Full Council 27 September

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Commercial properties, Consultation, Councillors, Epping, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Our performance, Performance, Planning, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Your council, Your money

Members of the Epping Forest Youth Council attended the Full Council meeting on 27 September 2012. On the agenda to be  discussed were Council Tax, the Local Plan consultation, annual accounts, the St Johns Road development and North Weald Airfield.

Watch the webcast in full

Chairman’s announcements

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council began his announcements with a special welcome to Glen Chipp. Mr Chipp is due to take up his new duties as Chief Executive of Epping Forest District Council on 1 October 2012. North Weald Airfield featured prominently in the Chairman’s report of his activities during September.

The close ties of friendship between the district and the people of Norway was reinforced by a recent visit of Norwegian RAF veterans and serving members of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The Chairman also formed part of the welcome to serving and veteran members of No 56 Squadron RAF on Battle of Britain Sunday. 56 Squadron served with distinction, flying from North Weald during the Battle of Britain. Battle honours of 56 Squadron are displayed on its old Standard which was dedicated to St Andrew’s Church in North Weald.

Epping Forest District Council lost the Annual Petanque match with Epping Town Council. Councillor Rolfe and Councillor David Stallan represented the District Council. ‘Dubious tactics’ were alleged before congratulations were offered to the Town Council represented by dual-hatted councillors Jon Whitehouse and Will Breare-Hall.

No increase for Council Tax

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Finance Portfolio Holder, briefed councillors on future financial settlements. She left councillors in no doubt of her belief in the desirability of a zero per cent council tax increase next year.

Local Plan consultation

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder updated councillors on Community Choices. 224 formal responses have been received in response to the Local Plan consultation so far. Council staff have been meeting residents. Almost 1,000 people have attended the Community Choices meetings held across the district over the last six weeks or so.

Annual statement of accounts

The annual statement of accounts for 2011/12 was presented by the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee, Councillor Antony Watts. Councillor Watts recommended interested councillors watch the webcast of Audit and Governance committee on 24 September where Finance Director Bob Palmer gave a comprehensive presentation.

Councillor Watts drew attention to a number of changes in production of the latest statement including assessments of depreciation on council assets and the pension fund. He also highlighted the major financial commitment of £185 million stemming from changes to the Housing Subsidy system. He concluded by thanking the Auditors and the Council’s own finance officers before recommending the report. Councillor Syd Stavrou responded to Councillor Watts. She assured councillors of the long term benefits to the Council by making a single one-off payment of £185 million instead of on-going annual payments to central government of £11 million.

The Council’s financial position is better than anticipated despite cuts in central government funding. Councillor Stavrou also recommended acceptance of the annual statement of accounts which met with the approval of the Council. 

St John’s Road design and development brief

Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg recommended approval of the St John’s Road Design and Development brief to Full Council. Fellow cabinet member and Epping Councillor, Will Breare-Hall welcomed the brief as amended following consultation earlier in the summer. In particular he drew attention to the shift in emphasis from retail to leisure provision in line with the views expressed by local residents.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council looked forward to discussion based on the brief with other landowners. Ward Councillor Tony Church sought reassurance on the issue of a supermarket. Councillor Grigg responded by drawing a distinction between a supermarket which drew wide-spread public opposition and other forms of retail such as a department store which found favour with some local residents. Councillor Janet Whitehouse asserted that she would have preferred a stronger plan and abstained when councillors voted in favour of the adoption of the Brief.

North Weald Airfield

A budget of £150,000 was agreed to enable Epping Forest District Council to commission further work on the future of North Weald Airfield. Referring to recommendations by Ernst and Young, Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg encouraged councillors to approve the two-stage process looking at aviation and non-aviation options.

2013 Citizens of the Year campaigns are underway

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

Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year 2013 poster

The search is on to find the Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year 2013 and Young Citizen of the Year 2013.

Do you know someone who has shown outstanding courage, or has done something of great benefit to you or your community?  Perhaps someone who has shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in their particular field or towards achieving a particular goal?

If that person is a resident of the district, why not show your appreciation and nominate them for Epping Forest District Council’s accolade, a Citizen of the Year Award?  The Citizen of the Year 2013 and the Young Citizen of the Year 2013 will receive their awards at the Annual Civic Reception in March 2013.

The Young Citizen of the Year Award is presented annually to a young person, aged 11-18, in recognition of an exceptional contribution to the Epping Forest community.

Youth Councillors Jaymey McIvor and Sam Cascarina promoting the Young Citizen of the Year campaign poster

If you know someone who fits the bill and deserves to be recognised, fill in a nomination form and make sure it reaches the Civic Offices by Friday 30 November. 

The forms can be obtained at Council Information Desks at Epping, Loughton or Waltham Abbey and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council Information Centre, or by contacting Pat Seager at the Civic Offices on 01992 564427 (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only) for the Citizen of the Year or Di Butler on 01992 564365 for the Young Citizen of the year. Alternatively, you can download each of the forms using the links below.

 Download Young Citizen of the Year 2013 nomination form

 Download Citizen of the Year 2013 nomination form

Older people’s day

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your home

Celebrate “older people’s day” with Epping Forest District Council

You are invited to visit one of our sheltered housing schemes on Monday 1 October 2012.

The UK’s Older People’s Day coincides with the UN International Day for Older Persons. The day is a national celebration of the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society. It is a great way to build new relationships between people of all ages and bring together the local community.

As part of the celebrations, events are being held at nine of the Council’s sheltered housing schemes. You may know somebody who lives in one of our schemes, or maybe you are thinking about sheltered housing for yourself (or someone else). Perhaps you’d just like to celebrate with us. Come and join us, you will be very welcome at one of our events, whatever your reason.

  • Coffee Morning at Barrington Close Centre, Barrington Road, Loughton IG10 2AX from 10am to 12 noon
  • Bingo and Afternoon Tea at Buckhurst Court, Albert Road, Buckhurst Hill IG9 6BD from 2pm to 4pm
  • Bingo and Afternoon Tea at Chapel Road, Epping CM16 5DS from 2pm to 4pm
  • Afternoon Tea at Frank Bretton House, Bansons Way, Ongar CM5 9EY from 2pm to 4pm
  • Tea and Cakes at Jubilee Court, Ninefields, Waltham Abbey EN9 3JB from 3pm to 5pm
  • Tea, Cakes and Tombola at Jessopp Court, Shernbroke Road, Waltham Abbey EN9 3LF from 2pm to 4pm
  • Tea and Cakes at Leonard Davis House, Kiln Road, North Weald CM16 6BS from 2pm to 4.30pm
  • Cream Tea at Parsonage Court, Rectory Lane, Loughton IG10 2BB from 2pm to 4pm
  • Games and Afternoon Tea at Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping CM16 4NA from 2pm to 4pm

There will be a small charge for refreshments, all proceeds go to the residents of the sheltered schemes and will be used to fund communal activities.

We hope that you will able to attend and help celebrate the contribution older people make to our communities.

For further information please contact Epping Forest District Council, Older Peoples Services Manager on 020 8508 8596.

Proposed Fieldes Lock Power Station

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Community, Doing business with the council, Energy efficiency, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Land at Ratty’s Lane, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire

Veolia Environmental Services (UK) is proposing to construct and operate a rail-linked power station at this site and have submitted a Development Consent Order to the Secretary of State via the Planning Inspectorate (application reference number EN010046).

It falls within the definition of a “nationally significant infrastructure project” under Section 52(2) of the Planning Act 2008 and therefore will be determined by the Secretary of State, not the local planning authority. The site is within Broxbourne Borough Council but is close to the western boundary of Epping Forest District Council.

Any comments must be made direct to the Planning Inspectorate by no later than 19 October 2012. Please follow the attached links for details of the application, where the information is available to view and how to make comments.

Read a brief summary of the project

View the detailed application documents at the Planning Inspectorate’s website

Comment on the application at the Planning Inspectorate’s website

Read the guidance notes on the responding to the application

Proposed changes to the need for planning permission for home extensions

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Epping, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Olympics, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The Government announced its intention to allow larger extensions to be built to houses than presently permitted on Thursday 6 September 2012. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government advised that local authorities will be consulted on the proposed changes – but to date the extent of the changes, or the date of their implementation, are not known.

Guidance relating to works which may presently be undertaken without the need to seek express planning permission from the Council can be obtained from the council’s website – view the planning permission guidance notes.

Epping Forest District Council can also determine whether or not planning permission is required for an extension to a dwelling following the submission of an application for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Development’ (the relevant application form can be downloaded here).

For enquiries relating to whether or not planning permission is required, please contact the Duty Planner between the hours of 10.30 am and 1 pm by telephoning 01992 564477, or by sending an email to contactdc@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Cabinet discuss St John’s Road development

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Epping, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Your community

A meeting of the Cabinet, on Monday 10 September, began with a series of public questions concerning the recently-published draft St John’s Road design and development brief. Asset Management and Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor Anne Grigg responded to each in turn including:

  • Retail and leisure use
  • Ownership
  • Access
  • Impact on neighbouring property values
  • Character and environmental impact of options
  • Public feedback on the options in the recent consultation

View questions and the debate

Councillor Grigg reminded Cabinet of the ownership of St John’s Road, in particular Essex County Council which controls the future of the former primary school, library and registry office.

Turning to the substantive report, Councillor Grigg reported the significant public opposition to a large supermarket. She introduced Mr Steve Walker to present the Development and Design Brief prepared by Allies Morrison Urban Practitioners.

Mr Walker noted the relocation of the primary school as a driving factor and took Cabinet through a description of the recent public consultation. 4 options were tabled for public consideration:

  1. Retail led
  2. Leisure led
  3. Retail and leisure
  4. Residential

More than 800 responses were received. Online responses were particularly popular with residents. Improved sport and leisure was by far the most important consideration raised by residents. Protection of existing historic buildings and the character of town were also very important. Also provision for adult education.

Options for a large supermarket drew the most significant opposition. Retail uses could have potential, provided they complement the existing town centre.

The brief leaves open the possibility of leisure and sports provision, potentially in conjunction with redevelopment of the Hemnall Street sports centre site. Further work is being carried out to assess the viability and impact of such a proposal. Mr Walker reminded Cabinet that as the major landowner, Essex County Council is seeking to realise as much money from the sale of its land holdings as possible having provided the new school .

Councillor Will Breare-Hall recognised the value of the consultation and welcomed the inclusion of  sports and leisure in response to public wishes. Councillor Richard Bassett Planning Portfolio Holder wished to know if Essex County Council as the major land owner had acknowledged local feeling.

Responding to Councillor John Philip, Councillor Bassett, noted the links between St John’s Road and the work going on to produce a new Local Plan.

Councillor Anne Grigg summed up by saying that this was an opportunity for Epping. Subject to any further minor changes, the draft St John’s Road Development Brief will be recommended for approval by Full Council on 27 September.

Norwegian weekend – memories and celebration

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Epping, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Your community

Memories of some sad times, adversity, friendships and happy moments were rekindled on Saturday 8 September 2012. Veterans from Norway arrived with serving senior military officers and civic leaders at the civic offices of Epping Forest District Council at the start of a busy day.

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Council welcomed his opposite number Mayor Ole Hjartoy of the Norwegian city of Bodo at the steps of the Civic Offices. Speeches and presentations reaffirmed the ties of friendship between two communities forged in war.

Epping brought back memories for several of the veterans who escaped their own country to England in the dark days of World War II, Their struggle continued under the banner of the Royal Air Force in their small Hawker Hurricanes from North Weald.

Veterans recalled many happy hours spent in the Thatched House, Epping to which they would cycle, although they searched in vain for the Carpenters Arms which has since made way for modern development.

After years of closure, Epping Ongar Railway looked spectacular in bright sunshine as the Veterans and guests continued their trip down Memory Lane. A ride on the train from North Weald Station to Ongar included a short break with high demand for ice-cream and cool drinks as temperatures hit the high twenties. North Weald Station was a familiar stepping off point 70 years ago. Veterans smiled as they recalled trips to London for some R and R.

Veterans, civic leaders and top-brass continued to enjoy the hospitality of the welcoming residents of North Weald. At North Weald Airfield younger group of volunteers who arrived in the Norwegian Royal Air Force Hercules on Friday were hard at work, putting the final touches to the refurbishment of an historic revetment. These fortified aircraft bunkers protected Hurricanes, Blenheims and Spitfires from aerial attack by the Luftwaffe.

The particular revetment was used by 331 (N) Squadron. A dedication and the unveiling of a memorial stone brought from Norway took place at sunset with a guard of honour provided by the ATC as well as standard bearers from Norway and the Royal British Legion.  Arthur Moreton of North Weald who was instrumental in organising the events of the weekend spoke movingly in response to a fine speech Cato Gunhfeldt on behalf of the volunteers.

The Squadron bar was renamed ‘The Norwegian Wing’ in honour of the guests. The evening ended with a surprise presentation to Alan Crouchman of The Squadron and Epping Forest District Council’s Airfield Operations Manager Darren Goodey, in recognition of the special efforts made by them and their teams in support of the Norwegian visit.

Memorial stone

A plaque attached to the revetment memorial stone reads

“This Stone, brought from Norway and erected on September 8th 2012 commemorates the 70th anniversary of 331 (N) and 332 (N) Squadrons commencing operations from RAF North Weald in May and June 1942.

The two squadrons became known as The Norwegian Wing, operating from North Weald until the end of March 1944.

The revetment was used by 331 (N) Squadron’s A-Flight”


Have your say on the Local Plan (Community Choices)

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Epping, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Ongar, Our countryside, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your environment

The consultation process on the Community Choices document is now well under way, having been launched on 30 July 2012. However, the consultation period will run until 15 October 2012, so there is still plenty of time to get involved.

7 more dates have been added to provide more opportunities for anyone to drop in for more information or to provide their feedback.

Within the Community Choices consultation document we have identified what we believe to be the main issues facing the district over the next 20 years. We also list a range of options to deal with the issues. However, we need the public to provide their opinions on these issues and options.

The consultation documents and additional information are available on our website www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/planningourfuture. Hard copies of documents are also available at libraries and council offices.

In addition to making copies of the documents widely available we are holding several drop-in sessions across the district. The sessions are intended to be informal but will be attended by the Forward Planning Team and will give the public the opportunity to ask any questions and give us their views in person.

We have added 7 extra dates to our original list, the full, up-to-date schedule is as follows:

  1. 4  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Sheering Village Hall, Sheering
  2. 5  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Jack Silley Pavilion, Epping
  3. 6  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Roding Valley Hall, Buckhurst Hill
  4. 10  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Fyfield Village Hall, Fyfield
  5. 11  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Waltham Abbey Town Hall, Waltham Abbey
  6. 12  September 2012 – 5.45pm to 9pm – Abridge Village Hall, Abridge
  7. 13  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Roydon Marina Village, Roydon
  8. 17  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Epping Hall, Epping
  9. 18  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Loughton Council Chamber, Loughton
  10. 19  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Nazeing Leisure Centre, Bumble’s Green
  11. 20  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Chigwell Parish Council Offices, Chigwell
  12. 25  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – Ongar Town Council, Chipping Ongar
  13. 26  September 2012 – 6.30pm to 9pm – Theydon Bois Village Hall, Theydon Bois
  14. 27  September 2012 – 5pm to 9pm – North Weald Village Hall Lounge, North Weald

Epping Forest inclusion forum

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Residents, Your area, Your community

A new forum is being launched in Epping next month. Parents, guardians, carers and supporters of disabled people are invited to the launch of the Epping Forest inclusion forum in the clubhouse at Upper Clapton Rugby Club, Upland Road, Epping, CM16 6NL on Monday 17 September from 6.30pm to 8pm.

The forum, which is being co-ordinated by the community services department of Epping Forest District Council, will be the steering group for the Epping Forest inclusion project. It will give people who know and understand the needs of disabled people the opportunity of having their say in the development of leisure opportunities for disabled people.

The inclusion project is funded by Essex County Council and aims to develop non- prescriptive leisure and short break opportunities for people with disabilities by consulting with those who know their needs best.

The Upper Clapton Rugby Club is also supporting the forum by delivering a free tag rugby session alongside the event for children and young people.

For more information or to register with the forum, please contact Fabrizio Luca Ferrari on 01992 564220, or email fferrari@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Residents urged to take part in consultation – Local Plan video

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Consultation, Councillors, Epping, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Ongar, Our countryside, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

The issues and options consultation phase of the new Local Plan, ‘Community Choices’ runs from 30 July to 15 October. Here, Councillor Richard Bassett, the Council’s Planning Portfolio Holder talks about some of the key elements and encourages residents to become involved.


Click ‘Community Choices’ to view all the information and take part in the Local Plan consultation.