Chigwell Residents Association
Chigwell Residents Association

WELCOME TO THE CRA!

This is the official site of the Chigwell Residents Association.

We seek to represent the interests of residents within the parish of Chigwell, including Chigwell Village, Chigwell Row and Grange Hill and to protect the integrity of the area.

We are a voluntary organisation representing over 350 households but need more residents to join both to make our voices louder when seeking to protect the village and to help with raising funds to enable us to function effectively.

 

 

Programme for Local Plan

 

To see up to date progress click here and open “the local plan making process”

 

January 2017

EFDC has completed consultations on their Draft Local Plan in December 2016 and they are analysing the feedback received and will revise the Draft Local Plan accordingly. The revised Local Plan will then be published for a six week period June/July 2017.  There will be an opportunity at this stage to make representations on the, ‘soundness’ of the Local Plan, i.e. whether the Council has followed the correct procedures and stages as set out by Planning legislation.

 

In November 2017 the Council will then submit the Draft Local Plan to the Planning Inspector for independent examination, and subject to any alterations required by the Inspector, the aim is for this to be adopted by Autumn 2018.

 

 

Programme for Neighbourhood Plan

 

January 2017

Chigwell Parish Council received the responses to consultations on their Draft Neighbourhood Plan in November 2016 and are currently awaiting analysis of those results.  As traffic is a key issue in this area they have commissioned a traffic survey to add to the evidence base of their plan.

 

The Draft Neighbourhood Plan differs significantly from the EFDC Local Plan and further consultations are needed with EFDC. 

 

The final plan will need to be submitted to a government Planning inspector for ratification; no date has been set for this as yet.

 

If approved as sound by the Planning Inspector the plan will be subject to a ballot by all residents in Chigwell and only if this is approved by a majority of voters can this be put forward for inclusion in the Local Plan as an alternative to the EFDC proposal contained in the current draft Local Plan.

 

 

Rhys Jones was co-opted onto the committee in December 2016.

Jacquie MacLeod was co-opted onto the committee in June 2016.

 

 

 

Fresh attacks by developers on Chigwell’s Green Belt

 

 

Circulars have been put round Chigwell to publicise a proposal from a property developer called Freetown Homes to build 200 houses on the fields facing Courtland Drive and immediately behind Chigwell library and Victory Hall, with proposed entry from Hainault Road!

 

As so often in the recent experience of residents of Chigwell, we are hit with a sudden outrageous attack on Chigwell’s Green Belt land. The company’s circular also suggests a nursing/care home, professional offices, and possibly a one form primary school on the site.

 

This proposal is completely unacceptable. It would take away a crucial part of the green lung of Chigwell, countryside which helps define the very character of the village. It would destroy the harmony and the unique setting which makes Chigwell so special as the first village outside London.

But as well as the irreversible damage that would be done, this proposal is wrong because this site is not actually required in the emerging Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan to meet the housing needs of the area. Other sites have already been identified by Chigwell Parish Council as able to meet the number of homes needed in the Local Plan.

 

Chigwell is actually well ahead of the game, having built in excess of 350 new dwellings since 2011 which count towards our quota.

 

These fields are most unlikely to be required for removal from the Green Belt in our Neighbourhood Plan. They are considered to be important farmland, which contribute significantly to the character of Chigwell.

Chigwell Parish Council expects to be able to meet its housing requirements without resorting to high numbered single developments (as proposed by this company). There is no way that the development being proposed here should be considered for approval within the Green Belt.

 

This proposal does not seem able to demonstrate any very special circumstances or need for either removing the site from the Green belt or for allowing any residential development on this important Green Belt site.

It is vital that residents in the area make their complete objections known, and in no uncertain terms.

 

The developer is holding a “chance to view the initial masterplan”, on Saturday 16th July at the Limes Centre, Limes Avenue, Chigwell, IG7 5LP, from 11am – 2 pm.

 

We need the people of Chigwell to attend, to tell the developers that the scheme is a complete non-starter.

 

 

Summary of CRA Annual General Meeting, 28th April 2016.

 

The meeting at St Mary’s Hall Chigwell started at 8 pm with local councillors present being introduced.

 

There was an update on EFDC’s introduction of a Local Plan, and dissatisfaction was voiced by many members present about the lack of progress and the sense of drift caused by the seeming reluctance of the District Council to still not give any clear information about their plans.

 

In particular residents expressed their concern that there are no figures from EFDC about the number of houses to be built in the district. Councillor Knapman thought that there could be 500- 600 houses allocated to Chigwell, and pointed out that we had already built about 350 since the review began which should count to the total. However, councillors present said that the numbers being discussed by EFDC seemed to have changed again. They also voiced their fear that with key staff amongst district officers retiring , there may not be staff left of sufficient calibre to complete the review successfully and fairly.

 

The dates set for the Local Plan had been autumn 2016, but this seems increasingly doubtful, and if it is not produced until 2017 then it becomes increasingly at the mercy of central government.

 

A resident commented that it would not be fair if Chigwell were punished for EFDC inefficiencies, and others pointed out the growing problems of its infrastructure, including the lack of existing school places for Chigwell children, the stretched medical facilities, and the regular traffic congestion on all main roads in Chigwell at peak times.

 

A question was asked whether Chigwell having a Neighbourhood Plan would help protect its amenities and character. Cllr Knapman said that it should and was planned to be in place by August/September. He said that the Parish were looking at all possible sites with the criteria that brownfield sites would be used first (there are very few in Chigwell), small sites would be preferred, and sites having a low visual impact.

 

A member asked why bushes and trees had been dug up on Luxborough Lane on the right side, and noted that three different power boxes had been put in suggesting that something significant was happening or planned. The councillors said that there had been no application to build on this land, and that any land clearance had not yet broken any regulations. However, they promised to monitor the situation there.

 

Election of CRA Management Committee for 2016/17: The Chairman thanked committee members from last year for all their efforts.

Nigel Wagland has moved out of the area and is not standing again. He was thanked for his service to the Association. The remaining members of last year’s committee, Peter and Katharine Garner, Keith Lakey, Chris Jolly, Barry Scrutton, Deborah Hall, Eddie Bow, and Janet Hutchins are all standing and were elected. There were no other volunteers.

 

Eddie Bow , Chairman, said that this would be his final year on the committee as his family were moving in the near future, and Peter Garner (Treasurer) said that he would retire after this year. It will be essential that volunteers come forward during the year to take on positions in the Association. At this moment the position of Secretary continues to remain vacant.

 

Local Parish and District councillors said they would continue to attend CRA committee meetings to give advice, and actively support the Association. They were thanked for all their assistance.

Highways and parking: Concerns were voiced about the lack of safety on Vicarage Lane, both because of the continuing poor state of its surface and markings, and also because of the speeding along it and Courtland Drive by many drivers. It was suggested that this should be put forward as an improvement scheme to the Local Highways Panel.

 

There have been four suggested schemes for a one way system around Chigwell Green, but only one of them is affordable! Cllr Knapman has nominated Courtland Drive for resurfacing, and also the pavements of Smeaton Road which are in a particularly poor condition. He said the local repair budget had been drastically cut. A resident said that Courtland Drive was suffering badly by commuter parking which was destroying the verges on both sides, and that the vegetation was becoming completely overgrown. Cllr Knapman said that he’d look to replace signs about keeping off the verges which had disappeared from both this road and Chigwell Rise.

 

It was also reported that enforcement for vehicles blocking pavements is needed in Dickens Rise, as well as resurfacing there, and also along the full length of Brook Mews.

 

There was discussion about the Controlled Parking Zone being considered for Chigwell Park estate. It was strongly felt that residents parking permits were not the answer. Concern was voiced about moving the commuter parking problem to other areas of Chigwell; it was recorded that free parking is available in Victory Hall, but although not far from Chigwell Station commuters seem unwilling to park that distance away.

 

Local planning issues: Dismay was voiced by several members about planning permission being persistently granted on appeal by the national inspectorate, with poor knowledge of local conditions, for applications have already been rejected by Parish and District Committees. Examples of inappropriate developments in this area were cited, which do not fit in with the existing street scene, and/or dominate and overlook neighbouring properties through size and bulk. Worrying precedents continue to be set which alienate the community, and have implications for future applications.

 

Concern was expressed about the fencing around the demolition of Debra’s (by the station) intruding onto the pavement; Councillors said this would be checked.

Cllr Knapman reported that the application to refurbish Chigwell County Primary Academy would be heard by June; if successful then work on the school building would start in the school holidays. This plan would be funded by the building of 32 houses. He also said that there were plans to convert the Beis Shamai buildings into business offices, but that any scheme there would have to include a permanent drop off point for the primary school which remained essential. Funding would also need to be provided by this scheme for a local bus service to provide a  regular service with pick ups points for the benefit of the local community.

 

A member commented that the planting of daffodils on the verges near the school had been excellent, but it was distressing that drivers carelessly destroyed them by illegal parking.

 

Several members complained about the recent decision by the local Licensing Board to allow a private residential home in Brook Way to store and distribute vodka from the house, despite the large number of objections submitted by neighbours. Councillors promised to continue to seek ways of overturning this decision. Cllr Wagland urged getting legal advice, and also checking that planning permission has been granted.

 

A presentation was made by the Association to Lesley and Nigel Wagland for all their work over many years on behalf of the Association, and to wish them well in their new home.

 

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BURGLARY ALERT

Please see the latest blog and information received from the Essex Watch Liaison Officer, in particular the map below showing the areas in Chigwell that are currently the subject of a burglar alert:

 

 

 

The blog adds the following:

 

CRIME ALERT

Cash machine thefts and theft of 4 wheel drives and plant

There have been some recent burglaries in the county where cash machines have been stolen or there has been an attempt to steal them. The vehicles of choice in these crimes are either stolen plant vehicles or stolen 4 wheel drives such as Land Rovers. To prevent crimes on your properties as well as to other properties please can you report any suspicious persons and vehicles entering your property via the 101 Police Non-Emergency Telephone Number and take whatever measures you can to ensure that your vehicles are secure at all times whilst not in use.

Crime Prevention Advice can be obtained by dialling 101 and asking for your local Crime Prevention Officer or:-Email:  CrimePreventionTacticalAdvisors@essex.pnn.police.uk

 

 

FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH MEMBERS

 “After the recent hacking problems at Talk Talk we received assurance that none of our data was taken, however as compensation we could have a free overhaul of our system. When we applied for it, within the allowed time period, we were told the offer had been withdrawn.

We were therefore not suspicious of the call because we thought they were doing a check on our system as we had wanted.

The caller said our system was overloaded and not functioning properly. He spent an hour going round in circles but not being able to get it to work properly (supposedly). He said the router was at fault, he would send a new router and refund us £250 as we had not had full use of what we had paid for.

He wanted us to go into our banking system to claim the refund!  Alarm Bells.  We refused to do that (in fact it was my bank account) although the Talk Talk account was in my husband’s name. I said I would not authorise my husband to do it. 

I said they were to issue a credit on his account for the refund.

I said we are always informed not to give out personal information and he said he wasn't asking for any info. He asked for the last 3 digits on the account and then he told me the sort code and the account number to prove he had the information already and wasn't asking for it. 

So they had got our data in the hack after all in spite of Talk Talk saying they hadn't.

They got quite bullying, they wanted us to go into our bank account and claim the refund.  we were asked to put the information that they gave us into a personal ID box and to enter a number into a passcode box.

After we had declined to go further, with 3 more calls coming immediately thereafter insisting we did the request, we finally made an outgoing call to our bank to stop them getting through to us The number the scammers used was 'witheld'.  

After speaking to our bank to say please be vigilant (in case something had been put in our system to follow our transactions), I rang Talk Talk who confirmed that no one from them had rung us that day.” 

Don’t be fooled, unless you know that a caller is genuine, and you can check and confirm their identity, prior to disclosing information, never give your personal information out to anyone over the telephone.

 

 

and on burglaries adds the following:

Operation INSIGHT is Essex Police’s response to burglaries and is based on the theory of “predictive policing” which, as the name suggests, is about using a particular form of crime pattern analysis indicating where crimes are most likely to happen.

 

Academic research indicates that criminals are habitual in behaviour and go back to the locations where they have had previous success, this supports the theory of Repeat and Near Repeat Offending (i.e.;  you are more likely to become a victim if you live near a victim).

Predictive Policing uses crime pattern analysis to indicate where offences are most likely to occur next.

Given the ability to ‘predict crimes’ logic dictates we should concentrate our policing efforts in these areas which are mapped as circular zones around victim’s addresses.

Resources are directed to conduct intensive patrols within these zones, supported by the process known as “cocooning”.

These zones are shared with key partners such as Community Safety Accredited organisations,

 

Cocooning;

Following a burglary, we will visit near neighbours, the number of dwellings to be visited will be site specific, but would normally include 10 houses either side, 10 in front and 5 behind (see map below).

Attending officers will conduct an initial assessment of security and vulnerability which may inform referrals to other scheme such as crime prevention officers or local handy man schemes.

These households will receive bespoke crime prevention advice and reassurance.

 

Staff will also be expected to advise householders of ECM by providing a postcard and encouraging them to sign up. This process should be followed up by sending an ECM dwelling burglary message (using standard template) to the local area.

 

 

 

The success of Operation Insight is continually assessed and currently indicates a 9% decrease in offences year on year.

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FLATS IN CHIGWELL

It is noted that the applications to develop flats both at 152 High Road and in Stradbroke Drive have been rejected recently. Is this a turning of the tide of building blocks of flats in the village perhaps?

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GENERAL MEETING

Summary of the General Meeting at St Mary’s Hall on 29th October 2015

Parking problems


The meeting was given an update by Cllr John Knapman on the increasing parking problems being experienced by residents in roads close to Chigwell station. He said that the urgent need to make Chigwell Park Estate a Controlled Parking Zone was still persistently being blocked by obstacles put forward by Essex Highways.


The Local Highways Panel have offered to pay for yellow lines to be marked on the estate which would have a one hour no parking restriction during the day. However, Essex Highways along with North Essex Parking Partnership, who supposedly enforce parking control in this area, were now saying that they had an additional issue which apparently is that the traffic wardens from NEPP have to travel to Epping Forest by public transport daily from Harlow and then go back at midday to Harlow for lunch. There is not much time left after travel for actual enforcement!


It seems increasingly obvious that some responsibility for organising parking restrictions in Chigwell needs to be given to the local council and the local highways panel otherwise the position in Chigwell will only get worse.  Essex Highways and the NEPP have been offered a decisive way forward to improve the situation by the latest proposal, crucially the offer to fund a Controlled Parking Zone: it needs to be accepted and implemented without further delay.


Residents of Chigwell Park have sent in a petition requesting a Controlled Parking Zone: action is required to deal with the deteriorating and increasingly chaotic situation there.

 

Traffic


Cllr Knapman said that the LHP were also looking to improve traffic safety locally and considering proposals for a pedestrian crossing on the High Road by Brook Parade shops. The Panel may also look at a one way traffic system around the village Green (using Hainault Road and Station Road) to improve flow and safety.

It was also noted that a great deal of parking in Brook Parade and Brook Mews is illegal and it regularly blocks entrances and causes obstructions. The police needed to be involved; the current lack of enforcement was not acceptable.


Primary School

Cllr Knapman summarised the problems being experienced by Chigwell Primary School. For several years it has been a failing school, put into and remaining in “special measures” in recent OFSTED reports. The school building is in critical need of renovation. Essex County Council have been unwilling (they claim unable) to fund the changes needed, and the government’s way forward has been to turn the school into an Academy; the group who now run the Academy say refurbishment is essential but they don’t have the funding to do it.

Three high pressure gas mains meet near the school, and new legislation means that a new school cannot be built on this site; the only solution appears to be to improve the current facilities up to standard, effectively  a major refurbishment of the existing building.

A developer, Argall Group, who own the former BSI site (bounded by High Road, Vicarage Lane, and the school) have offered to refurbish the school building in return for getting planning permission to build 35 houses on the BSI site. They want to put in a detailed planning application for the school, but a non-detailed planning application for the housing.

The views were expressed that getting a school out of special measures should not have to depend on building houses, but was the responsibility of the government and the community, that any additional houses in this already congested area would only add to the traffic problems and that funding from developers towards community schemes such as a local bus service would not be compensation, and not solve at all the increasing traffic congestion.

The question was asked whether the housing could be built on the nearby old tennis courts, but Cllr. Knapman said that these are too close to the gas pipeline. He added that there was also a need for housing to attract staff to the school as well as raise funding and that if the facilities did not improve there would be an increasing number of local parents opting out of enrolling at the school.

Questions were also asked about entry to West Hatch High School for children from Chigwell, and whether the school would increase its intake numbers.

Traffic

Residents expressed concerns about the school being built in Luxborough Lane for autistic children, both regarding the number of houses to be built and about the difficulty of widening the Lane sufficiently at the High Road end to provide two way traffic and a pavement, particularly with the dangerous parking and blocking of sight lines around the junction at school times.

Reductions in Policing

Residents said they did not want to have further reductions in police patrols in the locality, and are worried by reports of local police stations closing and of reductions of 70% in the PCSOs in EFDC. Councillors at the meeting said that they were anxious that the provision at Limes Farm in particular were sustained and funded fully.

EFDC Local Plan

Questions were asked why the number of houses required for the District had still not been given to the public. Cllr Knapman said that EFDC was still doing its Green Belt Review, which was their second. He said that Chigwell Parish Councillors were moving ahead with producing their own Neighbourhood Plan and that for Chigwell any brownfield sites (although there are few here) have to be a priority for development.

He said the Chigwell Parish Council is doing its own assessment of our sites, and issues such as the quality of farmland and creating the minimum visual impact of possible sites on neighbouring housing would be central to those decisions.

 

 

 

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Below is a letter that will be going round to all residents of Chigwell Park Estate about Neighbourhood Watch and seeking support in the fight to reduce crime in the area:

 

CHIGWELL PARK ESTATE

 

 

Hello fellow Residents,

 

In conjunction with the Chigwell Residents Association, I have been a co-ordinator for the Neighbourhood Watch for a few years. I apologise for the long silence but nowadays most of the crime information comes via e-mail, some of which is not relevant to this area.

 

Last Wednesday Keith (my husband) and I went to a meeting at Chigwell Hall.  In attendance was the  Police Community Support Officer Emma Stevens who told us that we were the only people who had ever attended any of her meetings and they were held once a week 7.30 to 8.30pm.  The purpose of the meetings is to deal with problems in the Chigwell area.   To be honest I did not know that these meetings took place each week and only knew about this one after receiving an e-mail on Wednesday morning.   I suggested to Emma Stevens that perhaps we could rally support on the Chigwell Park Estate if a letter was sent to everyone suggesting that they contact her either by e-mail or by phone and she will arrange for them to be sent any relevant information regarding crime in the area and any meetings that are going to take place. Her e-mail no. is emma.stevens2@essex.pnn.police.uk or tel. 0300 333 4444 or mob. 07968354021

 

I know that a number of you belong to the Chigwell Residents Association but some of you do not.  It would be beneficial to have more of you on board as the Association does a very good job for the community.  If you are interested please contact Eddie Bow (Chairman) on 020 8281 1365.

 

I hope that the above is of interest to you and some of you will act on it as it is only as a community pulling together and looking out for each other that we can help to reduce crime in the area.

 

If anyone would like to contact me my e-mail address is km.lakey@yahoo.co.uk and my phone no. is 020 8500 5242

 

Kind regards

Margaret Lakey

(Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator)

FLATS IN THE HIGH ROAD

Sadly, the battle to prevent the development of more flats in the High Road has been lost and consequently the integrity of the road has been further threatened. Even though the demolition and development into flats of 120 High Road, opposed by this Association and by many residents, was rejected in strong terms by the Parish Council and was similarly rejected on appeal by the Planning Committee of EFDC, Higgins Homes PLC subsequently appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the Inspector concerned has allowed their appeal.

No doubt the application for development of flats at No 152 High Road (also turned down by both Parish and District Councils) will now be put by developers to appeal, and seems at real risk of going the same way. The views of residents and the democratically elected Councils seem to count for little at the end of the day - we shall see.

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MORE RUBBISH!

For the time being at least rubbish collection in Chigwell appears to have settled down with bins and bags finally being cleared and long may that continue. How much it has cost to sort the problems out, if indeed they have all been sorted out remains unknown. However, in case problems arise again or you are interested anyway, this Association has finally succeeded with its request to EFDC under the Freedom of Information Act for a copy ( albeit redacted) of the Council’s contract with BIFFA.

It is a very long and wordy document but is therefore available. If any member wishes to see it, do let us know.

 

RUBBISH!

There is no need to report on the farce that is the change to the rubbish collection schedules. We must by now nearly all be aware of what has been going on, had bags lying around accumulating for weeks and seen the loose rubbish scattered around our village as a result. We have also all been able to read the limp excuses that have emerged from EFDC and been reported on in the local papers and websites culminating in an apology from the Rubbish, sorry, Environment Portfolio Holder Cllr Breare-Hall.

The important issue we want to highlight is where we go from here. Cllr Breare-Hall is apparently quoted as saying:

"The good news is that after this short transition period we’re soon going to be back on to the regular fortnightly collection."

Having spoken with the collectors themselves as they went around Chigwell pickings up the pieces of their unfinished rounds last week, explanations for the problems appear to extend beyond computer gliches and the excuses we have heard so far. They have told us that, as a result of the changes, they are now having to complete 5 days of collections in 4 days and the recycling collectors now also have to collect the glass, always done separately until now, as well. All this makes their rounds slower and harder to complete in the day and they seem to doubt whether they will be able to complete Chigwell collections on the allotted day and suggested that streets may get left out on occasions.

We all need to keep a watch and if your rubbish is not collected on a Friday report it to EFDC. This can be done by submitting a missed collection report online on EFDC’s website at the following link:

http://eppingforestdc.firmstep.com/default.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=Fc8Y25C505f&HideToolbar=1

or email EFDC on:

erefuse@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

or call them on 01992 564608

or even contact the Rubbish Portfolio holder, Cllr Breare-Hall, directly and put him in the picture.

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF CRA.

The meeting took place at St Mary’s Hall on 23rd April 2015 and the issues discussed included the following:

Highways and Parking

Frustration was expressed at the increasing congestion in roads close to Chigwell Station, which included the persistent blocking of drives and pavements by commuter vehicles. Cllr Knapman agreed with him that there had to be some system to assist residents. A major problem was that North East Parking Partnership was not providing any enforcement whatsoever, and local police would not. The Chigwell Park estate was only 8th priority in the District (on their criteria) for a local parking scheme, and therefore he was asking the local Highways Panel to allow the Parish Council to fund a local parking zone.

Several residents made the point that there were other estates like the Dickens where commuter parking was causing similar daily problems, and that a no parking hour in the middle of the day would be needed for them too. However, the problems that various systems of parking permits have caused in Buckhurst Hill were pointed out, including cost to residents. It was suggested that having a different parking hour restriction on each side of the road would help residents to find parking for their visitors.

Cllr Knapman said that if a local bus service becomes reality this should help reduce the amount of short car trips to the station.

It was noted that NEPP had responded to CRA members complaints by remarking the lines on Brook Parade (including the disabled bays), but that the signage and marking had not yet been redone opposite Chigwell Station where the daily problems caused by vehicles left all day continues. It was agreed that the Association and its members keep on contacting NEPP, including continuing to press for actual regular enforcement of parking regulations. The situation has been unacceptable and as Council tax payers we seem so far to have been merely subsidising other parts of the district and county with NEPP.

Comment was made that the verges on Meadow Way have been destroyed near High Road by commuter parking. Cllr Knapman said that he had requested yellow lines on the north side of Courtland. A resident also complained about the potholes not yet attended in the area. Attention was also drawn to the problems of parking on Vicarage Lane by parents for the school, and that the closing of the gates daily at the Beis Shamai was adding to this dangerous situation.

It was suggested that the situation at Debden Station should be looked at as a possible area for increased parking on LT land alongside. Cllr Alvin said that councillors would take this into consideration; however, there are plans by LT to develop the site for residential, therefore reducing the potential for commuter parking.

Cllr Knapman commented that there was not enough accountability on highway maintenance and that the Parish was looking to source services more locally to improve white lining, filling potholes etc.

Planning Issues

A resident from Chigwell Rise voiced his concern that the application for flats at 120 High Rd had gone to appeal after being turned down by EFDC, and that this might cause a domino effect of houses being sold to be turned into apartment blocks. Councillors shared his concerns. It was said that the existing home was of important architectural interest.

Cllr Wagland said that application at Debra’s had been supported by the Parish on the proviso that the design protected its neighbours from being overlooked, because in this case it retained its residential/retail status.

A resident from Brunel Road said that in the development of a school for autism scheduled for Luxborough Lane there were trees being taken down , and wondered whether permission had been given for this. Cllr Knapman said that he would involve the specialist at EFDC to see if there were any TPOs involved on any trees there.  He said in answer to a question that Luxborough Lane would be widened to become two way.

A resident from the High Road asked how many responses the Parish had received to their questionnaire. Cllr Alvin said about 10%, which was about the expected return on such surveys. He hoped the first draft summarising the responses would be out in about September.  Cllr Knapman said that in relation to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Chigwell we can argue that we do have a sufficient land supply.

A resident from the High Road asked about the change in status of 106 planning agreements recently. He said that many councils have signed up to this, but not yet EFDC, and he wondered whether this could affect planning gains here. Cllr Alvin said that 106 agreements here would still continue to count.

Comment was made also that the extensions at 2 Chigwell Park were blatantly ignoring the terms granted on appeal by the Inspectorate, and asked if there can be enforcement. Cllr Wagland said that EFDC was providing careful monitoring and would take action to see that the regulations were applied. We need to be realistic to the fact that retrospective applications for many such abuses continue to be made.
 
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FLATS IN THE HIGH ROAD

We understand that as well as the Parish Council, the Plans South Committee of EFDC at their most recent meeting has also now rejected the application to replace the house at 152 High Road with flats. We wait to see where this goes from here and whether the integrity of this area of the High Road can be saved.

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DON’T BE FOOLED!

Please see the following from:

Colin I. Freeman MITOL
Essex Watch Liaison Officer - West LPA
Member: Essex Security & Fire Protection Association

Community cohesion consultant to the voluntary sector
Direct Line: 01279 621862 Internal Ext: 318383
E-mail: colin.freeman@essex.pnn.police.uk

www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood.aspx

 

Don’t be fooled

Rogue traders are people who call at your door pretending to be qualified tradespeople and offering to do work on your home.
They may seem friendly and persuasive but too often they target vulnerable elderly people and carry out poor quality household repairs to roofs and driveways

They may claim to know your neighbours and have done work for them but often the work they promise to complete didn't need doing in the first place.

Essex Police are working with Essex County Council and Age UK Essex as part of a campaign to warn residents to 'Be Sure at the Door'.

You decide whether you need any work done to our house, not them. Free fridge magnets with advice on how to avoid cold callers are available from your local library and GP surgery.

If you think you've been taken in by a rogue trader, please let us know by calling 101, contacting Trading Standards on 08454 040 506 or talk to a friend or relative.

Take a look at our advice to make sure you don't fall victim to a rogue trader.

A genuine trader won't:-

  • Call without an appointment
  • Ask you to go to the bank to withdraw cash or make a money transfer
  • Offer to take you to the bank to withdraw cash for payment
  • Ask you to pay in full before the work is complete
  • Insist that you make a decision about the work they're offering to do on the spot
  • Bully or scare you into doing the work

If you do think you need some work doing:-

  • Contact a Buy With Confidence accredited trader
  • Get a number of quotes
  • Get a written estimate detailing exactly what work will be carried out, how much it will cost and what the terms of payment are
  • Take your time to make sure you’re happy with what you’re undertaking – ask a trusted friend/relative for advice or ring the Buy with Confidence number 08454 040506.

    Doorstep sellers

    As well as calling at your door and offering to carry out work on your home, other rogue traders try to sell poor quality goods for highly inflated prices.

    It can be difficult to refuse some sales people on your doorstep and you can be pressured into buying something you do not want or that is not good value for money. 

    It is your doorstep and your decision and we would advise people to follow a few simple steps to help them handle any high pressure techniques.

1. Check the trader’s identity:  were you expecting them?  If not, but you are interested in what they are selling, ask them to come back at a more convenient time and try to have another person with you. 

2. Take control: you ask the questions and try to remember that it is a business situation.

3. Be aware that doorstep sellers are not your friends: watch out for clever sales techniques where you may be made to feel like you have lots in common.

4. Don’t sign on the spot: even if it means that you could lose a ‘special discount’.  Take time to reflect, think about your purchase and shop around.

5. You have a right to cancel: If you do purchase something for more than £35 from doorstep sales people you have 7 days to change your mind.  This information should be given to you in writing by the sales person.

6. If in doubt, ask the person to leave: phone Consumer Direct or Essex County Council Trading Standards on 08454 040 506 for further advice.

You can also contact Essex Police using the non emergency number:  101 if you feel threatened by a sales person in your own home call 999.


Dc Alan Philips said: “Rogue traders often target vulnerable members of the community offering household property services.  Using any method to obtain as much money as possible, they will often only do the job to a poor standard or not undertake the work at all."

 

MORE ON ROGUE TRADERS

Consumers have greater powers to challenge unscrupulous rogue traders and get their money back under new rights.

Consumers now have greater powers to challenge unscrupulous rogue traders and get their money back under new rights which came into force on the 1st October 2014.

Consumers who are bullied or misled into buying services or goods they neither need nor want, will now have a period of up to 90 days to take legal action, under changes delivered by Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson.

Examples could include those who are harassed into home improvements by a door-to-door salesman when they really don’t need it or somebody who is misled into purchasing a mobile phone by false promises on download speeds and network coverage.

This could also extend to when a young person is stopped in the street and misled into parting with hundreds of pounds by promises of a modelling career, or to an elderly person being bullied into paying thousands of pounds for goods they really can’t afford.

The reforms will especially benefit the elderly and vulnerable with National Audit Office figures showing that those over the age of 55 lose an average of nearly £1,100 when they are victims of rogue traders. Crime reporting agency Action Fraud estimates that consumers suffer detriment of at least £6.6 billion every year due to unfair trading.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said:

The vast majority of businesses treat consumers fairly and provide a great service. However, a few bad apples have damaged the reputation of good business, broken the law and treated customers as a cash cow.

This is why we are providing consumers with new powers to challenge rogue businesses and giving people the confidence to take action when they have been bullied or misled.

If anyone thinks they’ve been bullied or misled into buying something the best thing to do is try and sort the issue out directly with the company and if that doesn’t work then contact Citizens Advice on 08444 111 444. They are an excellent source of advice and guidance.

The new rights will introduce:

  • A new 90 day period for victims to get out of a contract. Beyond this period consumers will still be able to get a discount on the price paid, as much as 100% depending on the actions of the trader. At present there is no right to a discount. Consumers can currently seek damages in the civil courts but it is extremely complex
  • A right to damages for any additional losses or stress suffered as a result of the actions of the trader
  • A brand new right to take personal action through the civil court for misleading or aggressive demands for payment, for example aggressive or misleading debt collection. At present there is no legislative right for consumers to do this

An example of a case where the new rights could be used is where an elderly person with mobility issues is approached by a company offering to make adaptions to their bathroom.

A company salesman uses high pressure selling techniques to convince the consumer that they need more than just a new shower, and offer other products including a new toilet and sink. The consumer signs up for a loan agreement but is not given a proper explanation about what it involves.

Work on the bathroom is carried out and is completed to a very poor standard and the consumer is left facing a huge debt totalling thousands of pounds.

From 1st October 2014, the consumer in this case will be able to exercise their right to get out of the agreement they have been pressured into signing up to. They will be able to claim for compensation for the stress caused by being misled about the quality of the work.

The new rights form part of the government’s radical overhaul of the UK’s consumer landscape to make sure consumer law is easier for consumers to understand. It includes a new Consumer Rights Bill to streamline key consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services, digital content and the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts in one place. The bill is currently going through Parliament.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice said:-

Dishonest and aggressive salespeople are ripping off innocent consumers. In the last year alone, the Citizens Advice consumer service helped with 85,000 problems caused by misleading claims and shoddy sales practices. It’s good for consumers that, under the new protections, people in these circumstances will now be able to cancel contracts or get money back.

Bogus Callers

Most people who call at your home will be genuine but it’s important to be on your guard and remember there are bogus callers about.

These are people who turn up unannounced with the intention of tricking their way into your home to steal.

Too many people have been fooled into letting callers through the front door only to discover their valuables have been stolen while they were distracted.

Fraudsters may also try to steal money over the telephone.  Thieves posing as police officers have stolen large sums of money in a number of recent incidents targeting elderly people.

 


Bogus callers are creative and their reasons for needing entry into your home can seem plausible, but be cautious.

The person whose car has broken down and needs to use your phone to call the recovery service may not be who they seem.

More complex scams involve people pretending to be from utility companies and needing access to your home.

These people often work in pairs. While one person distracts the homeowner, the other gains entry to your home to steal. Typical scenarios include stories of an emergency gas or water leak.

Over the telephone callers may pretend to be police officers or bank officials, who tell victims that thieves have had access to their bank accounts.  They may try to reassure victims that they are genuine by telling them to hang up and dial 999.  When they hang up the thief stays on the line, before 'answering' the 999 call.  They then ask victims to withdraw large amounts of cash and send it to them in a taxi so that they can check the notes for fingerprints.    DON’T BE FOOLED!

Identification

Always be sure the caller is who they say they are before letting them in. All genuine callers will have identification and won’t mind you asking to see it.

Don’t let anybody in your home that you don’t want there. It’s about common sense. If you don’t like the look of them, don’t let them in.

Representatives from water, gas and electric companies are unlikely to call at your home without an appointment and police are likely to be present if there is a real emergency.

If you don’t want callers in your home, tell them. If they fail to listen you should contact the Police on 999

Police or bank officials would never call you by telephone and ask for your full bank details or ask you to withdraw large sums of cash.

Advice

Most people who call at your home will have a genuine reason for doing so, but by taking a few simple precautions you can protect yourself and your home.

Follow our advice to stay safe:-

  • If you receive a phone call asking for your bank details or for large sums of cash call police from a different phone, for example a neighbours, or wait 5 minutes and be sure you hear a dial tone before dialling.
  • Don’t be frightened to ask for identification and always check it carefully. If you’re not sure, ask them to come back another day.
  • Think about installing a door chain and use it. Keep the door on the chain until you’ve seen identification.
  • If you need your glasses to read the identification, close the door before going to find them. Don’t leave the door open and unattended.
  • Always remember to lock the back door before opening the front.
  • Don’t be pressured into letting someone into your home if you have suspicions.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
  • Don’t believe scare stories. Not all callers are genuine.

 

 

LATEST NEWS ON THE GRANGE FARM BUILDING SITES

Some of the containers stored there have finally been removed although the site hoardings are still a mess. The major development, however, has been the sale of the building plots on the Ardmore site to a developer called London Square. Little more is known at this stage except that it is understood that they plan to build houses of a similar size and type to those originally planned and work could start within the next few weeks.

 

FLATS IN THE HIGH ROAD

On the application for Key West at Number 120, permission has long existed to replace the existing house with 2 flats but the application to build a further 12-14 flats on the rest of the land comprising that property has so far been rejected by the Parish Council and also the Plans South Committee of EFDC. We understand, however, that the decision may still be appealed.

In relation to 152 High Road, we understand that a last minute, returned application was made just before the last meeting of the Parish Council Planning Committee to build 5 flats in place of the house there. Chigwell Parish Council apparently rejected the proposal.

 

LUXBOROUGH LANE 

We understand that the application made for an Autism Spectrum Disorders school here by Anderson Construction has been approved by the Parish Council and EFDC.

The issue, however, was not the school itself or the need for it at this site but the 55-60 housing units planned alongside it which are claimed to be enabling rather than profit making for the developer. It is understood that the plans for these have been approved also at those two levels.

The application overall was, however, referred to the EFDC District Development Committee for final approval and a decision by that committee is awaited.

Meanwhile, it remains the case that Essex County Council have not objected on highways grounds and will be adopting the road and adding proper sight lines etc.

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Luxborough Lane

We understand that an application has finally been made for an Autism Spectrum Disorders school here by Anderson Construction. The issue is not the school itself or the need for it at this site but the 55-60 housing units planned alongside it which are claimed to be enabling rather than profit making for the developer. It is understood also that Essex County Council will not be objecting on highways grounds and will be adopting the road and adding proper sight lines etc.

The application has apparently been approved by the Parish Council in principle but has been referred to EFDC to address construction concerns and any issues relating to the housing units proposed.

 

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LOCAL PLAN AND GREEN BELT REVIEW

As part of the process of producing its local plan, eventually, EFDC is legally required to do a total Green Belt review.

The methodology for this process was discussed at EFDC Cabinet on 23rd June and a detailed (in other words rather verbose, repetitive and unclear) report was produced for this purpose (Report to Cabinet - reference: C-002-2014/15). The report is so open-ended we cannot summarise it effectively on this website but the essence seems to be that each parcel of Green Belt land in this District will be reviewed to determine the extent to which it, or parts of it, meet the purposes of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). These include:

  • Checking the sprawl of large built up areas;
  • Preventing towns merging into one another;
  • Safeguarding the countryside;
  • Preserving the setting and character of historic towns;
  • Assisting urban regeneration by encouraging recycling derelict “and other” urban land. (This last criteria has been dropped by EFDC as it says that there is little derelict or other urban land left available in the district!)

What is most worrying is that EFDC propose to carry out this process by preparing a survey pro-forma for each parcel which will be completed “…by EFDC Planning Policy Officers through desk-based analysis using GIS and relevant evidence studies as well as site visits where necessary….”. Whether our Green Belt will be in safe hands remains to be seen.

The good news for Chigwell at least is that EFDC will accept a Green Belt Review by Chigwell Parish Council, worded appropriately, to be incorporated within the overall Epping Forest Green Belt Review and thankfully Chigwell PC has the funds available to do this so at least our Councillors, who know and understand the village and its issues, should be able to continue the fight to protect the Green Belt here.

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

As previously reported Chigwell Parish Council has successfully retained the right to develop its own Neighbourhood Plan giving us the choice of where new houses should be sited although EFDC will decide upon the number both in the district as a whole and also in Chigwell.

EFDC remain unable or incapable of making a decision on the numbers and so the figures to plan around remain unresolved. Nevertheless, Chigwell PC has begun work on its plan by preparing a questionnaire for public consultation. This will soon be finalised and circulated to residents. It will be capable of completion in hard copy or online. The ultimate target timetable is to complete the plan by April 2016 to dovetail with the EFDC plan due to be completed by May 2016.

We will keep you posted.

 

                                BURGLARY WARNING

We have heard that the following warning has been issued by the Essex Watch Liaison Officer:

Dear all,

There has been a disturbing concentration of house burglaries in the Waltham Abbey area recently. Whereas we would normally expect these type of offences to be taking place during the hours of darkness, these ones are occurring between 10am and 4pm. They could be visiting your area next!

Methods of getting in vary but normally involve gaining entry to the rear of the house before jemmying open a window or smashing a patio door.

With daytime burglaries, the intruders need to establish if anyone is at home before they break in. The last thing they want is for someone to be able to identify them. Their normal method is to knock at the front door first of the house they have decided to target. If they get no answer they will continue on with the offence. If they do get an answer they will ask some lame question such as ‘Does John live here?’ or ask for directions. That sort of thing. Having established that someone is at home they move on to another target.

So, if you get a caller asking odd questions, don’t simply shut your front door and ignore them….CALL US and give the police a chance to check them out. If the thieves don’t think they have aroused your suspicion they are likely to target another house locally and not move on. We need your help to catch these criminals and stop them in their tracks.

Kind regards,

Colin

Colin I. Freeman MITOL
Essex Watch Liaison Officer - West LPA
Member: Essex Security & Fire Protection Association
Direct Line: 01279 621862 Internal Ext: 318383
Fax: 01279 625440 Internal Fax: 318335
E-mail: colin.freeman@essex.pnn.police.uk

www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood.aspx
Essex Police, Epping Police Station,
230 High Street, Epping, Essex. CM16 4AP
Essex Police Non-emergency Telephone No: 101

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On 29th April the Annual General Meeting of the Association took place and included in the discussion was the following:

Update on the campaign to save Chigwell’s Green Belt:

We continue to fight at District level to stop new housing being dumped in Chigwell. It has become a war of attrition, with the timetable for the next draft of the Local Plan being pushed back and back by EFDC. The fact that Chigwell Parish has a contingency fund is important, and the developing of a Neighbourhood Plan by Chigwell Parish will at least give us control of choice of sites (if not the numbers we have to take). Cllr Wagland said that we will be able to designate Green Belt land in our Neighbourhood Plan which cannot be used for building. It helps that EFDC are using more up to date figures for population growth, and that Chigwell already has about 250 houses being built which count in our total (dating from January 2011).

CCllr Knapman said there is a concern about whether we have a 5 year land supply designated, because this could affect the number of houses given to Chigwell. Concern was expressed that the apartments being built on High Road were an indication of many more applications for apartments coming. Cllr Wagland said that the Parish Council would be sending questionnaires to residents regarding a Neighbourhood Plan and also holding information clinics on the options available. Ultimately residents of Chigwell would have to decide upon which are the sites on which we would be prepared to negotiate some development. She said another advantage of a Neighbourhood Plan is that it will enable us to include some control of materials and styles to fit in with the existing street scene, to which we could hold householders and developers.

On Hill Farm, CCllr Knapman said that Essex CC had sold an option on the site to a company to build housing, though this was a decision by officers which was never published. He has made an official complaint, and is looking to EFDC as the planning authority to stop it. He is concerned about the situation if it ever went to appeal.

 

Highway issues: 

CCllr Knapman has asked for a review at Essex Council about the length of time taken by Essex Highways to repair the Roding Lane bridge. As regards the turning off of street lighting, he has got an agreement from the portfolio holder that here they will remain on till 1am, and that Chigwell Parish can provide extra funding for them to remain on longer.

Several members complained about the continuing problems of potholes not being repaired. Both CCllr Knapman and Cllr Wagland said they continued to be dissatisfied with the response from Essex Highways, and were looking to see if the Parish could take some responsibility in identifying and resurfacing potholes here.

CCllr Knapman said that they are looking at ways to improve the exit from Station Road junction onto Hainault Road. However, the proposal to improve the exit from Vicarage Lane onto Manor Road is being looked at again to make it more cost effective.

Concerns were expressed by about the ineffective parking control on Brook Parade which is allowing vehicles to remain all day, and also that the white sign is missing and the road markings faded for the disabled bays which are also being misused.

 

Finally, under AOB, mention was made of the application for the shop at 14 Brook Parade to become a fish and chip outlet. This is due to be heard at the District Council in May. The councillors present asked for any comments to be given to them beforehand. The result is still awaited.

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ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL OWNED AND MANAGED SITES IN CHIGWELL

Given what ECC are trying to do with the Hill Farm site we thought it important that residents be aware of all the sites they own or manage in Chigwell. For a list, please see the Sites at Risk section of this website.

_____________________________________________________________

GREEN BELT SITES IN CHIGWELL

A useful link in the Green Belt section of this site provides access to a map of the sites in Chigwell and across the country.

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Beis Shammai has new owners

 

We were pleased to welcome to a recent committee meeting representatives of the new owners of the Beis Shammai School and they are keen to be part of our community and make contact with residents in Chigwell. It is now to be a community centre catering for the needs of an area Hindu Group connected to the Neasden Temple.  The buildings will be refurbished internally to meet their needs and there will also be sports facilities outside. They have already been busy tidying up the site and have kindly agreed to Chigwell Primary School using the car park at school drop off and picking up times.

 

This of course will mean that the site is no longer available as a designated housing site which appeared in the Draft Chigwell Neighbourhood and Epping Forest Local Plans.

 

 

 

Contacts from CRA members regarding the Local and the Neighbourhood Development Plans.

 

The consultation periods for both EFDC’s Local Plan and Chigwell Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan have now concluded, and we have had quite a few contacts from residents in Chigwell to tell us about the issues they regard as the most important ones.

 

The vast majority of comments to us are in favour of putting new housing in Chigwell on smaller sites which are more concealed, and would have less visual impact. It was also the view of most of the members who contacted us that it was crucial to avoid those sites proposed in either the Local Plan (LP) or Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) – or in some cases in both- which would add to the daily traffic congestion in the centre of Chigwell or on the main arterial roads from there into Redbridge. There is a real fear about the increasing gridlock at rush hours and its growing costs to the local economy and the wellbeing of our community.

 

There is also very strong feeling that it is vital to retain all open green spaces. In the previous consultation in 2012 residents stated that their top priority was to retain all open green spaces, that the strategic Green Belt around Chigwell had to be maintained, and that Chigwell must not be merged with nearby suburbs and settlements.

 

Therefore there has been almost total opposition to the proposal in the LP to build 210 houses on the green spaces at Limes Farm, or at Chigwell Convent on High Road.

 

 For the same reasons, there is great opposition to building on Chigwell Nursery - particularly with the daily additional traffic coming from the adjacent West Hatch School, plus the autistic school and housing being built in Luxborough Lane. The Chigwell Nursey site is also proposed in the NDP.

 

For these reasons, residents contacting us have been opposed to many of the proposed sites in the LP, but more in favour of the majority of sites put forward in the NDP.

 

It is really important that residents in Chigwell have contacted BOTH EFDC and Chigwell Parish Council (CPC) to voice their opinions. One of the real dangers is that if the responses to the consultations are very low in numbers then EFDC will assume that Chigwell residents are in agreement with simply all the EFDC’s own proposals, and merely then just incorporate them all into their final plan.

 

They need to be informed by the choices of the residents of Chigwell in favour of options in the NDP for smaller, more dispersed sites further out.

 

Although some of these sites are Green Belt, we believe that CPC’s criteria for green belt sites actually stands up better than EFDC’s attempts to justify green open spaces on which to build. The total required in the NDP is about 1%, which is the same as that in the LP.

 

The best options for Chigwell are smaller housing sites, further away from the worst daily traffic congestion spots, and with less visual impact on the existing character of Chigwell.

 

We feel that the NDP is fundamentally sound, and therefore that its main sites should  be adopted into the LP.

 

 

 

Report from the CRA General Meeting for residents, 24th October at St Mary’s Hall.

The Chairman introduced the local councillors in attendance, Cllrs John Knapman, Alan Lion, Barry Scrutton, Kewel Charna, and Gagan Mohindra.

Treasurer’s Report: Peter Garner presented a summary of the current financial position of the Association, which indicated that income continues to meet expenditure, and that our position remains sound. He said that we are currently attempting to update and improve the CRA website, and that the eventual costs were likely to be in the region of £1000 – 1500. There were no questions for the Treasurer; he was thanked for his continuing careful managing of our resources.

The EFDC Local Plan; and Chigwell Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan: concern was voiced that the EFDC Local Plan, although available online, was not accessible to many residents, and also was difficult to follow; in particular some Chigwell residents are experiencing difficulty in finding information about the proposed housing sites proposed for Chigwell. Many residents are also worried that the CPC Neighbourhood Plan has not been sent to Chigwell households, that their website is difficult to access, and that the 2 information leaflets which were promised by Chigwell Parish Council to be sent to every home have not been delivered.

  Councillor Knapman said that there were important differences in the two Plans. Although meetings at District Council over the past 2 years have only discussed Green Belt sites (for housing) the Local Plan now proposes putting houses on local green spaces. Chigwell’s Neighbourhood Plan proposes sites in the Green Belt which are largely hidden.

He said it seems good news that the Local Plan doesn’t suggest any housing on the Courtland fields, or opposite the “Three Jolly Wheelers”, but that their proposals for 210 houses on the green space at Limes Farm, and 60 on the field in front of Chigwell Convent were opposed by Chigwell councillors. Each would have an unacceptable visual impact, and also create more traffic congestion onto already overcrowded roads. Other residents commented  that the number of houses proposed at Chigwell Nursery (66) would cause further traffic blockages with the increasing traffic from the housing at Luxborough Lane already being built.

Cllr Knapman said that he thought the total for housing in Chigwell (to be set by EFDC) would be nearer 600 than their numbers proposed in the Local Plan, and that the Neighbourhood Plan would meet this target; he said that recent legislation allows a larger number of residences to come with a care home, as suggested at Rolls Park. He felt the Neighbourhood Plan would link better with Chigwell’s infrastructure needs (eg increased Chigwell entrants at West Hatch School).

Pat Ward (Meadow Way) queried the figure for the number of houses needed; his reading was that the numbers were more like 420. He wondered if the Neighbourhood Plan actually proposed more houses than the Local Plan?

Graham Osborne (Smeaton Road) queried whether in Luxborough Lane there would be additional houses built nearer the river? The councillors said no. Robert Ayrton (Chigwell Rise) said there were rumours that the tip in Luxborough Lane would not only be used for housing, but that a road would be put through to New Barnes Farm. The councillors said the tip seemed to be being run down by Essex CC, but there were no plans to create such a road, or to extend a road from there into Chigwell Park estate either.

Susan Menor (Smeaton Road) reported no letter from Chigwell Parish had been delivered, and they desperately needed information on what is being proposed. The councillors said they would pursue this problem. They said that a referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan will be in May, and that prior to that it will have to be approved by an Inspector.

Other residents were concerned that there were insufficient numbers of the 3 booklets on the Neighbourhood Plan published, and that the Parish Office could not meet the needs of its residents for accessible information.

Katharine Garner (Emmaus Way) asked how residents should go about responding to the Local Plan; Cllr Knapman said they are able to write a letter on any point, and that it would be properly noted. Mrs Garner said that green spaces, such as Chigwell Nursey, were the top priority to retain for Chigwell residents, and that continuing access to community spaces was absolutely vital.

Pat Ward said at last week’s District Council Meeting planners had said that they should not change the green spaces recommendations (such as Limes Farm) because government would then impose a new plan on the District. Cllr Knapman said that government “could” not “would” impose a new plan, and that Chigwell councillors were confident the proposals could be rejected.

It was strongly felt by a majority present that a peak time traffic assessment in Chigwell was needed to support the sites proposed in the Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Chigwell Residents Association Committee:   the meeting was reminded that there would be several changes on the CRA Management Committee at the AGM (April 2017). The Chairman has recently moved out of the area, and the Treasurer was also standing down after 4 years service in the role. Therefore there was an urgent need for new people to step forward to work on the Committee on behalf of the local residents.

Julia Hills (Hainault Road) was concerned that the through tube trains from Chigwell Station have been cut to only one in the rush hour. It was agreed that this was causing great difficulties, and the Parish Council are consulting London Transport.

There was a discussion about parking difficulties on roads around the Station caused by commuter vehicles. Cllr Knapman reported that the propose Report from the CRA General Meeting for residents, 24th October at St Mary’s Hall.

The Chairman introduced the local councillors in attendance, Cllrs John Knapman, Alan Lion, Barry Scrutton, Kewel Charna, and Gagan Mohindra.

Treasurer’s Report: Peter Garner presented a summary of the current financial position of the Association, which indicated that income continues to meet expenditure, and that our position remains sound. He said that we are currently attempting to update and improve the CRA website, and that the eventual costs were likely to be in the region of £1000 – 1500. There were no questions for the Treasurer; he was thanked for his continuing careful managing of our resources.

The EFDC Local Plan; and Chigwell Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan: concern was voiced that the EFDC Local Plan, although available online, was not accessible to many residents, and also was difficult to follow; in particular some Chigwell residents are experiencing difficulty in finding information about the proposed housing sites proposed for Chigwell. Many residents are also worried that the CPC Neighbourhood Plan has not been sent to Chigwell households, that their website is difficult to access, and that the 2 information leaflets which were promised by Chigwell Parish Council to be sent to every home have not been delivered.

  Councillor Knapman said that there were important differences in the two Plans. Although meetings at District Council over the past 2 years have only discussed Green Belt sites (for housing) the Local Plan now proposes putting houses on local green spaces. Chigwell’s Neighbourhood Plan proposes sites in the Green Belt which are largely hidden.

He said it seems good news that the Local Plan doesn’t suggest any housing on the Courtland fields, or opposite the “Three Jolly Wheelers”, but that their proposals for 210 houses on the green space at Limes Farm, and 60 on the field in front of Chigwell Convent were opposed by Chigwell councillors. Each would have an unacceptable visual impact, and also create more traffic congestion onto already overcrowded roads. Other residents commented  that the number of houses proposed at Chigwell Nursery (66) would cause further traffic blockages with the increasing traffic from the housing at Luxborough Lane already being built.

Cllr Knapman said that he thought the total for housing in Chigwell (to be set by EFDC) would be nearer 600 than their numbers proposed in the Local Plan, and that the Neighbourhood Plan would meet this target; he said that recent legislation allows a larger number of residences to come with a care home, as suggested at Rolls Park. He felt the Neighbourhood Plan would link better with Chigwell’s infrastructure needs (eg increased Chigwell entrants at West Hatch School).

Pat Ward (Meadow Way) queried the figure for the number of houses needed; his reading was that the numbers were more like 420. He wondered if the Neighbourhood Plan actually proposed more houses than the Local Plan?

Graham Osborne (Smeaton Road) queried whether in Luxborough Lane there would be additional houses built nearer the river? The councillors said no. Robert Ayrton (Chigwell Rise) said there were rumours that the tip in Luxborough Lane would not only be used for housing, but that a road would be put through to New Barnes Farm. The councillors said the tip seemed to be being run down by Essex CC, but there were no plans to create such a road, or to extend a road from there into Chigwell Park estate either.

Susan Menor (Smeaton Road) reported no letter from Chigwell Parish had been delivered, and they desperately needed information on what is being proposed. The councillors said they would pursue this problem. They said that a referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan will be in May, and that prior to that it will have to be approved by an Inspector.

Other residents were concerned that there were insufficient numbers of the 3 booklets on the Neighbourhood Plan published, and that the Parish Office could not meet the needs of its residents for accessible information.

Katharine Garner (Emmaus Way) asked how residents should go about responding to the Local Plan; Cllr Knapman said they are able to write a letter on any point, and that it would be properly noted. Mrs Garner said that green spaces, such as Chigwell Nursey, were the top priority to retain for Chigwell residents, and that continuing access to community spaces was absolutely vital.

Pat Ward said at last week’s District Council Meeting planners had said that they should not change the green spaces recommendations (such as Limes Farm) because government would then impose a new plan on the District. Cllr Knapman said that government “could” not “would” impose a new plan, and that Chigwell councillors were confident the proposals could be rejected.

It was strongly felt by a majority present that a peak time traffic assessment in Chigwell was needed to support the sites proposed in the Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Chigwell Residents Association Committee:   the meeting was reminded that there would be several changes on the CRA Management Committee at the AGM (April 2017). The Chairman has recently moved out of the area, and the Treasurer was also standing down after 4 years service in the role. Therefore there was an urgent need for new people to step forward to work on the Committee on behalf of the local residents.

Julia Hills (Hainault Road) was concerned that the through tube trains from Chigwell Station have been cut to only one in the rush hour. It was agreed that this was causing great difficulties, and the Parish Council are consulting London Transport.

There was a discussion about parking difficulties on roads around the Station caused by commuter vehicles. Cllr Knapman reported that the proposed controlled parking zone for the Chigwell Park estate was bringing conflicting opinions, and that Tudor Close has now put in its own application for a CPZ.

There was other discussion about the future community hub, and about the proposed local bus routes. Attendees were urged to get details of the Local and Neighbourhood Plans and to respond during or at the end of the consultation periods  (12th December and 25th November respectively).

The meeting closed at 9 45 pm.

d controlled parking zone for the Chigwell Park estate was bringing conflicting opinions, and that Tudor Close has now put in its own application for a CPZ.

There was other discussion about the future community hub, and about the proposed local bus routes. Attendees were urged to get details of the Local and Neighbourhood Plans and to respond during or at the end of the consultation periods  (12th December and 25th November respectively).

The meeting closed at 9 45 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh attacks by developers on Chigwell’s Green Belt

 

 

 

Circulars have been put round Chigwell to publicise a proposal from a property developer called Freetown Homes to build 200 houses on the fields facing Courtland Drive and immediately behind Chigwell library and Victory Hall, with proposed entry from Hainault Road!

 

As so often in the recent experience of residents of Chigwell, we are hit with a sudden outrageous attack on Chigwell’s Green Belt land. The company’s circular also suggests a nursing/care home, professional offices, and possibly a one form primary school on the site.

 

This proposal is completely unacceptable. It would take away a crucial part of the green lung of Chigwell, countryside which helps define the very character of the village. It would destroy the harmony and the unique setting which makes Chigwell so special as the first village outside London.

But as well as the irreversible damage that would be done, this proposal is wrong because this site is not actually required in the emerging Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan to meet the housing needs of the area. Other sites have already been identified by Chigwell Parish Council as able to meet the number of homes needed in the Local Plan.

 

Chigwell is actually well ahead of the game, having built in excess of 350 new dwellings since 2011 which count towards our quota.

 

These fields are most unlikely to be required for removal from the Green Belt in our Neighbourhood Plan. They are considered to be important farmland, which contribute significantly to the character of Chigwell.

Chigwell Parish Council expects to be able to meet its housing requirements without resorting to high numbered single developments (as proposed by this company). There is no way that the development being proposed here should be considered for approval within the Green Belt.

 

This proposal does not seem able to demonstrate any very special circumstances or need for either removing the site from the Green belt or for allowing any residential development on this important Green Belt site.

It is vital that residents in the area make their complete objections known, and in no uncertain terms.

 

The developer is holding a “chance to view the initial masterplan”, on Saturday 16th July at the Limes Centre, Limes Avenue, Chigwell, IG7 5LP, from 11am – 2 pm.

 

We need the people of Chigwell to attend, to tell the developers that the scheme is a complete non-starter.

 

 

Summary of CRA Annual General Meeting, 28th April 2016.

The meeting at St Mary’s Hall Chigwell started at 8 pm with local councillors present being introduced.

There was an update on EFDC’s introduction of a Local Plan, and dissatisfaction was voiced by many members present about the lack of progress and the sense of drift caused by the seeming reluctance of the District Council to still not give any clear information about their plans.

In particular residents expressed their concern that there are no figures from EFDC about the number of houses to be built in the district. Councillor Knapman thought that there could be 500- 600 houses allocated to Chigwell, and pointed out that we had already built about 350 since the review began which should count to the total. However, councillors present said that the numbers being discussed by EFDC seemed to have changed again. They also voiced their fear that with key staff amongst district officers retiring , there may not be staff left of sufficient calibre to complete the review successfully and fairly.

The dates set for the Local Plan had been autumn 2016, but this seems increasingly doubtful, and if it is not produced until 2017 then it becomes increasingly at the mercy of central government.

A resident commented that it would not be fair if Chigwell were punished for EFDC inefficiencies, and others pointed out the growing problems of its infrastructure, including the lack of existing school places for Chigwell children, the stretched medical facilities, and the regular traffic congestion on all main roads in Chigwell at peak times.

A question was asked whether Chigwell having a Neighbourhood Plan would help protect its amenities and character. Cllr Knapman said that it should and was planned to be in place by August/September. He said that the Parish were looking at all possible sites with the criteria that brownfield sites would be used first (there are very few in Chigwell), small sites would be preferred, and sites having a low visual impact.

A member asked why bushes and trees had been dug up on Luxborough Lane on the right side, and noted that three different power boxes had been put in suggesting that something significant was happening or planned. The councillors said that there had been no application to build on this land, and that any land clearance had not yet broken any regulations. However, they promised to monitor the situation there.

Election of CRA Management Committee for 2016/17: The Chairman thanked committee members from last year for all their efforts.

Nigel Wagland has moved out of the area and is not standing again. He was thanked for his service to the Association. The remaining members of last year’s committee, Peter and Katharine Garner, Keith Lakey, Chris Jolly, Barry Scrutton, Deborah Hall, Eddie Bow, and Janet Hutchins are all standing and were elected. There were no other volunteers.

Eddie Bow , Chairman, said that this would be his final year on the committee as his family were moving in the near future, and Peter Garner (Treasurer) said that he would retire after this year. It will be essential that volunteers come forward during the year to take on positions in the Association. At this moment the position of Secretary continues to remain vacant.

Local Parish and District councillors said they would continue to attend CRA committee meetings to give advice, and actively support the Association. They were thanked for all their assistance.

Highways and parking: Concerns were voiced about the lack of safety on Vicarage Lane, both because of the continuing poor state of its surface and markings, and also because of the speeding along it and Courtland Drive by many drivers. It was suggested that this should be put forward as an improvement scheme to the Local Highways Panel.

There have been four suggested schemes for a one way system around Chigwell Green, but only one of them is affordable! Cllr Knapman has nominated Courtland Drive for resurfacing, and also the pavements of Smeaton Road which are in a particularly poor condition. He said the local repair budget had been drastically cut. A resident said that Courtland Drive was suffering badly by commuter parking which was destroying the verges on both sides, and that the vegetation was becoming completely overgrown. Cllr Knapman said that he’d look to replace signs about keeping off the verges which had disappeared from both this road and Chigwell Rise.

It was also reported that enforcement for vehicles blocking pavements is needed in Dickens Rise, as well as resurfacing there, and also along the full length of Brook Mews.

There was discussion about the Controlled Parking Zone being considered for Chigwell Park estate. It was strongly felt that residents parking permits were not the answer. Concern was voiced about moving the commuter parking problem to other areas of Chigwell; it was recorded that free parking is available in Victory Hall, but although not far from Chigwell Station commuters seem unwilling to park that distance away.

Local planning issues: Dismay was voiced by several members about planning permission being persistently granted on appeal by the national inspectorate, with poor knowledge of local conditions, for applications have already been rejected by Parish and District Committees. Examples of inappropriate developments in this area were cited, which do not fit in with the existing street scene, and/or dominate and overlook neighbouring properties through size and bulk. Worrying precedents continue to be set which alienate the community, and have implications for future applications.

Concern was expressed about the fencing around the demolition of Debra’s (by the station) intruding onto the pavement; Councillors said this would be checked.

Cllr Knapman reported that the application to refurbish Chigwell County Primary Academy would be heard by June; if successful then work on the school building would start in the school holidays. This plan would be funded by the building of 32 houses. He also said that there were plans to convert the Beis Shamai buildings into business offices, but that any scheme there would have to include a permanent drop off point for the primary school which remained essential. Funding would also need to be provided by this scheme for a local bus service to provide a  regular service with pick ups points for the benefit of the local community.

A member commented that the planting of daffodils on the verges near the school had been excellent, but it was distressing that drivers carelessly destroyed them by illegal parking.

Several members complained about the recent decision by the local Licensing Board to allow a private residential home in Brook Way to store and distribute vodka from the house, despite the large number of objections submitted by neighbours. Councillors promised to continue to seek ways of overturning this decision. Cllr Wagland urged getting legal advice, and also checking that planning permission has been granted.

A presentation was made by the Association to Lesley and Nigel Wagland for all their work over many years on behalf of the Association, and to wish them well in their new home.

------------------------------------------------

BURGLARY ALERT

Please see the latest blog and information received from the Essex Watch Liaison Officer, in particular the map below showing the areas in Chigwell that are currently the subject of a burglar alert:

 

 

 

The blog adds the following:

 

CRIME ALERT

Cash machine thefts and theft of 4 wheel drives and plant

There have been some recent burglaries in the county where cash machines have been stolen or there has been an attempt to steal them. The vehicles of choice in these crimes are either stolen plant vehicles or stolen 4 wheel drives such as Land Rovers. To prevent crimes on your properties as well as to other properties please can you report any suspicious persons and vehicles entering your property via the 101 Police Non-Emergency Telephone Number and take whatever measures you can to ensure that your vehicles are secure at all times whilst not in use.

Crime Prevention Advice can be obtained by dialling 101 and asking for your local Crime Prevention Officer or:-Email:  CrimePreventionTacticalAdvisors@essex.pnn.police.uk

 

 

FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH MEMBERS

 “After the recent hacking problems at Talk Talk we received assurance that none of our data was taken, however as compensation we could have a free overhaul of our system. When we applied for it, within the allowed time period, we were told the offer had been withdrawn.

We were therefore not suspicious of the call because we thought they were doing a check on our system as we had wanted.

The caller said our system was overloaded and not functioning properly. He spent an hour going round in circles but not being able to get it to work properly (supposedly). He said the router was at fault, he would send a new router and refund us £250 as we had not had full use of what we had paid for.

He wanted us to go into our banking system to claim the refund!  Alarm Bells.  We refused to do that (in fact it was my bank account) although the Talk Talk account was in my husband’s name. I said I would not authorise my husband to do it. 

I said they were to issue a credit on his account for the refund.

I said we are always informed not to give out personal information and he said he wasn't asking for any info. He asked for the last 3 digits on the account and then he told me the sort code and the account number to prove he had the information already and wasn't asking for it. 

So they had got our data in the hack after all in spite of Talk Talk saying they hadn't.

They got quite bullying, they wanted us to go into our bank account and claim the refund.  we were asked to put the information that they gave us into a personal ID box and to enter a number into a passcode box.

After we had declined to go further, with 3 more calls coming immediately thereafter insisting we did the request, we finally made an outgoing call to our bank to stop them getting through to us The number the scammers used was 'witheld'.  

After speaking to our bank to say please be vigilant (in case something had been put in our system to follow our transactions), I rang Talk Talk who confirmed that no one from them had rung us that day.” 

Don’t be fooled, unless you know that a caller is genuine, and you can check and confirm their identity, prior to disclosing information, never give your personal information out to anyone over the telephone.

 

 

and on burglaries adds the following:

Operation INSIGHT is Essex Police’s response to burglaries and is based on the theory of “predictive policing” which, as the name suggests, is about using a particular form of crime pattern analysis indicating where crimes are most likely to happen.

 

Academic research indicates that criminals are habitual in behaviour and go back to the locations where they have had previous success, this supports the theory of Repeat and Near Repeat Offending (i.e.;  you are more likely to become a victim if you live near a victim).

Predictive Policing uses crime pattern analysis to indicate where offences are most likely to occur next.

Given the ability to ‘predict crimes’ logic dictates we should concentrate our policing efforts in these areas which are mapped as circular zones around victim’s addresses.

Resources are directed to conduct intensive patrols within these zones, supported by the process known as “cocooning”.

These zones are shared with key partners such as Community Safety Accredited organisations,

 

Cocooning;

Following a burglary, we will visit near neighbours, the number of dwellings to be visited will be site specific, but would normally include 10 houses either side, 10 in front and 5 behind (see map below).

Attending officers will conduct an initial assessment of security and vulnerability which may inform referrals to other scheme such as crime prevention officers or local handy man schemes.

These households will receive bespoke crime prevention advice and reassurance.

 

Staff will also be expected to advise householders of ECM by providing a postcard and encouraging them to sign up. This process should be followed up by sending an ECM dwelling burglary message (using standard template) to the local area.

 

 

 

The success of Operation Insight is continually assessed and currently indicates a 9% decrease in offences year on year.

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FLATS IN CHIGWELL

It is noted that the applications to develop flats both at 152 High Road and in Stradbroke Drive have been rejected recently. Is this a turning of the tide of building blocks of flats in the village perhaps?

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GENERAL MEETING

Summary of the General Meeting at St Mary’s Hall on 29th October 2015

Parking problems


The meeting was given an update by Cllr John Knapman on the increasing parking problems being experienced by residents in roads close to Chigwell station. He said that the urgent need to make Chigwell Park Estate a Controlled Parking Zone was still persistently being blocked by obstacles put forward by Essex Highways.


The Local Highways Panel have offered to pay for yellow lines to be marked on the estate which would have a one hour no parking restriction during the day. However, Essex Highways along with North Essex Parking Partnership, who supposedly enforce parking control in this area, were now saying that they had an additional issue which apparently is that the traffic wardens from NEPP have to travel to Epping Forest by public transport daily from Harlow and then go back at midday to Harlow for lunch. There is not much time left after travel for actual enforcement!


It seems increasingly obvious that some responsibility for organising parking restrictions in Chigwell needs to be given to the local council and the local highways panel otherwise the position in Chigwell will only get worse.  Essex Highways and the NEPP have been offered a decisive way forward to improve the situation by the latest proposal, crucially the offer to fund a Controlled Parking Zone: it needs to be accepted and implemented without further delay.


Residents of Chigwell Park have sent in a petition requesting a Controlled Parking Zone: action is required to deal with the deteriorating and increasingly chaotic situation there.

 

Traffic


Cllr Knapman said that the LHP were also looking to improve traffic safety locally and considering proposals for a pedestrian crossing on the High Road by Brook Parade shops. The Panel may also look at a one way traffic system around the village Green (using Hainault Road and Station Road) to improve flow and safety.

It was also noted that a great deal of parking in Brook Parade and Brook Mews is illegal and it regularly blocks entrances and causes obstructions. The police needed to be involved; the current lack of enforcement was not acceptable.


Primary School

Cllr Knapman summarised the problems being experienced by Chigwell Primary School. For several years it has been a failing school, put into and remaining in “special measures” in recent OFSTED reports. The school building is in critical need of renovation. Essex County Council have been unwilling (they claim unable) to fund the changes needed, and the government’s way forward has been to turn the school into an Academy; the group who now run the Academy say refurbishment is essential but they don’t have the funding to do it.

Three high pressure gas mains meet near the school, and new legislation means that a new school cannot be built on this site; the only solution appears to be to improve the current facilities up to standard, effectively  a major refurbishment of the existing building.

A developer, Argall Group, who own the former BSI site (bounded by High Road, Vicarage Lane, and the school) have offered to refurbish the school building in return for getting planning permission to build 35 houses on the BSI site. They want to put in a detailed planning application for the school, but a non-detailed planning application for the housing.

The views were expressed that getting a school out of special measures should not have to depend on building houses, but was the responsibility of the government and the community, that any additional houses in this already congested area would only add to the traffic problems and that funding from developers towards community schemes such as a local bus service would not be compensation, and not solve at all the increasing traffic congestion.

The question was asked whether the housing could be built on the nearby old tennis courts, but Cllr. Knapman said that these are too close to the gas pipeline. He added that there was also a need for housing to attract staff to the school as well as raise funding and that if the facilities did not improve there would be an increasing number of local parents opting out of enrolling at the school.

Questions were also asked about entry to West Hatch High School for children from Chigwell, and whether the school would increase its intake numbers.

Traffic

Residents expressed concerns about the school being built in Luxborough Lane for autistic children, both regarding the number of houses to be built and about the difficulty of widening the Lane sufficiently at the High Road end to provide two way traffic and a pavement, particularly with the dangerous parking and blocking of sight lines around the junction at school times.

Reductions in Policing

Residents said they did not want to have further reductions in police patrols in the locality, and are worried by reports of local police stations closing and of reductions of 70% in the PCSOs in EFDC. Councillors at the meeting said that they were anxious that the provision at Limes Farm in particular were sustained and funded fully.

EFDC Local Plan

Questions were asked why the number of houses required for the District had still not been given to the public. Cllr Knapman said that EFDC was still doing its Green Belt Review, which was their second. He said that Chigwell Parish Councillors were moving ahead with producing their own Neighbourhood Plan and that for Chigwell any brownfield sites (although there are few here) have to be a priority for development.

He said the Chigwell Parish Council is doing its own assessment of our sites, and issues such as the quality of farmland and creating the minimum visual impact of possible sites on neighbouring housing would be central to those decisions.

 

 

 

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Below is a letter that will be going round to all residents of Chigwell Park Estate about Neighbourhood Watch and seeking support in the fight to reduce crime in the area:

 

CHIGWELL PARK ESTATE

 

 

Hello fellow Residents,

 

In conjunction with the Chigwell Residents Association, I have been a co-ordinator for the Neighbourhood Watch for a few years. I apologise for the long silence but nowadays most of the crime information comes via e-mail, some of which is not relevant to this area.

 

Last Wednesday Keith (my husband) and I went to a meeting at Chigwell Hall.  In attendance was the  Police Community Support Officer Emma Stevens who told us that we were the only people who had ever attended any of her meetings and they were held once a week 7.30 to 8.30pm.  The purpose of the meetings is to deal with problems in the Chigwell area.   To be honest I did not know that these meetings took place each week and only knew about this one after receiving an e-mail on Wednesday morning.   I suggested to Emma Stevens that perhaps we could rally support on the Chigwell Park Estate if a letter was sent to everyone suggesting that they contact her either by e-mail or by phone and she will arrange for them to be sent any relevant information regarding crime in the area and any meetings that are going to take place. Her e-mail no. is emma.stevens2@essex.pnn.police.uk or tel. 0300 333 4444 or mob. 07968354021

 

I know that a number of you belong to the Chigwell Residents Association but some of you do not.  It would be beneficial to have more of you on board as the Association does a very good job for the community.  If you are interested please contact Eddie Bow (Chairman) on 020 8281 1365.

 

I hope that the above is of interest to you and some of you will act on it as it is only as a community pulling together and looking out for each other that we can help to reduce crime in the area.

 

If anyone would like to contact me my e-mail address is km.lakey@yahoo.co.uk and my phone no. is 020 8500 5242

 

Kind regards

Margaret Lakey

(Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator)

FLATS IN THE HIGH ROAD

Sadly, the battle to prevent the development of more flats in the High Road has been lost and consequently the integrity of the road has been further threatened. Even though the demolition and development into flats of 120 High Road, opposed by this Association and by many residents, was rejected in strong terms by the Parish Council and was similarly rejected on appeal by the Planning Committee of EFDC, Higgins Homes PLC subsequently appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the Inspector concerned has allowed their appeal.

No doubt the application for development of flats at No 152 High Road (also turned down by both Parish and District Councils) will now be put by developers to appeal, and seems at real risk of going the same way. The views of residents and the democratically elected Councils seem to count for little at the end of the day - we shall see.

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MORE RUBBISH!

For the time being at least rubbish collection in Chigwell appears to have settled down with bins and bags finally being cleared and long may that continue. How much it has cost to sort the problems out, if indeed they have all been sorted out remains unknown. However, in case problems arise again or you are interested anyway, this Association has finally succeeded with its request to EFDC under the Freedom of Information Act for a copy ( albeit redacted) of the Council’s contract with BIFFA.

It is a very long and wordy document but is therefore available. If any member wishes to see it, do let us know.

 

RUBBISH!

There is no need to report on the farce that is the change to the rubbish collection schedules. We must by now nearly all be aware of what has been going on, had bags lying around accumulating for weeks and seen the loose rubbish scattered around our village as a result. We have also all been able to read the limp excuses that have emerged from EFDC and been reported on in the local papers and websites culminating in an apology from the Rubbish, sorry, Environment Portfolio Holder Cllr Breare-Hall.

The important issue we want to highlight is where we go from here. Cllr Breare-Hall is apparently quoted as saying:

"The good news is that after this short transition period we’re soon going to be back on to the regular fortnightly collection."

Having spoken with the collectors themselves as they went around Chigwell pickings up the pieces of their unfinished rounds last week, explanations for the problems appear to extend beyond computer gliches and the excuses we have heard so far. They have told us that, as a result of the changes, they are now having to complete 5 days of collections in 4 days and the recycling collectors now also have to collect the glass, always done separately until now, as well. All this makes their rounds slower and harder to complete in the day and they seem to doubt whether they will be able to complete Chigwell collections on the allotted day and suggested that streets may get left out on occasions.

We all need to keep a watch and if your rubbish is not collected on a Friday report it to EFDC. This can be done by submitting a missed collection report online on EFDC’s website at the following link:

http://eppingforestdc.firmstep.com/default.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=Fc8Y25C505f&HideToolbar=1

or email EFDC on:

erefuse@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

or call them on 01992 564608

or even contact the Rubbish Portfolio holder, Cllr Breare-Hall, directly and put him in the picture.

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF CRA.

The meeting took place at St Mary’s Hall on 23rd April 2015 and the issues discussed included the following:

Highways and Parking

Frustration was expressed at the increasing congestion in roads close to Chigwell Station, which included the persistent blocking of drives and pavements by commuter vehicles. Cllr Knapman agreed with him that there had to be some system to assist residents. A major problem was that North East Parking Partnership was not providing any enforcement whatsoever, and local police would not. The Chigwell Park estate was only 8th priority in the District (on their criteria) for a local parking scheme, and therefore he was asking the local Highways Panel to allow the Parish Council to fund a local parking zone.

Several residents made the point that there were other estates like the Dickens where commuter parking was causing similar daily problems, and that a no parking hour in the middle of the day would be needed for them too. However, the problems that various systems of parking permits have caused in Buckhurst Hill were pointed out, including cost to residents. It was suggested that having a different parking hour restriction on each side of the road would help residents to find parking for their visitors.

Cllr Knapman said that if a local bus service becomes reality this should help reduce the amount of short car trips to the station.

It was noted that NEPP had responded to CRA members complaints by remarking the lines on Brook Parade (including the disabled bays), but that the signage and marking had not yet been redone opposite Chigwell Station where the daily problems caused by vehicles left all day continues. It was agreed that the Association and its members keep on contacting NEPP, including continuing to press for actual regular enforcement of parking regulations. The situation has been unacceptable and as Council tax payers we seem so far to have been merely subsidising other parts of the district and county with NEPP.

Comment was made that the verges on Meadow Way have been destroyed near High Road by commuter parking. Cllr Knapman said that he had requested yellow lines on the north side of Courtland. A resident also complained about the potholes not yet attended in the area. Attention was also drawn to the problems of parking on Vicarage Lane by parents for the school, and that the closing of the gates daily at the Beis Shamai was adding to this dangerous situation.

It was suggested that the situation at Debden Station should be looked at as a possible area for increased parking on LT land alongside. Cllr Alvin said that councillors would take this into consideration; however, there are plans by LT to develop the site for residential, therefore reducing the potential for commuter parking.

Cllr Knapman commented that there was not enough accountability on highway maintenance and that the Parish was looking to source services more locally to improve white lining, filling potholes etc.

Planning Issues

A resident from Chigwell Rise voiced his concern that the application for flats at 120 High Rd had gone to appeal after being turned down by EFDC, and that this might cause a domino effect of houses being sold to be turned into apartment blocks. Councillors shared his concerns. It was said that the existing home was of important architectural interest.

Cllr Wagland said that application at Debra’s had been supported by the Parish on the proviso that the design protected its neighbours from being overlooked, because in this case it retained its residential/retail status.

A resident from Brunel Road said that in the development of a school for autism scheduled for Luxborough Lane there were trees being taken down , and wondered whether permission had been given for this. Cllr Knapman said that he would involve the specialist at EFDC to see if there were any TPOs involved on any trees there.  He said in answer to a question that Luxborough Lane would be widened to become two way.

A resident from the High Road asked how many responses the Parish had received to their questionnaire. Cllr Alvin said about 10%, which was about the expected return on such surveys. He hoped the first draft summarising the responses would be out in about September.  Cllr Knapman said that in relation to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Chigwell we can argue that we do have a sufficient land supply.

A resident from the High Road asked about the change in status of 106 planning agreements recently. He said that many councils have signed up to this, but not yet EFDC, and he wondered whether this could affect planning gains here. Cllr Alvin said that 106 agreements here would still continue to count.

Comment was made also that the extensions at 2 Chigwell Park were blatantly ignoring the terms granted on appeal by the Inspectorate, and asked if there can be enforcement. Cllr Wagland said that EFDC was providing careful monitoring and would take action to see that the regulations were applied. We need to be realistic to the fact that retrospective applications for many such abuses continue to be made.
 
_____________________________________________________________

FLATS IN THE HIGH ROAD

We understand that as well as the Parish Council, the Plans South Committee of EFDC at their most recent meeting has also now rejected the application to replace the house at 152 High Road with flats. We wait to see where this goes from here and whether the integrity of this area of the High Road can be saved.

_____________________________________________________________

 

DON’T BE FOOLED!

Please see the following from:

Colin I. Freeman MITOL
Essex Watch Liaison Officer - West LPA
Member: Essex Security & Fire Protection Association

Community cohesion consultant to the voluntary sector
Direct Line: 01279 621862 Internal Ext: 318383
E-mail: colin.freeman@essex.pnn.police.uk

www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood.aspx

 

Don’t be fooled

Rogue traders are people who call at your door pretending to be qualified tradespeople and offering to do work on your home.
They may seem friendly and persuasive but too often they target vulnerable elderly people and carry out poor quality household repairs to roofs and driveways

They may claim to know your neighbours and have done work for them but often the work they promise to complete didn't need doing in the first place.

Essex Police are working with Essex County Council and Age UK Essex as part of a campaign to warn residents to 'Be Sure at the Door'.

You decide whether you need any work done to our house, not them. Free fridge magnets with advice on how to avoid cold callers are available from your local library and GP surgery.

If you think you've been taken in by a rogue trader, please let us know by calling 101, contacting Trading Standards on 08454 040 506 or talk to a friend or relative.

Take a look at our advice to make sure you don't fall victim to a rogue trader.

A genuine trader won't:-

  • Call without an appointment
  • Ask you to go to the bank to withdraw cash or make a money transfer
  • Offer to take you to the bank to withdraw cash for payment
  • Ask you to pay in full before the work is complete
  • Insist that you make a decision about the work they're offering to do on the spot
  • Bully or scare you into doing the work

If you do think you need some work doing:-

  • Contact a Buy With Confidence accredited trader
  • Get a number of quotes
  • Get a written estimate detailing exactly what work will be carried out, how much it will cost and what the terms of payment are
  • Take your time to make sure you’re happy with what you’re undertaking – ask a trusted friend/relative for advice or ring the Buy with Confidence number 08454 040506.

    Doorstep sellers

    As well as calling at your door and offering to carry out work on your home, other rogue traders try to sell poor quality goods for highly inflated prices.

    It can be difficult to refuse some sales people on your doorstep and you can be pressured into buying something you do not want or that is not good value for money. 

    It is your doorstep and your decision and we would advise people to follow a few simple steps to help them handle any high pressure techniques.

1. Check the trader’s identity:  were you expecting them?  If not, but you are interested in what they are selling, ask them to come back at a more convenient time and try to have another person with you. 

2. Take control: you ask the questions and try to remember that it is a business situation.

3. Be aware that doorstep sellers are not your friends: watch out for clever sales techniques where you may be made to feel like you have lots in common.

4. Don’t sign on the spot: even if it means that you could lose a ‘special discount’.  Take time to reflect, think about your purchase and shop around.

5. You have a right to cancel: If you do purchase something for more than £35 from doorstep sales people you have 7 days to change your mind.  This information should be given to you in writing by the sales person.

6. If in doubt, ask the person to leave: phone Consumer Direct or Essex County Council Trading Standards on 08454 040 506 for further advice.

You can also contact Essex Police using the non emergency number:  101 if you feel threatened by a sales person in your own home call 999.


Dc Alan Philips said: “Rogue traders often target vulnerable members of the community offering household property services.  Using any method to obtain as much money as possible, they will often only do the job to a poor standard or not undertake the work at all."

 

MORE ON ROGUE TRADERS

Consumers have greater powers to challenge unscrupulous rogue traders and get their money back under new rights.

Consumers now have greater powers to challenge unscrupulous rogue traders and get their money back under new rights which came into force on the 1st October 2014.

Consumers who are bullied or misled into buying services or goods they neither need nor want, will now have a period of up to 90 days to take legal action, under changes delivered by Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson.

Examples could include those who are harassed into home improvements by a door-to-door salesman when they really don’t need it or somebody who is misled into purchasing a mobile phone by false promises on download speeds and network coverage.

This could also extend to when a young person is stopped in the street and misled into parting with hundreds of pounds by promises of a modelling career, or to an elderly person being bullied into paying thousands of pounds for goods they really can’t afford.

The reforms will especially benefit the elderly and vulnerable with National Audit Office figures showing that those over the age of 55 lose an average of nearly £1,100 when they are victims of rogue traders. Crime reporting agency Action Fraud estimates that consumers suffer detriment of at least £6.6 billion every year due to unfair trading.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said:

The vast majority of businesses treat consumers fairly and provide a great service. However, a few bad apples have damaged the reputation of good business, broken the law and treated customers as a cash cow.

This is why we are providing consumers with new powers to challenge rogue businesses and giving people the confidence to take action when they have been bullied or misled.

If anyone thinks they’ve been bullied or misled into buying something the best thing to do is try and sort the issue out directly with the company and if that doesn’t work then contact Citizens Advice on 08444 111 444. They are an excellent source of advice and guidance.

The new rights will introduce:

  • A new 90 day period for victims to get out of a contract. Beyond this period consumers will still be able to get a discount on the price paid, as much as 100% depending on the actions of the trader. At present there is no right to a discount. Consumers can currently seek damages in the civil courts but it is extremely complex
  • A right to damages for any additional losses or stress suffered as a result of the actions of the trader
  • A brand new right to take personal action through the civil court for misleading or aggressive demands for payment, for example aggressive or misleading debt collection. At present there is no legislative right for consumers to do this

An example of a case where the new rights could be used is where an elderly person with mobility issues is approached by a company offering to make adaptions to their bathroom.

A company salesman uses high pressure selling techniques to convince the consumer that they need more than just a new shower, and offer other products including a new toilet and sink. The consumer signs up for a loan agreement but is not given a proper explanation about what it involves.

Work on the bathroom is carried out and is completed to a very poor standard and the consumer is left facing a huge debt totalling thousands of pounds.

From 1st October 2014, the consumer in this case will be able to exercise their right to get out of the agreement they have been pressured into signing up to. They will be able to claim for compensation for the stress caused by being misled about the quality of the work.

The new rights form part of the government’s radical overhaul of the UK’s consumer landscape to make sure consumer law is easier for consumers to understand. It includes a new Consumer Rights Bill to streamline key consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services, digital content and the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts in one place. The bill is currently going through Parliament.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice said:-

Dishonest and aggressive salespeople are ripping off innocent consumers. In the last year alone, the Citizens Advice consumer service helped with 85,000 problems caused by misleading claims and shoddy sales practices. It’s good for consumers that, under the new protections, people in these circumstances will now be able to cancel contracts or get money back.

Bogus Callers

Most people who call at your home will be genuine but it’s important to be on your guard and remember there are bogus callers about.

These are people who turn up unannounced with the intention of tricking their way into your home to steal.

Too many people have been fooled into letting callers through the front door only to discover their valuables have been stolen while they were distracted.

Fraudsters may also try to steal money over the telephone.  Thieves posing as police officers have stolen large sums of money in a number of recent incidents targeting elderly people.

 


Bogus callers are creative and their reasons for needing entry into your home can seem plausible, but be cautious.

The person whose car has broken down and needs to use your phone to call the recovery service may not be who they seem.

More complex scams involve people pretending to be from utility companies and needing access to your home.

These people often work in pairs. While one person distracts the homeowner, the other gains entry to your home to steal. Typical scenarios include stories of an emergency gas or water leak.

Over the telephone callers may pretend to be police officers or bank officials, who tell victims that thieves have had access to their bank accounts.  They may try to reassure victims that they are genuine by telling them to hang up and dial 999.  When they hang up the thief stays on the line, before 'answering' the 999 call.  They then ask victims to withdraw large amounts of cash and send it to them in a taxi so that they can check the notes for fingerprints.    DON’T BE FOOLED!

Identification

Always be sure the caller is who they say they are before letting them in. All genuine callers will have identification and won’t mind you asking to see it.

Don’t let anybody in your home that you don’t want there. It’s about common sense. If you don’t like the look of them, don’t let them in.

Representatives from water, gas and electric companies are unlikely to call at your home without an appointment and police are likely to be present if there is a real emergency.

If you don’t want callers in your home, tell them. If they fail to listen you should contact the Police on 999

Police or bank officials would never call you by telephone and ask for your full bank details or ask you to withdraw large sums of cash.

Advice

Most people who call at your home will have a genuine reason for doing so, but by taking a few simple precautions you can protect yourself and your home.

Follow our advice to stay safe:-

  • If you receive a phone call asking for your bank details or for large sums of cash call police from a different phone, for example a neighbours, or wait 5 minutes and be sure you hear a dial tone before dialling.
  • Don’t be frightened to ask for identification and always check it carefully. If you’re not sure, ask them to come back another day.
  • Think about installing a door chain and use it. Keep the door on the chain until you’ve seen identification.
  • If you need your glasses to read the identification, close the door before going to find them. Don’t leave the door open and unattended.
  • Always remember to lock the back door before opening the front.
  • Don’t be pressured into letting someone into your home if you have suspicions.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
  • Don’t believe scare stories. Not all callers are genuine.

 

 

LATEST NEWS ON THE GRANGE FARM BUILDING SITES

Some of the containers stored there have finally been removed although the site hoardings are still a mess. The major development, however, has been the sale of the building plots on the Ardmore site to a developer called London Square. Little more is known at this stage except that it is understood that they plan to build houses of a similar size and type to those originally planned and work could start within the next few weeks.

 

FLATS IN THE HIGH ROAD

On the application for Key West at Number 120, permission has long existed to replace the existing house with 2 flats but the application to build a further 12-14 flats on the rest of the land comprising that property has so far been rejected by the Parish Council and also the Plans South Committee of EFDC. We understand, however, that the decision may still be appealed.

In relation to 152 High Road, we understand that a last minute, returned application was made just before the last meeting of the Parish Council Planning Committee to build 5 flats in place of the house there. Chigwell Parish Council apparently rejected the proposal.

 

LUXBOROUGH LANE 

We understand that the application made for an Autism Spectrum Disorders school here by Anderson Construction has been approved by the Parish Council and EFDC.

The issue, however, was not the school itself or the need for it at this site but the 55-60 housing units planned alongside it which are claimed to be enabling rather than profit making for the developer. It is understood that the plans for these have been approved also at those two levels.

The application overall was, however, referred to the EFDC District Development Committee for final approval and a decision by that committee is awaited.

Meanwhile, it remains the case that Essex County Council have not objected on highways grounds and will be adopting the road and adding proper sight lines etc.

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Luxborough Lane

We understand that an application has finally been made for an Autism Spectrum Disorders school here by Anderson Construction. The issue is not the school itself or the need for it at this site but the 55-60 housing units planned alongside it which are claimed to be enabling rather than profit making for the developer. It is understood also that Essex County Council will not be objecting on highways grounds and will be adopting the road and adding proper sight lines etc.

The application has apparently been approved by the Parish Council in principle but has been referred to EFDC to address construction concerns and any issues relating to the housing units proposed.

 

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LOCAL PLAN AND GREEN BELT REVIEW

As part of the process of producing its local plan, eventually, EFDC is legally required to do a total Green Belt review.

The methodology for this process was discussed at EFDC Cabinet on 23rd June and a detailed (in other words rather verbose, repetitive and unclear) report was produced for this purpose (Report to Cabinet - reference: C-002-2014/15). The report is so open-ended we cannot summarise it effectively on this website but the essence seems to be that each parcel of Green Belt land in this District will be reviewed to determine the extent to which it, or parts of it, meet the purposes of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). These include:

-      Checking the sprawl of large built up areas;

-      Preventing towns merging into one another;

-      Safeguarding the countryside;

-      Preserving the setting and character of historic towns;

-      Assisting urban regeneration by encouraging recycling derelict “and other” urban land. (This last criteria has been dropped by EFDC as it says that there is little derelict or other urban land left available in the district!)

What is most worrying is that EFDC propose to carry out this process by preparing a survey pro-forma for each parcel which will be completed “…by EFDC Planning Policy Officers through desk-based analysis using GIS and relevant evidence studies as well as site visits where necessary….”. Whether our Green Belt will be in safe hands remains to be seen.

The good news for Chigwell at least is that EFDC will accept a Green Belt Review by Chigwell Parish Council, worded appropriately, to be incorporated within the overall Epping Forest Green Belt Review and thankfully Chigwell PC has the funds available to do this so at least our Councillors, who know and understand the village and its issues, should be able to continue the fight to protect the Green Belt here.

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

As previously reported Chigwell Parish Council has successfully retained the right to develop its own Neighbourhood Plan giving us the choice of where new houses should be sited although EFDC will decide upon the number both in the district as a whole and also in Chigwell.

EFDC remain unable or incapable of making a decision on the numbers and so the figures to plan around remain unresolved. Nevertheless, Chigwell PC has begun work on its plan by preparing a questionnaire for public consultation. This will soon be finalised and circulated to residents. It will be capable of completion in hard copy or online. The ultimate target timetable is to complete the plan by April 2016 to dovetail with the EFDC plan due to be completed by May 2016.

We will keep you posted.

 

                                BURGLARY WARNING

We have heard that the following warning has been issued by the Essex Watch Liaison Officer:

Dear all,

There has been a disturbing concentration of house burglaries in the Waltham Abbey area recently. Whereas we would normally expect these type of offences to be taking place during the hours of darkness, these ones are occurring between 10am and 4pm. They could be visiting your area next!

Methods of getting in vary but normally involve gaining entry to the rear of the house before jemmying open a window or smashing a patio door.

With daytime burglaries, the intruders need to establish if anyone is at home before they break in. The last thing they want is for someone to be able to identify them. Their normal method is to knock at the front door first of the house they have decided to target. If they get no answer they will continue on with the offence. If they do get an answer they will ask some lame question such as ‘Does John live here?’ or ask for directions. That sort of thing. Having established that someone is at home they move on to another target.

So, if you get a caller asking odd questions, don’t simply shut your front door and ignore them….CALL US and give the police a chance to check them out. If the thieves don’t think they have aroused your suspicion they are likely to target another house locally and not move on. We need your help to catch these criminals and stop them in their tracks.

Kind regards,

Colin

Colin I. Freeman MITOL
Essex Watch Liaison Officer - West LPA
Member: Essex Security & Fire Protection Association
Direct Line: 01279 621862 Internal Ext: 318383
Fax: 01279 625440 Internal Fax: 318335
E-mail: colin.freeman@essex.pnn.police.uk

www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood.aspx
Essex Police, Epping Police Station,
230 High Street, Epping, Essex. CM16 4AP
Essex Police Non-emergency Telephone No: 101

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On 29th April the Annual General Meeting of the Association took place and included in the discussion was the following:

Update on the campaign to save Chigwell’s Green Belt:

We continue to fight at District level to stop new housing being dumped in Chigwell. It has become a war of attrition, with the timetable for the next draft of the Local Plan being pushed back and back by EFDC. The fact that Chigwell Parish has a contingency fund is important, and the developing of a Neighbourhood Plan by Chigwell Parish will at least give us control of choice of sites (if not the numbers we have to take). Cllr Wagland said that we will be able to designate Green Belt land in our Neighbourhood Plan which cannot be used for building. It helps that EFDC are using more up to date figures for population growth, and that Chigwell already has about 250 houses being built which count in our total (dating from January 2011).

CCllr Knapman said there is a concern about whether we have a 5 year land supply designated, because this could affect the number of houses given to Chigwell. Concern was expressed that the apartments being built on High Road were an indication of many more applications for apartments coming. Cllr Wagland said that the Parish Council would be sending questionnaires to residents regarding a Neighbourhood Plan and also holding information clinics on the options available. Ultimately residents of Chigwell would have to decide upon which are the sites on which we would be prepared to negotiate some development. She said another advantage of a Neighbourhood Plan is that it will enable us to include some control of materials and styles to fit in with the existing street scene, to which we could hold householders and developers.

On Hill Farm, CCllr Knapman said that Essex CC had sold an option on the site to a company to build housing, though this was a decision by officers which was never published. He has made an official complaint, and is looking to EFDC as the planning authority to stop it. He is concerned about the situation if it ever went to appeal.

 

Highway issues: 

CCllr Knapman has asked for a review at Essex Council about the length of time taken by Essex Highways to repair the Roding Lane bridge. As regards the turning off of street lighting, he has got an agreement from the portfolio holder that here they will remain on till 1am, and that Chigwell Parish can provide extra funding for them to remain on longer.

Several members complained about the continuing problems of potholes not being repaired. Both CCllr Knapman and Cllr Wagland said they continued to be dissatisfied with the response from Essex Highways, and were looking to see if the Parish could take some responsibility in identifying and resurfacing potholes here.

CCllr Knapman said that they are looking at ways to improve the exit from Station Road junction onto Hainault Road. However, the proposal to improve the exit from Vicarage Lane onto Manor Road is being looked at again to make it more cost effective.

Concerns were expressed by about the ineffective parking control on Brook Parade which is allowing vehicles to remain all day, and also that the white sign is missing and the road markings faded for the disabled bays which are also being misused.

 

Finally, under AOB, mention was made of the application for the shop at 14 Brook Parade to become a fish and chip outlet. This is due to be heard at the District Council in May. The councillors present asked for any comments to be given to them beforehand. The result is still awaited.

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ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL OWNED AND MANAGED SITES IN CHIGWELL

Given what ECC are trying to do with the Hill Farm site we thought it important that residents be aware of all the sites they own or manage in Chigwell. For a list, please see the Sites at Risk section of this website.

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GREEN BELT SITES IN CHIGWELL

A useful link in the Green Belt section of this site provides access to a map of the sites in Chigwell and across the country.

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