end of the town retains a strong employment focus and economic footfall for High Street shops and businesses.

Demolition of the 1960s Conder Building attached to the Civic Offices will clear the way for a mix of new homes behind the Civic Offices.

St John’s Road Cinema, Homes and Leisure Centre

As the Civic Offices evolve, the Council will also be transforming the southern end of Epping with a new leisure centre, cinema, homes, businesses and parking. Subject to detailed negotiation and agreement, Epping Forest District Council proposes to work in partnership with Epping Town Council and leisure provider Places Leisure (also known as Places for People) to deliver the development.

The existing sports centre in Epping will be redeveloped for housing following completion of the new St John’s facility, allowing the Council Offices, St John’s Road and Hemnall Street to make a substantial contribution to housing demand identified in the emerging Local Plan.

Council staff working from the current housing depot off Epping High Street will move to new facilities already built at Oakwood Hill, Loughton.

Harlow and Gilston Vision and Design

Three strategic housing locations at Water Lane, Latton Priory and East of Harlow have been identified in the Local Plan for large housing developments on the boundaries of Harlow but within Epping Forest District. Councillors approved the vision and design guide – working documents developed by Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Harlow and East Herts District Councils for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

£97 million Capital Programme

Ongoing development of new council houses form the major part of the five-year capital programme put before councillors at the start of the New Year budget setting process. Aside from approximately £8 million for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre, completed in November 2018, around £80 million is identified for a combination of new council housing and improvements to the Council’s existing stock over five years.

Landmark Building

Councillors approved £140,000 to complete work necessary to let commercial units at the new Landmark Building in the Broadway, Loughton. Once let, rental income of around £250,000 a year will be used to support the Council’s public services.

A forward-thinking council fit for the future

After the meeting, Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “This is probably one of the most significant Cabinet meetings in years. The strategic development of council services based in Epping, North Weald and our new depot at Oakwood Hill, Loughton dovetail with our determination to build much need new homes sympathetically and boost economic activity across the district.”

“These are bold decisions. They demonstrate vision, confidence in our council, commitment to our residents and belief in the future of our district.”

Decisions from Plans East on 5 December

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 5 December 2018.

Decisions 

  • EPF/1117/18 The Drive, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2060/18 61 Pancroft, Lambourne, RM4 1BX
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2120/18 Lindsey House, Lindsey Street, Epping, CM16 6RB
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2481/18 8 Garden Fields, Stanford Rivers, Ongar, CM5 9PL
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2503/18 Warreners, Theydon Road, Theydon Bois, CM16 4EE
    Permission granted

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Decisions from DDMC on 28 November 2018

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Planning application decisions from the District Development Management Committee Wednesday 28 November 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/1583/18 – 1 Buttercross Lane, Epping
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1325 – 37 Hanson Drive, Loughton
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1213/18 – Tower Nursery, Netherhall Road, Roydon
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2515/18 – Land at Lippitts Hill, Waltham Abbey
    Permission granted

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Tell us your views on old pool site proposal

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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

Background

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.

Proposal

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 housinginfo@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for further information about the proposals.

Decisions from Plans South on 21 November

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

Decisions

  • 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

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