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You can keep-up-to-date with the latest news on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook page and group, on Twitter (@eefnews) and Instagram (eefnews), and via the EEF News WhatsApp group. To be added to the group text your name to 07710 447868.
 
NEWS ARCHIVE: For earlier articles CLICK HERE
The Everything Local News media service - part of Everything Epping Forest and Everythiung Harlow - prepares and circulates news releases and pictures for local schools, councils and organisations.
Releases are sent to the media and email subscribers and are also available via Everything Local News on Facebook and Twitter (@ELNews_).
For more details about the service ring 07710 447868.
Epping Pizza

Unit 17B, Woodside Industrial Estate, Woodside, Thornwood, CM16 6LJ.


Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 10pm.

Special offer - a 2 for £20 deal on any 12” and 15” pizzas on
GoGetters and for collection via telephone and in person orders. 

For collection orders and more details, ring 07496 201191.

For the full menu and to order online 
CLICK HERE
CLICK IT LOCAL

Support your local high street. Order your essentials and treats from local independent shops with same-day delivery.

For more details
CLICK HERE
Pixel Business Centre, Waltham Abbey

Serviced office space suitable for 2-20 people. On-site café, meeting rooms, manned reception, fully furnished and high-speed wi-fi are just some of the benefits available to our tenants.
For more details, email info@pixelbusinesscentre.co.uk or ring 01992 667700.


Website  Facebook
Oakland Care

Oakland Care’s range of care homes include Lambwood Heights in Chigwell, Woodland Grove in Loughton and Elsyng House in Enfield. All our homes offer five-star facilities and state-of-the-art features for a fulfilling and purposeful stay within our homes.
To book a tour, ring 0300 303 5445.
Website
Campling Foods

Campling Foods 'Meals on Wheels' service delivers hot, freshly prepared meals daily to the elderly and vulnerable in our community. Developed by our talented team, we offer a choice of comforting and familiar meals that are not only nutritious but delicious too! We also include a tasty homemade desert with every order, all for a total price of £6.99 per day, delivered.
For more details ring or message 07507 763078. 

Website  Facebook
Forest Skin Clinic

Tel: 01992 276376
Email: info@forestskinclinic.com

Website  Instagram  Facebook  Twitter
Skin Cancer and Mole Screening * Removal of unwanted skin tags, moles, cysts, lipomas, warts, verrucas * Opatra Dome Skin Analysis System Treatment of fine lines and wrinkles * SkinPen Microneedling * Thread vein treatment * Obagi Medical Grade Skin Care Products * Treatment of excessive sweating * Allergy testing * Medical rejuvenation with light * Scar treatment * Acne * Rosacea * Eczema * Psoriasis * Fungal Treatment
Essex Security Services Ltd
154-156 Church Hill, Loughton


Tel: 020 8502 1360
Email: info@essexsecurity.co.uk

Website
Protecting People and Property. Established in 1979. 24-hour emergency service. Approved contractors for electronic security systems - intruder and fire alarms, CCTV and access control systems.
North Weald Village Pre-School

North Weald Village Pre-School is based at North Weald Village Hall and is a
term-time only setting.
We offer indoor and outdoor play and learning to children aged two to five years in a happy and fun learning environment that allows children to thrive in all areas of development using a wide variety of resources and activities.
Opening times are:  Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-3pm; Wednesday and Friday 9am-noon. For more information, email northweald_manager @hotmail.com or ring Charlotte on 07767 607194.
North Weald Village Pre-School is on Facebook
CLICK HERE
Haslers

Old Station Road, Loughton, IG10 4PL

Tel: 020 8418 3333
Email: advice@haslers.com 


Website
New City College | Epping Forest
(formerly Epping Forest College)

Offering a wide range of courses for 16 to 18-year-olds and adults. Epping Forest Campus achievement rates are higher than ever with a 13.6 per cent increase over 2018, making it one of the fastest and best improvements of all colleges in the country. Website
Sanuk Thai Ongar, The Street, High Ongar
 
Sanuk Thai Ongar offers authentic Thai cuisine. Sanuk has been in High Ongar since 2003. Sanuk Thai Ongar is the place to experience authentic Thai food prepared with the finest ingredients. Sanuk's Thai talented chefs artistically combine the ingredients to achieve the ultimate aromatic flavour in their dishes. The experienced and award-winning chef and staff are committed to giving you the best food and service. Open seven days a week. 
For more information and to book a table, ring 01277 568411 or 01277 568412. 
Website
Paul Saggers Associates
Architects and Project Managers

A long established Epping-based architectural practice offering a cost-effective service to achieve planning permission and building regulations approval for a wide range of projects.
The company prides itself on offering an attentive and professional service.
Ring Paul on 07736 922863 to discuss requirements.
Website
NORTH WEALD NEWS (including Hastingwood and Thornwood)
4.32pm - December 14

Council opposes barbers' alcohol application

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is opposing a licence application by the Turkish barbers at 38 High Road, North Weald, to allow it to sell alcohol.

The barbers has applied to Epping Forest District Council for a Premises Licence for alcohol sales on and off the premises between noon and 7pm Monday to Sunday.

Councillor Andy Tyler told Monday's parish council planning committee: "I don't think we need any more places in North Weald selling alcohol."

Council chairman Alan Buckley said the council should object to the application "in the strongest possible terms" adding: "A definite 'no'."
5.51pm - December 1

Parish council planning "landmark" tree planting project

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is looking to create a woodland area featuring between 2,000 and 4,000 trees at Weald Common.

Parish council chairman Alan Buckley told Tuesday's environmental committee the project would be the biggest tree planting initiative carried out in the district.

He said: "We are making a landmark move."

The parish council has the idea of linking the planting scheme with next year's Queen's Platinum Jubilee - with each local school child allocated a tree, possibly bearing their name.

Each child would be given a certificate with every tree plotted on a commemorative map.

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "This is probably the best thing this parish council could do for generations."

The council hopes to receive grant funding through the Essex Tree Initiative, and also provide some funding itself, to meet the cost of the project which would see the trees planted on a 2.09-hectare area of land off the access road which leads from the North Weald Village Hall car park to the former Ongar Radio Station site.

Councillor Tyler added: "It's a great way engaging with the school. 

"I think it's a brilliant idea and would be a great way to engage the children at the school about what trees they would like to see planted there."

The committee agreed to move forward with the idea.
9.21am - November 29

Passenger suffers serious facial injury in collision

A passenger sustained a serious facial injury in a two-vehicle collision which closed Epping Road, North Weald.

Police have told Everything Epping Forest that officers were called to the collision at 5.10pm yesterday.

The road was closed for a time with five police cars, a fire engine and an ambulance on the scene.

Anyone with any information about the incident can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 828 of November 28).

Information can also be given to police by ringing 101. 

Information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
2.17pm - October 6

Council to make £3,000 contribution towards memorial work

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has agreed to make a £3,000 contribution to Epping Forest District Council towards the near £10,000 cost of renovation work at the Debt of Honour and Airfield Memorial off Hurricane Way, North Weald.
2.16pm - October 6

Police surgery at The Parish Hall, Thornwood Common

A police officer is to be available at North Weald Bassett Parish Council's face-to-face administrative centre at The Parish Hall, Thornwood Common, between 9.15am and noon on some Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when an officer will be available to meet parishioners to discuss local policing issues.

A confirmed list of surgery dates will be published.
2.14pm - October 6

Parish councillor resigns

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has reported the resignation of councillor Carmela Coop-Rodia as a parish councillor for the Hastingwood ward.

She has also resigned as an allotment warden for the Wheelers Farm Gardens allotments.

She was co-opted onto the parish council last September.

Parish council clerk Sue de Luca will write to Ms Coop-Rodia to thank her for all her hard work, especially regarding the allotments.
8.39pm - October 5

Parish council highlights "disappointing" turnout at community information events

The low turnout of residents at three North Weald Bassett Parish Council community events held to provide information on the Local Plan, the Neighbourhood Plan and the council's work over the past 18 months has been highlighted by the parish council.

Three sessions were held - at North Weald Village Hall, The Parish Hall at Thornwood Common, and Hastingwood Village Hall.

Councillor Anne Grigg told Monday's parish council meeting: "We can only offer to be there and hope that they will attend. There's nothing else we can do. It (the turnout) was disappointing."

During a discussion on how to promote any future events, councillor Terry Blanks - referring to the number of homes earmarked for North Weald Parish in the district council's Local Plan - said: "We just write on a sheet '1,000-plus houses here shortly'."

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "We will have loads of them (residents) when the first digger enters North Weald or Hastingwood.

"It's really kind of sad the apathy (shown by residents)."
5.49pm - September 26

Parish council questions "disproportionate" Local Plan housing numbers

The sheer number of new homes earmarked for North Weald Parish in Epping Forest District Council's Local Plan - more than a quarter of the entire allocation for the whole of the Epping Forest district - has been highlighted by the parish council.

While some parts of the district have seen their housing numbers cut in the Main Modification document, there has been no reduction to the housing numbers for the North Weald Bassett Parish.

The revised figures, the parish council states, mean North Weald Bassett Parish is set to get 27.04 per cent of the total housing allocation in the district - a total of 2,272 new homes.

The parish council, in its response to the Main Modification document, asks: "How is the proportionate distribution? How is this fair to the residents of North Weald Bassett Parish?"

The council's response adds: "There are of course a number of factors which have contributed towards this disproportionate distribution, such as the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation.

"Whilst some of these factors are indeed perfectly valid and understood, it remains a reality that by default development will be pushed to the more rural areas of the district - areas that are not sustainable and in key areas within each individual village.

"This seems counter productive."

The parish council's eight-page response states: "The proximity of Thornwood, North Weald and Hastingwood to Epping Underground (station), the attractive employment offer from London, the constraint of the lower forest, and the inability of anyone to make a tangible difference to congestion at The Plain junction in Epping, seems to have been entirely overlooked.

"To locate such large numbers of homes in one small area, without any realistic plans for supporting sustainable infrastructure, will undoubtedly cause problems for the Parish in the future."

The response adds: "There is an argument that many residents may be able to accept the amount of housing being proposed for this area if there was a clear 'benefit' that could be seen, such as greatly improved community facilities, better transport links and routes, or amenities that would improve the daily lives of current residents.

"There is no evidence that this is the case, and the Infrastructure Delivery Structure falls short of providing North Weald Bassett with the facilities it not only deserves, but which it will need in order to function as a community."

The parish council adds that a once proposed new leisure centre on North Weald has been dropped in favour of a new leisure centre in Epping, where fewer homes than originally detailed are now proposed.

To view a full copy of the response, visit www.northweald-pc.gov.uk
12.41pm - September 15

"Dangerous paedophile" jailed for 15 years

A woman who was sexually abused as a child by a North Weald man who has been jailed for 15 years has praised the police officers who handled her case which she said had "finished with the best outcome possible".

Richard Wardley, 50, of Higham View, North Weald, was sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday (Tuesday).

He was also given an additional year on extended licence.

Wardley befriended and groomed the victim in the late 1990s and earlier 2000s to the point where they were involved in a sexual relationship.

When the girl’s family became suspicious about the nature of their relationship, they ensured he did not see her again but in 2017 he tried to make contact with her, sending her a message on Facebook.

This contact prompted the victim, who had come to realise she had been groomed by Wardley, to contact police and report what had happened.

When officers carried out a search of Wardley’s home address in Higham View in November 2017 they found VHS tapes which included what appeared to be a covert recording of the victim in a state of undress.

Officers also seized several other items of digital equipment including phones, laptops and computer hard drives.

When they were forensically examined, about 100,000 indecent images of children were found.

He was convicted of multiple sexual offences on July 30.

The woman, who is remaining anonymous, said: “The crimes that were committed against me in my childhood have always been somewhere in my mind: sometimes buried deep whilst at other times they have acted as a constant torment.

“As an adult I understand the implications of being manipulated, groomed and sexually abused. I understand the impact it has had on my life and the decisions I have made.

“The police officers that worked on this case understood all this from the very start. They have listened carefully to my words without judgement.

“They have, where possible, given me control of where and how I have presented my evidence with consideration to my life as a whole.

“They have been discrete, worked tirelessly and have been a continuous support to both myself and my immediate family alongside the Citizens Advice Outreach Service and the County Witness Care teams.

“Their holistic approach has allowed me to say out loud events that I have never voiced before which although was terribly uncomfortable, was manageable with the patience and empathy shown.

“This has collectively ensured that a dangerous paedophile has been removed from society and thus helps to ensure the safety of more children and young persons.

“Although it has been a long, stressful, even exhausting process, it has finished with the best outcome possible.

“I have been heard. People have listened. I have been believed.

“Now I can move on with an even greater respect and admiration for the Police Force and the supporting teams within the Criminal Justice System."

Investigating officer Detective Constable Carol Astbury said: “Richard Wardley is predatory individual who took advantage of a young girl for his own sexual gratification.

“The huge library of indecent images of children further emphasises the danger he poses to young people.

“The victim has been incredibly brave. It takes a huge amount of courage to report what she had been subjected to.

“She has put her life on hold while the court process was taking place so I’m delighted for her that Wardley has been held accountable for his actions.

“I hope this will help her move forward.”

Anyone who has been affected by grooming or sexual abuse can report it to police by ringing 101 or contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more about the specialist teams which investigate sexual offences and how victims are supported go to https://www.essex.police.uk/news/essex/news/news/2021/june/essex-how-we-support-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/
1.51pm - September 14

Parish council holding series of community events

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is hosting community events in North Weald Village, Thornwood and Hastingwood giving residents the opportunity to meet their local ward councillors and find out what the council has been up to over the past 18 months.

The events are at:

* North Weald Village Hall - Friday, September 24 (6.30pm to 8.30pm)

* The Parish Hall, Thornwood Common - Saturday, September 25 (10am to noon)

* Hastingwood Village Hall - Saturday, September 25 (2pm to 4pm).

There will also be a Local Plan stand and a Neighbourhood Plan stand.
2.04pm - September 7

Parish council looks to return to North Weald Library

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is considering a move back into its office at North Weald Library having run its services from The Parish Hall at Thornwood during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parish council clerk Sue de Luca told Monday's parish council meeting the return could be achieved "if we took appropriate measures" at the library.

She added that with bookings returning it was becoming increasingly difficult for the parish council to continue to operate its face-to-face administrative centre at the Parish Hall.

Should the return to the library go ahead, the parish council could then hire out its current office space at The Parish Hall as a small meeting room, the meeting was told.

The move would see a maximum of two parish council staff working in the library at any one time.

Mrs de Luca said: "We had to move out (of the library) because under risk assessment we couldn't keep you (councillors) and the staff safe but we feel we could now if we took appropriate measures.

"We should ask Essex County Council that if we go back we go back on our terms with an enhanced Service Level Agreement which includes work being carried out to room at the back and the storage area."

Parish councillors agreed the idea of a return to the library should be pursued through county councillor Chris Whitbread.
8.49am - September 3

Detectives continue to appeal for information after boy stabbed

​Detectives are continuing to investigate ​- and want to trace two people - ​after a teenager was stabbed in North Weald.

​Police believe a verbal argument at a bus stop on High Road turned into a physical fight just before 9.15pm last Friday (August 27).

A 17-year-old boy was taken to hospital for treatment but did not suffer serious injuries.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and possession of cannabis.

He has been released under investigation while we continue our enquiries.

An 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm ​has been​ released without charge.

​A police spokesman said: "​We are continuing to look for two further individuals in connection with our investigation.​"

​Anyone with information about the incident, or who may have relevant CCTV or dashcam footage, is asked to contact Loughton CID and quote reference number 42/181010/21.

​Information can also be given online at ​https://www.essex.police.uk/​, by ringing 101​ or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
2.01pm - August 10

Patrolling police officers praised after spotting car wash blaze

Police officers who spotted a blaze at the Appletree Service Station car wash in Thornwood have been praised for their "excellent" work "and deserve recognition", the district's police commander has said.

District Commander Chief Inspector Ant Alcock spoke to Everything Epping Forest after a 27-year-old man was charged over the fire which happened in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Officers, who have not been named, were on patrol when they raised the alarm after spotting smoke coming from the building at the back of the car wash site.

Mr Alcock told Everything Epping Forest: "The incident could have resulted in substantially more harm if the officers were not patrolling the area.

"Thankfully we have a number of officers who are pro-active by nature and seek to prevent offences through patrols such as this across the entire Epping Forest district. 

"The officers have done an excellent job and deserve recognition for it. 

"The investigation continues."

Josef Burda, 27, of no fixed address, has been charged with arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered, and is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday 10).
1.18pm - August 9

Police forensics officers at car wash blaze scene

Police remain on the scene of last night's blaze at the car wash at the Applegreen Service Station, Thornwood.

The garage is closed and the area taped off with police forensics officers examined the blackened building behind the car wash.

A man, aged 27, continues to be questioned after being arrested last night.

Police officers in the area saw smoke at about 1.50am and alerted Essex Fire and Rescue Service.

No-one was injured.
9.01am - August 9

Man arrested over car wash blaze

A man has been arrested on suspicion of committing arson after a fire at the Applegreen Service Station car wash in Thornwood.

Police officers in the area saw smoke at about 1.50am today and alerted Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

A 27-year-old man was arrested at the scene and he remains in custody for questioning.

A police spokesman said: "Thankfully no one was hurt and the fire was extinguished quickly.

"We'll be working closely with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to determine the cause of the fire."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police via 101 and quote incident number 73 of Monday, August 9.

Information can also be submitted online at https://www.essex.police.uk, via the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm, or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
3.12pm - August 5

New homes named after "man for the people"

For pictures CLICK HERE

A new development of 12 family homes - named after a stalwart of the North Weald community - has been officially opened by Epping Forest District Council.

Cyril Hawkins Close, off Queens Road, is named after the former chairman of North Weald Bassett Parish Council, who had been a parish councillor for 17 years, and council chairman for 11 years until his death in 2017.

Speaking at today's official ribbon cutting, Cyril's widow, Shirley, said: "Cyril would have been so pleased with this. 

"He lived in the parish all his life. Whilst he was a parish councillor for 17 years he was more than that. He was a man for the people and a man who loved the community he was part of and the people who lived in it."

She added: "This is a beautiful development well worthy of Cyril's name."

District council chairman Helen Kane said: "Cyril Hawkins was very, very special and he's been remembered with love. Look at this development. It's incredible."

Housing portfolio holder councillor Holly Whitbread said: "We are really proud of the council houses we are delivering in Epping Forest.

"Unlike many councils we are really bucking the trend. Overall we're looking to deliver about 500 council homes in the next few years and we've already delivered a significant amount of that already, and already moving on to phase five of that development."

She added: "It's really exciting to be opening these new family homes, and they are all for local people. You have to have lived in Epping Forest for seven years to be eligible for a property.

"They are built to modern housing standards, they are environmentally friendly and most importantly they're providing fantastic family homes for local people."
1.48pm - August 3

Parish council objects to second storage location for London taxis

A North Weald Bassett parish councillor is calling on the district council to take "immediate enforcement action" against a company which has moved dozens of London taxis onto open land in North Weald without planning permission.

GB Taxi Services has submitted a planning application for permission to temporarily store the vehicles which are not required because of the COVID-19 pandemic on land at Chase Farm, off Vicarage Lane, North Weald, until July next year.

The applicant has confirmed that vehicles have been moved onto the site since April.

It follows a previous application, which is still to be determined by Epping Forest District Council, for more than 200 taxis to be stored at Weald Place Farm, off Duck Lane in Thornwood.

Parish councillor Sheila Jackman, speaking at Monday's parish council planning committee meeting which voted to object to the Chase Farm application, said: "I think it's completely unacceptable. We objected to the other one (Weald Place Farm) and I would object most strongly to this one.

"It's most unfair on the residents looking out on ranks and ranks of taxis when they had open fields before."

She added: "When we had the first application we put it to the district council that we didn't agree and for enforcement action (to be taken). 

"I feel very, very strongly that we object to this on the grounds of overlooking and the green belt."

Councillor Anne Grigg said: "They are asking for a temporary time period for a year. I don't want them there at all. We don't think any time should be granted and Epping Forest District Council should take enforcement action immediately."

Council chairman Alan Buckley said planning consent should have been obtained for both sites before the taxis were moved onto the land.

He said: "They've not got permission, it's all retrospective. My personal view is that we should refuse it as out of hand."

Local resident David Sisson told the meeting he could see "a field full of taxis" from his property.

He said the first taxis arrived on the Chase Farm site in April, since when many more have been taken onto the land.

He expressed concern about potential vandalism.

He told councillors: "It's quite a sight, especially as planning permission hasn't been granted for all of them to be here.

"We believe they have been moved there from Thornwood because of vandalism. We have already had some of the taxis here vandalised. 

"If someone was to set fire to one of them, what on earth would happen? It's just frightening."

A document submitted with the planning application states: "Weald Place Farm provided GB Taxi services with the lifeline that they were in desperate need of, and taxis were moved onto this site for storage from April 2020. 

"While the taxis were at this site a number were vandalised and parts were also stolen. 

"GB Taxis also had 76 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles at this previous site and which will cost the company thousands to repair. 

"Due to this, GB Taxis began looking for an alternative, more secure, site to temporarily store the taxis and Chase Farm appeared to be an appropriate location, set within the confines of the farm and surrounded by existing screening from both buildings and vegetation together with close boarded fencing and gates."

"Once the UK economy picks up and drivers come back to London, the taxis will be removed gradually from the site however logistically this could not be an overnight removal as it is expected that drivers will come back to work at a gradual pace, which is why the applicant is applying for a temporary permission for one year to allow time for this process to happen.

"The storage at Chase Farm is by no means a permanent solution and GB Taxi Services want nothing more than for the London taxis to be rented and back with the taxi drivers and for their business to return to normal, functioning in the way it always did before."

The company states the only noise from the site will be "occasional noise which could result from a taxi driven off the site to be returned to a driver and therefore removed from the storage site". 

It adds: "Given the separation distance from the neighbouring properties and the application site, this very occasional movement is not considered to be significant enough to cause a detrimental impact upon the amenity of these neighbouring occupiers."
5.43pm - July 23

Planning consent sought for second taxi storage site

A second site in the North Weald area is being used to store London taxis which are not required because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 200 taxis have been stored at Weald Place Farm, off Duck Lane, Thornwood - without planning permission.

Now it has been revealed that a similar number are parked at Chase Farm, off Vicarage Lane, North Weald, again without planning approval from Epping Forest District Council.

GB Taxi Services - the company involved with both locations - is applying for temporary 12-month planning permission (from July 2021 until July 2022) to store its London taxis at Chase Farm.

A document submitted with the planning application states: "Weald Place Farm provided GB Taxi services with the lifeline that they were in desperate need of, and taxis were moved onto this site for storage from April 2020. 

"While the taxis were at this site a number were vandalised and parts were also stolen. GB Taxis also had 76 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles at this previous site and which will cost the company thousands to repair. 

"Due to this, GB Taxis began looking for an alternative, more secure, site to temporarily store the taxis and Chase Farm appeared to be an appropriate location, set within the confines of the farm and surrounded by existing screening from both buildings and vegetation together with close boarded fencing and gates."

The company says a "large number" of taxis were moved from Weald Place Farm to Chase Farm from April "over a number of weeks". 

The document adds: "Once the drivable taxis were moved, the remaining taxis at Weald Place Farm which had been vandalised then required repair work to be carried out before they could be moved to ensure the vehicles were road-worthy.
Therefore, moving these remaining taxis has taken longer.

"At the current time, there are 30 taxis left on Weald Place Farm which will all be removed from the site. A number of these will be going for scrap and will not be moved onto Chase Farm.

"Once the UK economy picks up and drivers come back to London, the taxis will be removed gradually from the site however logistically this could not be an overnight removal as it is expected that drivers will come back to work at a gradual pace, which is why the applicant is applying for a temporary permission for one year to allow time for this process to happen.

"The storage at Chase Farm is by no means a permanent solution and GB Taxi Services want nothing more than for the London taxis to be rented and back with the taxi drivers and for their business to return to normal, functioning in the way it always did before."

The company states the only noise from the site will be "occasional noise which could result from a taxi driven off the site to be returned to a driver and therefore removed from the storage site". 

It adds: "Given the separation distance from the neighbouring properties and the application site, this very occasional movement is not considered to be significant enough to cause a detrimental impact upon the amenity of these neighbouring occupiers."

The application will be considered by North Weald Bassett Parish Council before a decision is taken by Epping Forest District Council.

The parish council lodged a "strong" objection to the proposal to use Green Belt land at Weald Place Farm for the storage of 200-plus taxis for a year when councillors considered the application in April.

However councillors were told that the vehicles had already been parked at the site for a year.

The company had been seeking permission, for one year from Spring 2021 to Spring 2022, to store the vehicles on the land.

Councillor Terry Blanks, told the April meeting, said: "This is a totally inappropriate use of a farm." 

Councillor Anne Grigg said it was "simply inappropriate development in the Green Belt".

Everything Epping Forest understands that no decision has yet been taken by Epping Forest District Council over the Weald Place Farm application.
3.50pm - July 21

Parish council complains about state of grass cutting around the parish

The "atrocious" state of grass cutting on public areas in and around North Weald Parish is to be taken up by the parish council.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is to raise the issue with Epping Forest District Council cabinet members councillors Nigel Avey and Sam Kane after councillors highlighted the standard of grass cutting in the area.

Parish council chairman councillor Alan Buckley, speaking at Monday's environmental committee, described the quality of grass cutting as "atrocious" adding: "It's appalling."

Numerous locations were identified with councillor Baden Clegg highlighting the junction of Upland Road with the B1393 where he said drivers' views were restricted by the overgrown verges.

Councillor Shirley Hawkins said: "They don't pick any grass up. It's just left laying there."
8.21pm - July 18

Parish council's face-to-face administrative centre resumes

North Weald Bassett Parish Council's face-to-face administrative centre is resuming at Thornwood Common Parish Hall, Weald Hall Lane, Thornwood.

Parish council services will be offered on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9,30am and 12.30pm from tomorrow (Monday, July 19).

Any change to these times will be advertised as the council will be operating according to Government guidance.

The council is offering a ‘drop-in service’ for residents who can make
appointments during these opening times if they prefer.

Anyone with any queries or anyone who needs to enquire about any council cervices, can ring the clerk on 07572 507591.

All parish council staff continue to work from home when not in the office.

The parish council hopes to be offering district council recycling bags, photocopying and cemetery services among others.

Parking is available.

Social distancing will be in place.
4.39pm - July 6

Boy arrested after reports of vehicles being damaged

​A teenage boy has been arrested following reports of vehicles being damaged in North Weald.

​Police received a report at about 5.15pm yesterday (Monday) that a group of boys in the Blenheim Square area were damaging vehicles.

Local officers were sent to the scene and with air support from the National Police Air Service, three youths were detained.

A 16-year-old boy​,​ from North Weald​,​ was searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and a suspected Class B drug ​(​cannabis)​ was found​. He remains under investigation. 

A 14-year-old boy​,​ from North Weald​, was arrested on suspicion of one count of criminal damage to a vehicle, possession of an offensive weapon and a public order offence.

He was ​taken into​ custody and later further arrested on suspicion of robbery relating to a reported incident on July​ 2​.

He has ​since been released under investigation whil​e​ ​police ​enquiries are progressed.
1.18pm - June 25

THORNWOOD: Petrol station take-away given go-ahead

Plans for a hot food take-away at Thornwood Filling Station, High Road, Thornwood, have been given the go-ahead but with slightly reduced opening hours than proposed.

A planning application - approved by Epping Forest District Council's area planning sub-committee - is for the installation of plant and machinery to create a small commercial kitchen to produce hot food for takeaway purposes within the existing building.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council had objected to the application.

Clerk Sue De Luca told Wednesday's committee meeting the proposed take-away the council believed the take-away would attract "a completely different clientelle" to the petrol station and shop which is open 24 hours a day.

She added it would change the site from a place where people are passing through to where people will be sitting and waiting (for food to be cooked).

While the application referred to the preparation of breakfast buns and similar fare, Mrs De Luca said the proposal "leaves the door open for anything" - Indian and Chinese food, burgers and kebabs - which would attract people who would be congregating and chatting while the food was cooked as there is no inside waiting area.

The parish council also said there was no need for an additional hot food or takeaway outlet in the area as there are others close by - Munchies in Thornwood and McDonald's at Hastingwood.

Planning officer Jerry Godden, responding to the objections, said litter was not a "material planning issue" while it was considered there would be no harm to the Green Belt given the minor nature of the proposed development.

He added any issues over odour would be covered through the installation of an extraction system and flue while there would be no highways issues as the existing access would be used.

Councillor Holly Whitbread expressed concern over highways issues and what the site could be turned into in the future.

She called for a wider litter picking condition - which Mr Godden said could not be enforced as the applicant is only responsible for what happens on its site - and proposed a change in the take-away's opening hours from the proposed 7am until 11pm to 8am to 8pm.

This proposal was supported by the committee 10-0 with two abstentions with councillors approving the application 9-2 with one abstention.
1.44pm - June 15

THORNWOOD: Petrol station take-away recommended for approval

Plans for a hot food take-away at Thornwood Filling Station, High Road, Thornwood - which have been opposed by the parish council - are being recommended for approval by district council planning officers.

A decision will be taken at the area planning sub-committee on Wednesday, June 23.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council claimed the proposal would generate litter not only in the immediate vicinity of the site but also around the surrounding area due to some people discarding litter from car windows.

The parish council also had concern at the smells, odours and pollution from the small commercial kitchen and felt this is an "inappropriate use in this
area and would be detrimental to nearby residents". 

The parish council also expressed concern over highway safety with
a possible increase in vehicles visiting the site in what has been a dangerous hotspot for accidents.

The council also said it does not seem there is a need for an additional hot food or takeaway outlet in the area as there are others close by, one in Thornwood (Munchies) and one in Hastingwood (McDonalds).

The parish council said that if permission is granted, there should be a litter patrol in place.

 A district council report states that two neighbour objections have been recived "however they related to potential littering on the site which is not a material planning consideration and cannot be taken into account as part of this assessment".
6.03pm - June 13

THORNWOOD: Motorcyclist suffers "potentially life-changing injuries" in collision

A motorcyclist, aged in his 20s, has suffered "potentially life-changing injuries" in a collision with a car on High Road, Thornwood, at about 1.45pm today (Sunday), police have said.

Everything Epping Forest understands the air ambulance was called to the scene near the junction with Woodside.

Police say their enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, or has dashcam footage of the incident, is asked to ring police on 101 and quote incident number 756 of today (June 13).

Information can also be given online at https://www.essex.police.uk or by using the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.
6.38pm - June 7

NORTH WEALD: Blue benches installed in Parish

Two blue benches have been installed by North Weald Bassett Parish Council which has completed its COVID-19 Reflection Bench Project.

The benches are made from recycled materials and have been installed within the Parish after the parish council received £500 grant funding from the Essex Association of Local Councils towards this project.

One bench has been installed in North Weald Village near the village flagpole on the corner of Wheelers Farm Gardens.

The other is near the play area at Thornwood Common.

Rainbow stones have been placed around the North Weald bench.

Both benches feature a brass plaque which reads:

NORTH WEALD BASSETT PARISH COUNCIL
REFLECTION BENCH 2020
WHY NOT SIT HERE
REST A WHILE AND CONTEMPLATE
“TOMORROW WILL BE A GOOD DAY”
Words spoken by: Captain Sir Tom Moore

The project was initially put forward by parish councillor Andy Tyler who felt the project would be a good memorial for the year 2020.
4.58pm - May 12

Parish council has now received £90,000 as part of airfield HMRC checkpoint arrangements

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has now received £90,000 to spend locally as part of the arrangement between Epping Forest District Council and the HMRC over the Inland Border Facility on North Weald Airfield.

The parish council received £50,000 in the last financial year, and has now confirmed a further payment of £40,000.

The airfield checkpoint, with the entrance off Rayley Lane and the exit off Merlin Way, checks the paperwork for HGVs entering and leaving the UK.

It came into operation on January 1 following the UK's exit from the EU.

The parish council has been liaising with the district council over various issues surrounding the site, including the parking of lorries in Vicarage Lane, the 'clearway' in Vicarage Lane, and the need for additional signage.

* Councillor Alan Buckley has been re-elected chairman of North Weald Bassett Parish Council for 2021-22 with councillor Anne Grigg re-elected as vice-chairman.
6.04pm - May 5

Parish council opposes "far too big" housing scheme

The 'village concept' of North Weald would disappear if plans for hundreds of homes on the former North Weald Golf Club site are approved, the parish council has said.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has stated that when other proposed local developments are taken into account - the 1,050 homes in the district council Local Plan for North Weald plus 1,050 homes for the Latton Priory site and the residential home and care home proposals in the 'North Weald Park' plans - some 2,600 new dwellings could be built in the Parish.

That could mean an additional 6,000 residents, parish council chairman Alan Buckley told Monday's planning committee meeting.

He added: "This gives me grave concerns."

Originally the parish council supported the 'North Weald Park' proposals, provided the 555 homes were taken off the 1,050-home allocation detailed for North Weald Village in the Local Plan.

Mr Buckley added the proposals would attract additional traffic to North Weald with traffic levels further increased by traffic set to travel to and from the airfield where a Masterplan details office space, and a new access road off Epping Road near the Debt of Honour, and to and from the proposed 'North Weald Park' Park and Ride.

He said: "That will bring a lot more traffic into the Parish of North Weald.

"We are putting an awful lot of traffic and people into a small area and no-one can tell me we've tried to expand the roads in this area. 

"Anybody who is local to this area knows how much of a nightmare this area can be.

"We are putting an awful lot of projects into one small area. It would have been bad enough with 1,050 homes but with another 50-60 per cent I just feel it's unacceptable."

Mr Buckley added: "When this was first proposed, the residents were very, very keen to ensure that North Weald retained its identity as a village. 

"With all these homes the concept of a village disappears. All we seem to be doing is bringing more and more people and cars into North Weald. It's far too big."

Mr Buckley said all the proposed housing sites are within "one square mile" with an "horrendous" number of homes currently being proposed.

"The centre of North Weald moves out (with the North Weald Park proposals) and impacts even more on the Hastingwood and Thornwood side of the Parish. It's far too large for a small area."

Councillor Andy Irvine said: "Our job is to represent our parishioners and I don't have any that have come up to me and said they want more traffic."

He added the area was already faced with additional traffic using the Inland Border Facility on the airfield, and the proposals to hold the airfield market on Sundays as well as Saturdays.

Councillor Anne Grigg said: "This site is in the Green Belt. If granted the space between the village and this site will probably go to infill and that means another few hundred houses. 

She added that while the scheme "has its good points" the plus points were outweighed by the Green Belt issue and the amount of traffic that would be generated.

The idea of developing the North Weald Golf Club site was first raised by Quinn Estates in early 2017 with the first application submitted in June 2018. 

Three amended applications have since been submitted.

Parish council planning officer Adriana Jones told Monday's meeting the latest application clarified the situation regarding the green space and bus proposals.

She added a letter from the Land Trust confirmed to Quinn Estates that the Trust would be willing to take on the management of an initial 15.69 hectare area of open space.

There was now also a letter to Quinn Estates from Galleon Travel confirming that Quinn Estates will provide three fully electric buses so that Galleon Travel / Trustbus can enhance the 420 service with stops to Epping and Harlow via the new park and ride site.

The parish council voted to object to the latest application on the grounds that far too many homes are proposed, with the number not being removed from the current North Weald Village allocation - and also concerns over the density, Green Belt issues and it going against the Local Plan.

The council's statement to the district council adds that while good community facilities are proposed in the plans "they do not outweigh the high number of homes (proposed) which would change the make-up of the village".

The application continues to propose the original elements - up to 555 homes (including affordable homes) 70-bed retirement accommodation, 70-bed extra care/nursing care accommodation, a two-form entry primary school, a medical centre, retail and office space, a community centre, sports hub with sports pitches, a sports pavilion scout hut, and formal and informal open space with a country park and a Park and Ride facility, and a new roundabout on the A414.

Of the 555 dwellings proposed, full planning permission is being sought for 116 dwellings (with 40 per cent 'affordable'), a community centre, open space and access off Rayley Lane.
9.17am - May 5

Parish council objects to airfield Sunday market plan

A proposal to expand the North Weald Airfield market to Sundays, in addition to the current Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday opening, has been branded "absolutely appalling" and opposed unanimously by North Weald Bassett Parish Council.

Hastingwood councillor Andy Irvine, speaking at Monday's parish council planning committee meeting, highlighted existing issues with traffic on local roads caused by the markets, and the inconvenience the market brings to local residents.

He added: "The whole idea to bring more and more and more traffic to Hastingwood, Thornwood and North Weald so Epping Forest District Council can monitize their asset (the airfield) is repugnant."

Councillor Terry Blanks told the meeting: "This is appalling. Does that mean there will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday (markets) three days running on some occasions. That's absolutely appalling. We can't cope with the traffic we've got at the moment."

Parish council chairman Alan Buckley said: "I'm surprised they are even going for this. By all accounts the Saturday market is very poorly attended (by traders) now.

"You used to have four aisles and the thing has shrunk already. Any traders coming down on a Saturday will have to stay over (to attend on the Sunday). 

"I really can't see the necessity when the size of the Saturday market has diminished."
1.51pm - May 2

THORNWOOD: Three men arrested after crash released under investigation

​Three men who were arrested after a Jaguar XE was involved in a collision on High Road, Thornwood, shortly before 4am on Saturday have been released under investigation.

A 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of attempted theft of a motor vehicle, theft of a motor vehicle, using a motor vehicle in public place without third party insurance, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, failing to stop when required and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and theft of a motor vehicle.
9.18am - May 1

THORNWOOD: Car containing five people crashes; three arrested

Three people have been taken to hospital after a Jaguar XE containing five people was involved in a collision on Epping Road, Thornwood, shortly before 4am today (Saturday).

Three people who were in the car have been taken to hospital and have been arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, being unfit to drive through drink or drugs and dangerous driving. 

Two other people remain outstanding.

The road is currently closed in both directions and police are advising motorists to avoid the area as officers continue our investigations. 

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any footage is asked to contact police online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Information can also be given via 101 (incident 158 of May 1) or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
4.31pm - April 29

NORTH WEALD: Parish council news round-up (April 26 meeting)

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

North Weald Bassett Parish Council held a minute's silence as a mark of respect to HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the start of Monday's council meeting.
The council has written to His Royal Highness's Private Secretary expressing the "deep condolences" of the council and North Weald Bassett Parish residents.


Barriers at The Parish Hall, Thornwood

Barriers are being installed at the entrance to The Parish Hall, Thornwood, by North Weald Bassett Parish Council, following an increase in anti-social behaviour surrounding the hall and in the car park.
Councillors have approved spending £5,463 on barriers and their installation.


Community events

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is planning three community events - in North Weald, Hastingwood and Thornwood - to highlight the work of the council over the past year.
The events would replace the usual Annual Parish Assembly - which has been cancelled because of COVID-19 - and give the council the opportunity to highlight ongoing matters in the Parish such as North Weald Airfield and the Inland Border Facility.
The council is looking to hold the events, which could include its Citizen of the Year awards, in October.


Flagpoles

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is to purchase a flagpole for The Parish Hall at Thornwood Common and to offer to purchase one for Hastingwood Village Hall.

Hall feasibility study

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is to undertake a feasibility study on The Parish Hall at Thornwood Common as it starts to debate its future and maintenance requirements - and looks to attract new hirers into the building.
1.54pm - April 16

NORTH WEALD: Plans to operate airfield market on Sundays

A planning application has been submitted to extend the current Saturday market on North Weald Airfield to Sundays, between 8am and 3pm.

The market currently operates on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
7.22pm - April 15

THORNWOOD: Parish council lodges "strong" objection to storage area for 200-plus London taxis

A company's planning application to be allowed to continue to store more than 200 London taxis on Green Belt land in Thornwood has been unanimously opposed by the parish council.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council's planning committee has expressed strong views over the use of the land at Weald Park Farm, off Duck Lane, where the vehicles have already been parked for a year, tonight's meeting was told.

Documents submitted by GB Taxi Services to Epping Forest District Council as part of its retrospective planning application state that the company has some 212 vehicles on the land.

It adds that the taxis are not currently needed because of the downturn in the taxi trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GB Taxi Services director Paolo Bolognini states in the application documents that the company has a fleet of the iconic London ‘black taxis’ which are rented to London taxi drivers who have passed the ‘knowledge’ and prefer to rent rather than buy their own taxis.

He adds that until the coronavirus pandemic there was never an issue with storage of the vehicles as they were kept by the drivers and used as if they were their own vehicle.

The company is seeking temporary permission, for one year from Spring 2021 to Spring 2022, to store the vehicles on the land.

However the parish council was told the vehicles have been on the site since April last year.

A supporting statement with the application adds: "Once the UK economy picks up and drivers come back to London, the taxis will be removed gradually from the site.

"However logistically this could not be an overnight removal as it is expected that drivers will come back at a gradual pace, which is why the applicant is applying for a temporary permission for one year."

The planning committee meeting was told many of the taxis are not roadworthy and many have had their catalytic converters stolen.

Sacha Taylor, who lives behind the storage site, told the parish council meeting: "It has been there for a year and I've been doing nothing other than trying to get them removed.

"Of course we are all sympathetic to the pandemic, but I can honestly say that over 50 per cent (of the taxis) are not roadworthy. 

"They are being stored there as scrappage and storage. They will not be back on the road.

"They have had catalytic converters stolen off them. They are not roadworthy. They are not ones that are going to be going back out onto the road."

She added: "It's green belt land. From every angle we can see just over 100 taxis. We have to protect the Green Belt land."

Councillor Terry Blanks said: "This is a totally inappropriate use of a farm, it's more like a field than a farm. 

"There are 200 older taxis parked there already. They started off (parked) relatively neat; some are clearly being repaired. 

"This is not a place to park old cabs." 

He added North Weald Airfield would be a "far more appropriate" place to park the vehicles than a farm.

Councillor Sheila Jackman called on the parish council to lodge a "strong" objection".

She said: "They (the taxis) have already been there for a year. They've been breaking the regulations.

"If it was to be given permission it's effectively giving permission for two years and I really don't think that's on."

Councillor Anne Grigg said: "It's simply inappropriate development in the Green Belt."
10.10am - March 27

THORNWOOD: Planning consent sought to continue to store 212 London taxis on farmland

A company has applied for planning permission to be allowed to continue to store more than 200 London taxis on Green Belt land in Thornwood.

GB Taxi Services Ltd currently has some 212 vehicles at Weald Place Farm, off Duck Lane - but does not have planning permission for the storage area which it says is needed because of the downturn in the trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A supporting statement submitted to Epping Forest District Council with a change of use planning application states most of the storage site was previously a riding menage with rubber surfacing while the storage area also includes a smaller area of grass next to the manege.

The application has been submitted by Paolo Bolognini, director GB Taxi Services which was founded in Enfield. 

The company has a fleet of the iconic London ‘black taxis’ which are rented out to London taxi drivers who have passed the ‘knowledge’ and prefer to rent rather than buy their own taxis.

The planning statement adds: "Up until the Coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2019, there was never an issue with storage of the taxis as they were kept by the individual drivers at their properties and used as if they were their own vehicle.

"There is storage available at the Enfield site for when taxis come into the garage for repair work, an MOT, service or overhaul however, there would never be a situation when all the taxi fleet would be returned at the same time, and therefore it was always a perfectly manageable arrangement.

"March 2019 saw the unprecedented world pandemic take hold and as a result the country ground to a halt with a national lockdown enforced. In a matter of weeks taxi drivers were returning the taxis back to the Enfield site as they no longer wanted to pay the rental on the taxis as London was effectively closed and they no longer had an income.

"If the drivers had the facilities to do so, GB Taxis Services asked them to keep the vehicles on their drives at their property, and as they were not being used, the rent would not be charged. 

"Some drivers were able to do this, but the majority wanted to return them back to the Enfield site.
 
"GB Taxis were faced with no other option but to look for a storage site for the majority of their fleet, and quickly. 

"Weald Place Farm provided GB Taxi services with the lifeline that they were in desperate need of."

The company is seeking temporary planning permission, for one year, from Spring 2021 to Spring 2022, to store the vehicles on the land.

The supporting statement adds: "Once the UK economy picks up and drivers come back to London, the taxis will be removed gradually from the site however, logistically this could not be an overnight removal as it is expected that drivers will come back at a gradual pace, which is why the applicant is applying for a temporary permission for one year.

"The storage at Weald Place Farm is by no means a permanent solution, and GB Taxi Services want nothing more than for the London taxis to be rented and back with the taxi drivers and for their business to return to normal, functioning in the way it always did before."

The document states: "The application site is already well screened from wider vantage points and is located at a lower gradient than the surrounding land, thereby screening the taxis completely from wider views to the east and south across the neighbouring fields.

"It is accepted the location of the taxis can be seen from the rear gardens of the immediate neighbouring dwellings (three properties in Duck Lane) however, the site is a considerable distance away at approximately 55m from the rear gardens, even further from the dwellings themselves.

"Although the taxis can be seen by these neighbouring properties, the application site is not used for repairing the taxis or for any other purpose other than the storage of the vehicles therefore there is limited noise and disturbance. 

"The occasional noise which could result is from a taxi being driven off the site as GB Taxi Services have sold some of the fleet to reduce their storage requirement and these taxis have been driven from Weald Place Farm to the Enfield site to be sold. 

"However, given the separation distance from the neighbouring properties from the application site this very occasional movement is not considered to be significant enough to cause a detrimental impact upon the amenity of these neighbouring occupiers.
5.30pm - March 11

Two men arrested for drug offences

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences after a vehicle was stopped by officers in North Weald. 

Joint working between the Dog Section, Roads Policing Unit and Harlow Local Policing Team officers saw a vehicle stopped on the A414 yesterday afternoon. 

Following a search of the vehicle under the Misuse of Drugs Act, suspected Class A and B drugs were found. 

Two men were arrested on suspicion of two offences each of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug. 

One man was also additionally arrested on suspicion of drug driving. 

An 18-year-old-man, from Bishop's Stortford, and a 19-year-old man, from Roydon, were taken into police custody. 

Both men were released today under investigation pending further police enquiries. 
2.02pm - March 9

Two people escape uninjured in emergency landing at airfield

Two people have escaped uninjured after their plane had to make an emergency landing at North Weald airfield after suffering problems in mid-air.

The single engine plane was above the airfield when the crew reported a problem with the landing gear.

Air traffic control staff alerted the emergency services shortly before 10.55am and the police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, East of England Ambulance Service and National Police Air Service were put on stand-by.

District Police Commander Chief Inspector Ant Alcock said: “Fortunately no-one was hurt and the aircraft landed safely.

“These types of incidents are rare but when they happen the emergency services have contingency plans in place to respond to emergency landings.

“I’d like to thank airfield staff and our partners for their support and swift action in helping to ensure the safe landing of the aircraft.”
1.20pm - March 2

Parish council agrees on woodland names

A larger area of trees to be planted at Weald Common, behind North Weald Village Hall, is to be named 'Eldridge Wood' while a smaller area comprising 50 trees will be known as 'Eldridge Coppice'.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is naming the areas after parish council vice-chairman and Hastingwood councillor Brian Eldridge who died last year.

The council, which has received some 200 trees from the Woodland Trust, will also plant some trees near the Debt of Honour off Hurricane Way.


Parish council dealing with dozens of enquiries over HMRC site

North Weald Parish Council has been dealing with more than 40 emails from local residents regarding issues surrounding the HMRC Inland Border Facility on North Weald airfield since the site opened on January 1.

Parish clerk Sue deLuca told Monday's meeting that she had been dealing with 43 emails.

"We do seem to be getting lots and lots of emails - (relating to) problems and concerns."

The site, off Rayley Lane and Merlin Way, checks with the paperwork of HGV drivers who are travelling to and from the EU since the end of the transition period at the end of last year.
6.53pm - February 26

Three detained for drug possession as car seized

A man has been arrested and a further man and teenaged boy dealt with for drug-related offences after police found a vehicle believed to be on cloned plates in Thornwood.

Community Safety Team officers were on patrol early yesterday evening (Thursday) when they discovered the Audi A4 unattended.

Four people fled when they saw the officers.

Three people were detained by Community Safety Team, Town Centre Team, Community Policing Team and Special Constabulary officers.

Following searches of the suspects and the nearby area, an 18-year-old man from Epping was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled drug with intent to supply. 

Another man and a teenaged boy were dealt with for possession of a controlled drug outside of custody. The Audi A4 was seized. 

The arrested man has been released from custody under investigation pending further police enquiries.
1.08pm - February 23

Tree planting scheme will remember former council vice-chairman

Three locations have been identified by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to plant 200 trees - oak, field apple and crab apple - which the council has received from the Woodland Trust.

Two areas at Weald Common, behind North Weald Village Hall - one featuring some 90 trees in an 'orchard-style fashion' - have been decided on by the council's environmental committee along with an area near the Debt of Honour off Hurricane Way.

A plaque will be placed at Weald Common to recognise the council's tree planting scheme with the area named after former parish council vice-chairman and Hastingwood councillor Brian Eldridge who died last year.
1.07pm - February 23

Parish council freezes allotment fees

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has agreed to freeze its fees for allotments for the 2022-23 financial year.

Any changes to allotment fees have to be made with 12 months notice.

The parish council's environmental committee has also agreed to postpone its annual meeting with allotment holders until September.
6.47pm - February 15

'Community sports centre' plan for former gymnastics centre

The former Epping Forest Gymnastics Centre on the edge of North Weald Airfield is set to become a 'community sports centre'.

A report to next week's Epping Forest District Council full council meeting states that the centre, off Merlin Way, is "under offer" to a community sports centre" with the transaction having been approved by the council with the matter now with solicitors "to progress to completion".

​The report adds: "This is now pending submission of the tenant's works/fit-out and thereafter is expected to complete."
6.25pm - February 15

HMRC lorry checkpoint "fully operational" from tomorrow

The HMRC Inland Border Facility on North Weald Airfield - which could be in use for five years - becomes fully operational from tomorrow (Tuesday).

The HGV checkpoint, for lorries heading to and coming from the EU, has been operational since January 1.

The site was closed over the weekend for "essential work".

Now it has emerged that the facility will only be operating at full capacity - which could mean up to 53 HGVs on the site at any one time - from tomorrow.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has been made are of some parking issues.

Epping Forest District Council, while stating in a report to next week's full council meeting that there has been "very little disruption to the local road network and airfield operations, says some complaints have been received from residents regarding a "small number" od HGVs parking in Vicarage Lane West which is a designated clearway.

The council reports adds: "That said, the facility will not become fully operational until February 16 after which time we will  have a far better idea as to its effect on the local surroundings."
11.52am - February 9

HMRC airfield checkpoint to be closed this weekend

Police and parking patrols are being requested on roads around North Weald Airfield this weekend while the HMRC Inland Border Facility is closed for "essential works".

The site, which has been operational since January 1 to check the documentation of HGV drivers travelling to and from the EU, will be closed to all freight traffic between 6am on Saturday (February 13) until about 6am next Monday (February 15).

Epping Forest District Council has asked for extra patrols from North Essex Parking Partnership and roads policing officers to deter illegal parking by lorries in the area.
12.58pm - February 3

Parish council seeking premises for High Road office

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is looking for suitable premises in High Road, North Weald, which could be used as a parish council office.
2.50pm - February 2

NORTH WEALD: Parish council considering providing each councillor with a council-owned tablet or laptop

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is considering providing each councillor with a laptop or tablet to ensure that the council meets data protection legislation.

Principal financial officer Adriana Jones told Monday's parish council meeting the matter was a way of protecting councillors and the council, and members of the public, with regard to data protection and the issue of managing council-related business on a personal computer.

No decision was taken on the proposal for councillors to decide between two options which would enable each councillor to have a device that they can use solely for parish council-related business.

Both proposals would see an additional monthly charge in relation to necessary subscriptions.

Councillor Sheila Jackman questioned the cost, and asked why laptops - which she said were easier to type on than a tablet - were not being proposed.

She told the meeting: "North Weald is a parish council and does not warrant such expenditure. No other town or parish council has gone down this path."

She added she felt parishioners would be "angered" if such expenditure was approved "and, I feel, justifiably so".

Mrs Jones said there were numerous councils across the country which were now using such a system.

Parish clerk Sue deLuca said there would be an option for councillors to opt for a laptop instead.

Councillor Terry Blanks said: "It does seem quite a lot of money. Some people might think it could be better spent."

Several councillors spoke in favour of the proposal stating that they did not want to have parish council correspondence on their personal computers.

* Councillors voted 12-0, with one abstention, that all members should be allocated a parish council email address.
8.13pm - February 1

NORTH WEALD: Church car park "trashed" by HGVs using airfield Brexit checkpoint

Issues regarding HGV parking have arisen since the HMRC Inland Border Facility opened on North Weald Airfield on January 1, North Weald Bassett Parish Council has said.

Monday's parish council meeting heard that council chairman Alan Buckley and clerk Sue DeLuca would be meeting with Epping Forest District Council to discuss issues relating to parking and signage which had arisen since the facility had opened.

The parish council is to ask for fortnightly rather than monthly meetings with the district council over the checkpoint after being advised by residents that severe damage had been caused to the church car park opposite St Andrew's Church.


Councillor Buckley said the car park had been "completely trashed" with 10ins to 12ins ruts left in the surface.
1.07pm - January 26

HASTINGWOOD: Police pursuit ends with 4x4 abandoned in a field

Two men have been arrested for numerous offences after a police pursuit ended when a 4x4 was found abandoned in a field at Hastingwood.

Police officers had initially responded to a suspected cloned vehicle after an Automatic Number Plate Recognition Camera was activated in the district.

The 4x4 failed to stop for a fog section unit and a pursuit followed. 

The vehicle initially travelled into the Harlow district as further support was provided by the Epping Forest Community Safety Team, Roads Policing officers, Harlow-based officers and the National Police Air Service. 

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "After a temporary loss, the vehicle was located in a field near the M11 junction 7 roundabout with the suspects having decamped.

"Two men suspected to have fled from the vehicle were successfully detained by officers nearby."

An 18-year-old man, from Harlow, was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop, assault on an emergency worker (non-injury), aggravated vehicle taking, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, driving without insurance and dangerous driving.

A 20-year-old man, from Harlow, was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop, aggravated vehicle taking, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, driving without insurance and dangerous driving.

Both men have been released under investigation while police enquiries continue.
7.54pm - January 25

THORNWOOD: Parish council opposes petrol station 'take-away' plan

A planning application to create a 'take-away' at Thornwood Filling Station, High Road, Thornwood, is being opposed by North Weald Bassett Parish Council.

The application with Epping Forest District Council details proposals for 'Rock's Cafe to Go' - which would see a redundant office at the rear of the premises converted into a small commercial kitchen.

Documents submitted with the application state it would be used to prepare, cook and sell take-away food such as breakfast buns "and similar fare".

Clerk Sue DeLuca told tonight's planning committee meeting that the district council's air quality officer had asked for more information regarding the proposed odour control measures.

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "This is a very, very fast corner (near Rye Hill Road). It's one thing going in buying petrol. To have more traffic is potentially dangerous.

"I really do think we should object for where it is, and it would be dramatically increaing the traffic in that area."

He also raised concerns over smells and pollution from the extractor system.

Planning committee chairman Baden Clegg said: "I know this area pretty well and we've had lots of hefty collisions in that Rye Hill Road corner.  It's an incredible dangerous situation. 

"I'm not sure whether this facility is really needed."

Councillor Terry Blanks said: "I think it's a very poor site for such a thing and I'm very concerned about the litter and traffic - and basically I don't think we need it."

He also questioned the mix of petrol and fast food sales on the same site, and was concerned over the potential increase in rubbish.

Parish council chairman Alan Buckley said: "With all this cooking, there will be a lot of cars parked around there while their food is cooked. Is there enough parking away from the pumps for the cars to park?"

The committee agreed unanimously to object to the application for various reasons - highways safety, the potential increase in traffic, litter, smells and pollution, while councillors also questioned the need for such an additional outlet in the area.

The committee is to request that if planning approval is given by the district council that there should be a condition that litter patrols are carried out.
5.14pm - January 21

THORNWOOD: 'Take-away' plan for petrol station

Planning permission is being sought to create a 'take-away' at Thornwood Filling Station, High Road, Thornwood.

A planning application with Epping Forest District Council details proposals for 'Rock's Cafe to Go' - which would see a redundant office at the rear of the premises converted into a small commercial kitchen.

Documents submitted with the application state it would be used to prepare, cook and sell take-away foods such as breakfast buns "and similar fare".
10.19am - January 21

NORTH WEALD: North Weald Post Office to close

North Weald Post Office - at 20 High Road - is to close at 4pm on Wednesday, February 17 "due to the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use", The Post Office has announced.

A letter from The Post Office states: "The provision of a Post Office service to our customers in the local community is important to us, and we will continue to work hard to restore services in the area as soon as possible. 

"We would welcome any applications from potential retail partners interested in running a branch locally on our behalf.

"The vacancy is currently being advertised on our website - www.runapostoffice.co.uk - and applications will be carefully considered."
2.45pm - January 18

NORTH WEALD: Parish council freezes share of council tax bills
 
North Weald Bassett Parish Council is not increasing its share of council tax bills for 2021-22 as it agreed a precept of £220,376 for the next financial year.

Additional items for the next financial year will include:

* £2,000 towards a Play Area Emergency Repairs Fund

* £5,000 into a rolling programme fund to replace older street lights when necessary

* £2,500 for a parish council-run handyman scheme which is the final tranche towards that match-funded by the Essex Association of Local Councils' Local Services Fund

* £7,500 various works on Weald Common, including addressing the drainage issues

* £1,500 towards barriers for the car park at the Parish Hall at Thornwood

* £1,500 initial start-up for various projects at Hastingwood including an Everything Council public event

* £2,500 towards perimeter fencing and new gate at the Queens Road allotments

* £2,000 towards a remedy for new surface at Wheelers Farm Gardens allotments car park

* £5,490 towards electronic storage of historic council records

* £600 towards after-care of new tree planting

* £181 towards additional CCTV at the Memorial Playing Fields play area and basketball court (additional funds will be sourced from earmarked reserves)

* Vandalism in the parish – due to the amount of anti-social behaviour, funds will be taken from earmarked reserves and replaced in next year's precept if they cannot be recovered from the perpetrators.
5.14pm - January 12

NORTH WEALD: Update on gas / electricity issue in High Road

UK Power Networks and Cadent have given Everything Epping Forest an update on the ongoing gas and electricity issue which has closed High Road, North Weald.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: "Our staff are attending the site in North Weald following a fault on the electricity network that interrupted power supplies. 

"A generator is currently supplying all customers and our engineers are working safely and quickly to restore the cables back to normal as soon as possible. 

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

In a statement issued, yesterday afternoon, a Cadent spokesperson said: “Our emergency teams were called to reports of a smell of gas in the area on Friday.  We discovered that an electrical cable shortage had damaged a gas pipe.  

"We've repaired the gas pipe, ready for UK Power Network to complete the repairs. There are currently no customers without a gas supply.”

No timescale has been given for the work to be carried out, however local councillor Nigel Bedford stated on Sunday that the road could be closed for about four days.
6.09pm - January 10

NORTH WEALD: Drivers ignore 'road closed' signs to drive through High Road barriers

Drivers have ignored 'road closed' signs and driven through roadwork barriers at the scene of the "major" gas leak in High Road, North Weald.

The road remains closed to motorists outside the parade of shops as work continues to establish the cause of the leak which was first reported on Friday evening.

One High Road resident told Everything Epping Forest she saw two drivers - the first of which hit the barriers as it went through - in the space of about 30 minutes,

She challenged another driver and called the police.

She told Everything Epping Forest: "I've seen two (cars) and I stopped one, a white Audi, as he wouldn’t move so I called the police. He soon reversed when he heard me give them his registration!

"All this happened in the half an hour I was watching after I just went to close my curtains. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing."
1.02pm - January 10

NORTH WEALD: "Major" gas leak 'could close High Road for four days"

Engineers are still working to identify the cause of a major gas leak in High Road, North Weald, with a parish councillor saying he has been told the road could be closed for four days.

Engineers were called out on Friday evening when the smell of gas was first noticed. A strong smell of smell was still noticeable in the centre of the village yesterday.

This morning a wider area of the High Road was being dug up as workmen from Cadent and UK Power Networks worked outside the parade of shops as they tried to find the cause of the leak.

Everything Epping Forest understands that no properties are without gas.

A Cadent spokesperson told Everything Epping Forest: “We are responding to reports of a smell of gas in the area. Our engineers are currently on site, and the cause is being investigated.”

Everything Epping Forest has asked UK Power Networks for a statement.

The High Road is open to pedestrians - and the businesses remain open - with a signed diversion taking traffic along the A414 from the Talbot to the M11-A414 interchange at Hastingwood and along the B1393 Thornwood Road to The Plain and Epping Road.

Epping Forest District Council deputy leader and North Weald parish councillor Nigel Bedford said: "The road is closed for approximately four days. It’s a major gas leak that has also entered the electricity cables.

"The High Road is a 'priority one' route and emergency services will not get through.

"People should not try to drive to the shops."
12.15pm - January 6

NORTH WEALD: Lorries start arriving at Inland Border Facility

Lorries have started to use the new Inland Border Facility on North Weald airfield, Everything Epping Forest can reveal.

A Turkish-registered lorry was seen entering the site this morning.

It was first seen parked on Merlin Way before it was driven to the Rayley Lane entrance and directed along to the Canes Lane A414 roundabout and back onto Rayley Lane where it turned right into the checkpoint area.

Officials will check the documents of HGVs entering and leaving the country now that the UK has left the EU.

News that the airfield was to be put to such use was revealed by Everything Epping Forest 16 months ago when district council leader Chris Whitbread made an announcement at a council meeting.

Work to develop an area of the council-owned airfield has been ongoing for months while staff are still being recruited for the site which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As Everything Epping Forest recently revealed, Epping Forest District Council will receive £694,000 in rent in the next financial year.

That follows the announcement that HMRC will pay the council a separate £500,000 while the council has already received another six-figure sum - £50,000 of which has gone to North Weald Bassett Parish Council.

Lorries have designated routes to the site from the M25, M11 and A12 and A414.

The main concern of the parish council is the impact on local roads if lorry drivers ignore the designated routes or if their sat-navs indicate an alternative route.

Parish councillors are especially concerned about HGVs that might come through North Weald Village and use Church Lane.

The planning consent allows 53 lorries to be on the site at any one time.

But another concern of the parish council is what happens to lorries which might have to wait to get into the checkpoint - and the fear that they will park on local roads.

The Inland Border Facility could be operational for two years.
UPDATE 2.13pm - January 5

A 21-year-old man, from Hertfordshire, who was arrested near to where the police pursuit ended on Thornwood Road, Epping, yesterday has been released under investigation.

The man was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit through drink/drugs, and theft of a motor vehicle. 

He has been released under investigation for the majority of offences while enquiries continue. 

He will face no further action in relation to his arrest on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. 

A 22-year-old man, from London, who was arrested on suspicion of careless driving, theft of a motor vehicle and obstructing a police officer has been released from custody and will face no further action.


5.46pm - January 4


THORNWOOD: Two arrested after police pursuit on M25 and M11 to Thornwood

Two men have been arrested after a police pursuit which began when a car failed to stop for police officers on the M25 ended in Thornwood.

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest a black Vauxhall Astra car failed to stop for officers when requested to do so on the M25 at about midday today.

The spokesman added: "Police followed the vehicle where it exited the M25 on to the M11 northbound.

"The vehicle came to a stop on Thornwood Road, Epping, and the driver de-camped."

Two men were later arrested.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and being unfit to drive through drink or drugs. 

As part of the investigation a second man, aged 24, was also arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, careless driving and for obstructing police.

Both men are currently in police custody.
12.31pm - January 4

NORTH WEALD: Job vacancies at Inland Border Facility

A recruitment agency is still looking to fill vacancies for administrative staff to work at the Inland Border facility - the HGV Brexit checkpoint - on North Weald airfield. 

The closing date for applications is January 27 and 29.

 
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