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.