Residents have until Saturday to attend the public consultation in St John’s Church, Epping.
With around 70 socially-distanced visitors per day and several thousand contributions online the Commonplace consultation is attracting enormous interest.
So far, residents have been providing a varied and valuable range of views on everything from housing to the new leisure centre. These will be used by Qualis to shape the final proposals and the public’s views are seen as essential in making the project a success.
Consultation raises questions
One issue raising eyebrows has been suggestions for the development of green spaces at Lower Swains, the War Memorial Green on Church Hill and the area between the Methodist Church and Epping High Road including new pedestrian and cycle ways, and play areas.
Qualis has recently clarified the reason for the inclusion of these suggestions on its website. As part of the planning brief, Qualis is required to provide an Epping Town overview that sets out how the wider public realm might develop over time and therefore goes beyond just the five development sites at St John’s, Hemnall Street, Bakers Lane, Cottis Lane and the Council’s Conder Building,
These elements are for the consultation and show how public spaces could be used but they are not specifically part of the St Johns project or council policy.
They have been provided by Qualis to give a better understanding of what the wider future of Epping might look like and therefore helping it to take a holistic approach. Initial response from within Epping Forest District Council and many local residents shows not all these suggestions would be realistic or desirable, but they are intended to stimulate discussion and debate. They will allow Qualis to refine its proposals in more detail as it moves forward and will form part of the next planned consultation events.
You can learn more about the consultation here https://workingtogetherforepping.commonplace.is.