Local plan, parking and new housing projects on Cabinet agenda

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The local plan, council car parks and new housing projects were all on the agenda as Cabinet met on Monday 11 March 2013.

Watch the webcast of Cabinet on 11 March 2013

Local plan

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder thanked councillors and staff for their support in the recent local plan workshops were a great deal of positive progress has been achieved. Councillor Bassett has also been in discussion with Enfield and Broxbourne Councils. A letter of understanding is to be drawn up between the 3 councils to work together for mutual benefit and common interest in the Lea Valley horticultural arena.

Car parks

Councillor Gary Waller, Safer Greener and Highways Portfolio Holder provided a detailed spoken update on the impact of recent Transport for London car park price increases on the council’s own town centre car parks. A council survey has shown that although the pay and display car parking in Debden is functioning well, long stay parking in Epping is coming under much greater pressure as commuters move from station to cheaper town centre alternatives.

Epping Forest District Council has kept pay and display parking charges low for the last 4 years as a deliberate policy of support for local town centres.

Councillor Waller referred to a number of potential solutions designed to ensure commuters do not prevent access to parking by town centre shoppers. He will bring further reports to Cabinet in the next few months.

New housing projects

The previous meeting of Cabinet on 4 February supported proposals for the redevelopment of Marden Close and Faversham Hall in Chigwell Row. The latest meeting of Cabinet approved recommendations to fund the conversion of the bedsits in to 1 bedroom flats at Marden Close from a new major capital housing projects reserve. The report and recommendations by the Housing Scrutiny Panel to Cabinet was presented by Councillor Stephen Murray.

Marden Close will be the first project to benefit from the Reserve. Others are expected to follow.

Resources are to be allocated initially for 3 years to fund major housing schemes

  • 2013/14  £330,000
  • 2014/15 £850,000
  • 2015/16 £850,000

Housing portfolio Holder Councillor David Stallan supported the recommendations including further measures to fund an additional senior cleaner, the renewal of furniture in the communal areas of the council’s sheltered housing schemes and an additional £50,000 for smaller housing improvements and enhancements.

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