Local residents are being invited to an interactive workshop on the future of North Weald Bassett.
The event is being held by Epping Forest District Council. It follows the decision by councillors to protect aviation in combination with limited housing development at North Weald Airfield over the next 20 years or so.
The views of residents at the workshop will feed into a council-led ‘Master planning study’ for the village of North Weald Bassett and the airfield which will also contribute to the new district-wide Local Plan.
Download the poster North Weald Bassett community workshop 25 Jan 2014 (pdf 6.2 MB)
Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder wants to encourage maximum public participation. He said: “I think this is good news for North Weald. After years of uncertainty over the airfield, residents, airfield tenants and councillors are taking the initiative by producing the plans we want to see for the village. The workshop will be an intensive half-day of consultation and discussion designed to get the best ideas from local people who know the area best.”
The council has employed Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners (AMUP) who are experts in the field to help produce the plan. The brief includes the identification of the viable mix of land uses and infrastructure for the village and wider area, long term Green Belt boundaries, potential development phasing, the relationship between the airfield and the wider village, and ways to deliver the plans. Central to the master planning study is the commitment to maintaining aviation at the airfield while also planning for new homes, employment, services and infrastructure for local people.
Residents need to register in advance if they want to attend the workshop scheduled for 10.15am to 1pm on Saturday 25 January 2014.
The workshop is being held at North Weald Village Hall, High Road, North Weald, Essex CM16 6BU.
Shape the future of North Weald Bassett
Councillor Bassett added: “We have made a commitment to protect aviation at North Weald. In realistic terms we also know the airfield is an obvious candidate for limited residential development but I cannot emphasise enough that no detailed decisions have been made. North Weald residents turned out in large numbers at the district council to support our proposals last summer and this is the next stage in keeping that dialogue going. This is a genuine opportunity for residents to shape the future of North Weald Bassett. The interactive workshop is specifically designed to understand what the community thinks.”
Results from the workshop will be reported to councillors and published on the Epping Forest District Council website. The study will form part of the evidence in support of the Local Plan. Further consultation opportunities will be available to residents wishing to contribute to the development of the Local Plan and the North Weald study during 2014 and 2015.
North Weald Airfield covers 384 acres. It was established as part of the aerial defence of London in 1916. It played a major role in the Battle of Britain and will always be associated with the RAF Hurricane squadrons based there in the summer of 1940. The airfield is a symbol of national pride to the people of Norway. Strong cultural links later developed between the people of Norway and North Weald when the airfield became the main base for Norwegian pilots flying Spitfires under the flag of the RAF in WWII.
North Weald continued as an RAF fighter station into the 1960s, hosting a number of iconic ‘Cold-war’ jet squadrons. When the airfield became surplus to Ministry of Defence requirements in 1980 it was bought by Epping Forest District Council.
Today, the airfield is a thriving aviation hub and home for many rare and historic aeroplanes. It is also used by a number of other light industrial businesses including distribution companies. Various public events are regularly held at the airfield which is also home to one of Europe’s largest Saturday markets.
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