Category Archives: Orchard Drive phone mast

Autumn 2021 Update

Local Planning Matters

Whilst Theydon Bois Action Group’s (TBAG) primary ‘Mission Statement’ is the protection of our precious Green Belt, we will also raise objections to any planning applications that we consider would be detrimental to the village and/or its residents and could create an undesirable precedent for similar developments in the future. We take the view that telecommunication masts fall within this ‘category’ and previously made a successful objection to a proposed telecoms mast in the green verge at the junction of Station Approach and Slade End, back in 2012.

Proposal for a Telecoms Mast in Orchard Drive:-

TBAG have made a very strong objection to this application which, if successful, would result in a 15 metre high telecoms mast and associated cabinets, being placed in the pavement outside of Theydon Bois Primary School and in front of the caretakers house. We consider that the proposal is fundamentally flawed and possibly made as a ‘chancers’ application. The Vice Chair of TBAG spoke strongly against this proposal at our Parish Council Planning Committee Meeting which was well attended by concerned residents. TBAG subsequently emailed our supporters to encourage them to send their objections to Epping Forest District Council (EFDC).

Proposal to develop 28 new homes on Green Belt land to the North of Forest Drive:-

It is unlikely that any decision will be made in the near future. In addition to objections from TBAG, the Parish Council, Rural Preservation Society and residents, there have been a number of objections from County and District Council consultees due to concerns regarding trees and landscape protection, design and layout, drainage, noise levels etc.

The Former Old Foresters Sports Ground:-

TBAG have registered three complaints with EFDC Planning Enforcement relating to this site which is in the Green Belt. The complaints relate to:- (i) The unlawful placement of two containers for the storage of food, (ii) The continued presence of Travellers on the site, and (iii) The unlawful works being carried out to increase the area of hard standing on the site. EFDC issued an Enforcement Notice to have the two containers removed, but the site operator has since appealed to the Planning Inspector, who will carry out a site visit prior to making a decision on the case. TBAG wrote to the Planning Inspector with detailed objections. However, we understand that the containers were subsequently broken into and now remain empty. It is not known whether or not the site owner has given permission for the travellers to stay on the site!

TBAG have been and will continue to monitor the situation and will mailshot supporters when any action is required.  If not already signed up, you can do so here.

EFDC’s Emerging Local Plan to build 11,400 homes in our District, mostly on Green Belt land

TBAG has already stated its grave concerns about the unnecessarily high number of homes put forward by EFDC, against the latest Government data showing that only half are actually required. We also take issue with our locally elected representatives who, in the main, seem to be content to follow EFDC and Central Government policy to build its way out of the recession, rather than listening to residents! We are also concerned about the detrimental impact that the proposed development will have on Epping Forest, especially in terms of atmospheric pollution and air quality.

The Main Modifications (MM’s) put forward by the Inspector to EFDC’s Draft Local Plan, are now out for consultation, prior to the Inspector deciding whether or not the Local Plan is found to be sound. However, it has recently been announced that the Inspector will be on maternity leave, commencing early in November and an ‘understudy’ Inspector has been appointed.

Orchard Drive Telephone Mast

EPF/2151/21 Application to determine if Prior Approval is required for a proposed 15m Phase 8 Monopole C/W wraparound Cabinet at base and associated ancillary works.

Location: The highway outside Theydon Bois Primary School, Orchard Drive, Theydon Bois

In a departure from our usual remit of protecting the Green Belt around Theydon Bois, TBAG have submitted a robust objection to the above planning application. The closing date for comments is 1 September 2021 (next Wednesday) and comments can be made here or by email to  quoting ‘Planning Application: EPF/2151/21 – Orchard Drive, Theydon Bois CM16 7DH’ in the email subject header.

This application is very similar to EPF/982/12 for determination as to whether prior approval was required for a 12.5m Vodafone/O2 monopole with antennae on the corner of Slade End and Station Approach in 2012. TBAG also strongly objected to this application and the Planning Officer decided prior approval WAS required and it was REFUSED. TBAG have expressed our expectation that EFDC Planning Officers are consistent in their determination of this current application.

Our Parish Council have helpfully given guidance on planning issues that may be cited as part of your own comments, but you are advised to put these suggestions into your own words as unique comments will carry more weight than many copied ones. The Parish Council’s comments are here. Please also note that any concerns over the health implications of this installation are not planning considerations and will carry no weight in determination of this application.