A planning application for car parking at Marlescroft Way, Loughton has been withdrawn by Epping Forest District Council. The decision was taken by Councillor Syd Stavrou, Cabinet Portfolio Holder responsible for Housing.
We have to listened to local people
Councillor Stavrou said: “I have stopped the planning application. Parking is becoming an increasing problem on our congested roads. Marlescroft Way was put forward to help alleviate some of the pressure by creating a small car park for staff using the nearby council depot during the day, which could also have been used by residents in the evenings and at weekends.”
“However, the project has met with significant objections. This was always a finely balanced decision. The planning application was rejected at the planning committee stages and I feel we have to listen to local people. I have listened and decided the potential benefits of this car park don’t sufficiently outweigh the objections. We will revisit our use for the depot and try to find other ways of helping our staff get to work.”
A special council meeting to discuss the planning application on 18 March has now been cancelled.
Bringing jobs and services to Loughton
Councillor Stavrou added: “The relocation of staff to the nearby depot is a good thing, bringing jobs and services to Loughton. The plans for parking were an honest attempt to facilitate that process but I shall now ask managers to look at other options.”
“Oakwood Hill Depot is an important asset and we need to use it to its maximum potential. It already provides a hub for our grounds maintenance and MoT services. Housing repairs which maintains the council’s housing stock for tenants including many properties in Loughton is moving in next. We will look at other ways of configuring the depot to allow for more on-site parking without preventing access to our tractors, mowers, vans and customers bringing vehicles for MoTs.”
Councillor Stavrou concluded: “Some people will draw comparisons between the plans for this car park and plans to build homes on part of Jessel Green and other places across the district. I would only say that I feel there is a difference. Parking close to home or work is a nice thing to have.”
“In an ideal world we all want it, but housing for local families in desperate need is an entirely different issue. There is a genuine shortage of housing. We don’t all need cars but everyone needs a place to live.”