Epping Forest draft local plan Cabinet report

Epping sites for potential development coopersale-2016-09-27-14-52-24 theydon-bois-2016-09-27-14-53-59 thornwood-2016-09-27-14-52-14The Epping Forest Local Plan Cabinet report has been published and is available on the district council website.

The fraft local plan sets out the number of homes the council wants to be built in Epping Forest until 2031 and identifies potential sites for development (see maps.

It also includes the policies that will be used to assess future planning applications.

If agreed by Cabinet and full council the plan will be out for consultation between Monday 31 October and Monday 12 Deember.


Epping Forest Christmas 2014 revised recycling and rubbish collection dates

Collecting trade waste on #OurDay

Because of the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, the council will collect rubbish and recycling later than usual over the next couple of weeks. The changes are:

  • Thursday 25 December –> Saturday 27 December
  • Friday 26 December –> Monday 29 December
  • Monday 29 December –> Tuesday 30 December
  • Tuesday 30 December –> Wednesday 31 December
  • Wednesday 31 December –> Friday 2 December
  • Thursday 1 January –> Saturday 3 January
  • Friday 2 January –> Monday 5 January
  • Monday 5 January –> Tuesday 6 January
  • Tuesday 6 January –> Wednesday 7 January
  • Wednesday 7 January –> Thursday 8 January
  • Thursday 8 January –> Friday 9 January
  • Friday 9 January –> Saturday 10 January

Back to normal on Monday 12 January. You can find out more about the refuse and recycling service in Epping Forest at the recycling and waste section of the council’s website including details of standard collection dates and whether it’s a recycling (clear sack) or non-recyclable (grey bin) collection week and what you can recycle.

Photo: Epping Forest DC CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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.

Water supply discoloured?

Since Wednesday a few dozen residents from Coopersale, Epping and Theydon Bois have reported discoloured water coming out of their taps.

Glass of Water

This seems to be related to mains cleaning work that Affinity Water is carrying out on their distribution network. The discoloured water problem is related to manganese deposits in the water distribution system which have been disturbed by on-going mains cleaning works.

The company now thinks it has mitigated much of the problem but in some areas there are still small pockets of discoloured water. Affinity Water will continue to carry out “passive flushing” of the mains in the affected areas.

Epping Forest District Council’s water quality officer advises that the water is not unsafe to use. However residents have been advised by Affinity Water to flush all affected taps/pipework, where discolouration is evident.

Concerned residents should contact Affinity Water if they need further advice or information. The phone number is 0845 782 3333.

Scams are crimes. Help stop them.


May is Scams Awareness Month (organised by the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Trading Standards Institute.

These are just a few of the scams that the Essex County Council Trading Standards team has come across this month:

  • Emails purporting to be from HMRC in regard to being eligible to a tax return of £288.87 in which the business has to register details. The email address from which the email has been sent is a no-reply and not an HMRC email address.
  • An email to a resident purporting to be from a police force outside Essex.  It stated that his computer had been hacked and used to look at child pornography and copyright infringements.  The email stated that £100 needed to be sent to stop a virus destroying the hard drive of the computer.
  • A business has been contacted about their business rates.  The business was charged for the service but so far nothing has been delivered.  The company offering the service is purported to be operating from Bolton.
  • A resident ticked a box on a health food supplement website for a free sample.   The resident has now been sent a supply of capsules and the company is asking for £64.90 and have stated they will continue to send product at 30 day intervals.  On calling the company the resident was told that they needed to email head office for a refund but the “contact us” button on their website was not working.  The company is purported to be operating from West Lothian in Scotland.
  • A resident received an email purporting to be from HMRC stating that he was a beneficiary of a fund amounting to around $15 million dollars.  In order for the funds to be released a copy of their passport and drivers licence was required.

Spot Scams! Stop Scams!Scams are schemes to con people out of their money. They can be carried out by post, phone, email, online or sometimes via a knock on the door.  Scams take different forms such as fake lotteries, prize draws, bogus health cures, dodgy investment schemes, pyramid selling and phishing.

The best piece of advice is: “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!”

You can check the Action Fraud alerts for common scams and frauds at www.actionfraud.police.uk/news.

It is likely to be a scam if:

  • The call, letter, email or text has come out of the blue
  • You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about
  • You didn’t buy a ticket – so you can’t win it!
  • They are asking you to send money in advance
  • They are telling you to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it or ask family and friends before you decide
  • They are telling you to keep it a secret
  • They seem to be offering you something for nothing

What should I do with something I think is a scam?

  • Don’t reply to spam mail, texts or emails
  • Say “no thank you” politely and put the phone down if they persist
  • Phone the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 for advice
  • Check the Action Fraud alerts for common scams/ frauds www.actionfraud.police.uk/news
  • Ask friends, neighbours or family if the offer is likely to be a scam
  • Destroy and throw away mailings.

What can I do to tackle scams?

  1. Report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk
  2. Get advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06. It can provide advice and pass details on to Trading Standards
  3. Tell someone. Tip off a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of
  4. Down load and read the My Scams Checklist leaflet at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sam13-checklist [PDF]

How can I protect myself?

  1. Never give out contact details like your name, phone number or address to strangers or to people who should have this information already.
  2. Never give financial information or details of your identity, bank accounts or credit card to strangers or to the businesses that already hold your details.
  3. Shred anything with your personal or bank details on – don’t just throw it away.


Epping Forest August bank holiday revised refuse and recycling dates

Because Monday is a Bank Holiday, the council will collect rubbish and recycling one day later than usual this week.

  • Monday 27 August –> Tuesday 28 August
  • Tuesday 28 August –> Wednesday 29 August
  • Wednesday 29 August –> Thursday 30 August
  • Thursday 30 August –> Friday 31 August
  • Friday 31 August –> Saturday 1 September

Back to normal on Monday 3 September.

You can find out more about the refuse and recycling service in Epping Forest at the recycling and waste section of the council’s website including details of standard collection dates.

Hosepipe ban lifted this week

The hosepipe ban in our area came to an end on Monday. So if your garden needs watering (ha! ha!) life just got easier. This is the message I received from Veolia (what used to be Three Valleys Water) explaining the decision.

Dear Councillor

I am writing to inform you that Veolia Water Central is lifting its temporary use ban, with effect from today, Monday 9 July. This means that customers can use hosepipes from this date.

The ban was introduced on 5 April, following two consecutive autumn and winter periods of below average rainfall, which left much of the South East of England in drought conditions.

The temporary use ban has helped to reduce demand and conserve our water resources and we would like to thank our customers for their incredible support and we apologise for inconvenience caused by the ban.

The unprecedented rainfall since April has lead to a significant improvement in our water resources, which have now recovered sufficiently to allow us to lift the ban, without putting strain on the local environment.

Veolia Water Central takes most of its water from natural underground chalk reservoirs, called aquifers, which take longer to respond to rainfall, as the water has to permeate through soil and rocks, which has taken some weeks.

Although the exceptional levels of recent rainfall have resulted in an unusually high top up of groundwater for this time of year, the critical period for recharging our aquifers is between October and March, when less rainfall is lost to plant growth, evaporation and run off to rivers.

It must be stressed that groundwater levels still remain lower than normal, so we are asking our customers to continue to use water wisely. We will need prolonged and substantial rainfall, particularly during the next autumn and winter period, to restore our groundwater to normal levels. A third dry autumn and winter would make a hosepipe ban next year a possibility.

The ban, together with the significant rainfall since April, has resulted in a reduction in demand of about 7%. Veolia Water Central has also reduced leakage by over 20 million litres per day below our regulator agreed leakage reduction target for this year.

Veolia Water’s website contains advice and tips on saving water and using water more efficiently, together with free and discounted water saving devices at: www.veoliawater.co.uk/drought.

In addition to Veolia Water Central, Veolia Water Southeast, South East Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water are also announcing the lifting of restrictions from today.

The message about groundwater levels remaining lower than usual is a reminder that we live (normally) in one of the driest regions in Britain and that future plans for building in our area must take account of our water resources.

Neighbourhood Watch: scam warning

A warning received via Neighbourhood Watch:

Information received indicates that letters from the International Fifa World Cup Online Lottery are being delivered in Brentwood. These may soon be received in other areas. These letters are mainly being sent to elderly people, and are saying that the person has won a large sum of money and that to receive the money they are to fax over their bank details to the following fax number 020 7681 1447. This appears to be a scam.

Never give out your bank details to anyone, without checking to ensure that the recipient is bona fide.

Easter Egg Hunt at Copped Hall

Copped Hall, Near Epping
I’ve been reminded about the Copped Hall Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday: ideal if you have children with you this weekend and are wondering what to do with them.

Any accompanied child (under 14) can take part in the fun and games. The all-important hunt for Easter Eggs is just one of the activities organised for young visitors. Keep your eyes open for the Easter Bunny!

For the adults, there are 24 acres of garden to stroll around including the fantastic Walled Garden, Long Garden and Rock Garden. The results of all the hard work the gardeners have been doing all winter will be on show. At last year’s open days I was stationed at the gate taking admission money from visitors. So many of them said how much they admired the gardens as they left.

Don’t forget the home made cakes and refreshments in the Racquets Court, the old fashioned Ice Cream Trike  and garden produce and gifts from the shop.

Entry is from 2pm until 4pm on Easter Sunday, with the car park closing at 5.15 pm. £3.50 per adult, accompanied children under 14 free of charge. Friends of The Copped Hall Trust also gain free entry on production of their membership card. The House will not be open to visitors.

Free parking. Entrance via the Crown Hill gate (on the Upshire Road).