Examination in Public (EiP) of Epping Forest District Council’s (EFDC) Local Plan
The Examination of Epping Forest District Council’s proposed new Local Plan, at a series of Hearing sessions held by a Government Planning Inspector, began in February 2019 at the Civic Offices in Epping. Theydon Bois Action Group’s (TBAG) Chairman has made both written representations and spoken at a number of these sessions in defence of our village and its surrounding Green Belt. The new Local Plan (2011-2033), once approved by the Inspector, will determine where some 11,400 new homes will be built across the District.
The Hearing session dedicated to the proposed development of 57 new homes in Theydon Bois (Policy P8 of the new Local Plan) was held on 16th May. TBAG’s Chairman made a strong representation to the Planning Inspector and EFDC that the Central Line railway and its embankment, which has been in existence since 1865, should continue to be recognised as the permanent, definitive and defensible Green Belt boundary separating the ‘urban’ development of Theydon Bois from its surrounding Green Belt countryside. He emphasised the importance of having a boundary that is ‘readily recognisable’ and ‘likely to be permanent…in the long term’ as stated in the Green Belt section of the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework. Should the existing railway line boundary be breached by built development on its eastern side, the next equally defensible boundaries would be Coopersale Lane and the M11/M25 motorways! Ultimately, Theydon Bois would no longer be a village but would become a town.
At earlier Hearing sessions, TBAG’s Chairman spoke on a variety of topics which could affect development in Theydon Bois. Importantly, he argued for the retention of a number of existing Green Belt Policies which have been ‘tried and tested’ and served the District well under the present Local Plan but which have not been carried forward by EFDC in the new Local Plan. He also asked for the continued inclusion of a Policy relating to Historic, Protected Lanes, including Coopersale Lane in Theydon Bois as this has been recognised by Planning Inspectors in various appeal decisions relating to development along Coopersale Lane. Additionally, he requested that greater control should be exercised regarding the size of basement developments, particularly in the Green Belt and urged that stronger protection should be given to veteran trees on development sites.
Local Plannning Matters
Mossford Green Nursery, Abridge Road – Awaiting a decision by EFDC regarding anapplication (EPF/3379/18) to build 19 dwellings. TBAG submitted a strong objection to this proposed residential development on an isolated Green Belt site.
Hydes Riding School, Abridge Road/Coopersale Lane – Awaiting Planning Inspector’s decisiononappeal (Ref:3215238) to which TBAG made a further representation.
Blunts Farmhouse (now Ivy House), Coopersale Lane – An appeal (Ref:3226161) has been submitted to the Planning Inspector following the refusal of planning permission to retain the decking and new pathway to the pond. TBAG will be making a further representation to the Planning Inspector.
Lillicroft Nurseries, Abridge Road – TBAG submitted a further representation, regarding the 3 times larger replacement dwelling, to the Planning Inspector and requested that the appeal (Ref:3218732) be dismissed.