Members will be aware from articles and from the media more generally that the Forest, from Epping to East London, is facing unprecedented pressures from housing and commercial developments.

At the northern end of the Forest, Epping Forest’s District Council’s approved Local Plans include provision for a minimum of 1,000 homes at Latton Priory[1] north of Lower Woods and for a minimum of 450 homes on land immediately to the south of Epping [2].  At the southern end of the Forest, there are plans for up to 1,500 dwellings as part of the re-development of Whipps Cross[3] plus large-scale housing developments, mostly blocks of flats, in other areas of Waltham Forest.  Alongside these are commercial developments such as those at Waltham Abbey.

All of these have the potential to affect the Forest through increased visitor numbers, increased traffic volumes, and both air and noise pollution.

Epping Forest Big Walk 2022 Wanstead

What is the Trust doing about this?

The Trust needs to monitor and review planning proposals to ensure we identify ones that are potentially harmful to the Forest and seek to influence them or submit objections when and where appropriate.

We now have a small team of volunteers carrying out this work and are considering how best we can manage the significant amount of work it represents.  These efforts are currently focused on Epping Forest District and Waltham Forest although developments in other local authorities also affect the Forest.

We are maintaining a watching brief on the large-scale developments mentioned above but also on smaller developments such as the proposed demolition of the County Hotel and construction of a 120-bedroom care home in Oak Hill, Woodford Green, right in middle of Forest land at Walthamstow Forest[4].

While such smaller developments will have a lesser impact, their location means that their impact can be more obvious and detrimental to the appearance and enjoyment of the Forest.

But we not only need to monitor planning proposals.  If proposals have been approved, we also need to keep a watch on how the construction is being carried out to ensure that damage is not being done to the surrounding Forest in contravention of the planning conditions.

What can you do to help?

Our members, and the public more generally, are the Trust’s “eyes and ears”.  Members know their local patch and visit the Forest regularly and may pick up developments we have not identified.  In particular, where a development has been approved within, or next to, Forest land, members living locally can play a vital role in keeping an eye on the construction to ensure that damage is not being done to the surrounding land.

The Trust will need to be pragmatic about how far it can influence proposals, and about which proposals it objects to, but we are clear that our primary role is to protect and conserve the Forest and we will act if we believe a proposal is detrimental to its future.

If you have any views on planning generally, on the proposed developments above or are able to assist, please contact us at  policy@efht.org.uk

References:

  1. Epping Forest District Local Plan 2011-2033 Part One
  2. Epping Forest District Local Plan 2011-2033 Part One
  3. Waltham Forest | Waltham Forest Built Environment Online | Application | 50439
  4. The Epping Forest Hotel Site Planning Statement

 

Responses we have sent in

Walkers taking break near Highams Park during Epping Forest Big Walk 2022

Our responses to EFDC local plan

Our responses to Epping Forest District Council local plan and how it may affect Epping Forest. 

Forest Cottage, Thornwood,

Tudor House, High Road, Thornwood, Epping, CM16 6LT

Our objection to a major planning application for 116 new homes with 184 car parking spaces in Thornwood. EPF/0007/24

Planning application - EPF/1965/23 - 9 Crown Hill, Upshire, Waltham Abbey EN9 3TF - Proposed conversion of existing stable block to form a 4 bed detached dwelling

Crown Hill Stables

Planning application – EPF/1965/23 – 9 Crown Hill, Upshire, Waltham Abbey EN9 3TF – Proposed conversion of existing stable block to form a 4 bed detached dwelling

A104 epping new road

A104 Epping New Road Safety Proposal

Essex Highways has received funding from the government to improve the safety of Epping New Road. Our views on the safety proposal.

Proposed Latton Priory Development

Proposed Latton Priory Development

Our concerns and responses regarding the proposed Latton Priory Development in Epping Forest District Council’s (EFDC) emerging Local Plan

waltham forest local plan

Waltham Forest Local Plan Brief

A significant element is the building of a minimum of 27,000 new homes to deal with the projected population increase from 277,000 to 328,000 by 2035.

solar panels on the grass facing sunshine against blue sky with a few tree further in the background

Planned Solar Farm at Dell House, Buckhurst Hill

Planned Solar Farm at Dell House, Buckhurst Hill, and our draft Solar Farm policy.

Planning application – EPF/2587/23 - Land to South of Vicarage Lane, North Weald Bassett, Epping, CM16

North Weald Bassett Planning Application

Planning application – EPF/2587/23 – Land to South of Vicarage Lane, North Weald Bassett, Epping, CM16

a model house framework on sketches of constuction drawings

New dwelling at Coppice Farm, Theydon Bois

Our responses to EPF/1195/23, New dwelling at Coppice Farm, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois

Forest Cottage, Thornwood,

Forest Cottage, High Road, Thornwood, Epping, CM16 6LP

Our response to planning application – EPF/2171/22 – Forest Cottage, High Road, Thornwood, Epping, CM16 6LP

West Essex Golf Club and Netherhouse Farm

Land at West Essex Golf Club and Netherhouse Farm

Planning application – EPF/2596/23- Construction of 10.7MWp Photovoltaic solar farm and associated infrastructure, including sub-station, cabinets, fencing, access tracks and grid connection.

Map with highlited areas marked the planned locations of the planning application

County Hotel / Carehome

View our responses: County Hotel/Care Home – Waltham Forest Planning application number 231076

next proposed distribution centre north Epping Forest

Next Dowding Way Development

Our serious concerns about the impact this development could have on the Forest as a Special Area of Conservation.