#CrimeNotToCare campaign – it’s your responsibility!

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

We spend £190,000 on clearing up fly tipping across our district…money that could be spent on other services. But did you realise that it’s not just the fly tippers that are liable to prosecution? We are all personally responsible for our waste and how it is disposed of.

Black sacks left outside the designated areas for refuse collection can constitute fly tipping as much as sofas, fridges, builders’ rubble etc, which we trust to a third party to dispose of.

Duty of care

As residents we have a duty of care to ensure our waste is disposed of responsibly and doesn’t find its way into the hands of rogue traders.

Just last month a Loughton man had to pay £1,500 in fines and costs because the person he asked to dispose of some cardboard fly tipped it. Our enforcement team traced it back to the man and he was prosecuted.

Check list

Here are a few simple checks to make before you enter into an agreement with someone to dispose of your waste:

  • Ask for their waste carrier number and vehicle details and contact the Environment Agency for a free instant waste carrier check
  • Ask for a transfer notice or receipt before your waste is taken away
  • Check where your waste is going. A legitimate waste carrier should not object to you asking these questions.
  • Make a note of who you have given your waste to, their waste carrier details and vehicle details.

You should never leave any waste such as an old washing machine or scrap metal on your drive or in the street for someone to remove. They may not be a registered waste carrier, and could take the bits they need and dump the rest.

You can donate good quality items to your local reuse organisation or charity shop , or give items to someone who could make use of them.

Further information

To find out more watch our Crime Not to Care film and please share the message to ensure your friends and family know how to protect themselves, and help us reduce fly-tipping.

Counting the cost of irresponsible waste disposal

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

A Loughton resident incurred fines of more than £1,500 for not checking he was giving his waste to a reputable company.

Mr Vadims Tjoluskins of Hillyfields pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates Court last month to failing in his household waste duty of care, by giving his waste to somebody else to dispose of without carrying out the necessary checks to ensure that they were authorised by the Environment Agency to carry such waste.

Mr Tjoluskins admitted he handed over some large cardboard boxes which were later found fly tipped amongst a larger pile of waste in Oakley Court, Loughton at a bin store provided for local residents.

Magistrates fined Mr Tjoluskins £600 and ordered him to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £900, together with a victim surcharge £60 and said that had he not pleaded guilty the fine would have been £900.

Fly tipping prosecution

“We take fly tipping, and residents’ responsibility to ensure they are disposing of their waste legitimately and responsibly very seriously,” said Cllr Nigel Avey, Portfolio Holder for Environment.

“Our message is simple: Before handing your waste to somebody else, always check, consider and record in order to protect yourself, and reduce fly-tipping by rogue traders. It is a crime not to care.”

Further information

Advice on how residents can protect themselves from rogue traders who fly-tip for profit is available on the Council’s Website. Click here for more information Crime Not to Care.

Watch a series of short films produced by the Cleaner Essex Group (a campaign group made up from representatives from local authorities across Essex), are also available to view on this web page.

Don’t fall foul of new licensing laws for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Written on . Posted in Building control, Commercial properties, Community, Environmental health, Housing, Licensing, Media, Our performance, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

New licensing laws for landlords, which further protect tenants in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) from poor living conditions, come into effect on 1 October from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

HMO Licence
Landlords who let a property to five or more people – from two or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authority.

The move gives Epping Forest District Council more powers to crack down on those landlords who are renting out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

The new rules set minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding, and landlords must adhere to council refuse schemes to reduce problems with rubbish.

If you’re a landlord of an HMO, here’s what to do

If you’re not sure whether the new requirements apply to you

And in time for your licence to be processed before 1 October 2018

What happens if I don’t?

  • Prosecution or a Civil Penalty of up to £30,000 for committing an offence
  • Banning Order – You may be banned from operating as a landlord or agent in the private rented sector
  • Up to 12 months’ rent and/or housing benefit can be claimed back by the tenant and/or the Council
  • Any Section 21 notice requiring a tenant to leave the property will not be valid.

Property standards

In addition to general requirements affecting all rented properties, a licensed HMO will need to meet the Essex HMO Amenity Standards.  These set the amount of bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities, together with the sleeping and communal living space required, depending on the size of the property.

The property will also need to have adequate fire safety measures in place to protect the occupiers and meet the Management Regulations for cleanliness and maintenance of the property.

“Our Private Sector Housing Team is able to explain the new legislation and offer advice and support to landlords of HMOs,” said Cllr Syd Stavrou Portfolio Holder for Housing..

“Call or email them to arrange an informal discussion or to make an appointment to visit the property so that they can advise on any requirements and possible options.”

More information 

Seeking views on our new enforcement policy

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Media, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

We are responsible for enforcement in a wide range of areas from planning to licensing.

In order to ensure consistency across our operations, and to continue to meet the standards of the statutory regulatory code, we are looking to update our enforcement policy and now seeking the views of the public.

Consulting

Enforcement can take many forms including inspections, investigating complaints, providing advice, licensing of activities, persons or premises, issuing statutory or fixed penalty notices and taking prosecutions.

A consistent approach

“The decision of when and what enforcement action to take – or not take – can have serious implications and it is important that there is an effective policy in place to ensure a consistent approach,” said Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Whitbread,

“The updated Enforcement Policy encompasses the 5 principles of good regulation by being transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted.”

Cllr Whitbread continued, “In short, the Council aims to treat compliant individuals and businesses with lighter, alternative interventions and other incentives, but for those who commit serious breaches or flout the law it will not hesitate to take all necessary enforcement action.”

Consultation information

We want to get this right, so the views of individuals, businesses and organisations on the proposed new enforcement policy would be greatly appreciated. Please send any comments on the 2018 version of the policy by 29 August 2018.

Comment

Read the policy Corporate enforcement policy 2018

Comments to Robin Ray at rray@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or call 01992 564146.

Post any correspondence to Robin Ray, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ.

Next step – all submitted comments will be considered and where appropriate the policy amended prior to submission to Cabinet for approval and publication on our website.

Statement – Fire at Burton Road, Loughton

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Arts, Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Council tax, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Elections, Emergencies, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Equalities, Food safety, Garages, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Jobs, Leader, Licensing, Local business, Local land charges, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Museum, Noise, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Performance, Planning, Playschemes, Private housing, Procurement, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Updated Information – 13.15pm on 17 August 2018

Essex Fire and Rescue Service have announced that the fire is now out.

We cannot speculate on the cause of the fire at the moment, that will come out following an official investigation.

The photo below shows the building now that the fire is out and demonstrates how remarkably well the structure has stood up to the fire.

Council Leader, Chris Whitbread said: “You can always rebuild bricks and mortar, the important thing is that everyone appears to be safe and the fire is now out.”

Original statement made – 12:00pm 17 August 2018

A development of new flats in Burton Road, Loughton has caught fire and the fire service are in attendance.

This is a development of new council housing being built for Epping Forest District Council. A £10 million design and build mixed tenure residential development of 51 affordable rent units, comprising of 17 homes and 34 apartments.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Leader of Epping Forest District Council is at Burton Road.

He said: “Our first concern is for the safety and welfare of all concerned. It looks like everyone is safe. Essex Fire and Rescue is on the scene and it is under control. These flats are still being built. This is a construction site and there are no tenants living here. However we are obviously concerned about everyone working on the site at the time the fire started.

“The development is being built for us by Mulalley – a large construction company with a long and successful track record of building major projects. It is too early to say what caused the fire but it is clearly large. Essex Fire and Rescue has cordoned the site off.

“Our first priority is to ensure people are safe. Neighbouring residents are being asked to stay in their homes. This is bound to cause some travel disruption and people are being asked to avoid the area if they can.

“The council has several roles: we are the client and this is a serious setback for us and all those people we are building these new homes for. More importantly in the short term we have a supporting role to the emergency services and would be in a position to set up rest centres nearby if required for neighbouring residents. At this stage our staff are on standby if rest centres are needed. We also employ specialist building control officers who will be at the disposal of Essex Fire and Rescue to assess the damage and ensure the buildings are made safe once the fire is out.

“In the longer term we will recover. Bricks and mortar can always be replaced and we will rebuild these much needed homes for local people. For now, our thoughts are focused on the safety of everyone living and working in the area.

Please visit the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service website for reliable advice and up to date information about the incident http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/incidents/i7458/

 

Man fined for failing to clear nature reserve site

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

A man from Waltham Abbey has been prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council for failing to clear waste that was adversely affecting the character and visual attractiveness of land within Roding Valley Meadow Local Nature Reserve.

Prosecution

Click on an image below for slideshow

Former underground bunker site

Mr Raymond Sturgess of Stanford Court in Waltham Abbey was successfully prosecuted in June 2018. He failed to respond to a notice served on him requiring him to remove waste, plastic, card, building materials and household items from the former Royal Observer Corps underground bunker site, which he originally intended to renovate when it was bought in 2015.

Fined

Sturgess pleaded guilty and received a reduced fine of £200, was ordered to pay £200 towards the Council’s prosecution costs together with a statutory victim surcharge of £30.

Ample time to comply

During mitigation Mr Sturgess told the Magistrates that was unable to comply with the notice because he had injured his knee, he claimed that vandals and fly-tippers had gained access to the site and were responsible for the mess.

The Magistrate concluded that Sturgess had ample time to comply with the notice and they did not accept everything he had told them.

Largest remaining water meadow

The bunker site sits within the Roding Valley Meadow Local Nature Reserve. The Wildlife Trust manage the site and describe it as ‘the largest remaining water meadow in Essex’.

It is reputedly famous for it’s beautiful wild flowers, butterflies, invertebrates and birds. It is important that this site is preserved for its resident wildlife and for future generations to enjoy.

Epping Forest District Council wins Local Plan challenge

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Leader, Licensing, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

The High Court has dismissed the legal challenge to the Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan Submission Version 2017 paving the way for the Council to submit the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination. The Court rejected all four grounds of challenge brought by property development company CK Properties (Theydon Bois) Ltd, endorsing the lawfulness of the Council decision to approve the Local Plan for 11,400 new homes over the Plan period up to 2033.

Updated 22 August 2018

However the Council cannot currently submit the plan for examination due to an injunction placed by Mrs Justice Lang in the High Court on 21 March 2018 restraining the Council from submitting the Local Plan until final determination of the legal proceedings.  The claimants made an application for permission to appeal to the High Court which was refused on 13 July 2018.  The order made by Mr Justice Supperstone accepted that final determination of the legal proceedings included any application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  The claimants have now submitted an application to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.  We are currently waiting for that application to be determined by the Court of Appeal.  We understand it is being expedited but we do not currently have a timeline for the decision.

EFDC local plan logos

The Council’s Planning Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Philip described the Court’s decision as “good news” and the positive outcome is also seen as vindication of the Council’s approach by its Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread.

John Philip expressed his gratitude to the Court saying: “The production of the Local Plan is possibly the most difficult thing the Council has ever had to do. The issues involved in planning for growth in the District are very sensitive and, inevitably, emotions often run high, but the Court has endorsed the Council’s approach having scrutinised the decision-making process.”

Chris Whitbread was also pleased. He said: “As Councillors we take a balanced view between the protection of the character of the District we love and the need to provide decent homes for local people. We burnt a great deal of ‘midnight oil’ to understand and balance complex issues while collectively studying and guiding the evolution of the Plan through workshops, meetings and engagement before making some really difficult decisions.”

Councillor Philip continued: “I hope CK Properties will see the sense of the Court’s judgment, and pursue their arguments through the Local Plan Examination process, which has always been the proper place to air their concerns, and spare Council Tax payers any additional expense by resorting to the legal appeal process.”

Turn your engines off for Clean Air Day

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council’s main focus for Clean Air Day on 21 June 2018, is to help reduce air pollution by tackling idling vehicles, particularly outside schools.

clean air day

Click on an image below to begin the slideshow

Risk of hefty fines

Epping Forest District Council has adopted legislation to deal with idling cars. It is now an offence to withhold information or fail to switch off your engine if requested by an authorized officer. You could be taken to court, convicted and fined up to £1,000.  Alternatively, an on the spot fixed penalty notice of £20 can be issued by authorised officers.

Air pollution

Leaving engines running while stationary is a significant source of air pollution. Combating this is particularly important in locations where there are high numbers of idling vehicle engines, such as outside schools and hospitals. Not only is idling harmful to the environment but it can be harmful to the vehicle itself and your pocket – as it wastes fuel.

Modern cars no longer need to be warmed up in advance and the act of restarting the engine does not cause damage to the vehicles as it used to with older models. In fact, it can do more damage to keep a stationary vehicle idling than to switch off the engine.

Linked health issues

There are several health issues linked with poor air pollution including:

  • Increased respiratory conditions such as Asthma, coughs and bronchitis
  • Reduced birth weight of babies and premature births
  • Links to Lung Cancer
  • Increased risk of death from cardiac and respiratory issues
  • Possible links to incidence of Dementia, Type 2 Diabetes and Bladder Cancer

Small changes

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey said: “Turning off your engine when stationary is just one of the small changes that can be made to help improve poor air quality. Thursday 21 June sees the return of Global Action Plan’s “Clean Air Day” which the Council are supporting to help increase awareness and reduce air pollution.”

“We have provided local schools with toolkits and promotional materials to help them plan their own Clean Air Day events and on the day Enforcement Officers will be in place at some school gates, to help educate those who still have their engines running while waiting for their children.”

What can I do?

Some of the other small changes you can make to improve air quality include

  • Use your feet! Leave your car at home and walk! Stick to routes away from main roads and boost your steps
  • Use public transport. If it’s too far to walk, go by bus or tube – try alternative methods
  • Car share. Is there anyone you can share your journey with?
  • Maintain your car. Having well inflated tyres and an empty boot helps use less fuel
  • Getting a new car soon? Look into alternative options such as hybrid, electric or LPG

Further information

If you would like more information on Clean Air Day and how you can be involved

Loughton man fined for illegal driveway

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 8th February 2018 Mr Ivor Crandon of Loughton pleaded guilty after failing to comply with the requirements of a Planning Enforcement Notice served on him in July 2012.

Landscape

Failure to comply with notice

The Notice required him to remove a concrete drive from his land, 4 Ripley View Loughton.

Following an unsuccessful appeal to a planning inspector and subsequent extensions of time granted to him by the planning authority, the notice should have been complied with by 1 September 2017.

An inspection on 24 October 2017 by enforcement officers revealed that the notice had not been complied with.

Failed appeal

At an appeal in Chelmsford Crown Court on 13 April 2018 against the sentence imposed by the Magistrates on 8 February 2018 Mr Crandon was fined £2400.

He is also liable to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £508.26 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Removal of drive way

Mr Crandon stated that he is currently instructing arboriculture experts to prepare a method statement for ensuring that trees protected by tree preservation orders are not adversely affected by the removal of the driveway.

Check for planning permission

Chigwell man guilty of damaging protected tree

Written on . Posted in Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Media, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 5 April 2018 Mr Vinod Kumar Pandhi of Chigwell Essex pleaded guilty to causing or permitting the cutting down a hornbeam tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Damaged hornbeam Chigwell

Causing damage to a protected tree

September 2017 tree and landscape officers were notified that a hornbeam tree had been cut down in the garden of 12 Tomswood Road Chigwell.

The tree was protected by a Tree Preservation Order made in 2009 and no consent had been given for the work carried out.

Failure to provide details

Interviewed under caution Mr Pandhi  stated that he was unaware that the tree was protected and believed it to be causing damage to his house, although no usual investigations had been carried out to verify this.

Mr Pandhi claimed had asked workmen carrying out work in a neighbour’s garden to cut down the tree in his property, but failed to provide details of the contactors to Epping Forest District Council to enable them to carry out further investigation, with a view to also prosecuting those directly responsible for carrying out the work.

Over £1,800 in fines

Having pleaded guilty Mr Pandhi was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £813.73 and a victim surcharge of £100. The fine had been reduced by one third as a result of Mr Pandhi having pleaded guilty at the first hearing and took account of his current finances.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) and conservation areas please contact