New District Local Plan
8 December 2018
Epping Forest District Council has now submitted its
Local Plan for Examination. The Inspector has produced a timetable and document,
including a set of questions. for hearings in 2019.
SaveJesselGreen and others will be attending some of the hearings to
oppose various aspects of the Plan, including the idea of building on
It’s important to remember that the Inspector will
solely be looking at whether the Plan is “sound” (that is, it has been
prepared in accordance with the relevant legal requirements) and may
agree changes to make it “sound”. Other than this, she will not
consider making any other improvements to the Plan.
3 July 2018
High Court has dismissed a developer's legal challenge to the Epping
Forest District Council’s Local Plan, paving the way for the Council to
submit the Plan to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination
(the challenge could, if successful, have had a significant effect on
the progress of the Plan).
See the Council’s statement here – we will be considering the implications of the judgement.
21 March 2018
Epping Forest District Local Plan halted
March 20th, a judge agreed that there should be a Judicial Review
hearing in May on a developer’s objections to the Local Plan. Until
then, the Council will have to defer submitting the Plan to the next
stage of the process.
LRA is contesting a number of points on
which we feel that the Plan is unsound. In particular, we object
strongly to the Council’s proposal to build housing on Jessel Green.
LRA Press Release
District Council Press Release
29 January 2018
LRA attacks Local Plan
LRA has sent twelve representations to the District
Council, setting out what it sees as the serious mistakes in the Local
Plan, including calling for Jessel Green to be dropped from the
development list. The next stage will be a hearing in front of a
Government Inspector, probably in Autumn 2018.
At this stage,
to get the Plan changed, we have to show that the Plan is not soundly
based and is not the most effective way to deliver the required results
in the Plan’s period. We know that the District Council won’t change
anything at this stage, so our representations are aimed at this
You can see our representations here:
11 January 2018
LRA will be pointing
out to the District Council what’s wrong with the draft Local Plan, in
preparation for the formal hearing in the Autumn.
16 December 2017
What the latest position?
strong opposition to various aspects from LRA Cllrs, and Cllrs from
other parts of the District, at a Council meeting on December 14th the
Conservative majority pushed through their current draft Local Plan.
pressure from LRA, Traps Hill car-park had been dropped from the list
of developments, and Rochford Green had also been omitted. However,
some of Jessel Green, Luctons Field and the car-parks at Loughton &
Debden stations, are still on the list, and the County Council wants to
redevelop the Traps Hill Library building to provide housing and a
library, which means the Library, Town Council, CAB and National Jazz
Archive will need relocating while work is carried out.
LRA Cllrs put forward a motion to exclude all public urban open space from development under the Plan but this was defeated.
next stage in the process restricts representations to the District
Council on the legal compliance and soundness of the Plan. More on this
here and here.
LRA and Loughton Town Council will of course be responding, and this
should mean that next Autumn both bodies will be invited to speak at
the final stage of the process – a formal hearing on the Plan in front
of a Planning Inspector.
The District Council aims to deliver
the development of 11,400 new homes in the remaining 15 year plan
period. The Inspector will want to see a rolling 5-year land supply
capable of meeting the identified housing need. Furthermore, in order
to meet the housing targets required by national policy, the Council
will have to demonstrate that it can achieve a dramatic improvement in
the number of new homes brought forward annually. The annualised
average requirement for new housing in the district is approximately
518. However, over the past years only 150 – 220 dwellings per annum
have been delivered, leaving the Council with a significant shortfall
of approximately 1,500 dwellings for the years 2011 – 2017. This
shortfall must also be delivered in the Plan period.
We will keep residents posted on progress.
[Photo courtesy of Mark Soanes]
10 December 2017
Loughton’s open spaces threatened
Government recently proposed that the number of housing units to be
built in Epping Forest District should go up from 514 a year to 921 a
year – an impossible target!
To avoid this increase, the
District Council needs to submit its new draft Local Plan for
examination before March 31st 2018 - the key Council meeting to approve
the draft will be on December 14th. More here
Council say that even 514 units a year would mean building on
Loughton’s open spaces – we know the vast majority local residents are
against this, as is LRA. They are proposing to build on some of Jessel
Green, a much-loved green that Loughton people have enjoyed for
decades. The car parks at Debden and Loughton stations are also
The County Council wants to redevelop the Traps
Hill Library building to provide housing and a library, so the Library,
Town Council, CAB and National Jazz Archive will need relocating –
temporarily or permanently - before work starts.
Following pressure from LRA, Traps Hill car-park has been dropped from the list – at least for the time being.
will now be a public consultation on the soundness and legal compliance
of the draft Plan. LRA will question the soundness of the Plan, and
particularly the deeply-flawed site selection process; we are prepared
to take the fight forward to the full-scale hearing before a Government
Inspector (probably in Autumn 2018). Follow us on Facebook or Twitter,
or look out for updates on our website.
14 October 2017
Local Plan. LRA is considering our options should the District Council
persist with what we see as extremely harmful proposals, such as
including the Debden green spaces and the Traps Hill car-park in the
list of development sites. Here’s a summary of the work the Council is currently undertaking on the Plan.
Government is currently consulting on greatly increasing the number of
housing units that would have to be built in the District, from 514 a
year to 921 a year. The District Council can avoid this increase if it
can submit its Plan for examination before 31 March 2018. It’s
therefore trying to speed up the process to make sure this happens –
the key Council meeting will be on December 14th
then be a 6-week public consultation on the latest draft, before it
goes to a formal hearing in front of an Inspector. At this stage, if
the Debden green spaces are still on the list for development, and if
we think there are other serious things wrong with it, we will let
residents know and ask them to give their views.
If this doesn’t make the Council put things right, then we will challenge the plan at the formal hearing.
13 December 2016
The Consultation is now closed. Over 600 residents copied us in on their responses – thank you! LRA response here & Loughton Town Council response here.
To keep abreast of what’s happening, join LRA and get our regular news bulletins
4 December 2016
Help Save Loughton's Open Spaces - Now!
Draft Local Plan Public Consultation
Tell the Epping Forest District Council which sites you value – and why!
Want to know more?
What you might say?
Put up a window poster
District Council is threatening to build over Loughton’s open
||You can find out more,and how to make your
in our latest Townwide
Loughton Life newsletter.
Please tell the Council which
sites you value – and why.
Public open space provision is
only just adequate now and must not be
reduced. Give reasons for your views - see
our suggestions. (if
possible, put these in your own words)
don’t need to be an expert! Just think what you’d say to a friend who
asked you what you thought – and write down your answers.
the areas affected
to fight District
Council threat to build over Loughton’s green spaces!
The new District Local Plan will
District develops. A Public Consultation starts October 31st. You can
more, and how to make your voices heard, in the latest Townwide edition
Life newsletter and email
news bulletin. We’ll add a
suggested replies here in the next few days. Copies of
printed and will be delivered to Loughton households in a week or
28 September 2016
to fight District Council threat to build over Loughton’s green spaces!
new District Local Plan will affect how the District develops. This
Autumn there will be a Public Consultation. We’ll bring residents the
details, and how to make your voices heard, in the end-October Townwide
edition of our Loughton Life newsletter and here on our
The Rape of Loughton's Open Spaces
of Debden’s green areas – and open areas elsewhere in Loughton – will
be built over if the Conservative-dominated District Council (“EFDC”)
have their way, according to their draft Local Plan.
stage of the development of the Plan, LRA Cllrs have made it clear that
they oppose these proposals, and that they expect the vast majority of
Loughton residents will do so too.
At the end of October, EFDC
will launch a Public Consultation on the Plan. In the week commencing
October 24th they will deliver a leaflet about the Plan to every
household in the District.
At the same time, LRA will provide
every Loughton household, explaining what’s involved and how residents
can make their views known. At this stage we hope – and expect – that
residents will give these aspects a resounding “thumbs- down”!
The details of the draft Plan can be found at the Epping Forest District Council website (item 7).
want to build 195 houses on Jessel Green, which they own, pocketing the
sale or rental proceeds. This is the big open hillside between
Colebrook Lane and Jessel Drive.
(There is already a campaign group objecting to this – see the
They want 53 houses on Rochford Green (which they also own) near the Princess of Wales
pub (previously the Clydesdale).
Forest College sites (Borders Lane)
have designated Luctons Field, opposite the College, to take no fewer
than 304 dwellings - this field is owned by Epping Forest College.
Despite strong LRA protests, last year EFDC just threw away a
protective covenant that restricted it to educational or NHS use; at
the time the College said the field was primarily intended as the site
for a sports centre. EFDC also want 158 houses on the College Middle
Site, which was also subject to a protective covenant which the
Conservative majority threw away.
Elsewhere in Loughton
sites they have put forward include Traps Hill car park (44 houses),
Debden Station car park (193 houses) and Loughton Station car park (114
houses) - the car park sites doubtless involve massive buildings over
underground parking to replace the lost ground-level parking spaces.
the draft Local Plan wants 1,190 more houses across Loughton. However,
it fails to include any specific requirements for extra schools, roads,
GP surgeries, etc
proposals will be discussed at an EFDC Cabinet meeting on October 6th
and then at a full Council meeting on October 18th. Assuming that the
draft Plan is approved, there will be a Public Consultation, which will
run from October 31st to December 12th; EFDC may then revise the Plan.
There are then further stages to go through before the Plan is finally
EFDC are already well behind their original time-table
for producing the new Plan, and we would not want to further delay its
introduction unnecessarily. However, should EFDC not take the expected
public outrage into effect by amending the draft Plan, the LRA will
continue to the fight these proposals at every stage.
1. About the Local Plan
Local Plan governs many aspects of life in the district, including
planning for housing and employment. In preparing the new plan, EFDC is
required to consider all potential sites for housing.
2. About developments in
Conservative majority on EFDC have already forced through a wholly
out-of-character seven-storey building at the end of Debden Broadway,
now under construction. They are also developing a “retail park” on
Langston Road where it appears that – despite their promises at the
outset - the retailers they are bringing into Loughton will create
extra direct competition for retailers in The Broadway and Loughton
3. About Loughton
Residents Association is a very active group of local residents who
care for Loughton and its environment. Our membership is around 1,000
households, and we have been in existence for over 30 years. We are
independent of any political party.
We seek, and listen to, the
views and concerns of Loughton residents and take action in support. We
have a majority of the councillors on the Loughton Town Council, and
councillors on Epping Forest District Council & Essex County
We have our own regular printed and email newsletters to residents and
this website. This statement is also available online.
25 September 2016
new Plan will affect how the District develops. This Autumn there will
be a Public Consultation. We’ll bring residents the details, and how to
make your voices heard, in the end-October Townwide edition of our
Loughton Life newsletter and here on our website.
What’s in the plan?
GREEN BELT & CONSERVATION
Heritage Conservation, Nature Conservation
Recycling and Pollution
LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT
Housing, Employment, Shopping and Town Centres
Recreation, Sport and Tourism, Community Facilities
DESIGN AND LANDSCAPE
Design and the Built Environment
Landscape and Landscaping
new Plan will affect how the District develops, in terms of housing and
other building, the level of local employment and in many other ways.
LRA and Loughton Town Council will be
playing our full part in the formal consultation – and then in the
legal processes needed for the Plan to be approved.
- and some residents - are concerned that the draft Plan may list some
of our green spaces for possible development.
No decisions have been taken yet.
will be asking residents to make their views known in the consultation
process - we will do our best to protect Loughton’s green areas!
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