Cabinet 21 July 2016

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Economic support, local plan and new council housing were among items discussed at Cabinet on 21 July 2016.

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Council moving forward

A range of exciting developments are in the pipeline. New housing, sports, and economic developments are being matched by an internal transformation programme at Epping Forest District Council. A very upbeat Cabinet meeting confirmed progress on a number of fronts. Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council, emphasised how the District Council is leading in partnership with other organisations.

Cabinet agrees Retail Park contract

The £10.2m contract to build Epping Forest Shopping Park was awarded to McLaughlin & Harvey Construction at the latest meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on Thursday (21 July). Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg recommended McLaughlin and Harvey as the best tender after receiving bids in competition with RG Carter and Higgins Construction. The retail park on the site of the former council depot in Langston Road, Loughton is due to open in August 2017.

Cabinet also agreed additional spending on associated highway works, bringing the cost of the improvements contract for Chigwell Lane and Langston Road awarded to Walkers Construction to £2.978m. Epping Forest District Council is in negotiation with a number of well-known retailers.

Local Plan and Local Council Tax Scheme

The draft Local Plan will be in the public domain up to five weeks before formal consultation starts in late October. Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor John Philip said the advance availability would effectively give local residents 11 weeks to consider the draft with responses being received in the final six week period.

Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra reported on consultation to be undertaken between August and October to update the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.

New Council Housing

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor Syd Stavrou secured the approval of Cabinet for revisions to the Council House Building Development Strategy. In addition to building new homes made available to local residents, Epping Forest District Council is also planning to buy houses on the open market for rent at ‘affordable’ rates.

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane followed with a report on the Hillhouse Masterplan and Development Scheme, a partnership with Essex County Council and NHS England. Cabinet supported the draft proposals including a new public swimming pool, independent living homes and health facilities on the Ninefields estate in Waltham Abbey which will be subject to further public consultation and planning applications.

Parish Neighbourhood Plan – help offered

Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip advised fellow councillors not to endorse a local referendum for the Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan. Following an independent planning examiner’s refusal to recommend the Plan, Epping Forest District Council will continue to advise and assist the parish council should it chose to revise it.

Economic support to towns and villages

Cabinet approved the Town and Village Centre Opportunities Fund Policy, funded by Epping Forest District Council with £35,000 in 2016/17.