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TBAG had several supporters and members of its Committee present at both the demonstration outside Civic Offices and at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on Monday 6 March 2023. You may view the webcast of the meeting, which is 1 hour and 14 minutes long, here.

It was confirmed that some 1457 acres will be removed from the District’s Green Belt to enable new homes to be built of which 988 acres for garden communities and 321 acres for North Weald Basset, South of Epping and Waltham Abbey North masterplan areas. This is entirely avoidable were EFDC to acknowledge, as Central Government has done, that the Green Belt is a constraint on our ability to build more homes. EFDC also fail summarily to acknowledge that a surfeit of new dwellings over and above what is needed will contribute greatly to the poor air quality of the district not only with emissions from construction but the permanent increase in domestic emissions thereafter. The 11,400 new homes that have been approved in this plan are based on nine-year-old, out of date, Government statistics while only 5,000 homes are actually needed, calculated using latest Government statistics making this Plan a developers’ charter. EFDC have doggedly adhered to these figures and refuse to review the Plan given the opportunity to do so. They appear to take the view that if we charge everyone driving a polluting car through the forest, we can give the money to the trees and this will apparently make it all alright.

There are ‘strategic masterplan sites’ already formulated and indeed, cash strapped EFDC are currently recruiting for Building Services Engineers and a Senior Building Surveyor which might suggest there are a few done deals which were just waiting for the Local Plan to be adopted.

There followed a short debate where only a few Councillors spoke. All the concerns that TBAG have reported on previously were mentioned as well as other issues like older people not being adequately addressed in the Plan, that the infrastructure is not adequate for the amount of proposed housing, and that the impact of it will have a negative effect on the character of existing communities, an admission that doctors are in short supply, and that there was not enough in the Plan on good design.

One Councillor asked if members would say whether there had been a whip of group members to vote for the adoption of the plan or whether Councillors would be free to vote how they wanted. The Conservative group leader was asked for his answer and replied “no comment”. A point of order was then raised by Cllr Philip and the question was not publicly asked, but the Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Whitbread did appear flustered and later made reference to Everything Epping Forest about a ‘leak’ from his private group meeting, but he was not clear on what that leak was. Outside the meeting a Conservative Councillor was asked this question again to which they replied, “No comment”. The question of a whip was not denied by the Conservative Group.

Our own Councillor Clive Amos spoke well and pointed out that the political climate regarding planning had changed from the old top-down approach to Local Authorities now being much more central to the way their plan is devised. He also referred to the letter of 5 December 2022 from Michael Gove, MP, (Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations) to all Conservative MPs, which could protect our Green Belt from being built on were the two-year transition period implemented. This point fell on deaf ears.

Our second Councillor John Philip said that technically the last plan expired in 2006, which is not correct as that plan was extended and adopted in 2006. He said that he had met in 2011 with the Government’s Chief Planning Officer who said there is no reason why a local plan cannot be done within 12 months or at a push 18 months, but Cllr Philip went on to say that this plan had taken so long because there had been so much public consultation. Some of this consultation was clearly ignored. Interestingly, he suggested that the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol do not always act in the best interests of this district when considering refused applications and he referred to one application that had not been refused but run out of time for EFDC to decide and was successful on appeal. He agreed that it is not a perfect plan but said that it was as good as we can get. He actually said they had looked at the Green Belt’s purposes and then looked at the bits of our Green Belt that were best suited to keep and the ones that were not. He advised members to ‘know your plan’ and make use of it.

Another Councillor asked what the option was if we did not adopt the plan. Members were incorrectly told that developers from anywhere could submit applications to build anywhere, and that because we wouldn’t have an adopted plan those applications would be seriously considered by the Secretary of State and the Council would be wide open to speculative developers. TBAG disagree with this since the National Planning Policy Framework is just that, a national policy that would protect our Green Belt and moreover not seek to move its boundaries.

Members requested a recorded vote, and the outcome is set out below. Unsurprisingly, given the earlier question, all Conservative Councillors voted in favour of the Plan. We shall see just how good this plan is as time passes but one thing is for sure, if it takes EFDC so inordinately long to devise a plan, they had better start on the next one now to avoid another protracted and expensive exercise.


57 Councillors in total

Apologies for absence (8)

Cllr Elizabeth Gabbett, Green Party
Cllr Richard Bassett, Conservative
Cllr Jodie Lucas, Conservative
Cllr Ian Hadley, Conservative
Cllr Judy Jennings, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Bob Jennings, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Jayna Jogia, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Cherry McCredie, Liberal Democrats – on Zoom (cannot vote)

Votes in favour of adoption of Local Plan (37)

Cllr Nigel Avey, Conservative
Cllr Raymond Balcombe, Conservative
Cllr Nigel Bedford, Conservative
Cllr Pranav Bhanot, Conservative
Cllr Peter Bolton, Conservative
Cllr Heather Brady, Conservative
Cllr Les Burrows, Conservative
Cllr Stephen Heather, Conservative
Cllr Helen Kane, Conservative
Cllr Sam Kane, Conservative
Cllr Paul Keska, Conservative
Cllr Jeane Lea, Conservative
Cllr Alan Lion, Conservative
Cllr Tim Matthews, Conservative
Cllr Jaymey McIvor, Conservative
Cllr Richard Morgan, Conservative
Cllr Joseph Parsons, Conservative
Cllr Aniket Patel, Conservative
Cllr Smruti Patel, Conservative
Cllr John Philip, Conservative
Cllr Ronda Pugsley, Conservative
Cllr Kaz Rizvi, Conservative
Cllr Mary Sartin, Conservative
Cllr Paul Stalker, Conservative
Cllr David Stocker, Conservative
Cllr Darshan Sunger, Conservative
Cllr Basil Vaz, Conservative
Cllr Chris Whitbread, Conservative
Cllr Holly Whitbread, Conservative
Cllr Ken Williamson, Conservative
Cllr Shane Yerrell, Conservative
Cllr Ian Allgood, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Roger Baldwin, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Rose Brookes, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Howard Kauffman, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Louise Mead, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Caroline Pond, Loughton Residents Association

Votes against adoption of Local Plan (9)

Cllr Clive Amos, Liberal Democrats
Cllr Janet Whitehouse, Liberal Democrats
Cllr John Whitehouse, Liberal Democrats
Cllr Simon Heap, Green Party
Cllr Julian Leppert, British Democrats
Cllr Michael Owen, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Deborah Barlow, Independent
Cllr Stephen Murray, Independent
Cllr Sheree Rackham, Independent

Abstentions from the vote (3)

Cllr Chidi Nweke, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr Chris Pond, Loughton Residents Association
Cllr David Wixley, Loughton Residents Association

Urgent Update March 2023


The Planning Inspector examining our Local Plan has submitted his final report declaring the Plan ‘Sound’. TBAG are not satisfied that this Plan is sound for several reasons (see below). The submission version Local Plan is to be discussed at an EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING of the Council next Monday 6 March 2023 at the Civic Offices. Your elected local District Councillors may vote either for or against adoption of this Plan and we would urge our supporters to lobby these Councillors and ask them to vote AGAINST adoption, on the grounds that this Plan is UNSOUND in its current state and should properly be revised. Your Councillor’s contact details are below. Note also that there is to be a demonstration organised by The Epping Society at 18:30 on Monday 6 March outside EFDC Civic Office, Epping which you may wish to join.

Theydon Bois Action Group believe that this plan is UNSOUND and would comment as follows:

  • As TBAG have been citing for several years now, the Plan proposes too large a number of new dwellings (11,400) based on out of date, nine-year-old Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. EFDC refuse to use the 2016 and 2018 ONS figures plus the 2021 census figures which would mean less than HALF this number of new homes are actually required in our District.
  • The majority of these proposed dwellings would therefore have to be built on our precious Green Belt land which the Government had previously declared as being “absolutely sacrosanct”.
  • TBAG have major concerns about the impact of the proposed number of dwellings upon the integrity of Epping Forest SAC with respect to visitor numbers and air quality issues. EFDC propose to mitigate against this excessive number of houses, and the knock-on effects caused by them, by the introduction of an aspirational scheme of making a Clean Air Zone along Forest roads. This will only cause resentment and even more pollution when drivers detour to avoid these charges or be obliged to pay £12.50 per day.
  • There is no guarantee that the dwellings to be developed will meet any of our District’s needs. Developers historically prefer to build executive homes (which will have lovely Green Belt views) to see the greatest return on their investment. This district does not need more executive homes – it needs affordable homes.
  • TBAG do believe that the concerns of the original Inspector, Mrs Louise Phillips, about the impact that development on this scale would have on the Forest, have not been addressed. Instead, it is proposed that development to within 400m of the Forest shall be allowed and closer still if a ‘case’ can be made. So much for protecting our Forest.
  • TBAG do not believe that taking cash from drivers and installing chemical absorption pits to allegedly remove oxides of nitrogen etc., are the ways to protect our Forest. The only way to protect the Forest from atmospheric pollution is to reduce the excessive number of dwellings proposed in this Plan and their resultant emissions.
  • Since the conception of this Local Plan, Government have done a policy ‘U’ turn on planning, accepting that Green Belt land should not be built on to meet housing needs and that this need should be determined by actual local needs and not top-down, inflated figures imposed by Central Government.
  • Government are currently consulting on further changes to the National Planning Policy Framework which is used as a basis for formulating Local Plans, particularly with regard to housing numbers. TBAG feel the proposed Local Plan should now be held in abeyance until these new Governmental policies are made otherwise our new Local Plan will be out of date too soon after adoption, to the detriment of our District.
  • Many Tory MPs voiced discontent with the excessive and enforced housing numbers, and loss of Green Belt and surrounding countryside, and rebelled against the Government’s proposed White Paper on planning policy and then forced amendments to the current Levelling up and Regeneration Bill currently going through the House of Lords.
  • TBAG has long thought that the excessive number of dwellings proposed by Government is purely a quest to raise the general level of economic activity through development and its supporting supply chain to overcome the effects of the original 2008 recession. This is despite the fact that there are already 1.2m extant planning permissions on land banked by developers which have not been built out.
  • Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, wrote to all Conservative MPs on 5 December 2022. He said, inter alia, that reforms have been made e.g. “scrapping policies like top-down regional targets that built nothing but resentment”. And of the Green Belt he confirms that “we will be clear that local planning authorities are not expected to review the Green Belt to deliver housing.” “This is in line with commitments made by the Prime Minister in the Summer.” “The effect of these changes will be to make absolutely clear that Local Housing Need should always be a starting point – but no more than that – and importantly, that areas will not be expected to meet this need where they are subject to genuine constraints.” Epping Forest District is very much constrained by being 92% Green Belt and the Forest SAC.
  • Most importantly, Michael Gove MP went on to confirm in his letter that “Where authorities are well-advanced in producing a new plan, but the constraints which I have outlined mean that the amount of land to be released needs to be reassessed, I will give those places a two year period to revise their plan against the changes we propose and to get it adopted.” EFDC should take full advantage of this two-year transition period and revise housing numbers in the District and their sites to properly reflect need, protect our Green Belt and the Forest SAC. There can be no excuse for not taking advantage of this Ministerial statement.
  • In a House of Commons debate on 20 February 2023, Michael Gove MP reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the suburban Green Belt and to ensuring that communities receive the new homes that they need.

TBAG would strongly urge supporters to approach their elected District Councillors (contact details below) to impress upon them that blindly voting politically to adopt this local plan will be letting down their residents very badly in the light of Michael Gove’s December letter which gives EFDC every chance with a two year transition period for them to revisit the required housing numbers in our district using the latest ONS statistics (not outdated statistics) and REDUCE the number of dwellings to be built in our district up to 2033 AND to take into account the obvious constraints this district has being 92% London Metropolitan Green Belt. This will at one fell swoop not only protect our Green Belt and our Forest, but will also put the housing where it is needed and in the numbers and types that are needed and not in the volume that will bring favour from developers and increased revenue through new council tax payments etc. without providing supporting infrastructure (schools, doctors, shops etc.). It’s our district and we must be heard that we want it to stay green and pleasant and not concreted over and lost forever. If we do not need the volume of houses proposed, why should we lose Green Belt to accommodate them? We will never get that Green Belt back, and if ‘alternative sites’ of green belt are allocated to compensate for such loss, what good will that be to us, the residents who live adjacent to the existing Green Belt?  Pushing the Green Belt out further from London does not compensate residents, nor does it appeal to Londoners who choose to visit our countryside for their recreation who will then have to travel further to reach it WITHOUT the convenience of the London Underground, and likely increasing emissions in the process. Our Epping Forest District Green Belt has been in existence for nigh on 90 years and while not all of this land is especially scenic nor necessarily possessed of a wild and romantic beauty, it is its undeveloped character that is of importance. The aim of Green Belts was not as long-term land banks for developers, but to resist the pressure to build, and it is this point that EFDC seem loathe to recognise. Moreover, Green Belts everywhere are a wildlife resource remaining vital not only for ecosystem services it provides for humanity, but also the natural world’s intrinsic right to exist. As climate change causes animals and plants to migrate as their climatic niches move, it is vital to retain linked green areas for corridors for these animals and plants. We must remind Councillors and EFDC of these points.

Councillor Clive Amos:
Phone: 01992 813876
Address: 37 Woburn Avenue, Theydon Bois

Councillor John Philip, Finance Portfolio Holder:
Phone: 01992 812473
Address: 28 Woodland Way, Theydon Bois

Spring 2023 Update

Local Planning Matters

EPF/1406/22 Blunts Farm Change of Use to B8 Storage, validated in June 2022, remains undecided. EPF/1189/22 and EPF/1107/22 retrospective applications for flats at Blunts Farm have both been declared unlawful by EFDC. EPF/2416/22 new dwellings in the Green Belt at Mossford Green Nursery has been refused. Since our last report TBAG have objected to the following developments on grounds of inappropriateness in the Green Belt: EPF/1671/22 a swimming pool and extensions at Ivy House, Blunts Farm, EPF/2505/22 rear balcony extension etc at Grey’s Farm, Green Glade and EPF/0034/23 28 Piercing Hill, demolition and rebuild as a three-storey house.

National Planning Policy News and EFDC’s Local Plan

A large number of Conservative MPs have voiced considerable concerns about Government planning policies contained within the Levelling Up Bill which is still proceeding through the House of Lords having already been through the House of Commons. There has been considerable discontent about housing numbers being thrust on local authorities by Central Government in a quest to raise the general level of economic activity through development and its supporting supply chain. On 5 December 2022, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, wrote to all Conservative MPs. He said, inter alia, that reforms have been made e.g. “scrapping policies like top-down regional targets that built nothing but resentment”. And of the Green Belt he confirms that “we will be clear that local planning authorities are not expected to review the Green Belt to deliver housing”, Emphasis added. “This is in line with commitments made by the Prime Minister in the Summer.” “The effect of these changes will be to make absolutely clear that Local Housing Need should always be a starting point – but no more than that – and importantly, that areas will not be expected to meet this need where they are subject to genuine constraints.” Epping Forest District is very much constrained by being 92% Green Belt and the Forest SAC and the actual NEED for housing, based on the most current statistics from the ONS and not out of date, 2014 statistics. Gove went on to confirm that “Where authorities are well-advanced in producing a new plan, but the constraints which I have outlined mean that the amount of land to be released needs to be reassessed, I will give those places a two year period to revise their plan against the changes we propose and to get it adopted.” Emphasis added. Will EFDC reassess?

In a House of Commons debate, 20 February 2023, a comment by Michael Gove in reply to an enquiry by MP Gagan Mohindra about his constituents voices being heard in attempting to protect south west Hertfordshire, Mr Gove said “It is absolutely vital that communities in the suburban green belt such as his have the opportunity to ensure that people have the new homes that they NEED and that we preserve the communities that make his constituency so attractive to so many.” Emphasis added.

It is hoped that our own elected representative is making as much effort. But it may all be too late because Inspector Bore submitted his final report on 16 February 2023, ignoring our Green Belt constraints and the detrimental environmental impact that the unnecessary and excessive number of houses (11,400) will have on Epping Forest, and the proposed adoption of the Epping Forest District Local Plan 2011 to 2033 will be considered at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 6  March 2023. TBAG consider the plan to be unsound. By the time you read this, it could be all over – until the next one!

Winter 2022 Update

Local Planning Matters

EPF/1406/22 Blunts Farm Change of Use to B8 Storage and associated development – revised application, remains “under consideration”. This application was validated in June this year, almost six months ago. TBAG does not understand why EFDC are taking so long to consider this apparently straightforward application.

Certificates of Lawful Development EPF/1189/22 validated on 23 May and EPF/1107/22 validated on 13 May, both for alleged existing use of two unlawful flats, in a barn on Blunts Farm, remain undetermined. TBAG have raised strong objections to these applications refuting the accuracy of the claims that the two flats have been lived in continuously for more than four years and we fail to again understand why it is taking EFDC so long to arrive at a decision.

EPF/1748/22 Detached cart lodge in agricultural field adjacent to Theydon Hall Lodge, Abridge Road which TBAG objected to on green belt grounds has been refused. In contrast we note that this application took approximately 3 months to determine.

EPF/2461/22 Demolition of existing buildings, erection of replacement dwelling and 5 new “Executive style” dwellings at Mossford Green Nursery, Abridge Road. TBAG objected on several grounds including the unsustainability of the location. Validated on 26 October, it is anyone’s guess how long this application will take to determine.

Local Green Belt News

TBAG welcomes the long overdue securing of the entrance to the site at Former Old Foresters which has now been closed with 12 concrete blocks. This should ensure that there are no repeats of the fly tipping that was regularly taking place on the site following the departure of the travellers. Villagers may be aware of the enormous fire which was started on the huge fly-tip on this site, which sent toxic smoke wafting across the village, on the evening of Saturday 22 October and which took 5 fire engines and many firefighter hours to extinguish.

TBAG are encouraged to also note that concrete blocks have been positioned at the entrance to the track leading to the Former Old Foresters, off Station Hill, which will prevent the unlawful parking and dumping along the trackway which is privately owned land.

EFDC’s Local Plan

The consultation on the remaining Main Modifications to the emerging Plan are currently underway and TBAG will be reviewing the documents and making their representation as appropriate.

TBAG continue to assert that too many houses (11,400) are proposed in EFDC’s emerging local plan when latest Government statistics show that less than half of that number are actually required in our district. The Levelling Up Bill is legislation intended to deal with regional inequalities, but also contains a number of planning measures. On 23 November, 47 Conservative MPs rebelled by signing an amendment to the Government’s Levelling Up Bill, currently going through Parliament. The amendment would ban government-calculated housing targets from influencing planning applications. Under the current system, councils are meant to plan to build a certain number of homes using a government-set formula for ‘housing need’ and not using local, actual need, numbers.

These targets are then supposed to be incorporated into local plans for housebuilding drawn up by councils. Downing Street is quoted as saying that it remained committed to the target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. We are unaware if our MP has supported this welcomed amendment. Other amendments tabled by these 47 rebels would create stricter time-limits to start building for developers granted planning permission. At the moment there are around a million permissions for homes granted, but where no home has been built.

Local Plan Update

Local Plan Update – May 2022

The latest news on our Local Plan, as shown on the EFDC website is as follows:

6 May 2022

Inspector Jonathan Bore MRTPI has been appointed to complete the Epping Forest Local Plan Examination with immediate effect. For work reasons, Inspectors Louise Phillips and Matthew Birkinshaw are no longer available. Mr Bore has access to all the examination documents and recorded hearings. He is not accepting any further representations at present. An update on the next steps in the process will be posted here and sent to all Regulation 19 Representors as soon as possible.”

TBAG is not impressed with this late change by the Planning Inspectorate which gives us cause for concern. We would question why the experienced and perfectly capable Inspector, Louise Phillips MA (Cantab) MSc MRTPI, who has been working on the examination of our local plan since November 2018, and who was still working on it on 24 March 2022, has suddenly been replaced at the final furlong? We understand Mrs Phillips took a maternity leave of absence in September 2021 but, having returned, has not been allowed to continue with the concluding consideration of the responses to the Main Modifications that she requested, nor indeed has her superior, Mr Birkinshaw, who held the reins during her maternity leave. Both have been side-lined for replacement Inspector Jonathan Bore.

Just before Christmas we were told that the Inspector’s Final Report, deciding whether or not the Plan was sound or unsound, would be available before the end of March 2022. However, on 24 March, EFDC reported that it would not be available by then as Inspector Phillips was still considering the responses to the MM’s. Her departure from the examination appears to be rather sudden and raises the question ‘Why?’ at such a late date when any successor would, presumably, indeed hopefully, need to study all that has been covered over the past 3 and a half years?

Adding further questions, is the appointment of Mrs Phillips and Mr Birkinshaw’s replacement, Mr Jonathan Bore, BA, MRTPI, Dip UD. His experience includes being a Planning Inspector, then moving on to be Executive Director for Planning and Borough Development for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where he signed off the details of the Grenfell Tower block’s refurbishment including the notorious cladding. By May 2016, he had returned to the Planning Inspectorate and in June 2020 he was appointed the Inspector for South Oxfordshire District Council’s local plan. Inspector Bore is the same inspector who also recently approved the Oxford City Council local plan despite controversy over the accuracy of Oxford City’s projected housing need. Local interest group ‘A Better South Oxfordshire’ said “some of his [Inspector Bore’s] conclusions in relation to Oxford City’s supposed housing need were baffling and inconsistent with some of the evidence presented.” When a coalition of the Greens and Liberal Democrats won control of the South Oxfordshire District Council in the May 2019 election, they wanted to withdraw or rewrite the document but they were denied this course of action by the Secretary of State for Housing and Local Communities, Robert Jenrick, who said it could put at risk millions of pounds of government money for infrastructure improvements, and insisted that an agreed plan must be adopted by the end of that year (2020).

On 20 September 2020 the ‘Henley Standard’ reported that Mr Bore had said that it was “inevitable that the green belt would be built on”. Interested parties claimed:

  • The neutrality and objectivity of the inspection process has been undermined by the past actions and pronouncements of the secretary of state Robert Jenrick [Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government of the United Kingdom 2019–2021; Michael Gove since September 2021]. His written communications with South Oxfordshire District Council demonstrate he has already made up his mind about the outcome he wishes to achieve.
  • Actions undertaken by the secretary of state, specifically the unlawful decision he made to grant planning permission to a property developer in Tower Hamlets, the granting of recent contracts without open tender to the company Faculty and his breaking of Covid 19 lockdown government rules undermine his trustworthiness and show a lack of judgement.
  • The local plan inspection process is not fit for purpose and is essentially an exercise to pretend that local communities have an input into decisions that have already been taken by the executive.

Inspector Bore’s further track record shows that he was appointed as Inspector for the Mid Sussex local plan in 2016 and increased their housing numbers from 800 to 1,026 homes per year for the life of the plan causing dismay among residents, campaigners, the MP and Councillors. This does not bode well for our Green Belt and the likelihood of getting a chargeable Clean Air Zone through Epping Forest.

TBAG feel we have lost an ally in Inspector Phillips, since she was quite clear that she was concerned about the impact of the housing development proposed (11,400 homes) in EFDC’s new Local Plan, on the integrity of the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC), especially in terms of air quality and pollution and its detrimental effect on the Forest. As a result of this concern, also expressed by the Conservators of Epping Forest, and Natural England, EFDC has proposed setting up a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and charging motorists to drive through Forest roads! The obvious answer is to reduce the number of houses to around 5000, which would be consistent with the, now, much lower housing need figures for Epping Forest District, quoted by the Government’s own Office for National Statistics (ONS), for both 2016 and 2018, and in stark contrast with the much higher, original 2014 figures which the Government still insists are used to calculate so-called Housing Need. Unfortunately, it takes two years for these statistics to be compiled, so the 2020 figures should be out this year, but with Brexit and COVID it is likely that housing need will be even lower.

Boris Johnson is on record as saying we need to build, build, build for jobs, jobs, jobs (July 2020). Further, it is well known that the present Government has oft stated, political, ambitions to build 300,000 houses per year.

This raises the question, has the Planning Inspectorate been instructed by the Government that they do not want any delays in the progression of new Local Plans, as this would impede the delivery of new homes as well as economic growth? Has Inspector Phillips been side-lined from the examination of EFDC’s Local Plan and a new Inspector been parachuted in, because of her clearly expressed concerns regarding the potential adverse effects that the development proposed in the Local Plan, could have on the Epping Forest (SAC), and that this consideration would likely cause delays in arriving at a sound local plan?

While Inspector Bore hopefully wades through a mountain of documents and recorded hearings, we can only wait for any new updates and to learn whether he will invite or accept any further comments. Updates are posted on EFDC’s website at