Local Planning Matters
Lillicroft Nurseries: EPF/2528/17. The latest application to replace the existing wooden dwelling with a bungalow more than four times the existing size has been refused by EFDC. TBAG submitted a strong objection to this proposal as it is ‘inappropriate development’ in the Green Belt according to National Planning Policy.
Land adjacent to Gun Cottages: EPF/0102/18. TBAG raised an objection to an application for a retrospective change of use of this stable to ‘B8 storage and distribution’. We have highlighted the earlier attempt to get a change of use to residential, which was refused by both EFDC and the Planning Inspector, largely on the grounds of harm to the Green Belt and landscape character and, significantly, contrary to a Condition imposed in the original planning permission restricting use of this stable to private stabling only and not for any commercial or business activity (including livery). It is hoped that EFDC will honour the original condition and subsequent decisions and not permit this change to business use.
Macris House: EPF/3321/16. An application for conversion of the care home into eleven flats was finally refused by EFDC. TBAG raised an objection to this application in January 2017. The grounds of refusal were: (1) impact on the Green Belt; (2) loss of community facility and loss of employment; and (3) not being within a sustainable location or adequately incorporating principles of energy conservation or sustainable design.
EFDC Local Plan – December 2017
TBAG felt disappointed that our Local Authority only provided the minimal six week consultation period for consideration of the Submission Version of the Local Plan 2017 (SVLP) because this period included one week of Christmas holidays when EFDC offices were closed. During this closure, it was impossible to obtain hard copies of the Plan document(s) which were not available until the New Year (2018). The Submission Version of the Local Plan, together with its Appendices, totalled some 510 pages and this was in addition to the voluminous evidence base documents which are only available on-line or at the Council Offices. TBAG was also disturbed to see that this consultation was not given the same level of publicity as had been given to the earlier Issues & Options and Draft Local Plan consultations, when leaflets, road-shows and talks were given to reach out to all residents. EFDC appeared to be rushing to get this plan submitted for Examination in Public before the 31 March 2018 deadline*, under threat from Central Government of even greater housing targets (an additional 9,000 houses) being gratuitously imposed.
Continue reading Spring 2018 Update
Consultation on defining and managing Starter Homes
PUBLISHED: APRIL 2016, CLOSING DATE FOR RESPONSES: 18 MAY 2016
25 pages with 17 questions. Downloadable PDF at
Rural Planning Consultation
PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 2016, CLOSING DATE FOR RESPONSES: 21 APRIL 2016
Produced by DCLG and DEFRA seeking views on more changes to planning regime re housing pressures on rural areas. 17 pages. Residents’ questions at Annex C. Downloadable PDF at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/499246/Rural_panning_review_Call_for_Evidence.pdf then complete form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RBDXGFD or email responses to RuralPlanningReview@communities.gsi.gov.uk.
Our fundraising evening in the Theydon Bois Balti House on Monday 27th April was a complete ‘sell out’ and a resounding success thanks to all of those who came along to show their support for TBAG and appreciation of our lovely village and precious Green Belt surroundings.
Our special thanks go to Atique and all of his staff in the Balti House for hosting the event and for providing such delicious food at two full sittings. It gave residents and supporters a chance to enjoy a first class meal in very pleasant surroundings, chat with friends and join in a real community event. There were many compliments about the food and suggestions that this should become a regular TBAG event. We shall bear it in mind!
During the evening, a very successful raffle was held and we would like to give our special thanks to all of those local businesses and individuals who donated such generous prizes. There were some unique and interesting works of art, theatre tickets, vouchers for local businesses, several consumable luxuries and various other unusual but useful gifts.
All in all it was a very enjoyable evening and, thanks to the efforts of all involved, TBAG managed to raise over £2,000 towards their fighting fund. A heartfelt Thank You to everyone for your ongoing support of our voluntary work on behalf of all of the village.
TBAG IS FUNDRAISING!
As you will be aware, the most imminent threat to the village from development is the proposed car park on Green Belt land by Transport for London (TfL). Why is this a threat? Not only is the site squarely within the London Metropolitan Green Belt and a car park would not normally be considered ‘exceptional circumstances’ for development here, but more importantly it would represent the first significant breach of the ‘Urban Edge’ (a planning term) of the village which is delineated by the railway lines. If the Green Belt to the east of the railway lines is allowed to be developed, Theydon Bois can expect more than a few planning applications from our old friends on Old Foresters and Blunts Farm to name just two.
As ever, the situation is not so clear cut. This is not just another full planning application that TBAG are resisting as we would normally. TfL is attempting to develop the car park using Permitted Development rights conferred on them by Victorian Railway Acts, the detail of which has expired. TBAG has already taken legal advice which indicates that TfL do not have those Permitted Development rights as they had not previously allocated or developed the land in question for railway operations use. The TBAG Committee is therefore taking legal advice with a view to considering an action for Judicial Review of the decision taken by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) to consider the application for prior approval (of permitted development) to be a valid one.
While TBAG has some fighting funds available, legal assistance is expensive. To date, we have already spent £2,700 to get to our present position. In addition, we also have to consider our financial position in the event of a lost review and the consequential costs that would arise from the defending party.
And for anyone who might feel that we need more parking space for the station, consider this: TfL have already put forward the existing Car Park and the Balti House Restaurant site, both brown field sites, under EFDC’s Call for Sites exercise as being suitable for housing development. So the development will likely not amount to additional parking but replacement parking which will also greatly affect the rural environment on the east of the railway. As ever, keep an eye on our website for more detail and up to date information.
TBAG NEEDS YOU! Please consider making a donation to our current fighting fund. All proceeds will go towards our legal expenses. The TBAG Committee are Theydon resident volunteers and do not charge for their time in administering this or any of the work that they do. We do it, as our logo says, to protect the village of Theydon Bois. Donations can be made as follows: Cheques (made payable to Theydon Bois Action Group) or cash may be dropped in to the village Post Office and left with the staff. Please put it in an envelope marked TBAG. Or email us via the website or reply to this mailing to arrange for your donation to be collected. We also hope to be holding fundraising curry nights in the Balti House very soon and will be in touch again with the details.
Huge thanks go to our village Post Office for agreeing to help with this fundraiser and thanks to you too reader for your continued support.