Councillors confirmed North Weald’s status as a thriving airfield at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on Monday 13 March.
Cabinet agreed to maintain the airfield’s status as an unlicensed aerodrome whilst developing the aviation operation by improving facilities, security, safety and attracting new business opportunities.
Councillors went on to formally endorse the North Weald Airfield Strategic Masterplan. It can now be taken into account as an important material consideration in the determination of future planning applications.
Mr John Start was welcomed into the chamber, seeking clarification of the future of motor sport at the airfield. Sprint clubs currently use tarmacked expanses of the airfield apron in the masterplan area. Mr Start received assurances that discussions would take place to explore options.
Planning portfolio holder Nigel Bedford echoed the assurances of councillor John Philip who emphasised that aviation remains an integral part of North Weald Airfield’s future.
North Weald Airfield is also a key business and employment asset. As the council attracts innovation, entrepreneurs and high-tech companies, up to 2,900 new jobs could be created directly and indirectly at North Weald and across the district. Councillors received reassurances that many opportunities including apprenticeships would be generated for young people.
Improving refuse and recycling
Councillors approved £9.22 million to buy brand new waste fleet vehicles. The council has already signalled its intention to improve domestic waste collection and recycling services by building a vehicle depot at North Weald Airfield.
The airfield’s central location and availability of land can provide parking and maintenance for the new fleet and washing facilities for the crews.
Councillors received assurances that the lowest-emission vehicles available would be incorporated into the procurement programme. The new waste vehicles will be ready for the new waste contract in November 2024.
Other cabinet matters
Councillors approved the start of consultation with leaseholders and residents on the £6 million Broadway major works project in Loughton.
Policies to support the council’s role in tackling domestic abuse were agreed.
Cabinet endorsed the adoption of the air quality action plan 2023-2028, quarterly Qualis performance report and updated off-street civil parking enforcement policy.
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