At last some news on the St John’s Road site in Epping

For the first time Epping Forest district council has revealed proposals under discussion for the St John’s Road development site in Epping. (The site comprises the vacant former Epping Junior School site, the Centrepoint building on St John’s Road opposite the library, the Epping Hall site occupied by Epping Town Council and the district council’s housing depot site with access via the slip road to the High Street.)
Speaking at the district council’s Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee last night Chris Pasterfield, who is the officer who leads work on the council’s land-holdings, reported that proposals currently being discussed with developers Frontier Estates, include
  • a “relatively small” supermarket anchoring the scheme
  • small cinema, “probably three schemes”
  • Town Square
  • restaurants
  • some residential
  • offices (including for the town council replacing its office at Epping Hall)
  • car parking

It is clear there is still a lot of discussion and debate to be had.

Mr Pasterfield said the next stages are for the three councils involved to agree Heads of Terms with Frontier Estates, then negotiate a development agreement and then for the developer to submit a planning application.

There is a report on this going to the district council’s decision making Cabinet next Monday (21 July). It’s currently scheduled to be discussed in private session but Janet Whitehouse and I are asking for the discussion to be moved into public session given the significance of the the decision to the town. Hopefully that will bring more information into the public domain than the slightly sketchy details given above.
You can watch the report to the Asset Management Committee on the council’s webcast archive: the St John’s item is between
53:23 and 55:24 minutes. I was surprised to hear the comment about Epping Town Council as I believe a formal decision about the Heads of Terms has not been taken by the Town Council.
I hope to add more information as it becomes available.

Merry Christmas and thank you

As I walked up Epping High Street this evening – after some last-minute Christmas card delivery and Carols on the Green – there was a real sense of the town winding down for Christmas. Shops were shutting or had shut and families were drifting home or to the Crib Service at St John’s Church. I took a moment to enjoy once again the Christmas lights decorating either side of the High Street. Even the traffic seemed slightly less congested.

Read the rest of this entry.

Epping Christmas Market

Last year I got home too late to see much of the Christmas Market (and it was pouring with rain) so today I enjoyed both the dry weather and the time to look around the stalls. Sadly I still managed to miss the singing on the piazza.

Epping Christmas Market 2009

The Town Council does a good job of organising the event but it would be helpful to have a bit of information about what is due to happen when. (UPDATE: after the event I found a programme of events here [PDF])

The Christmas Tree Festival, which I look forward to visiting later, continues in St John’s Church all weekend. Opening hours are:

  • Saturday 5 December – 10 am to 4 pm
  • Sunday 6 December – 11 am to 5 pm
  • Monday 7 December – 10am to 5pm

Entry is £2 (children free) and proceeds go to St John’s Church, The Box and PCDC.