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 Everything 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 

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

For more details
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 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.
Stagecoach Performing Arts Loughton

At Stagecoach Performing Arts Loughton we love to bring out the best in every child through the wonderful world of Singing, Dancing and Acting. 
We work on developing Creative Courage For Life so our students can shine on whichever stage they choose to in life. 
We are proud to offer high quality live Zoom classes when our sessions cannot run in person.

Website  Instagram  Facebook
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
The Sharing Board, Epping

The Sharing Board is a new online (delivery only) delicatessen based in Epping championing British cheeses, charcuterie and pies, in addition to a selection of yummy products from our neighbours across Europe.

The Merry Fiddlers, Fiddlers Hamlet, Epping

Tel: 01992 572142

Website  Instagram  Facebook

We offer meals of excellent quality and invite you to try our delicious food. The key to our success is simple: providing quality, consistent food that taste great every single time.
We pride ourselves on serving the finest dishes in Epping, using classic French and English techniques with a modern twist. We offer an à la carte menu every evening and are sure we can wow even the finest of palates. Why not come and try our five-course tasting menu accompanied by our perfectly selected wine flights.
Forest Skin Clinic

Tel: 01992 276376

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

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.

Old Station Road, Loughton, IG10 4PL

Tel: 020 8418 3333

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. 
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. 
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.
1.13pm - December 28

January 19 date given for completion of burst main work

A date of January 19 has been given by Thames Water for by when burst main repairs at the Valley Hill-Roding Road junction in Loughton should be completed.

In a letter to Loughton Town Council, Thames Water area manager Ian Ruffell said the company was "very sorry" for the disruption the work has caused residents, businesses and road users. 

He added: "We understand the frustration and are doing everything we can to speed this essential work up.

"The work follows a burst which occurred on one of our 12-inch diameter pipes that supplies Loughton. 

"While we were able to restore supplies to those impacted relatively quickly, the repair is not a simple one.

"The reason is the pipe is only a few metres from the concrete culvert of the Loughton Brook. Therefore any work we do requires a special permit as we need to clearly demonstrate there is no risk to the culvert being damaged.

"Unfortunately this process does take a bit of time which is why there has often not been anyone on site but we believe everything will be in place for us to start work next week. 

"To significantly reduce the time needed, we will be lining the existing pipe with a new plastic one rather than entirely replacing the pipe.

"This state-of-the-art process is not only much quicker than putting a new pipe in but also greatly cuts the likelihood of further bursts."

He added: "We anticipate the work will take several weeks and currently aim to be finished by January 19. 

"I know this news will not be welcomed by many but I want to assure you this essential upgrade is a priority for us."

Loughton Independent town and district councillor Stephen Murray said: "My understanding is that the required permits are now in place and that the work should start this week. 

"Essex Highways via our local county councillors have also assured me of their active desire for this road to be reopened as soon as possible. 

"Like many others, particularly the residents living in the narrow residential roads currently being used as the diversion, I am extremely frustrated by this situation and new completion date of January 19.

"With other colleagues, I will continue to urge Thames Water and Essex Highways for the quickest possible re-opening of this main through road.

"Thank you for the dozens of direct contacts on this issue, all of which I have done my best to reply to."
3.02pm - December 23

Thames Water apologises over response to burst mains but cannot say when repairs will be completed

Thames Water has said its performance following recent burst mains in Loughton has "not been good enough" with the company also telling Loughton Town Council it cannot say when burst main repair work at the Roding Road-Valley Hill junction will be completed.

Traffic delays have been reported and complaints raised about traffic using nearby residential roads while the junction has been closed.

More recently, hundreds of homes in the town were without water for four days following another burst, at Warren Hill.

Loughton Town Council, which has requested a meeting with Thames Water to discuss the ongoing supplies issues in Loughton, has been given an update on the Roding Road work which follows a burst on a 12-inch diameter pipe.

The letter states: "A large section of pipe needs replacing which is located next to an underground river so special permits are needed allowing us to work.

"We know this causing a lot of problems for road-users and are again sorry for this disruption. Our plan is to re-line the existing pipe with plastic which will both reduce the chances of future bursts and is much quicker than replacing the pipe entirely.

"Once this work is completed, then we believe it will also cut the likelihood of bursts elsewhere in Loughton, There is not currently a time scale for this work as we need to work with the highways authority to obtain permissions. As soon as we have more detail, I will write and let you know."

The letter continues: "Many of these supply problems are caused by the topography in the area, which results in challenges to water pressure in the network. With the exception of Roding Road, repairing the pipes is not the solution.

"We are constantly monitoring the area for pressure fluctuations and taking action when we can to reduce problem areas. Any leaks reported to us in Loughton are dealt with as a priority.

"As a business, we know our performance has not been good enough and a major turnaround plan has been implemented to get to where our customers expect us to be.

"One of these actions is to bring much of our work back in house and relying on contractors less, which will give us far greater knowledge which can be used to improve network performance."

Thames Water has also apologised following the Warren Hill burst in a 15-inch diameter pipe.

The letter states: "This resulted in a number of properties losing their supply or experiencing low pressure for several days.

"Unfortunately, the repair was complicated due other infrastructure in the ground which needed attending to before we could properly start work. However, the fix was completed on Monday and supplies have returned to normal."
2.14pm - December 20

Town council seeks Thames Water meeting

Loughton Town Council has requested a meeting with Thames Water to discuss the ongoing situation of disruptions to supplies caused by a series of bursts.

The latest incident has seen hundreds of homes in the town without water for four days.

Independent town and district councillor Stephen Murray and Loughton Residents Association councillor Chris Pond asked town clerk Mark Squire to arrange a meeting "as soon as possible" with Thames Water's area management team.

Mr Squire has confirmed to Everything Epping Forest that the request for a meeting has now been made.

Mr Murray said the meeting was being called for "so we can discuss and challenge their woeful performance and lack of proper communication within our town".

He added: "Constant disruption at key traffic junctions is one thing (for example no work at the main Valley Hill junction for the last eight days) but the failure to provide a proper water alternative this last weekend is quite another."
5.27pm - December 19

Hundreds of residents experiencing third day without water

As hundreds of Loughton residents remain without water for a third successive day - and are still waiting for answers from Thames Water - one woman has told Everything Epping Forest how she has had to resort to buying bottled water from a supermarket so that she can flush the toilet.

Numerous local residents have contacted Everything Epping Forest as the town continues to wait for supplies to be reconnected following a series of burst mains.

Thames Water says it has re-rerouted supplies and delivered water to those affected but both comments have been rubbished by residents.

Sue Ross, of Woodland Road, Loughton, told Everything Epping Forest earlier this afternoon: "Sixty hours so far and still not a drop, well occasionally we've had a dribble, enough to half fill a glass but not enough to wash or flush the toilet. 

"I'm buying up bottles from Morrisons just to pour down the toilet! 

"It's the same for all the neighbours that I'm in contact with. No offer of water delivery from Thames Water and still no idea if and when it'll be back on. We're starting to despair now."

Earlier she said: "Thames Water are claiming to have delivered bottled water to those affected. They have not offered any bottled water either by collection or delivery to anyone in my road, nor have they given any honest responses to queries.  

"They keep saying the water has been rerouted so we should see supplies (albeit low pressure) return. We've not even had a drip."  

Kirsty Holme, of Forest Road, Loughton, said she first noticed issues with water pressure at about 10pm on Thursday.

She told Everything Epping Forest: "Since Friday morning we have had no water upstairs in our house and just a trickle from the tap downstairs.

"I have made contact with Thames Water multiple times to request where the water station has been set up but keep being told the issue is being worked on.

"We are in a position where we are having to utilise the trickle of water downstairs and aren’t even in a position to flush our toilet. 

"The lack of updates from Thames Water is appalling and at a time when they have sent increased communication over the metered comparison bills with an expectation to increase charges from next year.

"I now question as to whether the current usage stats are even accurate given the ongoing occurrences of mains water leaks we have experienced in this area over the past 12 months.

"The continued interruptions are beyond a joke now."

Erica Alter told Everything Epping Forest the bottom half of Spareleaze Hill has been without water since Thursday night, apart from about half-an-hour on Saturday lunchtime.

"Some have had a delivery of bottled water, most have not. 

Another Loughton resident, who has been without water since Thursday evening, said: "We had 12 bottles of water dropped off, there’s five of us in the house! This has happened three times over the last month."

In a statement posted on its website this afternoon, Thames Water said he was "still working hard on site" with water having been re-routed around the network to "keep your taps running".

The statement reads: "We’re are still working hard on site. The repair is progressing well following the delays yesterday (Saturday) and we are working to return your supply as quickly as possible.

"Water has been rerouted around our network to keep your taps running until that time.

"Some customers may still notice that they have lower pressure than normal, especially those on higher floors of flats or on higher ground. 

"We have identified the properties at greatest risk of having no supply and are arranging for bottled water to be delivered. This exercise will be completed as quickly as possible.

"We know this has happened at a difficult time."

Last night (Saturday) Thames Water issued a statement to Everything Epping Forest which referred to a burst in Warren Hill.

A Thames Water spokesperson, speaking last night, said: “We’re sorry to anyone who is experiencing no water or lower pressure than normal due to a burst pipe in Warren Hill yesterday.  

“Our engineers are continuing to fix the broken pipe and we delivered bottled water last night (Friday) and this morning (Saturday) to customers with no water who live within the area affected. 

"In the meantime, we’ve re-routed water around our network meaning that customers should see their supplies returning this afternoon.

“We know this has happened at a difficult time and we’re working hard to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”

However residents have criticised the company over its comment that bottled water has been provided to affected residents.

Loughton resident Howard Kemp told Everything Epping Forest: "Thames Water have been putting out false information for the last two days.

"They have contradicted themselves across their website, Twitter and on the phone.

"The claim of re-routed water has not been supported by any reports of residents having water."

In a Facebook post Loughton Residents Association said: "Thames Water’s failure to maintain supplies in Loughton is now even more serious than usual."

Loughton Independent town and district councillor Stephen Murray said: "As a privatised utility company Thames Water seem only to be answerable to their shareholders.

"Residents in Loughton have been faced with little or no water supply for several days and months of constant disruption to the local road network.

"The Valley Hill junction has been out of full operation for weeks causing massive traffic flows through very narrow, residential, congested and therefore totally unsuitable roads.

"To make matters worse no actual work had been carried out at this major junction for days (there might be a good reason for this but at the very least a major utility company and or Essex County Council should be providing us with an explanation)."

Everything Epping Forest has asked Thames Water to comment further on the ongoing situation and state how many customers are affected.
2.47pm - December 17

Portable heater starts bedroom fire

A child was saved thanks to a smoke alarm sounding when a portable heater set lit to their bed in Loughton in the early hours.

​Firefighters ​from Loughton and Waltham Abbey ​were called to a property in ​Abbess Terrace shortly after 2am today.

​A fire service spokesman said ​a child was woken by a fire in the bed, and alerted their parents.

​Marc Lemon, ​Watch Manager at Loughton Fire Station, said: “Even on lower settings, portable heaters left too close to flammable objects or materials can catch alight.

“Fortunately fire damage was minimal and this incident had a positive outcome - nobody was injured and we were pleased to see that the property had working smoke alarms.

”As temperatures drop over winter, please be cautious when using portable heaters to heat your home. Make sure you use them on flat surfaces, at least one metre away from anything flammable, and avoid leaving them on overnight.”
3.45pm - December 5

MP and councillor cover range of topics in school's digital surgery

A wide range of topics were covered when Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing joined Year 12 and Year 13 students at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, for a digital surgery on Friday.

Her online debate with the students followed an earlier session with Loughton Residents Association councillor Judy Jennings.

The students have been involved with the digital project over the last month and on Friday the online Politics Project initiative saw students, who were in the school's Sixth Form Centre, raise a number of local and national issues with Dame Eleanor.

Topics covered ranged from COP 26, gay marriage, the role of the Deputy Speaker, democratic engagement, the House of Lords and flooding and water supply issues in Loughton.

Dame Eleanor said: "It was fascinating to have a discussion with the sixth formers at Roding Valley.  

"They are very knowledgeable about political ideas and principles and I was impressed by the quality of their questions and their understanding of the issues.

"I have always considered it very important to encourage young people to take an active interest in politics and public affairs so I am delighted at how well this engagement programme is working."

Matt Cocker, Head of Humanities at Roding Valley High School, said: "I would like to thank Dame Eleanor Laing and councillor Judy Jennings for being so generous with their time and for giving such depth and clarity in their answers.

"My thanks also go to the Politics Project for organising such brilliant speakers.

"I look forward to working with Dame Eleanor, councillor Jennings and the Politics Project again in the future."
2.56pm - December 2

Man convicted over double fatal road crash

A man will be sentenced next month after being convicted over the death of two people in a road crash near Loughton more than two years ago.

Two teenagers who were passengers in the BMW have been left with life-changing injuries.

Whilst on routine patrol in the early hours of Saturday, August 24, 2019, police officers discovered a silver BMW M3 that Kane Faulkner-Wild had been driving which had left the road and hit a tree in Goldings Hill, just off the Wake Arms roundabout.

Front seat passenger Sophia Khan, 16, and 21-year-old Max Halcrow, both from Loughton, were both fatally injured.

Upon impact, a 16-year-old girl, sitting in the rear, was thrown from the car.

The passenger sitting behind the driver’s seat – a 17-year-old girl - was trapped.

Both were taken to a London hospital after sustaining life-changing injuries.

Faulkner-Wild was found walking away from the driver’s door, with only minor injuries. 

He denied driving the vehicle after a night out drinking.

Following a thorough and sensitive investigation by Serious Collision Investigation Unit, Faulkner-Wild, of St Johns Road, Epping, was charged with a number of offences.  

He denied all charges when he appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on December 12 last year.  

During his trial at Chelmsford Crown Court the jury heard how investigating officers calculated the car was travelling far in excess of the 40mph speed limit when it crashed and that Faulkner-Wild’s blood alcohol level showed he was above the drink driving limit.

Yesterday (December 1), the jury found Kane Faulkner-Wild, now aged 23, guilty of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He is due to be sentenced next month.

Detective Sergeant Sam Nason said: “The deaths of Sophia Khan and Max Halcrow were tragic and completely preventable. Two other young people were left with serious life-changing injuries.  

“Kane Faulkner-Wild should not have got behind the wheel that night after he knew that he had been drinking and wasn’t safe to do so.

“Despite denying his involvement in causing the collision, the jury heard that our investigation proved he was the driver and fully responsible.

“Two families will now live with the knowledge that their daughter and son were taken too soon.”

The result of the trial came on the same day that Essex Police launched its Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign.

Speaking at the start of the campaign, Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing, said: “Alcohol and driving doesn’t mix.

“The consequences of drink driving can be life-changing – it could lead to you losing your licence, your career, your home. Or worse, it could cost you or someone else their life.

“It won’t just affect you; it will affect your partner, your parents and your children.  

“Imagine the face of your child on Christmas morning as they open their present, but you’re not there. 

“Your presence means the world to them, why wouldn’t you want to be there for them?” 
2.11pm - November 30

Debden Park High School former students help Oxbridge applicants

As 12 Debden Park High School sixth formers prepare for their university interviews for applications to Oxford, Cambridge, veterinary and medicine, the school welcomed back two former Executive Head Boys to share their insights on the interview and application process. 

Kai Melhuish, now in his 3rd Year reading History at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Max Bolton, who has begun reading PPE this year at University College, Oxford, led two discussions on how they had prepared for and found their experiences of undergoing interviews for the very competitive places on their respective courses. 

Max said: "It was fantastic to have the chance to give back to Debden Park students after all the help I received while applying last year.

"In what can be a stressful process, it’s rewarding to think they can now feel more confident in progressing to the next stage."

The Year 13 students, many of whom have already sat admissions assessments for courses that range from Computer Science to Classics, are in the process of preparing for their admissions interviews that begin next week. 

Alongside the Q&As, applicants will be undergoing a series of practice interviews with subject experts to give them a chance to experience a taste of the gruelling nature of the Oxbridge interview process. 

Joe Simm, Director of Sixth Form at Debden Park, said: "I am constantly in awe of the hard work and dedication our students put into their studies and their UCAS applications. 

"This is particularly true when showcasing their knowledge and passion for their subjects at our annual mock interview practice. 

"The admissions process for these most prestigious courses is so tough and we are incredibly proud of how well they have done so far, and wish them all the very best of luck at interview and beyond.”
4.57pm - November 29

Consultation period launched over Langston Road development plans, including a 100-bedroom Travelodge

A period of public consultation over plans from Higgins Group to develop land in Langston Road, Debden, with new headquarters, the conversion of its existing offices into 57 homes, and a 100-bedroom Travelodge started today and runs until December 14.

The company is inviting the local community to view and comment on its proposals.

A public exhibition will be held at Higgins headquarters, One Langston Road, Debden, between 4pm and 8pm on Wednesday (December 1).

A spokesman said: "The public consultation will be a chance for Higgins Group to showcase the proposals and to encourage feedback from local residents, either in person at the public exhibition or via the dedicated website"

Higgins Group has been based at Langston Road for more than 15 years following a planning permission in 2004 to develop the site into office space. 

The existing Higgins headquarters was built in 2005 as part of the first phase. However the second phase was not implemented and the area which would have been Phase Two, which currently comprises the car park and landscaped space, is now earmarked for alternative development.

Earlier this year planning permission was granted to convert the existing headquarters into 57 new homes. 

The spokesman said: "This has been driven by the need for Higgins Group to have office space that better suits their current working practices.

"Higgins Group are excited to now be bringing forward proposals to redevelop the existing car park to deliver new high-quality office space, which in part will become the new HQ, alongside a new 100-bed hotel operated by Travelodge.

"This public consultation period, including the public exhibition event, is focused on gathering feedback on the proposals for new office space and a 100-bed hotel. 

"The scheme would bring with it a number of benefits, including the provision of approximately 390 jobs during the construction and operational phases, high-quality employment space on a designated employment site, new hotel accommodation on a site with excellent connectivity, measures aimed to increase biodiversity, and other sustainability measures including electric vehicle charging spaces."

The project team can also be contacted via a free phone at 0800 298 7040, or by emailing 

More information alongside a feedback form to submit can be found at
1.44pm - November 27

Man injured in road collision

A man aged in his 20s was taken to hospital with injuries described by police "neither life-threatening or life-changing" after he was in collision with a Mercedes car on Valley Hill, Loughton, at about 5.40pm on Tuesday.

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest that enquiries into the incident are continuing.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to ring police on 101 (quote  incident 887 of November 23).
2.55pm - November 26

School opens its doors for Sixth Form Open Evening and celebrates students' successes

Year 11 students at Debden Park High School, Loughton, spent a day looking ahead to their next steps in education and beyond toward their future careers. 

The day began with students arriving in formal business dress ready for a mock interview with a local employer from companies such as The Bank of England, CBRE, Engie, Hill Group, DWP, Fredereck Sage & Co Ltd and the Metropolitan Police Service. 

Feedback from the interviews was overwhelmingly positive and a great experience for the students preparing them for life after school. 
In the afternoon, Year 11 students attended the Proud Awards assembly hosted by Year 12 students and Executive Head Boy Sebastian Davies and Deputy Executive Head Girl Tilly Coughlin. 

Each subject nominated three students who have made outstanding progress and exceptional commitment to learning so far in Year 11.

Alongside these awards were superb performances from Preslava Vladimirova (piano), Cara Bohle (singing) and Zara Davies, Alice Penegar and Daisy Keane performing one of their GCSE Dance routines. 

The event also saw the announcement of the school's Student Voice Leadership Team with Zak Kern appointed Head Boy and Destiny Osagie Head Girl. 

The school ended the day with its Sixth Form Open Evening in the purpose-built building The Hive. 

More than 240 students from 16 secondary schools visited the range of subjects on offer at Key Stage 5 and could consider which subjects they want to study after their GCSEs. 
4.30pm - November 15

School pays tribute to former student fatally stabbed

A former Roding Valley High School student who was fatally stabbed has been remembered as a talented footballer and someone who "approached school life with great humour and positivity".

Kamran Khalid, 18 - who also attended Staples Road School in Loughton - was stabbed in Ilford during the recent half-term holiday.

He left Roding Valley High School two years ago.

Headteacher Sharon Jenner said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. As a mark of respect, the school has opened a book of condolence for his teachers and students who knew him."

She added: "Kamran was also a former Staples Road School student and will be remembered fondly as someone who approached school life with great humour and positivity, often entertaining his classmates and teachers with funny stories.

"He was also a talented footballer who represented the school team with pride and whose turn of speed and tricky feet were often the difference between winning and losing." 

Police were called to reports of a fight in the early hours of Thursday, October 28.

Officers attended with medics from the London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance.

Kamran was treated at the scene but despite the best efforts of the emergency services he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Two men, aged 18 and 24, have been charged with murder.
9.11am - November 13

Man bailed after arrest on suspicion of murder "released under investigation"

A 61-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a woman who died following a collision with a car in Loughton has been released from his bail under investigation.

The man answered his bail yesterday (Friday).

Karen Bailey, 53, was injured in Grosvenor Drive, near the entrance to Davenant Foundation School, shortly before 12.15am on Friday, August 20. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 61 year-old man, from Loughton, was arrested on suspicion of murder in the early hours of the same day.

A statement issued to Everything Epping Forest by Essex Police this morning (Saturday) stated: "A 61-year-old man from Loughton has been released under investigation."
12.43pm - November 9

Man assaulted and robbed in The Broadway

Police are investigating after a man was assaulted and robbed of his rucksack in Debden by three people who drove off in a vehicle which later failed to stop for officers.

Officers were told that three people had approached a man in The Broadway, at about 12.25pm yesterday (Monday) and assaulted him.

A spokesman added: "The victim had his rucksack stolen by the group who then left in a vehicle.

"Officers located the vehicle at about 3.40pm and it failed to stop for our officers.

"The occupants later decamped in Powell Drive (on the Sewardstone / Chingford border) and while officers searched the area, they could not find the people who were inside."

Anyone with any information can submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 451 of November 8).

Information can also be given to police on 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
6.57pm - November 8

Re-think call over plan for 2,300 trees on Jessel Green

Five district councillors are challenging the decision of a district council portfolio holder to approve the planting of 2,300 trees on Jessel Green in Debden - on land which had been earmarked for more than 150 homes as part of the yet-to-be-approved Local Plan.

Loughton Residents Association councillor Chris Pond is the lead councillor of the quintet of members who have 'called in' the decision of housing services portfolio holder Holly Whitbread to plant the trees after Epping Forest District Council was awarded about £65,000 in grant funding through the Forestry Commission’s Local Authorities Treescapes Fund.

A district council report published last month stated: "The proposed planting at Jessel Green aims to bring the many benefits of increased tree cover; these include an enhanced local environment, increased biodiversity, carbon storage, reduced flood risk and improved air quality."

However councillor Pond told Everything Epping Forest today that  Jessel Green has been an open space since about 1850, and was historically the area's 'horkey down' where the harvest home was celebrated.

He said: "Much as we like trees and want to see more planted, we think Ms Whitbread is wrong to want to plant 2,000 on Jessel Green."

The five councillors held what Mr Pond described as a "very amicable" informal meeting over the issue last week with Mr Pond adding "they now acknowledge the 2,000 should be spread around a bit".

A further meeting is planned for early December.

Mr Pond added: "2,300 trees on ten acres is just too dense and would change the character of the place, which of course only three years ago Epping Forest District Council were trying to plant with houses and flats rather than trees!"

Jessel Green was earmarked for more than 150 homes in the original Epping Forest District Council Local Plan proposals but Local Plan inspector Louise Philiips ordered that the area should be removed from the document.

Councillor Whitbread has been approached for her reaction to the call-in.
2.11pm - November 8

Bomb disposal team called to "unexploded ordnance"

A bomb disposal team has been called to a property in Loughton following the discovery of "a piece of unexploded ordnance".

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "We were called to reports of a piece of unexploded ordnance found at an address in Woodland Road, Loughton at about 10.30am today (Monday).

"Military explosive experts have been called and will make the item safe."

An eyewitness has told Everything Epping Forest a bomb disposal unit vehicle was seen in The Drive, and returned about 20 minutes later.
1.09pm - November 5

Town council receives playground awards

The Traps Hill playground in Loughton has been named outright winner of Essex Playing Fields Association's award for children's playgrounds.

Loughton Town Council has also received a gold certificate in Class 1 (playing fields serving communities of more than 2,500 residents) for the Roding Valley recreation ground, and a merit certificate in Class 3 (children’s playgrounds) for the Westall Road playground.

The Traps Hill playground was judged outright winner from some 120 entrants.

The town council has thanked its various play industry contractors and inspectors, its park warden team, Epping Forest District Council's grounds maintenance team and all the volunteers who undertake daily litter picking at the Roding Valley recreation ground.
8.18am - November 5

Tree planted in memory of Harley

A tree in memory of Debden Park High School student Harley Watson who died after he was among a group of students hit by a car outside the school almost two years ago has been planted on the Roding Valley recreation ground in Loughton.

The Autumn Blaze Maple has been planted by the lake with Harley's mother, Jo Wood, saying it "represents love, a lasting symbol of life and positivity, fond memories Harley shared with loved ones, walks with his parents and little sister and bike rides with friends".

Jo added: "As we approach December, some people within the community may wish to lay flowers outside Debden School as done previously. 

"If you wish to do so, may I encourage you to visit Harley’s tree. 

"The tree is set within the most beautiful grounds of our community with wildlife and a picturesque backdrop of a lake. 

"Also it’s a great location to take your children, feed the ducks, ride a bike or just enjoy being with your loved ones, as Harley did." 

You can find the exact location of the tree
3.57pm - October 31

Armed raider escapes with four-figure sum of cash

A balaclava-clad man armed with a "large knife" got away with a four-figure sum of cash when he targeted a business in Loughton High Road.

Police are appealing for information following the robbery which happened at Tooth Clubs Dentist on Friday afternoon (October 29)

A police spokesman said: "It was reported a man wearing a balaclava and carrying what has been described as a ‘large knife’ went to Tooth Clubs Dentist Card at around 5.05pm.

"The man is reported to have demanded cash before making off with a four figure sum of cash."

Anyone with any information can submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote the crime reference number 42/247865/21).

Information can also be given by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
6.59pm - October 19

Boots Opticians Loughton receives Customer Care award

Boots Opticians Loughton has received another award - this time recognising its
community support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The High Road branch's Customer Care award is the latest in a series of accolades awarded by Boots Opticians.

Store manager Bonnie Bristow said: "It has been an honour and pleasure to help and support our patients through the most difficult times.

"We have worked tirelessly throughout the last 19 months assisting our patients with their eye care needs and feel very humbled and honoured to receive this award."

Four years ago the branch, which opened in February 2013, received a national
Practice of the Year finalist award and a national finalist award in the Boots Opticians Corporate Social Responsibility award.

The latter award recognised the work the branch does in conjunction with the
National Literacy Trust through a reading scheme which focuses on children's eye

In 2014 the practice was a regional winner in the Practice of the Year awards and in 2015 received a national Customer Care finalist award.
12.22pm - October 4

More than 2,000 trees to be planted on Jessel Green

Some 2,300 trees are to be planted on Jessel Green in Debden after Epping Forest District Council was awarded about £65,000 in grant funding through the Forestry Commission’s Local Authorities Treescapes Fund.

A council report states: "The proposed planting at Jessel Green aims to bring the many benefits of increased tree cover; these include an enhanced local environment, increased biodiversity, carbon storage, reduced flood risk and improved air quality."

A proposed planting design will go out for public consultation shortly so that the council can get feedback "to inform the final planting design".

Jessel Green had been earmarked for hundreds of new homes in the original Epping Forest District Council Local Plan proposals but Local Plan inspector Louise Philiips ordered that the area be removed from document.
12.20pm - October 4

Candle starts house fire

Firefighters have given safety advice after a candle caused a house fire in Alderton Way, Loughton.

Firefighters from Loughton and Waltham Abbey were called out after the resident heard the fire burning on the landing upstairs at about 9.15 last night (Sunday).

On arrival, crews reported that first floor in the house was heavily smoke-logged after a candle burning on a table had caused a fire.

The property had no working smoke alarms and firefighters fitted two smoke alarms after extinguishing the fire.

Loughton firefighters will be visiting neighbouring properties over the coming days to give candle safety advice as well as smoke alarm advice.

A fire service spokesman said: “The resident was very lucky that they were awake to hear the candle burning. If this incident had happened at night and the resident did not have working smoke alarms to alert them, this could have been a very different incident.

“We recommend you have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home and that you test them regularly.

“We also recommend you blow candles out when you need to leave the room, even if it is only for a moment. Candles aren’t dangerous if you use them safely.”
12.51pm - September 21

Police name victim

A woman who died following a collision with a car in Loughton last month has been named by police as 53-year-old Karen Bailey.

She was injured in Grosvenor Drive - near the entrance to Davenant Foundation School - shortly before 12.15am on Friday, August 20.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 61-year-old man, from Loughton, was arrested on suspicion of murder in the early hours of the same day.

He is currently on bail until November 12.
5.07pm - September 17


Cinema plan for High Road

Plans have been revealed to turn the HSBC bank branch in High Road, Loughton, into a 'boutique' 40-seater cinema.

A document submitted to Epping Forest District Council as part of a change of use planning application states the proposal is to use the premises at 191 High Road as a 'mixed-use workspace' during the day and as a cinema in the evening.

The document states that the plans "will ensure a financially viable venture that attracts visitors to the centre of Loughton during both the day and evening".

It adds: "We believe this use will complement the existing use of the first-floor occupants and overall building landlords (Lopping Hall which is a property of interest), who are fully aware of and support our proposal as our proposed use fits with their board of trustees' mission of adding value and facilities to the community of Loughton. 

"More generally we believe this will add to the diversity of the town centre and meet a growing need for the working from home community as well as adding to the town centre's evening offering by adding a boutique cinema to the existing economy of restaurants and bars."

The proposals would create ten full-time equivalent jobs.

The intention is to have a daily single film screening at 7.30pm in a "secure, soundproof venue adding to the existing evening economy of Loughton High Road". 

The applicant will also be applying for an alcohol license

The building is locally listed but the current proposals do not involve any external works and will therefore not materially impact on the external appearance of the property, the document states. 

"The proposals will, however, ensure that the heritage asset remains in active use."

The plan is to use the building as a 'casual workspace' during the day - between 8am and 6.30pm "attracting home workers looking to change their scenery for a few hours and attracting them to the high street daytime economy and attracting those further afield for meetings".

Access would be controlled with a subscription membership with a check-in desk, with access restricted when capacity is met. 

Refreshments will be available for members to purchase during their stay.

During the evening, the space will convert to a cinema set-up from 6.30pm until 11pm and will attract a maximum of 40 people for a single 7.30pm showing.

The application will be considered by Loughton Town Council before a decision is taken by Epping Forest District Council.
8.03pm - September 16

Man arrested in murder case rebailed until November

A man arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a woman who died following reports that she had been in collision with a vehicle in Grosvenor Drive, Loughton, has been rebailed until November.

The 61-year-old man, who was initially bailed until today (Thursday), has now been rebailed until November 12, a police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest this evening.

The woman, aged in her 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene - close to Davenant Foundation School - following the reported collision which happened shortly before 12.15am on Friday, August 20.
8.33pm - September 15

LOUGHTON: Driver sought after police pursuit crash

Police are hunting the driver of a car which was pursued by officers from Waltham Cross to Loughton where it crashed on Epping New Road yesterday.

It is understood that four people were in the VW Scirocco when it crashed at the end of the pursuit which involved Hertfordshire Constabulary officers who first spotted the car - which police have described as a "vehicle of interest" - in Eleanor Cross Road, Waltham Cross.

Three people were detained.

A Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "At about 4.55pm on Tuesday (September 14) police were alerted to a vehicle of interest travelling in Eleanor Cross Road, Waltham Cross.

"The vehicle was followed into Essex ground where it then failed to stop for police.

"The vehicle crashed and the occupants fled the scene.

"Three people were detained for a search but nothing was found.

"The vehicle was recovered and enquiries are continuing to trace the driver."
8.35pm - September 14

Debden Park High School holding open morning

Debden Park High School is holding a face-to-face open morning on Saturday (September 18) between 9am and 12.30pm.

Year 6 students from local primary schools have been sent a 'Golden Ticket' inviting them for a 30-minute tour accompanied by one member of their family. 

To ensure groups are not too big, parents have to ring 020 8508 2979 to book their place on one of the guided tours.

Some places are still available but are being booked up fast.  Anyone interested in attending is asked to ring the school as soon as possible. 

Headteacher Helen Gascoyne said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be able to open our doors again to welcome Year 6 students and their parents and carers into our school. 

"After the last couple of years we have held virtual events but our students and staff are so excited to be able to show off exactly what makes Debden Park such a special place.

"Open Morning is one of the best days in our school calendar and I'm confident all our visitors on Saturday will see exactly what it means to BE successful at Debden Park High School and will BE inspired by our outstanding school."
9.40am - September 9

Town council objects to Ginger Pig outdoor seating plan

An application by The Ginger Pig butchers shop in High Road, Loughton, for a pavement licence which would allow it to have tables and chairs outside is being opposed by Loughton Town Council.

The planning and licensing committee has objected to Epping Forest District Council saying "it is already far too congested outside this shop with customers queuing on what is an extremely busy corner".

The committee adds: "Patrons constantly pull up in their vehicles parking on the pavement. To add tables and chairs would exacerbate an existing hazard for the safety of pedestrians passing by."

The council has also stressed the shop is a butcher’s not a licensed café and the granting of a pavement licence "would be unfair to other licensed cafes within the High Road".
2.40pm - September 7

Primary school welcomes new zebra crossing

A new zebra crossing on Willingale Road in Debden is being welcomed by Thomas Willingale School and Nursery after years of campaigning.

Headteacher Teresa Phillips said: "Everyone at Thomas Willingale School and Nursery is celebrating having a new zebra crossing outside the school after many years of lobbying!

"A huge thank you to all the parents who helped us with our campaign. 

"The children now have a safe place to cross after many years without a school crossing patrol." 
9.37am - August 20

LOUGHTON: Police launch murder investigation

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a woman, aged in her 50s, in Loughton. 

Police were called to Grosvenor Drive shorty before 12.15am today (Friday) to reports a womanhad been in collision with a vehicle.

An area of the road has been cordoned off while investigations continue.

A 61 year-old man, from Loughton, was arrested in the early hours of this morning on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Scott Egerton, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “I know this will be a concerning incident for people living in and around this part of Loughton but we do not believe there is a wider risk to the public.

“We are making enquiries to establish the circumstances around this incident but at this stage we believe all those involved know each other and we’re not looking for anyone else.

“There is likely to be a police presence in the area for much of today while we investigate.

“I need anyone who saw anything, has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to contact us.”

If you have any information ring police on 101 quoting incident 13 of 20 August or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
2.37pm - August 12

Debden Park High School students praised for "impressive results"

Debden Park High School has again produced outstanding GCSE results with 72 per cent of students achieving a Grade 4 or above in both English and Maths, and 50 per cent of students achieving a Grade 5 or above in both English and Maths. 

A total of 50 per cent of grades in science were at a grade 5 or above. 

A quarter of all grades in English or Maths were at grade 7 or above.

Almost a third of all grades across all subjects were awarded at Grade 7 or above. 

In total, across all subjects 87 entries were awarded the highest possible grade 9.

Head of School Helen Gascoyne said: "Our teachers have worked incredibly hard to ensure that no student loses out as a result of the pandemic. 

"We are thrilled that our consistent focus on learning throughout the school has proved yet again to enable students to achieve such impressive results despite the challenges we have all faced over the last 18 months. 

"Our students have gone above and beyond in their work and have demonstrated such outstanding resilience and drive to achieve that we are incredibly proud of them.”

Executive Head Christian Cavanagh said: "In this exceptional year Debden Park High School has again proved its place as a centre of excellence. 

"We are delighted with our GCSE results, following our impressive A-Level results earlier this week. 

"All of these results reflect the academic success of this Outstanding school. 

"We would like to thank all of our students, staff, governors and parents for their continued support and hard work as we build on our incredible successes this year.”

A record number of students have applied for the Sixth Form at Debden Park following their fantastic results at GCSE. 

A third of the 2021 A-Level cohort have been accepted onto courses at Russell Group Universities or other top 20 universities including three students heading to Oxbridge.

Some Debden Park High students with particularly impressive results are:

* Hollie Hutchinson who achieved 7 Grade 9s, in English Literature, Maths, Combined Science (x2), History, Drama and Dance, and Grade 8s in English Language and Spanish

* Jack Hillyer achieved 6 Grade 9s, in Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Drama, and Grade 8s in English and Spanish

* Daniel McLaughlin achieved 7 Grade 9s, in Maths, English Language, English Literature, Combined Science (x2), Computer Science and Resistant Materials, one grade 8 and one grade 7.

* Natalie Cockram achieved 5 Grade 9s, in Maths, Music, Biology, Chemistry, Dance, and three grade 8s and a grade 7.

Debden Park High School is very proud of its outstanding achievements at GCSE and A-Level and indeed of the school itself and would like to invite prospective parents and students to its Open Morning on Saturday, September 18 (9am to noon).

More details will be released via the school's website nearer the time.
2.30pm - August 12

Roding Valley High School GCSE students "should be incredibly proud"

For results day pictures CLICK HERE

Roding Valley High School is celebrating the fantastic achievement of its Year 11 students.

Headteacher Sharon Jenner said: "They should all be incredibly proud of their achievements in their GCSE and vocational qualifications this summer.

"The incredible levels of resilience and work ethic that they have shown has been quite outstanding. 

"The school is proud of every single student and their individual success."

Particularly outstanding performances were achieved by:

Zak Smith - 9 Grade 9s
Gurdeep Wahiwala - 7 Grade 9s, 1 Grade 8 and 1 Grade 7
RuoXi He - 6 Grade 9s, 4 Grade 8s
Daniel Mehr - 6 Grade 9s, 2 Grade 8s, 1 Grade 6
Lily Saunders - 6 Grade 9s, 1 Grade 8, 2 Grade 7s
Amelia Martin - 5 Grade 9s, 3 Grade 8s, 1 Grade 7
Maame Duah - 5 Grade 9s, 3 Grade 8s, 1 Grade 6
Zeynep Yilmaz - 4 Grade 9s, 3 Grade 8s, 2 Grade 7s, 1 Grade 6
Ethan Harvey - 4 Grade 9s, 5 Grade 8s
Erin Weeks - 4 Grade 9s, 5 Grade 8s.

This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher-assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards. 

The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.

Headteacher Sharon Jenner said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of all of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year. 

"Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto the next step in their education journey whether that is joining the sixth form or college, or starting an apprenticeship. 

"We were delighted to see so many happy faces this morning and to welcome record numbers into our sixth form. 

"The results of the cohort are outstanding and representative of the talented and committed students that we have at Roding Valley High School. We look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.”

Enrollment to the sixth form is also open tomorrow on site from 10am until 1pm.

Any other enquiries can be emailed to
6.54pm - August 10

Davenant Foundation School celebrates "excellent" results after "very challenging year"

Davenant Foundation School headteacher Adam Thorne has congratulated exam students on the results achieved "despite a very challenging year".

He said: "There are so many success stories highlighting how hard the students have worked and this is reflected in the high number of university and apprenticeship places secured."

Among the top achievers are Martin Carner, Lauren Rutherford and Pawel Makes who all achieved 4 A*s and Finlay Jordon who with his 4A*s is off to study at Oxford.  

Che Zucconi has secured a much sought after apprenticeship at Morgan Stanley.

Mr Thorne said: "This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher-assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards. 

"The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic."

He added: "We are immensely proud of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.

"They have completed their A-Levels and should be very proud with how they have embraced this year’s challenges and what they have subsequently achieved. 

"The teachers have worked tirelessly supporting students to ensure they are able to achieve the best they can, and I know both students and parents have appreciated that.  

"We look forward to hearing about their success at their universities, in their apprenticeships and in the workplace.“
6.47pm - August 10

Debden Park High School "delighted" with exam results

Debden Park School Sixth Form has yet again produced another set of outstanding A-Level results.

Thirty-five per cent of grades were A* and A, 60 per cent were A*-B and 86 per cent of students attained A* to C grades.

Headteacher Helen Gascoyne said: "We are delighted with the excellent achievement of our students. Despite the disruption of the last 18 months, our students have been rewarded for all the hard work they put in.

"An incredible 90 per cent of our students have been accepted into their first choice University with many going on to pursue their dreams at some of the best universities in the world. 

"We are pleased that the exam boards recognised the rigour with which our teachers approached these assessments, with no grades being changed.”

Three Year 13 students are going on to study at Oxbridge in October.
Executive Headboy Max Bolton will be going to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford. 

Ashwin Gohil has been offered a place to read History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Anil Chatterjee has been offered a place to read Human, Social and Political Science at Lady Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Max Bolton said: "I am delighted to be going to read PPE at Oxford. I’ve had a fantastic seven years at Debden Park and am so grateful for all the support they have given me to help me over the last few years and couldn’t have done it without them.”

Ashwin said: "I’m thrilled that the hard work has paid off and I was to achieve my dream of studying the world’s best university. I also want to thank all the members of staff who helped make this possible and to my family and friends for their continued belief in me.”

A third of students are going on to study at either Russell Group or other Top 20 universities in the country including Exeter, York, Warwick, Manchester and Bristol to study an incredibly diverse range of courses including Engineering, Geography, Mathematics and Computer Science.

The school has a number of students who have taken offers of degree apprenticeships with some very prestigious employers such as IBM, Hill Construction and Jaguar Land Rover.

Tegan Crosby-Smith, who joined Debden Park for Sixth Form from King Harold Academy in Waltham Abbey, is off to study Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University said: “I can’t believe I’ve got in to study Medicine.

"I have had such an incredible time since joining Debden Park in Year 12, the support I’ve had from the teachers has been great and I am delighted to be able to go and follow my passion to become a doctor over the next few years."
2.25pm - August 10

Roding Valley High School "incredibly proud" of exam students

For results
day pictures CLICK HERE

Students at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, have been praised for their "resilience and work ethic" as they received their exam results today.

Headteacher Sharon Jenner said: "Roding Valley High School is incredibly proud of all of its Year 13 students. They should all be incredibly proud of their achievements in their A-Levels and vocational qualifications this summer.

"The resilience and work ethic that they have shown has been quite outstanding."

Among the top achievers are:

Florence New A*A*A*A* - Politics at University of Exeter

Saskia Cushings - A*A*A*A* - Economics & Finance at University of Manchester

Sarah Bagshaw - A*A*A*A - Environmental Geography at University of York

Billy Roberts - A*A*A* - Physics at Imperial College London

Ruby Moody - A*A*A* - Psychology at University of Exeter

Eren Tyler - A*A*A* - Veterinary Medicine and Science at University of Surrey

Leighton Brooks - A*A*A* - Cyber Security at University of West London

Patsy Stow - A*A*A* aspiring to study Art at a top university in the future

Rosie Stone - A*A*A* - Marine Biology at Newcastle University

James Rose - D*D*A - Football Business and MArketing at UCFB

Hannah Green - A*A*AA - BioMedical Sciences at University of Manchester

Livvy Turnball - A*A*AA - exploring opportunities

Phoebe Belton - A*A*AB - Psychology at Queen Mary, University of London

Keilan Long - A*AA - Physics at University of Leeds

Berfin Belut - A*AAB - Mathematics at King's College London, University of London

Beth Kelly - D*AA - English at University of York

Ella Margetts - A*AA - Sponsored Degree with Sales Force, Tech Solutions Consultant

Nick Norman - AAB and Ellie Blundy ABB - Degree Apprenticeships with Hill.

This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher-assessed grades against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards. 

The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or
colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.

Headteacher Sharon Jenner said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and
achievements of all of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year. 

"Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education or enter the world of work, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future. 

"Our supportive sixth form is now oversubscribed and outstanding achievement at the highest level is embedded in our practice.”
2.30pm - August 6

Man charged over stabbing

A man has been charged in connection with a stabbing in Loughton.

Police say a man was assaulted following an altercation involving two vehicles at the junction of Langston Road and Chigwell Lane at about 7.25pm on Wednesday (August 4).

Both vehicles left the area but the victim managed to get to Church Hill.

He was taken to hospital. His condition is no longer being described as life-threatening.

Junior Lawrence, 22, of New North Road, Ilford, has now been charged with GBH with intent and possession of a bladed article in a public place.

He is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today (Friday).

A 19 year-old woman, from Romford, has been released on bail until August 26.
10.05pm - August 4


Shopper describes how he went to aid of stabbing victim

A shopper has described how he rushed to help a man who managed to get to the Sainsbury Local store in Loughton after he had been stabbed, and wrapped his wounds in nappies he grabbed from a shelf in the supermarket.

The victim was stabbed during what police describe as an "altercation" involving a white van and a red Ford Fiesta at the Langston Road-Chigwell Lane junction shortly after 7.25pm tonight.

The victim managed to drive to the Sainsbury's Local store on Church Hill where he raised the alarm.

Jamie Witchell, who was in the shop when the man ran in, told Everything Epping Forest: "He ran in, shouted 'I beg you call an ambulance, don't be scared'.

"He had a bad wound on his wrist and a slash on his torso.I grabbed a pack of nappies and wrapped them around his wounds. There was blood everywhere.

"The staff were great. The manager helped, called the ambulance and grabbed the first aid box. One other member of the public helped."

Jamie said the victim ran back outside after he shouted for help.

"I made him sit down and raise his arm. I wrapped it up and then another guy came over to help. The man was coherent and was talking in the ambulance. Fingers crossed for him."

Police have said the victim was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

9.36pm - August 4

Man in life-threatening condition after stabbing

Police say a man is in a life-threatening condition after he was stabbed in Loughton this evening.

Police have revealed that the man was stabbed in Langston Road, Debden - at the junction with Chigwell Lane - shortly after 7.25pm.

A police spokesman said the incident was reported to have followed an altercation between a white van and red Ford Fiesta.

Both vehicles left the scene and the injured man was later located in Church Hill and has been taken to hospital for treatment.

It is understood that he raised the alarm at the Sainsbury's Local store.

Everything Epping Forest has seen a video which shows a trail of blood between the store's doors and the till area.

A man and a woman have since been arrested on suspicion of GBH and are currently in custody.

A police spokesman said: "The junction of Langston Road and Chigwell Lane is a busy one and we believe there will be people who saw what happened or have dash cam footage of it."

Anyone with any information can submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 1136 of August 4).

Information can also be given via 101 and Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
3.16pm - July 29

Man suffers head injury in assault

Police are appealing for information after a man reported that he was assaulted as he stood at the front of the Cottage Loaf pub, near Jessel Green, Debden.

The 35-year-old victim sustained a head injury when he was punched to the face at about 11pm on Sunday, July 11. 

Police say the suspect left the scene soon after.

Details of the incident have only been released by police today.

He is described as white, about 5ft 7ins tall and aged in his mid-20s. He had dark blond curtain-style hair with piercing light blue eyes.

Anyone who was at the Cottage Loaf pub that evening and saw the incident or has information that might help officers is asked to ring 101 and ask for PC 1397 Arnold at Loughton Police Station.

Information can also be given via quoting crime reference 42/136401/21, or by ringing Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
6.37pm - July 19

Two former Davenant Foundation School students in Team GB at Olympics

Two former Davenant Foundation School students will be going for gold when they represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics.

Daniel Rowden left the Loughton school in 2016. He had held the 800m record for every school year group, running 1min 52secs in 2014 which is national standard at that age group.

However his Year 7 record was finally broken at sports day on Monday.

Daniel was head boy and is currently studying engineering at Imperial.

Reece Prescod holds the 100m and 200m record for Year 9 in 2010. Reece, who left Davenant in 2012, was outstanding in PE gaining 100 per cent in his assessments.

Daniel will be competing in the 800m in Japan while Reece will be running in the 100m.

Headteacher Adam Thorne said: "We are very proud that two of our past students are representing Team GB in the Olympics.

"They were both outstanding athletes during their time at school and we wish them all the best."
2.30pm - July 14

Former Special Constable found to have committed gross misconduct

A former Loughton-based Special Constable who claimed expenses for duties he did not complete has been found to have committed gross misconduct.

Paul Cowup was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for honesty and integrity, and discreditable conduct.

A misconduct hearing was held at Essex Police Headquarters yesterday (Tuesday), chaired by Chief Constable BJ Harrington.

Mr Cowup had claimed for duty allowances and mileage on eight occasions between July 2019 and August 2020. The total amounted to £126.38.

However it was found he had not carried out the shifts for which he had claimed the expenses.

The hearing was told Mr Cowup admitted to claiming the money, citing a lack of confidence in his ability to do his role as a Special Constable rather than for monetary gain.

The chair concluded the matters amounted to gross misconduct and the former Special Constable would have been dismissed, had he not already resigned.

He will be placed on the College of Policing Barred List.

Chief Constable Harrington said: “I have considered the personal circumstances of the officer in this case and that he has fully admitted his actions.

“While I recognise that the job of a Special Constable is a challenging one, there are high standards of behaviour that all of us as officers and staff have to adhere to and there can be no justification for the dishonesty shown in this case.

"It undermines the trust and confidence of those we protect and serve.“

His actions do not reflect the hard work of our volunteer police officers, nor the wider Essex Police force.

“Essex has the second largest Special Constabulary in the country, who give up their time to keep the county’s residents safe, and I’m really proud of their dedication and commitment.”

Essex Police offers extensive training and support for all its officers, staff and volunteers, and line managers have regular one-to-one meetings with members of their team to ensure they are receiving the help they need.

Essex Police also has numerous support networks and mentoring and coaching schemes which provide peer support to support people with building their confidence.

Essex Police also has extensive health and wellbeing services to provide extra support.
2.09pm - June 15

Memorial tree to remember Harley

A memorial tree, with a plaque, is to be planted in the Roding Valley recreation ground in Loughton in memory of Debden Park High School student Harley Watson died following a hit-and-run crash outside the school in Willingale Road in December 2019.

Loughton Town Council has agreed to the request to commemorate the life of 12-year-old Harley. 

The town council will fund the planting. 
4.10pm - June 5

MP cuts ribbon to open Chigwell Window Centre's new Loughton showroom

A fourth showroom for Chigwell Window Centre has been officially opened in Loughton.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing was invited to perform the ribbon cutting at the High Road branch today (Saturday).

The company opened its first showroom in Collier Row in March 2016. 

A second showroom was opened in Billericay in August 2017 while in 2019 Chigwell Window Centre opened a showroom in Manchester. 

Dame Eleanor said: "I was delighted to be invited to officially open Chigwell Window Centre's new showroom in Loughton High Road. 

"The past year has been extremely difficult for businesses and our local economy and so it is extremely heartening to see a local company able to expand during these difficult and uncertain times."

Chigwell Window Centre, part of the Chigwell Group of companies manufacture, can supply and install a wide range of high quality home improvement products to trade and residential customers. 

With a manufacturing capacity of 200 products a week, Chigwell Window Centre has its own state-of-the-art factories in Essex where it can custom-design its high-performance double glazing products to meet each individual project. 

All its products are manufactured in-house in one of the company's four factories in Hainault.
6.30pm - June 4

DEBDEN: Facelift ideas for The Broadway revealed

Ideas to regenerate The Broadway in Debden have been revealed with a number of so-called 'quick wins' and longer-term ideas such as turning the area into a "cafe culture" area with street trading and markets.

Various ideas are included in a consultant's report which will go before district councillors next week.

The report states: "Unusually, The Broadway is home to a bank and also has a new post office on its way.

"It has wide, attractive boulevard pavements which could lend themselves nicely to a café culture, street trading and markets.

"If done properly The Broadway could become a real destination for locals and visitors alike."

The report adds: "The Broadway is a striking development and an example of 1950s architecture at its best and something that should be cherished and maintained."

The report acknowledges the impact the nearby Epping Forest Shopping Park in Langston Road has had on The Broadway stating: "It was originally meant to be fashion-led has become very much mixed use, with only three of the 12 outlets being fashion based and the remainder including a supermarket, greeting cards shop, pet shop, interiors shop, coffee shop and bakers.

"Having said that, The Broadway is fairly well tenanted with only 4% of the shops being physically empty - well under half of the national average. 

"Speaking to the landlord it would appear that the empty shops are actually under offer and/or awaiting fit out - which would mean that, remarkably in the current climate and in comparison to high streets up and down the country, The Broadway is 100% tenanted. 

"We now therefore need to establish that The Broadway is meeting the needs and requirements of its customer base and take steps to increase footfall.

"It is felt that The Broadway has a great deal of potential to be made a much more attractive space and appeal to a wider and increasingly larger percentage of both visitors and residents."

The suggested 'quick wins' include regular sweeping and cleaning and emptying of litter bins on The Broadway, regular rubbish clearance, repairs or replacement of bollards and broken paving, a cheaper parking tariff to encourage shoppers, and the resurfacing of the central reservation with "substantial" planters, in size and strength, sited at regular intervals along The Broadway to deter vehicles from mounting the central reservation and to add greenery and colour to enhance the streetscape.

The report states work should be undertaken to attract new businesses and brands while "thought could also be given to holding an empty unit for short-term rental for pop-up shops, start-up ventures, new/irregular non-high street retailers to test the water for their market and for more experiential and art-based activities including exhibitions, shows and demonstrations". 

A shuttle bus / park and ride service between The Broadway and Epping Forest Shopping Park potentially linked with the demand responsive transport work currently being undertaken across the district is another suggestion.

A similar list of 'quick wins' has been drawn up for Loughton High Road and Buckhurst Hill (Queens Road and Station Way).
8.16am - June 4

EPPING / LOUGHTON: Former Arsenal goalkeeper dies aged 51

Former Arsenal, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Alan Miller - who was born in Epping and went to school in Loughton - has died at the age of 51.

Loughton Roding Independent councillor Stephen Murray said: "I remember Alan well as a Loughton school pupil in the early 1980s. He attended Epping Forest High School in Borders Lane (an amalgamation of the two Lucton schools). 

"He was a lovely lad and I have over the years followed his career in football with interest. 
"His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers."

He made five appearances for Arsenal and was an unused substitute as the Gunners won the FA and League Cup double in 1993, as well as the European Cup Winners' Cup a year later.

He also had loan spells with Huddersfield Town, Grimsby Town, Bristol City, Coventry City and St Johnstone.   

Former Arsenal team-mate Lee Dixon tweeted: "Devastated to hear the news that our team mate Alan Miller has passed away. He was one of life's good guys. What a man. Heart of gold. RIP my friend."
2.11pm - June 2


Council hopes to persuade Met not to reopen High Beach air base saying "there are other options in and around London"

Epping Forest District Council has told Everything Epping Forest it "will do all we can" to try and persuade the Metropolitan Police Service not to reopen its air support unit site at High Beach.

The council has told Everything Epping Forest "there are other options in and around London that could have a far less detrimental impact on residents and the local environment" than reopening its air base in Epping Forest".

The council has issued a full statement to Everything Epping Forest following yesterday's exclusive report that confirmed police helicopters are to return to Lippitts Hill.

A National Police Air Service email seen by Everything Epping Forest confirmed helicopters "will most certainly" return in "late August or early September".

Residents living near the site, which closed a couple of years ago when the Met's air service transferred to the National Police Air Service, are opposed to the return of the Met's air support team while Epping residents have welcomed news saying it will reduce the number of  helicopter movements over the town to and from the present base at North Weald Airfield.

The council says it has "explored every avenue" to challenge the move back to Lippitts Hill however with planning consent still in place for the site there appears to be nothing the council can do, at the present time, to prevent the controversial return.

Epping Forest District Council says it wants to assure residents that it opposes any return of police helicopters to Lippitts Hill.

The National Police Air Service is a joint operation providing air support to police services across the UK. 

The Metropolitan Police Service flew helicopters from the forest base from 1980 until a couple of years ago when it relocated to North Weald Airfield as part of the National Police Air Service which provides air support to police services across the UK.

NPAS currently operates two helicopters (a third non-operational aircraft is also accommodated) from new £4m facilities on North Weald Airfield.

A council spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: “Lippitts Hill had a number of drawbacks including noise nuisance to local residents and pollution in a Special Area of Conservation. 

"North Weald is an established airfield with many other aviation operators including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance as well as private companies. 

"NPAS has made a long-term commitment to flying at North Weald with significant investment in brand new facilities.

"As the owner of the airfield, Epping Forest District Council does have a commercial interest in the retention of NPAS at North Weald but our concerns are not financial. 

"We have a lease agreement which NPAS would continue to honour, and we also understand that NPAS would remain at North Weald. 

"The difficulty has arisen for operational reasons with the Metropolitan Police Service which needs to reduce response times for certain tasks and sees a return to Lippitts Hill as a solution.

"Epping Forest lies outside the control of Epping Forest District Council. It is owned and managed by the Corporation of London but the old helicopter base at Lippitts Hill belongs to the Metropolitan Police which retains historic permissions to resume flying.  

"District councillors are appealing to the Metropolitan Police to reconsider.”

The council spokesman added: “It is not for Epping Forest District Council to advise the Metropolitan Police on operational matters but there are other options in and around London that could have a far less detrimental impact on residents and the local environment.

"We don’t have the final say but we will do all we can to persuade the Metropolitan Police Service not to relocate back Lippitts Hill.”
4.45pm - June 1


Police to reopen High Beach helicopter base

* District council "explored every avenue" to challenge decision
* Return of helicopters "won't help" forest pollution issue
* Nearby residents "very unhappy" at resumption of flights
* National Police Air Service to remain on North Weald Airfield 

The Metropolitan Police Service is to reopen its air support unit site in High Beach, Everything Epping Forest can reveal. 

A senior district councillor has told Everything Epping Forest that Epping Forest District Council "explored every avenue" to try and challenge the decision but said the force has a "legal right" to resume helicopter flights at the Lippitts Hill base where the necessary planning consent remains in place despite the site having closed some years ago.

An email sent by the National Police Air Service to a High Beach resident on Tuesday, April 27, reads: "Aviation will most certainly return to Lippitts Hill late August or early September.

"NPAS is the operator of police air support for England and Wales and whilst it is a collaboration of all the English and Welsh police services there is a ‘customer / client’ type of relationship that exists whereby NPAS is required to meet the demands of the customer.

"The customer in this case is the Metropolitan Police Service and they have requested air support for London be returned to Lippitts Hill to meet response times to the ever changing needs and security issues affecting the capital."

It is unclear what implications, if any, there will be for the council's Interim Air Pollution Mitigation Strategy and the possibility of a Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

The council hopes a CAZ will not need to be introduced but if a Clean Air Zone is implemented it could see charges to drive on some roads through Epping Forest. 

Loughton Residents' Association councillor Chris Pond, who led a group of five non-majority group councillors who called for an extraordinary council meeting in February to discuss the pollution strategy, said the return of helicopters to High Beach "won't help" pollution in the forest.

The air support unit was established at Lippitts Hill in 1980, but the site was closed with the transfer of the Met's air support resources to the National Police Air Service which opened a purpose-built £4m base on North Weald Airfield two years ago.

The reopening of the High Beach site - which Everything Epping Forest understands has recently undergone refurbishment work - is being opposed by local residents who have expressed concern over potential noise and fumes, flight paths and other issues including the increase in traffic on local roads. They add that they believe the helicopters should continue to be based at North Weald.

Resident Carol Moya told Everything Epping Forest: "The structural plan of High Beach has changed considerably over the last three years, since the helicopters moved away, and some new housing has been built directly under one of the flight paths."

Another National Police Air Service email, sent last Tuesday (May 25) and seen by Everything Epping Forest, states: "The flight paths have been discussed and confirmed. They will mirror as far as reasonably practicable that of the past."

A district council source told Everything Epping Forest: "The position for the council is that NPAS has invested in a brand new state-of-the-art facility at North Weald Airfield. Our relationship with NPAS is commercial. They have a long lease and are not leaving North Weald, as far as I know.

"The Met Police wants its old arrangement at Lippitts Hill back.

"However from an environmental perspective North Weald is obviously a better location."

Epping Forest District Council customer and corporate support services portfolio holder councillor Sam Kane told Everything Epping Forest he was "extremely surprised" when he learnt of a letter from the MPS "advising of their intention to resume operation at the Lippitts Hill base".

He added: "In my view the helicopters belong in North Weald and not in the heart of the forest. 

"The council have explored every avenue open to them to challenge the decision but it appears that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) do have the legal right to return to the base and resume their operations again.

"As things stand Epping Forest District Council have no further measures available to prevent the resumption of flights at the site. 

"MPS have not provided a confirmed date when operations will resume nor any explanation as to why they are returning to Lippitts Hill. 

"Going forward all we can do is carefully monitor activity at the site and enforce the conditions that were imposed when permission was first granted. 

"I have great sympathy with the residents affected by the MPS decision, particularly those who have moved to the area more recently and have no previous experience of the noise nuisance that will be caused by flights in and out of the site."

Epping Forest District Council planning officer Andrew Marx, in an email to councillor Kane, said he had met with colleagues in Environmental Health and spoken with the Met and its planning representative to discuss the return to High Beach.

He said: "We appreciate the concerns of the local community and I have written to the planning representative and the Met officers responsible to ask whether they will be engaging with the local residents before flights commence.

"I have suggested that they arrange periodic liaison meetings with local residents and that they inform us of a suitable channel for complaints regarding disturbance from flights directly to the Met or the base.

"However as it appears, at this point in time, that neither Planning nor Environmental Health (officers) may have any controls over the re-starting of the flights or the undertaking of flights from the site I do not consider there is much more we are able to do at this point in time.

"We will no doubt be asked to formally investigate the lawfulness (in planning terms) of the flights recommencing, but we are unable to do so until activities have actually started.

"There is an extant planning permission that allows flights by helicopters from the site, subject to conditions.

"I have asked that the Met confirms the date of actual commencement as information I have received is that they may not be starting on June 1, 2021, as previously indicated by them."

Return of helicopters to Lippitts Hill "won't help" forest pollution

The return of police helicopters to Lippitts Hill "won't help" the issue of air pollution in Epping Forest, a councillor has said.

Loughton Residents' Association councillor Chris Pond led a group of five non-majority group councillors who called for an extraordinary council meeting in February to discuss the pollution strategy.

He told Everything Epping Forest: "Of course the police in London must have access to air services for everyone's wellbeing and security but we all thought the transfer of police helicopter activities to North Weald would remove some of the noise and pollution away from the adjacent towns of Chingford and Loughton and the centre of the Special Area of Conservation. Evidently not!"

He added: "Air pollution and the delicate ecology of the forest and the proposed CAZ is already an important issue. A helicopter base in the very heart of the SAC (Special Area of Conservation) won't help matters."

The February extraordinary council meeting voted to set up a cross party advisory group to come up with initiatives not currently in the strategy to advance air quality improvements with the objective of removing the need for a CAZ (Clean Air Zone).

Residents oppose reopening - living without helicopters has been "bliss"

People living near the Lippitts Hill site say it should not reopen and that the police helicopters should remain on North Weald Airfield.

Local resident Carol Moya told Everything Epping Forest: "We are very disappointed that the council is unable to legally stop the helicopters from returning. This is due to existing permissions in place.

"The structural plan of High Beach has changed considerably over the last three years, since the helicopters moved away, and some new housing has been built directly under one of the flight paths.

"Residents are very concerned about potential damage to their mental and physical health should the helicopters return for reasons which include interrupted sleep, not being able to be heard, or being able to hear when craft land and take off abd the permanent smell of aviation fuel in the air. The particulates are comparable to diesel."

Another resident said: "Residents are very unhappy. North Weald is, after all, a registered regulated airfield and not a field in the middle of a residential area surrounded by Epping Forest."

She added: "My husband has lived in High Beach for 64 years. We have lived next door to the Camp for nearly 30 years. 

"The last two years (while the helicopters have been based at North Weald Airfield) have been bliss!  

"Our main issue is not so much the noise, but the aviation fuel fumes are not so good. It makes a nonsense of the proposed CAZ."

* Everything Epping Forest has contacted the Metropolitan Police Service and National Police Air Service for statements.
2.40pm - June 1

New Town Mayor elected

Councillor Rose Brookes has been elected as the Loughton Town Mayor for 2021-22.

She first served on Loughton Town Council from 2004 until 2012 and then rejoined the council in 2016.

Councillor Chris Pond, in his nomination, said: "Rose was a long-standing member of the council and understood the needs of the residents in Alderton, the Broadway and Roding wards. She will make a good Town Mayor with her caring approach.”

The Loughton Roding ward councillor said she was thrilled to have been elected as Mayor and felt honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve the community in such a role.

She also thanked her fellow councillors for their nomination and said she would be concentrating on the community and especially the young people and community events to help bring normality back to Loughton.

Councillors paid tribute to the work of outgoing mayor councillor Stella Murphy who, over her two years in the role, had attended 65 events and engagements and met many interesting and hard-working volunteers from charities, schools, community groups and organisations.

* Councillor Barbara Cohen was elected Deputy Town Mayor.
8.01am - June 1

Double fatal road crash; trial date set

A 22-year-old man charged over the deaths of two people in a road crash on Goldings Hill, Loughton, 22 months ago is set to stand trial in November.

Kane Faulkner-Wild, of Connaught Avenue, Chingford, was charged in August last year with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death whilst uninsured and two counts of causing death by careless driving whilst over the drink driving limit.

The charges follow a crash involving a BMW M3 car near the Wake Arms roundabout on August 24, 2019.

Former Roding Valley High School students Sophia Khan, 16, and Max Halcrow, 21, both from Loughton, were in the car that hit a tree. Both died from their injuries.

Two teenage girls were seriously injured and left with life-changing injuries.
9.03am - May 31

Witness appeal over "assault"

Police are appealing for witnesses following reports of an assault in Loughton earlier this month.

A man and a woman, both known to each other, are believed to have had a verbal altercation between Marlescroft Way and Southview Road on Saturday, May 8.

The man is described as being black with a short afro hairstyle, aged in his late teens and wearing a navy tracksuit.

The victim, a woman in her early 20s, was wearing pink pyjamas at the time of the incident.

Detectives are working to establish what occurred in the lead-up to the incident and if there were any witnesses to the assault itself.

An 18-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. He has been released on bail while police enquiries continue.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and has not yet spoken to officers, or has access to CCTV or dash cam footage which may be relevant, is asked to ring 101 and quote crime reference number 42/85579/21.

Information or footage can also be given to police online at or by using the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
1.49pm - May 27

Housing development plan for Pyrles Lane

Land off Pyrles Lane in Loughton is set to be sold by Epping Forest District Council to the wholly council-owned company Qualis Group to build a development of 33 homes.

A currently unoccupied house, valued at £415,000, would have to be bought by Qualis - and demolished - to create a new access to the former nursery site.

The scheme currently comprises 33 houses (20 two-bedroom, seven three-bedroom and six four-bedroom townhouses) with 35 car parking spaces (one per home and two visitor spaces).

The development would include 'affordable' housing with a new access from Pyrles Lane following the demolition of number 79.

A Qualis report states: "To provide a suitable access to the development (in addition to 79 Pyrles Lane) there is the need to acquire three additional portions of land from Epping Forest District Council, including a section of the rear garden to 81 Pyrles Lane."

The report, to be considered by the council's overview and scrutiny committee, adds: "Epping Forest District Council have appointed Savills to value the additional portions of land and these valuations are expected during the week commencing May 24, 2021. 

"Number 79 Pyrles Lane has already been valued at £415,000.

"With regards to 81 Pyrles Lane, this property was sold in 1982 on a long lease and Epping Forest District Council will need to negotiate with the owner for this strip of garden."

The outline proposals are to be discussed by the overview and scrutiny committee so councillors can "make any comments or observations that they would wish Cabinet to consider when a detailed acquisition proposal is put forward by Qualis".

A report to the committee states: "It is expected that any disposal would need to take place at fair market value and that Qualis will also need to apply to the council for acquisition and development finance to enable them to complete the transaction and to develop the site."

The report reveals that Qualis Group, up to the end of April, has spent £273,570 on consultant fees relating to the proposed development.

It is expected, according to Qualis, that a planning application for the site will be submitted in November.
2.13pm - May 25

Car crashes into church for second time in nine years

A car has crashed into the front of Loughton Methodist Church for the second time in less than nine years.

The latest incident happened on Sunday evening when a car apparently came down Traps Hill and across the High Road into the front of the building which is used as a cafe.

Church member Stephen Murray, writing on Facebook, said: "My clear understanding is that the car was coming down Traps Hill at speed, lost control, jumped the front wall and went through our church frontage."

A post on the church's Facebook page stated: "We are thankful that no-one was seriously injured in this incident. Please keep all those involved in your prayers. Our cafe has been moved to another part of the church and remains open."

In July 2012, a church worker was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a car went into the front of the church.
6.06pm - May 20

A man seriously injured in a collision with a silver BMW in Rangers Road, Loughton, on Sunday morning has died in hospital.
The pedestrian, a man in his 20s, was flown to hospital with life-threatening injuries but died there three days later.

3.09pm - May 16

Pedestrian suffers "life-threatening" injuries in road collision

A pedestrian has suffered "life-threatening" injuries in a collision with a car on Rangers Road, on the Chingford / Loughton / Buckhurst Hill border.

Police officers remain at the scene and are appealing for witnesses.
Officers were called shortly after 11.05am to reports that a pedestrian and silver BMW had been involved in a collision.

Officers have thanked members of the public who stopped and give first aid to the man who suffered serious injuries.

The car driver stopped at the scene.

A police spokesman said the pedestrian, a man in his 20s, has been airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Rangers Road remains closed from the junction with Epping New Road with drivers asked to seek alternative routes.

Anyone who saw the collision and has not yet spoken to officers, or anyone who was in the area and may have CCTV or dashcam prior to the incident is asked to ring police on 101 or email the Serious Collision Investigation Unit directly on
1.35pm - May 10

Town council marks 25th anniversary

Two of the original members of Loughton Town Council remain on the council which is 25 years old.

The council held its inaugural meeting on May 8, 1996.

A campaign for a local council in the 1980s also resulted in the creation of Buckhurst Hill Parish Council and Chigwell Parish Council.

Two of Loughton Town Council's founding members were re-elected last Thursday when councillor Loughton Residents Association councillor Chris Pond (Loughton St John’s ward) and Independent councillor Stephen Murray (Loughton Roding Ward) comfortably retained their seats.

The town council is involved in the provision of many local services and facilities such as allotments, Loughton Cemetery, open spaces,  Roding Valley Recreation Ground including football pitches and tennis courts, Hillyfields and Millennium Remembrance Grove, Willingale Road playing field and the Memorial Rose Garden in Roding Road.

The council also comments on local and strategic plans and the runs Kingsley Hall and Murray Hall (community centres), playgrounds and outdoor gyms and provides heritage plaques across the town, finances the town's Christmas lights, maintains the war memorials and makes small grants to local organisations as well as running community events and the annual Christmas card and Christmas window competitions.

Mr Murray said: "Perhaps one of our proudest and most important achievements is the role we (the council) played in fully supporting the community-based campaign to save Jessel Green as a public open space, in the heart of one of our town’s most built-up areas."

The town council is made up of seven wards - Alderton, Broadway, Fairmead, Forest, Roding, St John’s and St Mary’s.

Last Thursday, 21 Loughton Residents Association councillors and one Independent councillor were elected to serve on the new town council.
5.41pm - May 5

School raises £400 for National Autistic Society


Children and staff at Hereward Primary School, Loughton, wore bright - rainbow - colours to support Autism Awareness Month raising £400 for the National Autistic Society.

The Colebrook Lane school dedicated Friday to supporting the cause raising money to support families in the UK.

The school's charity co-ordinator, Janice Whitehead, said: "I was overwhelmed by the fabulous response.

"The children came to school dressed in a wonderful array of colours and a big thank you goes to our parents, staff and children for supporting our ongoing charity work."

The school supports a range of charities throughout the year.
3.02pm - May 3 

Man suffers head injuries

A man aged in his 20s suffered head injuries when he was assaulted outside the Nisa shop in Borders Lane, Loughton.

Police were called by the ambulance service shortly before 6.45pm last night.

The man required hospital treatment.

No arrests have been made and police enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information or has footage should submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Information can also be given via 101 (incident 1052 of May 2) and anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or
5.08pm - April 30

Four fire crews tackling blaze in outbuildings

Four fire crews - from Loughton, Waltham Abbey, Woodford and Epping - remain on the scene of a fire affecting three outbuildings off Englands Lane, Loughton.

Firefighters were called at 2.55pm and arrived to find three single-storey structures alight.

Crews had to establish a water supply to the remote location.
4.36pm - April 20

Christian Aid Week

Collections for Christian Aid Week in Loughton (May 10-16) will be carried out virtually this year through the JustGiving website.

The Christian Aid group has been running in Loughton for decades with collaboration between the different Christian churches.

Last year Christian Aid in Loughton raised over £5,000.

This year, donations can be made online

Christian Aid is working with villages in Kenya to help them survive the effects of climate change and become sustainable.
4.24pm - April 15

LOUGHTON: Man arrested after chase

A 20-year-old Loughton man has been released under investigation after being arrested by Epping Forest Police Community Safety Team officers following a short foot chase which ended near Greensted Road, Loughton, yesterday afternoon.

The man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled drug with intent to supply and driving without insurance. 

He was later further arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent. 

The vehicle was recovered at the scene. 
5.14pm - April 14

DEBDEN: Travellers remain on Jessel Green despite having been told this morning to leave "immediately"

A group of more than 20 traveller caravans remained on Jessel Green, Debden, this afternoon despite having been told by Epping Forest District Council this morning to leave "immediately".

Council environmental enforcement officers and police were at the open space this morning issuing a letter to the travellers.

Copies of the letter were posted around the green.

It states: "The council require you to vacate the site immediately. If you do not leave the site, the council will consider seeking a possession order for the removal of any unauthorised occupiers and request that the police consider using powers to remove trespassers.

"If you move to another site within the district the council may seek an injunction if you continue to trespass on land and/or fail to comply with the Code (The Code for Travellers in Essex)."

A district council spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "Epping Forest District Council is utilising all enforcement options available to the council to remove the travellers as soon as possible.

"This morning a possession order is being served and the council is working with legal advisors to seek the earliest possible court date to progress the eviction.

"We are also liaising with Essex Police on monitoring the situation."
6.15pm - April 13

LOUGHTON: Churches holding services of commemoration

Special services of commemoration for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh will take place at churches in Loughton on Friday (April 16).

Information on booking tickets for each service can be found on each church's website. 

St John’s, Loughton: 1.30pm, Requiem Mass; 6pm, Prayer Service.
Broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube. 

St Michael’s, Loughton: 11am, Commemoration Service

St Mary’s Loughton: 6pm, Commemoration Service
Premiered on YouTube from 9pm.
3.07pm - April 13

DEBDEN: District council liaising with police of Jessel Green travellers

Epping Forest District Council has told Everything Epping Forest it is involved in ongoing efforts with police and "other services" to ensure the removal of travellers from Jessel Green in Debden.

More than 20 vehicles started to move onto the green space yesterday afternoon.

The caravans are now parked in two areas on the green.

A district council spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "We are aware of 20-plus travellers on Jessel Green and are liaising with police and other services to regain possession of the land."
2.45pm - April 13

LOUGHTON: "Outstanding" student and young carer receives Young Citizen of the Year award

A Sixth Form student at Roding Valley High School in Loughton has received Epping Forest District Council's 'COVID-19 recognition' Young Citizen of the Year award.

Patsy Stow, 17, was nominated by the school's Sixth Form administrator, Natalie Sellears, who described Patsy as an "outstanding" student.

Patsy is a young carer for her parents but has not let her caring responsibilities - which have included cooking, shopping and collecting medication - get in the way of her 'lockdown' A-Level studies.

Her nomination stated: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, Patsy has had to be extremely resilient and mature, taking on additional adult responsibilities to make sure her parents get the best care whilst recovering from Covid and shielding. 

"Her school recognises this and praises Patsy for keeping on top of school work and making time to support others at school during the uncertain times."

Ms Sellears, in nominating Patsy, added: "Patsy enjoys school and helping others. She has helped form a support club where pupils can attend and get reassurance and support."

Patsy said: "Through GCSEs and A-Levels my parents have been ill and I've needed to take the responsibility of being a young carer for them at times. I've been helping them at home as well as having to deal with some pretty intense situations. 

"I never considered myself a young carer as I was doing what came natural to me in trying to help in the best and only ways I could."

Two years ago, Patsy was among several Roding Valley students who helped launch a 'Wellbeing Wednesday' group in school.

Patsy said: "Any student can talk about their problems and stresses, no matter how big or small, casually with one of us and we give advice and or listen. 

"The project has been a great success and it has been great to be able to help people and get such a positive reaction."

A year ago Patsy painted a mural on the wall of the meeting place.

She said: "I think mental health is something that's really important and I wanted to show there are people who can help. 

Patsy is now working on a project to convert a school courtyard into a 'mindfulness garden' and a space where students can reconnect as a school community after such a long time apart during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I've been balancing this with my A-Levels for the last year. It's been a crazy time for everyone," she said.

Patsy, who has been at the Alderton Hill school since she started secondary school seven years ago, is also working towards her gold Duke of Edinburgh award and hopes to take part in an environmental project overseas. 

Speaking about the Young Citizen of the Year award, Patsy said: "It was so unexpected and a massive surprise when I found out that I'd even been nominated.

"I don't think I ever stopped to think that what I was doing was anything different from everyone else, but it's a real honour to be recognised."
12.38pm - April 10

Take-away plan for vacant premises

A planning application has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council to turn vacant premises at 46 Pyrles Lane, Loughton, into an Indian take-away.
6.08pm - April 8

Council chief executive says London teenager's family are "in our hearts and prayers"

The chief executive of Epping Forest District Council has said the family of London teenager whose body was found in a pond in Epping Forest are "in our hearts and prayers".

Georgina Blakemore said she was speaking on behalf of councillors, council staff and local people as she expressed the "sorrow and condolences of the district" to the family of Richard Okorogheye.

She said: "It has been with great sadness that we have watched the tragedy of Richard Okorogheye’s disappearance unfold across our TV screens over the last few days. 

"We do not know what drew him from his home on the other side of London to our district but we have watched with foreboding as the search progressed.

"As a council, we work closely with our colleagues in Essex Police and also know the distress they will have felt at such a tragic outcome.

"Were it not for the pre-election rules which forbid the council from issuing statements directly from our councillors during this time, I know that all of our councillors and colleagues would want to express their sorrow and condolences to the family and friends of Richard.

"You are in our hearts and prayers."
8.47pm - April 7

Body found in pond is that of missing student

Police have said that the body found in a pond off Epping New Road on Monday afternoon has been formally identified as that of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye.
Detectives say his death is being treated as "unexplained".

A statement added: "Police do not believe, at this stage, that there was any third-party involvement. 

"A forensic post mortem took place on Wednesday, April 7. The cause of death is pending whilst further investigations are carried out, however it found no evidence of physical trauma or assault."

His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

Richard went missing from his home in Ladbroke Grove, west London, on Monday, March 22, and was reported missing on Wednesday, March 24.

The statement, issued by the Metropolitan Police Service tonight, adds: "As a matter of routine, as Richard had been reported missing prior to the discovery of his body, a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct."

Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling, Head of the Met’s Central West Public Protection Unit, said: “My deepest sympathies go out to Richard’s family at this incredibly difficult time.

"This was not the outcome that any of us had hoped for and we will ensure that his grieving family are well supported by specially trained officers.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the many officers, staff and members of the public who have each played a part in the extensive effort to locate Richard.”

The investigation into the circumstances of Richard’s death is ongoing.

Specialist search teams remain in parts of Epping Forest, Loughton, as they continue to carry out further searches as part of the investigation.
6.52pm - April 6

Body found in pond yet to be formally identified

The police officer leading the investigation into missing teenager Richard Okorogheye has said forensic, medical and specialist enquiries are ongoing following the discovery of a man's body in Epping Forest yesterday.

Police remain at the scene - at Wake Valley Pond off Epping New Road - this evening.

Superintendent Danny Gosling, reading a statement at New Scotland Yard this afternoon, said Richard's family have been updated on the situation with specially trained officers continuing to support them.

Formal identification of the body is yet to take place with a post mortem to take place "in due course".

He said: "This is an extensive enquiry and we are working tirelessly to establish the full circumstances. The forensic, medical and specialist enquiries are ongoing. As part of our investigation we remain in the area to carry out further searches.

"I would like to thank the public for supporting our search for Richard, sharing appeals, checking doorbell and dash cam footage and passing on any information. I continue to urge anyone with information to come forward.

"Lastly, I’d like to sincerely thank the public’s support and patience whilst we continue with our enquiries. I understand there are a number of questions and we are doing all we can to answer them."
8.28pm - April 5

Body found in forest pond off Epping New Road

David Jackman reports...

The discovery of a man's body was made in a pond between the Wake Arms and Robin Hood roundabouts, off Epping New Road.

Numerous police vehicles, including Essex Police forensics units, were parked on the roadside with a large section of the forest secured with blue and white police tape.

Several police officers could be seen apparently standing guard alongside the tape which bordered the pond.

Everything Epping Forest also saw two police officers kneeling at the water's edge.

Several police vehicles were parked in a forest car park further along Epping New Road, closer to the Wake Arms roundabout, with members of the public prevented from driving into the car park by City of London Corporation Forest Constables.

The pond is about two miles from Smarts Lane in Loughton where Richard Okorogheye was captured on CCTV as he got out of a taxi in the early hours of Tuesday, March 23.

He was last seen walking towards Nursery Road and Epping Forest.

The search operation in Epping Forest, involving police and volunteer search and
rescue teams, was in its sixth day having started in the Earls Path and Nursery Road area last Wednesday.

* Everything Epping Forest was alerted to today's significant police presence shortly after 3pm.
1.12pm - April 3

Volunteers scour forest land off Earls Path

London Search and Rescue volunteers have been in Epping Forest, off Earl's Path in Loughton, this morning as the search goes on for London teenager Richard Okorogheye at various locations across the forest. 

The search in Epping Forest began on Wednesday afternoon and was initially focused on areas off Smarts Lane - where Richard is now known to have got out of a taxi in the early hours of Tuesday, March 23 - and the Nursery Road and Earls Path areas.

Today Everything Epping Forest also spotted search activity off Baldwins Hill, Loughton, where a mounted police vehicle and search dogs van were parked.
9.18am - April 3

Police issue direct appeal to Richard as forest search continues

Detectives investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye have issued a direct appeal to the university student as a fourth day of searches in Epping Forest gets underway.

Richard left his family home in Ladbroke Grove, Kensington, London, on the evening of Monday, March 22. 

He travelled by bus in west London before taking a taxi to Loughton where he was last seen, on CCTV, in the early hours of Tuesday, March 23, in Smarts Lane heading towards the area of Nursery Road. 

As a result of that sighting, officers from across the Met, supported by Essex Police, have been carrying out searches in nearby Epping Forest since Wednesday afternoon. 

So far, nothing of relevance to the investigation has been found. 

Further activity will resume this morning.

Detectives continue to keep an open mind about Richard’s whereabouts and are exploring all possible lines of enquiry, and are still appealing for anyone who believes they have seen Richard at any time since he went missing to come forward. 

Officers have also issued a new appeal, directly to Richard. 

Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling, Head of the Met’s Central West Public Protection Unit, said: “People can go missing from home for any of number of reasons. Our job is not to cast judgement but to work to find them and bring them home safely. 

“My message to Richard is clear. Our only concern is your safety. You are not in trouble and have done nothing wrong. If you read or hear this message we would ask you to contact us, or someone you trust, to let us know you are safe. Your loved ones and many other people who you do not even know, are very concerned.

“I would also like to thank the public for their continued support in sharing our appeals, checking doorbell and dash cam footage and passing on any information. 

"As our efforts to find Richard continue, the eyes and ears of ordinary members of the public will be essential tools in our search.”

Anyone who sees Richard should call 999 immediately.

Anyone with other information that could assist officers involved in the search should call 101 quoting 21MIS008134.
8.38am - April 2

Police release CCTV footage of missing teenager

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye have released CCTV footage of his last known sighting as searches continue for the 19-year-old student.

A range of specialist search officers as well as colleagues from the dog unit and Mounted Branch continued their search in and around Epping Forest in Loughton yesterday and are back again today.

Police say Richard took a taxi from the W2 area of London to Smarts Lane in Loughton where he was captured on CCTV walking alone towards the area of Nursery Road and Epping Forest at 12.30am on Tuesday, March 23.

You can see the CCTV footage
2.56pm - April 1

Woman sexually assaulted on Jessel Green

Police are investigating after it was reported to officers that a woman had been sexually assaulted on Jessel Green in Debden last night (Wednesday).

Police have confirmed to Everything Epping Forest that officers are investigating an incident which is reported to have happened between 9pm and 10pm.

A police spokesman said: "The incident took place off Colebrook Lane and was reported to us in the early hours of this morning.

"The victim is being safeguarded by specialist officers and we are making enquiries in order to progress the investigation."

An area of Jessel Green, between the play area off Colebrook Lane and Brady Avenue, has remained taped off all day with a police presence on all sides.

A forensics officer was on the scene this afternoon. 

Anyone with any information on the incident should submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Information can also be given to police via 101, and quote incident number 94 of today (April 1).

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or
12.24ppm - April 1

Police continue search for missing London teenager

A police presence remains in Epping Forest today after officers and search volunteers launched a search in Loughton following the disappearance nine days ago of London teeenager Richard Okorogheye.

Richard, 19, a student at Oxford Brookes University, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of Kensington on the evening of Monday, March 22. He was reported missing on Wednesday, March 24.

Initial police enquiries identified Richard leaving home and heading towards Ladbroke Grove, W10, at about 8.30pm on Monday, March 22.

It has also been confirmed that Richard was seen boarding the 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm. 

CCTV footage shows he was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white ‘ADIDAS’ logo, worn across his lower back.

Further enquiries have established that Richard then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to Loughton, where he was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday, March 23.

Police along with London and Essex SARs teams (Search and Rescue teams) started a search of the forest in the Earl's Path, Nursery Road, Smarts Lane and Shaftesbury area yesterday afternoon.

Several Metropolitan Police vehicles and a search dogs van remained in the area this morning.
Two stretches of police tape remain along Nursery Road but it is not known if these are related to the search.

Police have also been carrying out door- to-door enquiries.

Anyone with any information about Richard's whereabouts should ring 101 quoting 21MIS008134, or in an emergency ring 999.
5.15pm - March 25

Go-ahead for new Davenant classroom building

Plans to demolish two temporary classroom blocks at Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, and replace them with a permanent single-storey building accommodating six classrooms have been approved by district councillors.

The school wants to build a flat-roofed brick and rendered building about 11 metres from the boundary with neighbouring residential gardens, retaining boundary trees.

While replacement parking is proposed, the development would result in a net loss of eight parking spaces.

The application was approved by the area planning sub-committee south last night when concern was expressed over the noise impact on neighbours with a suggestion that the building should not be rented out outside of school hours.

The issue of overlooking was also raised with a request that the windows should have obscured glass.

Councillor Chris Pond expressed "serious concerns" about the application, including the net loss of parking spaces when combined with existing parking issues in Grosvenor Drive where senior students park.

Councillor Simon Heap said the proposed building is "better than what exists" but highlighted the location is "much closer to the neighbours" than the existing temporary classrooms, and added: "Everything must be done to mitigate the impact on them."

Loughton Residents Association plans group has described the design as "bland and lacking depth" and is concerned about the flat roof "potentially leaking in the future" resulting in "the deterioration of the rendered elements".

Meanwhile Loughton Town Council objected stating while councillors recognised the need to replace the temporary buildings, the proposed design was "only marginally better than the existing temporary buildings resembling a 1950s factory". 

The town council believes the design would not be in keeping with nearby buildings and while it appreciated the need to keep the profile low due to the close proximity to homes, felt the architects could produce "something more appropriate and sustainable", maybe with a green roof. 

A planning officer's report said the proposal was a "reasonable response" to the need to replace the temporary classrooms which are beyond their recommended usable lifespan. 

The report added: "While the new building is larger than the footprint it replaces, this accommodates sufficient space for the building to function on a permanent basis rather than a like-for-like temporary replacement. 

"In Green Belt terms, the increased space is not disproportionate, does not impact on the wider openness and character and recognises the special circumstances faced by the school."

Responding to the comments about the design of the proposed building, planning officer Jerry Godden said it was considered "perfectly acceptable" for the proposed use with the building "appropriate" for the building's location and function.

Planning approval was granted subject to several additional conditions, including obscured glass, lighting and the hours of use.
3.11pm - March 22

Easter egg trail and competitions

An Easter egg trail is being held around Loughton, Debden and Buckhurst Hill from March 27 until April 11.

Participating houses will have decorated front windows and/or gardens for children to follow via a map while out walking.

Easter activity packs and colouring posters can be provided for people to put in their windows. 

On March 27 (11am to 1pm) Easter bunny Mr Tumbles, from Infinity and Beyond events, will be hopping around and hiding in the trees on Jessel Green, Debden. 

The competitions running until 12pm on April 1 are for three age groups - 0-3, 4-7 and 8-11 - for Easter bonnets, Easter pictures and an Easter bake-off with prizes for the first, second and third in each age group with the prizes all donated by local businesses. 

There is also an Easter treat for all the children who take part.

The competitions are being run online on Facebook where entries can be submitted.

For more details

Winners will be announced and prizes given over the Easter weekend.

For the map of participating houses
9.16am - March 21

Window cleaners hailed as "true heroes" after rescuing stranded cat

Two window cleaners have been hailed as "true heroes" for rescuing a cat stranded for a day on a 25ft high roof in Loughton.

Five-year-old Tia was finally rescued at 7pm last night after she was chased onto the roof by other cats.

Owner Stephanie Valente told Everything Epping Forest: "I was called on by a neighbour in another road asking if I had a black and white cat.

"She had been chased up onto the roof over 25ft high by some other cats in the neighbourhood. We only moved into our road four months ago and she hasn’t made friends yet and is very timid.

"She was scared stiff to the ridge of the roof."

Stephanie, who first tried ringing the fire service and RSPCA, eventually turned to her window cleaner, Dan West, of Westco Windows.

"I called him hoping they would have a ladder long enough as I couldn’t leave her up there all night. She was meowing in distress."

Dan told Everything Epping Forest: "She was worried sick and 'facetimed' me to show how high the cat was on the roof. I thought 'how on earth has she got there?'

"I knew my ladders would never reach that height so I 'phoned Rob (Splash Windows) knowing he may have something we could use.. We tried a few angles to access the roof but still the ladders didn't reach.

"Rob tried to convince the cat to come to him while everyone called for Tia. She still didn't  want to move."

Rob Griffiths finally managed to get her down.

He said: "I got one of my waterfed poles and with it extended towards the cat it got close. The cat ran down the side of the roof and back home - job done!"

Stephanie added: "The guys were amazing. They came out from their warm comfy homes to save my cat. She is now safely home with a full tummy! They are truly my heroes."
3.58pm - March 15

PTA surprise Hereward Primary School with special gifts

Members of Hereward Primary School's PTA surprised staff when they arrived at school with special gifts - a thank you for their efforts with remote learning during the COVID-19 'lockdown'.

The gifts arrived throughout last Monday - the first day the school was open after the lockdown.

Headteacher Renette Fourie said: "The staff were thrilled to see all the children return. Throughout the day, a visit was made to the school by some of Hereward's PTA members - a visit that took the staff by complete surprise.

"During lockdown, parents had raised money to purchase all of the staff members a thank you gift for all the support with remote learning. From flowers, to Prosecco and 'Afternoon Tea boxes for one' by Cherilee's kitchen, staff were overwhelmed with the wonderful gesture.

Mrs Fourie said: 'We cannot thank enough our wonderful parents and PTA for organising these lovely gifts for us. They are always so supportive of the school, even more so during this pandemic. "

We are truly blessed to be part of this community. Remote learning, although nothing compared to face-to-face education, was a huge success and we are grateful to our parents for all their hard work too!"
5.07pm - March 12

Indian take-away plan for former bakers shop

A planning application has been submitted to turn the former Percy Ingle bakers shop at 220 High Road, Loughton, into an Indian food takeaway.

The application will be considered by Loughton Town Council before a decision is taken by Epping Forest District Council.
1.35pm - March 11

Double fatal road crash; case adjourned

The case of a 22-year-old man charged over the deaths of two people in a road crash on Goldings Hill, Loughton, 19 months ago has been adjourned by Chelmsford Crown Court until May.

The charges follow a crash involving a BMW M3 car near the Wake Arms roundabout.

Kane Faulkner-Wild, of Connaught Avenue, Chingford, was charged in August last year with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death whilst uninsured and two counts of causing death by careless driving whilst over the drink driving limit.

Former Roding Valley High School students Sophia Khan, 16, and Max Halcrow, 21, both from Loughton, were in the car that hit a tree on August 24, 2019. Both died from their injuries.

Two teenage girls were seriously injured and left with life-changing injuries.
7.45pm - March 10

Council presents Building Design Award

A former pub which has been converted into flats and a house conversion have received Loughton Town Council's Building Design Award.

Judges praised the "excellent" quality of work at Royal Oak Close where a former pub has been turned into flats with houses behind.

The judges added: "The developer has maintained the heritage frontage aspect on Forest Road whilst also providing much needed housing to the side and rear facing onto Smarts Lane.

"There is good use of the space available and the flats in the main building do not detract from the look of the frontage."

Also receiving an award was 2 Connaught Avenue where a house has been converted into flats.

The judges said: "The materials match in perfectly with the surrounding properties. Visually this was a house that immediately caught the eye when viewed from Old Station Road and as such was considered an iconic building in the town. 

"The conversion has enabled it to maintain its looks as a house rather than the block of flats that are housed within. 

"It fits perfectly with the houses in both Ollards Grove and Connaught Avenue that both side onto the site. 

"The final result owes much to both the willingness of the developer to adapt and the council to maintain the street scene to the benefit of the town."

The award scheme was introduced by Loughton Town Council in 2012 to recognise and reward individual examples of good design and construction, and to raise public awareness of the built environment within Loughton.

The council looks for building works completed in the previous 12 months that either enhance the town, improve a dilapidated building, upgrade or enhance a conservation area or are noteworthy in terms of design or innovation.

While the council is keen to protect and preserve the architectural heritage of Loughton, it recognises the need to provide increased living space to suit modern family needs.
7.43pm - March 10

3Food4U stalwart receives Citizenship Award

Charity worker Pesh Kapasiawala has received Loughton Town Council's Citizenship award for his work and involvement in Loughton charities.

The winner was announced by Town Mayor Stella Murphy at the Annual Town Meeting held virtually tonight.

Mr Kapasiawala was nominated for his work with various organisations including 3Food 4U, Loughton Men’s Institute, Loughton Memory Café, and the YES Partnership. 

He has been a Governor of Roding Valley High School and a past president of the Rotary Club of Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell.

3Food 4U, which was initially set up by bringing together a number of chefs who supplied ready-cooked meals to vulnerable members of the community and keyworkers, now provides free food and clothes to residents around the district, including Loughton.

Tracy Braniff, who nominated Pesh, described him as a "valuable asset in our community".

He will receive a cheque for £250 for his chosen charity, 3Food4U, and a silver engraved rose bowl and scroll.
1.07pm - March 9

Firefighters rescue woman from River Roding

A woman was taken to hospital after being rescued by firefighters after she went into the fast-flowing River Roding at Loughton to rescue her dog.

The woman was stranded in 5ft deep water for more than half-an-hour and could not be rescued despite the efforts of passers-by.

Two Loughton fire crews were called to Roding Road at about 3.30pm yesterday.

Loughton Fire Station crew manager Glenn Jackson said: "The woman was walking her dog along the river when the dog jumped in the water. 

"The women got in the water to try and reach her dog but got into trouble and couldn't reach the dog or get herself out again.

"Like most of these incidents, the dog was fine and managed to get out of the river relatively quickly but the women couldn't get herself out as the banks were very steep."

He added: "The water was around 5ft deep so came up to her neck and it was quite fast flowing.

"Other dog walkers saw the women in distress and tried to help her by holding onto her and pull her up the bank, but they were unsuccessful.

"By this time the women and the helpers were absolutely exhausted so after 30 minutes of trying to help her called 999.

"When we turned up we immediately prepared our Swift Water Rescue equipment and rescued the women. She was freezing cold and exhausted so was taken to hospital.

"We can not stress this message enough - if you see someone in water please call 999 immediately. Being in cold water is extremely dangerous especially for this length of time and the outcome could have been very different. 

"More than 700 people drown in the UK every year - that's more deaths than in fires or cycling incidents so we want people to take note of our warning and to take extra care around water and always call 999 immediately. 

"If you see someone in trouble in water, call out to the person to reassure them that help is on the way, encourage them to keep still, as if possible find something that floats for them to hold onto.

"If you have a dog that gets into trouble in water, never put yourself at risk by getting in the water to try and rescue them."
2.13pm - March 6

Town council holding virtual annual town meeting 

This year's Loughton Town Council Citizenship Award and Building Design Award will be presented 'virtually' when the council holds its Annual Town Meeting online on Wednesday.

The meeting, which will be held via Zoom at 7.30pm, will also include reports from Town Mayor Stella Murphy and the chairmen of the various town council committees.

An announcement will also be made regarding the local organisations which have received grant funding from the council in 2021-22.

There will also be a chance for residents to ask questions of the council on matters over which the town council has control or some influence.
2.02pm - February 27

DEBDEN: Licence granted for gaming venue with 40 machines

A licence for an 'Adult Gaming Centre' with some 40 gaming machines has been granted for premises in The Broadway, Debden.

Eight of the machines at 'Slots O Luck' will have maximum payouts of £500 while 27 will have £100 payouts and five will have £8 payouts, according to papers submitted to Epping Forest District Council with a premises licence application.

The premises - at 65 The Broadway (the Come n Play cafe and former Santander branch) - will be open from 10am until 10pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm on Saturdays and 10am to 6pm on Sundays.

David Miller, a former police inspector speaking on behalf of the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA), stressed to the licensing sub-committee that the venue was for adults only (aged 18 and over) and anyone who appeared to be aged under 25 "will be challenged".

He added no gambling machines would be visible from the frontage of the premises and all members of staff would act as "door supervisors".

Loughton Town Council objected to the application stating "there are already a number of gambling establishments in this street where young people and children pass and congregate."

An objection was also lodged by Loughton Residents Association's plans group on the grounds of "crime and disorder and harm to vulnerable and young children".

Its objection stated: "There are already far too many gambling businesses in this small local shopping parade such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and a new gaming centre which has opened recently opposite the application site."

It added: "We consider young vulnerable adults will be attracted and easily exploited by the glamour and glitz of such a use.

"They will all too easily lose money they can ill afford to lose and this will lead to more crime and anti-social behaviour as young adults who hang around The Broadway will be persuaded or bullied into losing their money by gambling on the slot machines.

"Overall, The Broadway has an over-abundance of gambling and gaming establishments and we must prevent young adults from being exposed to any more."

A local resident also objected to the application which was granted by the licensing sub-committee earlier this month.
2.58pm - February 26

Food store and "national discount retailer" on the cards for vacant High Road premises

A food store, take-away, health store, hairdressers and "large national discount retailer" outlet are on the cards for the parade of shops in Loughton bought by Epping Forest District Council for almost £20m.

News of the potential new arrivals to the High Road comes as the council revealed a supermarket chain had pulled out of talks to take over FIVE of the retail units.

Confirming the final cost of the council's property purchase, commercial and regulatory services cabinet member Aniket Patel told last night's district council meeting Centric Parade and 202-226 High Road were bought by the council in December 2019.

He said the freehold of 18 retail units, office space and nine flats had been purchased for a net sum of £18.645m, which resulted in a total purchase price of £19.834m when Stamp Duty and land tax, legal and associated fees were included. 

No VAT was payable on the purchase.

Explaining the current situation regarding a number of vacant retail units along the stretch of High Road, Mr Patel confirmed - as exclusively revealed by Everything Epping Forest - that fast food chain McDonald's had pulled out of a move into the former Pak Choi restaurant.

Mr Patel said McDonald's had terminated a lease after deciding that several planning conditions imposed by the council as part of the planning approval were "unacceptable".

Mr Patel said the council had "received back from tenants" the former Clinton's shop, Rush Hair Salon premises, Percy Ingle bakers and Thomas Cook travel agents branch.

He added that both New Look (216 High Road) and Clark's (4 Centric Parade) had entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement which had resulted in the rent charged changing from a set sum to a turnover-based rent which had resulted in a loss of income to the council.

Mr Patel told councillors: "The council employed a city-based surveying firm who had previously been used with great success at our retail park (Epping Forest Shopping Park in Langston Road) to market the vacant premises. 

"Despite Covid there was significant interest from several national retailers in the vacant premises and advanced talks were progressed and Heads of Terms agreed with a national food operator to occupy five units on the High Road. Unfortunately the operator recently pulled out of this transaction. 

"Terms have also been agreed at market rent with a national health and wellbeing operator for the former New Look premises. 

"Under the turnover rent forced on the council by the CVA, New Look were paying less than half the market rent and in the light of this strong offer and another offer from a national retailer the council has served a break notice on New Look to end their tenancy in order to achieve a greater income for the council,

In respect of the other premises, 220 High Road (the former Percy Ingle bakers) is under offer to a local A5 operator who has two other successful premises in the district and on 210 High Road (the former Rush Hair Salon) we are in the final stages of agreeing terms with a local hairdresser who again has other premises within the district."

Mr Patel added: "With regards to 202 and 204 High Road (Pak Choi and Clinton's) we have received an offer from a good covenant to operate a new fresh food based offering and subject to a survey we also hope to receive an offer from a large national food retailer for the premises.  

"220 High Road (Percy Ingle) has only recently been put on the market as this formed part of the abortive food retailer deal and we would expect interest for this small property as it allows the trader to operate from the prime section of Loughton High Road at reasonable rent.

"With regards to the Clark's premises, which are subject to a very low turnover rent due to the CVA, we have interest from a large national discount retailer willing to pay the market rent. 

"In addition, we have agreed terms for a new lease with Holland and Varrett and are in negotiation with both WH Smith and Timpsons for a new lease on their existing premies on the parade."
7.43pm - February 25

Council urged to accommodate library in The Broadway

The leader of Epping Forest District Council has promised to "explore the opportunities" which could be available for Debden Library to move from New City College to The Broadway.

Councillor Chris Whitbread's comments were in response to a question asked by Independent councillor Stephen Murray at tonight's full district council meeting when Mr Murray said The Broadway was the "rightful place" for Debden Library.

Mr Murray said the library should be relocated into one of the district council's shop units in The Broadway, a move which would "help the library community and increase footfall, and act as an anchor for other shops and businesses in The Broadway".

Councillor Whitbread said he would discuss the matter with the libraries cabinet member at Essex County Council, councillor Susan Barker, and "explore the opportunities you (councillor Murray) have put forward".
7.07pm - February 25

Three boys arrested over robbery at station

Three teenaged boys have been arrested following reports of a robbery at Loughton Station.

Police responded at 5.30pm yesterday (Wednesday) to a report of a robbery when threats were alleged to have been made in order to obtain personal items. 

Local police officers were on scene in just over five minutes and located three suspects while a train was held. 

Three teenagers - two from London and one from Billericay - were arrested on suspicion of robbery and taken into custody for questioning. 

They were released today (Thursday) on conditional bail while the British Transport Police officers continue their enquiries. 
4.12pm - February 24

New City College students prepare for phased return

Students at New City College's Epping Forest campus will be returning to their on-site studies on a phased basis from March 8.

Senior staff are working on a 'safety roadmap' which includes "robust"
Covid testing, the wearing of face masks and a phased return for students.

The college says its online lessons have been very well attended through the latest lockdown, with the college issuing more than 2,000 laptops for remote learning.  

CEO and group principal Gerry McDonald said: “All our students and staff have worked incredibly hard in their remote lessons however it’s now important for students to get back to the practical side of their courses to develop the skills they need to get qualified. 

"We will have our own roadmap to prepare for a safe return for all students and staff.” 

He added: "Whether you’re studying A-Levels, a full-time vocational course or you’re a part-time adult student, we are prioritising your safety in our plans to get you back to campus learning.” 

The college already has a robust model of Covid testing at each of its campuses and is ready to scale this up as necessary. 

Masks will be compulsory at least until Easter in line with Government guidelines. 

Each group of students is being carefully considered in the phased return and will be informed about when they should go back in to college.
3.53pm - February 24

Concern over £12.4m library site redevelopment plan

Essex County Council is budgeting almost £12.4m for the redevelopment of the Loughton Library site, budget papers reveal.

However given the quoted estimated £12.369m cost of the scheme, Loughton Residents Association councillor Chris Pond fears more than the "approximately 20 homes" allocated for the site in Epping Forest District Council's Local Plan may have to be "stuffed" into the development to make "extra profit" for the county council.

Economic development cabinet member Tony Ball did not answer a question from councillor Pond at Tuesday's virtual full county council meeting when Mr Pond sought clarification over how many storeys any proposed new development would be.

Mr Pond asked: "If he (councillor Ball) goes ahead with his plan to demolish Loughton Library and replace it with a smaller library under a block of flats, could he please tell us... how many storeys of flats he is anticipating building?"

Councillor Ball replied: "I recognise councillor Pond's emotive language.

"This will go through the planning process and (we) will get the best value and the best quality library that we possibly can for the development and for the benefit of Loughton residents."

Mr Pond can then be heard to shout: "How many storeys?"

Mr Pond later told Everything Epping Forest the budget figure "would make the selling price per flat even to recoup that £600,000, unless they (the county council) want to exceed the 20 flats allocated. 

"The temptation (for Essex County Council) will be to make extra profit by stuffing this with extra development only four minutes walk from the Special Area of Conservation."

He added: "We need to know what they intend. Nobody will say.

"Everyone was assuming two storeys above the new and smaller library, but three or four?

"We don't want the adverse effect on the Special Area of Conservation with extra vehicles on a site so near it, and the flats will have to be taller as they say they need a garage floor underneath the lot."
2.03pm - February 22

College takeover of Debden Library "no longer an option"

The future of Debden Library remains uncertain after New City College told Everything Epping Forest a proposal for the college to take over the running of the Essex County Council library was "no longer an option".

An online meeting to discuss the future of the library is being held tonight.

In a statement issued to Everything Epping Forest, a New City College spokesman said: "The college has researched and explored options to develop an enhanced library service which meets the changing needs of local people. It is disappointing that the proposed model would not cover bottom line staffing costs. 

"The college is interested in continuing constructive discussions with the council to reach a viable solution but unfortunately the previous proposal is no longer an option."

Epping Forest Save Our Libraries Essex (SOLE) has repeatedly opposed the college taking over the running at the library.

A SOLE spokesman said: "We obviously hope this takeover is now at an end. We believe that instead of charity shop libraries housed and run by volunteers, Essex needs a properly funded professional library service with paid and trained staff and dedicated library buildings.

"This seeming collapse of the very first takeover must be an embarrassment for Essex County Council and its strategy for libraries.

"It's time to end this closure plan by stealth, and the years of cuts to opening hours and the book stock - nearly half a million books over the last decade have gone - and more big cuts just short of a million to the library budget this coming financial year. One wonders then just how much heart the college had in our library? 

"With this being the case, it underlines the importance of the library leaving the college and returning to the heart of our community on The Broadway. It will boost both Broadway use and library use. 

"The college could still partner with the library for some of the good ideas they had for linked education activities and of course the library must return as publicly funded, publicly run, and publicly and democratically accountable to the local community. Let this be the end of outsourcing."
9.50am - February 21

Candle starts house fire

A family has been left temporarily homeless while damage is assessed after a candle started a house fire in Connaught Avenue, Loughton.

Firefighters from Loughton and Waltham Abbey were called to the detached property at about 12.05am this morning.

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said a candle which had been thrown out of a first-floor window set fire to decking and the fire spread to the kitchen. 

"A candle had set light to net curtains in a bedroom. The occupant panicked and threw the candle out of the window and, very unluckily, it set fire to cushions on garden furniture. 

"Unfortunately, the cushions were extremely flammable and the fire quickly took hold, breaking the kitchen window and spreading to the kitchen."

The family got out, stayed out and called 999.

He added: "Thankfully, Loughton Fire Station is less than 500 metres from the house and crews were able to deal with the fire really quickly.

"The fire was completely accidental and really unfortunate but it does highlight the dangers of candles. If you are using candles, please make sure they are away from materials that might catch fire and make sure they are completely out when you leave the room or go to bed."

The fire was extinguished by about 1.50am and crews used a fan to clear the smoke. 

The ground floor suffered smoke damage, the decking area was badly damaged and the bedroom window and fascias suffered heat damage, the spokesman added.

The family has been left temporarily homeless while the damage is assessed.
3.10pm - February 18

Benches at landmark viewpoint to be temporarily removed

Two benches at the top of York Hill in Loughton from where panoramic views over London can be experienced are to be temporarily removed following incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Loughton Residents Association councillor Chris Pond told Everything Epping Forest the decision had been taken by the City of London, which owns the land on which the benches stand.

He said: "The City of London have insisted on the removal of the two benches overlooking the big panorama over London and Kent at the top of York Hill. 

"This is because of incidents of anti-social behaviour and to stop people assembling during lockdown and annoying residents, who have justifiably complained."

He added: "The seats will be put back, we are told, when the anti-social behaviour stops and things quieten down."
8.12pm - February 17

Town council eyes up High Road shops if it has to find temporary accommodation

A "decamp" to vacant retail premises along the Centric Parade area of Loughton High Road could be a possibility if Loughton Town Council has to seek temporary premises should the current library site be redeveloped.

It has been reported that Essex County Council has proposed demolishing the existing library at Traps Hill with the site to be redeveloped with flats and a smaller library.

Councillor Chris Pond told tonight's Loughton Town Council meeting that the larger vacant retail units - the former Clinton Cards and New Look stores - would be a "good possibility for a decamp" while any building work was taking place at Traps Hill.

He said any temporary accommodation would be required for about a year.

Mr Pond added the larger vacant retail units - which are owned by Epping Forest District Council - could accommodate the town council, a library and Citizens Advice Bureau.
7.59pm - February 17

Murray Hall to be COVID-19 Vaccination Centre

The Murray Hall in Loughton is to be used as an NHS Vaccination Centre from March 3, tonight's Loughton Town Council meeting has been told.

Town clerk Mark Squire told councillors the centre would operate between 8am and 8pm.

He added discussions had taken place with Transport for London (TfL) over the possible re-routing of a bus route to serve the Borders Lane hall, however TfL had said this was not possible because of the number of vaccination centres its routes had to serve across the London area.

Councillor Chris Pond said it was a "great pity" route 397, which serves Debden, could not have been extended.

He said: "We did have a number of discussions about The Murray Hall (being used as a vaccination centre) and (the council) thought it was our clear public duty to make it available."

Councillor Stephen Murray said: "The idea of extending the bus service would have been better but it is good that Loughton people will be able to go to The Murray Hall.

"Buckhurst Hill isn't a million miles away but this is a bonus."

He added: "If we are having lots of people perhaps giong to The Murray Hall for the first time they will see what an excellent venue it is."

* The temporary use of The Murray Hall as an NHS Vaccination Centre means alternative premises are having to be found for a polling station for the local and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex elections on Thursday, May 6.

Councillor Chris Pond said he had told Epping Forest District Council to approach Essex County Council over possibly using the youth centre adjoining The Murray Hall.

The town council was due to have elections last year but the pandemic meant all elections were postponed.

Councillor Pond said councillors elected in May would serve a three-year term.
12.59pm - February 15


McDonald's drops High Road branch plans

Fast food chain McDonald's has pulled out of plans to open a branch on Loughton High Road, Everything Epping Forest can reveal.

Meanwhile, an Everything Epping Forest investigation has discovered the premises which it had planned to take over are or have been marketed for an annual rent and rates total in the region of  £112,000, plus a four-figure service charge.

Planning permission for a McDonald's take-away only outlet at the former Pak Choi restaurant was granted by Epping Forest District Council nine months ago - on the casting vote of area planning sub-committee chairman councillor Jo Share-Bernia - after councillors were deadlocked 10-10 over the plans.

The Pak Choi restaurant - previously Chongs Restaurant - is in the parade of shops which was purchased by Epping Forest District Council in a deal costing up to £23.8m more than a year ago. At the time, the council estimated the purchase would generate a gross annual revenue of £1.4m.

However several of the retail units included in the purchase remain empty.

Everything Epping Forest can reveal that the Pak Choi premises are or were being marketed by two agents.

Marketing literature shows that both agents have quoted a rateable value of £52,000 a year, with one stating the figure was for the 2018-19 financial year. 

One of the agents also quoted a rent of £60,000 a year in its literature dated September 2020, and an annual service charge of £2,750.

The same document also features the neighbouring former Clinton Cards shop with a quoted rateable value of £105,000 a year and a service charge of £7,450 a year.

McDonald's has not given a reason for its decision to end its interest in a Loughton branch with a statement issued to Everything Epping Forest, simply stating: "The site in Loughton is not one we’re looking to progress with."  

Last week Epping Forest District Council cabinet member Aniket Patel, the cabinet portfolio holder responsible for commercial properties, told Everything Epping Forest that all of the vacant units along Centric Parade and the further stretch of High Road owned by the council are being marketed with "significant interest" received from various businesses ranging from supermarket retailers to hospitality. 

He added: "Two of the vacant premises are already under offer and I expect that the rest will follow in the next few months."
1.38pm - February 12

What next for Centric Parade?

A senior district councillor has told Everything Epping Forest that Epping Forest District Council "will do everything" to revitalise Centric Parade and neighbouring shops in Loughton which it bought as part of a deal costing up to £23.8m.

The council bought Centric Parade and other assets just over a year ago estimating the purchase would generate a gross annual revenue of £1.4m.

But today several of the shop units stand empty with shutters down and a 'To Let' sign up.

New Look is the latest retailer to pull out.

Planning permission for a McDonald's at the former Pak Choi, and before that Chongs restaurant, premises was granted eight months ago but the chain is yet to open the take-away only branch.

The council bought a total of 18 retail units, the 40-plus space car park behind Centric Parade, nine flats above the shops and office space covering 202-226 (even) High Road and 200 High Road, Loughton (Centric Parade Nos 1-6).

Today the council told Everything Epping Forest "exceptional" commercial interest is being shown in the vacant units - with approaches having been made by supermarket chains. 

Meanwhile two units are currently 'under offer'.

Councillor Aniket Patel, the cabinet portfolio holder responsible for commercial properties, told Everything Epping Forest: "There have been various social media rumours circulating about vacant shops and the future of Centric Parade. 

"First of all, we would like to reassure local residents that the district council does not have any plans to knock down Centric Parade. Any potential plans to enhance the current buildings may be considered in the future.

"Even though high street economies across the country have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, our local Epping Forest high streets have stood up remarkably well under the pressure of the lockdowns and provide important income we use to support public services.

“All high streets have a natural level of vacancies as businesses come and go, but the outlook for our commercial rentals is good. 

"All our currently vacant units are being marketed and we have received significant interest from various businesses ranging from supermarket retailers to hospitality. 

"Two of the vacant premises are already under offer and I expect that the rest will follow in the next few months."

He added: "New Look has been struggling during lockdown and we’ve worked hard with them to retain their current lease at Centric Parade but ultimately the decision to stay or go is a commercial decision for New Look management. 

"We understand New Look is under a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Covid has hit so many big high street names hard and we would be sad to see New Look close. 

"However, the commercial interest we have received in our Centric Parade vacancies is exceptional.

“I assure our residents that we will do everything we can to not only revitalise Centric Parade, but support all local businesses to get back on their feet. 

"Currently a lot of work is taking place on regeneration studies and proposals to support the economic recovery of our local towns. 

"Two reports on Loughton High Road and Loughton Broadway will be prepared in the next few weeks.

"We want to make our local town centres busy, vibrant places to visit once again.”
3.22pm - February 11

Council rejects suggestion to provide computers for schools

Loughton Town Council has rejected a suggestion from a councillor that the council should consider raising money to provide 'Chromebook' computers for secondary schools in the town for students receiving online lessons during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Councillor Phil Beales, who put forward the idea, told Wednesday's resources and general services committee he was concerned some students were having to use small computer screens.

"They are trying to learn advanced topics by looking at tiny screens," he said.

He referred to one Loughton school where 178 students were receiving free school meals and only 100 laptops had been provided.

Councillor Stephen Murray said: "I completely understand the spirit behind this but I don't think on balance this is something the town council should be doing.

"There's the Government initiative which is a pretty generous thought. The secondary schools - Roding Valley, Debden Park and Davenant - will have scores of Chromebooks within their own schools which they will be loaning out. 

"I can't put my hand on my heart and say absolutely, and I don't think Roding Valley (where he teaches) will be any different from Davenant and Debden Park.

"If you need a Chromebook there is one available from the Government scheme or school sources.

"Even if there was a need, I think it can be met through school PTAs and so on. It's a fantastic thing to have brought up but our amount of money won't make a great deal of difference."

Committee vice-chairman councillor Jill Angold-Stephens said: "I don't think the schools need our support right now because there is the facility there from various places within schools."

She added: "I think maybe we are very fortunate in Loughton because we are a fairly affluent town. The PTAs raise a lot of money and they have the facilities that they need.

"Maybe for a lot of kids the real problem is that they don't need a Chromebook but they need a good internet connection."

Mr Murray thanked councillor Beales for bringing the item forward.

Mr Beales said he would "sleep a little easier tonight" having heard councillor Murray's comments.
3.05pm - February 11

Town council awards grants

Fifteen local organisations are to receive grant funding from Loughton Town Council totalling £30,600.

The funding awards approved by town councillors last night (Wednesday) are:

* Affordable Counselling Epping Forest (counselling sessions) £400
* Alfie James Productions (performance skills workshop) £200
* Epping Forest Re-Use (tools) £200
* Grow - Restore Community Church (mobility path and running costs) £4,000
* Noah’s Ark Play Group - Restore Community Church (crafts, toys and running Costs £2,500
* Oakwood Hill Community Centre - Restore Community Church (operational costs) £3,000
* Oakwood Hill Youth Club - Restore Community Church (supplies and crafts) £2,000
* Willingale Community Garden - Restore Community Church (activities and new shed £2,000
* Loughton Voluntary Care Association (running costs and hyacinth bulbs) £450
* Rotary Club of Loughton - 3Food4u (venue rent) £2,500
* Samaritans - Redbridge branch (running costs) £600
* St Michael and All Angels Church (play area) £2,000
* Tinder Sticks (outreach events) £750
* Voluntary Action Epping Forest (providing benefits advice) £1,500

The 14 grant awards total £22,100. The council has also agreed a separate budget item of a grant of £8,500 to the Citizens Advice Epping Forest towards running costs.
9.13am - February 11

Town council weighs up pros and cons of forest car park charges

The pros and cons of car park charges being introduced in more than a dozen car parks in Epping Forest from the spring have been debated by Loughton town councillors.

Concern was expressed that the charges could see forest visitors parking in local roads instead of paying to use the car parks.

The City of London's Epping Forest and Commons Committee is to phase in a cashless charging system with 14 car parks "that currently experience the most parking issues" in the first tranche.

They include Pillow Mounds, Generals Ride and High Beach Visitor Centre with the Epping Forest committee saying this will tackle the over-capacity use of the area.

Loughton Town Council's resources and general services committee vice-chairman Jill Angold-Stephens told Wednesday's meeting: "I'm in a bit of a quandary.

"I can fully appreciate the (Epping Forest and Commons) committee wants to raise some money because of the fact they are in a bit of a financial situation and also they want to stop commuters parking in the car parks and would like people to walk and cycle.

"Those people who walk and cycle (to the forest) will continue to do so. Others will take their cars particularly those with little children."

He added: "I can see why they want to do it (charge). I'm concerned it will mean some people can't afford to park there and some people won't want to pay so will park nearby on the roads, on the pavements, in the forest, wherever they think they can.

"It could end up causing more damage to the forest than parking in the car park."

Councillor Stephen Murray said: "It's quite a balanced issue. If you asked members of the public the blunt statement 'do you want to pay to park' their response is going to be 'no'.

"There are equally quite strong arguments for introducing charges in the minority of the car parks.

"Epping Forest is a charity. It doesn't get any money from the council. It's a wonderful environment that we have on our doorstep, and we don't pay a penny.

"The arguments against charging are fairly obvious. In favour, it might reduce parking in some of the most ancient areas of woodland."

Councillor Stephen Pewsey said he was concerned parking charges would transfer the problem elsewhere with people parking in Loughton streets.

The City of London has said all the income, less the costs of maintaining the scheme, will be reinvested in the forest.

Payment will be by card or mobile phone with the charges reflecting the most common length of time visitors spend in the forest, at one to two hours. Parking for Blue Badge holders and motorbikes will be free.

The town council decided not to make a council response but encouraged councillors and residents to make individual responses to the City of London public consultation which ends on Monday (February 15).
9.41am - February 6

HSBC branch to close

The HSBC bank branch in Loughton High Road is to close in August - one of 82 branches in the UK to shut between April and September.
5.37pm - January 29

Man charged with six shoplifting offences

A man has been charged with six counts of shoplifting after goods worth a three-figure sum were stolen from the BP service station in The Broadway, Debden.

The offences were committed between January 6 and 21.

Jack Robertson, 29, of Barfields, Loughton, was due to appear before Colchester magistrates today (Friday).

Meanwhile, two women were arrested on suspicion of theft on January 24.

One of the women was given a community resolution and the other was dealt with through a conditional caution.
6.06pm - January 25

Weapons seizure among police cases praised by Home Secretary

A police operation in Loughton in which a man was arrested and items including a knuckle duster, daggers and CS spray were found has been highlighted as one of the successes of a  countywide initiative which has been praised by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The arrest last August was made by officers working on Operation Gloss which has seen Essex Police and Border Force officers working on a faster referral system for dealing with drugs, prohibited weapons and firearms components that are flown into the UK via a postal hub near Heathrow.

In the Loughton incident, a warrant was executed at an address where officers found weapons including knuckle duster knives, daggers, CS spray and batons. 

A man was arrested on suspicion of weapons offences and the police investigation remains ongoing. 

Across Essex, more than 120 parcels of weapons and drugs have been intercepted in the last nine months. 

UK Border Force staff identify suspicious packages that come in via international mail and pass them to Essex Police for investigation. 

Depending on the individual circumstances of each case, this could result in the people buying these items being arrested or having their homes searched.

Alternatively, it may be more appropriate to resolve matters through a caution or community resolution, or referring them to a diversionary scheme.

In some cases, it might mean working alongside the Essex Violence and Vulnerability  Unit to safeguard people who are being exploited by criminals, to educate about knife crime, and support them to safely exit gang life or a controlling relationship.

Since the new referral system started in February, police have received 123 notifications about suspicious packages. Of these, 67 contained weapons and 56 contained drugs.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Knife crime and serious violence wreak havoc in our communities, which is why we are giving police forces more resources and powers to keep the public safe.

"Action like Operation Gloss, along with the wider efforts of police, Border Force and other law enforcement agencies, are vital when it comes to stopping dangerous weapons reaching our streets.”

In May last year, a warrant was carried out at an address in Harlow where officers found weapons including stun guns disguised as mobile phones, a walking stick with a concealed knife, and a bracelet with a concealed knife. 

A 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of weapons offences. The police investigation remains ongoing.
6.55pm - January 23

MP gives update on local post deliveries

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing has given an update on the situation at Debden Delivery Office and local post deliveries as she promises to "continue to monitor Royal Mail’s performance and insist that the service is improved".

Dame Eleanor said: "I fully appreciate the concerns about the deficiencies in the service currently being received from Royal Mail. 

"I have been aware of this situation for a considerable time and have been in touch with Royal Mail on several occasions."

Dame Eleanor has had a meeting with the National Service Delivery Director who has given her his assurance that he and his team are doing all they can to improve the service.

Dame Eleanor said: "Let me assure constituents, first and foremost, that letters from the NHS, easily identifiable by the blue NHS logo on the outside of the envelope, are being given priority and are being delivered promptly. "Anyone awaiting an invitation for the vaccine will receive their letter on time.

"The prioritisation of letters and essential items being sent to and from the NHS is one of the reasons why other mail deliveries are being delayed. 

"In addition to urgent letters, Royal Mail have also been prioritising the delivery of PPE equipment and Covid test kits which people have to send straight back to the NHS via priority post boxes."

She added: "The circumstances in which we have all had to operate since last spring have led to a massive increase in the volume of mail in general. 

"More parcels are being sent because people do not see their friends and families face to face. More goods are being delivered because we are buying online when we can’t go to shops. The Christmas post, of course, added to the pressures.

"The reason why the situation is particularly bad in our area is that, with infection rates here being amongst the highest in the whole country, the Debden Delivery Office has been hit four times by outbreaks of the virus. Many of the staff have been very seriously ill. 

"I have great sympathy for them and for their families. I am sure you will realise that when one employee contracts the virus, every other employee who has been in contact with him has to isolate at home. That isolation has to happen immediately and therefore the delivery office has had to cope with sudden staff shortages.

"The senior directors at Royal Mail have assured me that they are doing all they can to counteract these difficulties and to get your postal service back to normal. 

"They are now putting on extra deliveries on Sundays and dealing with the backlog. They have also kept on many of the additional staff who had been employed to deal with the Christmas rush.

"I fully appreciate that you will still be angry that you are not receiving post regularly, but I want to give you a full explanation. 

"There is no part of our community which has not been affected by this terrible pandemic. Let us hope that now infection rates are beginning to fall and the most vulnerable among us are being vaccinated that it will not be long before we can return to normal.

"I assure you that I will continue to monitor Royal Mail’s performance and to insist that the service is improved."
7.06pm - January 22

DEBDEN: Petition calls for library move to The Broadway

Almost 700 people have signed an online petition calling for Debden Library to return to The Broadway, and opposing the takeover bid by New City College.

Shops and businesses in The Broadway are also backing the Epping Forest SOLE (Save Our Libraries Essex) campaign, with many more signing petition forms displayed by a number of local businesses. 

The library is currently inside New City College in Borders Lane.

An Epping Forest SOLE spokesman said: "We are delighted the local community and local businesses are getting behind our campaign to see Debden Library return to the heart of our community. One can help the other here. 

"The library will see more users back in The Broadway and library users will then visit local shops. It's a win win situation for all.'

The Epping Forest SOLE online
4.15pm - January 18

Restaurant owner "devastated" after break-in

Burglars who smashed their way into a Loughton Indian restaurant fled with cash, the safe, and a haul of alcohol and soft drinks.

A large brick block was used to smash the front window of Forest Tandoori in Forest Road at about 2am today.

Neighbours are reported to have heard a "huge noise".

The burglars stole money from the tills and the safe which totals about £900.

They also went into the stock room and bar area and stole a large amount of stock, including expensive alcohols, liquor, wine, beer and soft drinks worth about £1,000.

Damage was also caused to the fire exit.

A jacket was left behind by one of the burglars.

Owner and chef Abdul Karim said he was "devastated" adding: "In the middle of a pandemic we have stayed open seven nights a week to provide a home delivery and take-away collection service for our loyal customers who have stood by us.”

Anyone with any information should ring police on 101 quoting incident number 
9.18am - January 18

Double fatal crash: Crown Court case adjourned

The case of a 22-year-old man charged over the deaths of two people in a road crash on Goldings Hill, Loughton, 17  months ago has been adjourned by Chelmsford Crown Court until mid-February.

The charges follow a crash involving a BMW M3 car near the Wake Arms roundabout.

The case of Kane Faulkner-Wild, of Connaught Avenue, Chingford, was listed at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court last Wednesday.

He was charged in August last year with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death whilst uninsured and two counts of causing death by careless driving whilst over the drink driving limit.  

Former Roding Valley High School students Sophia Khan, 16, and Max Halcrow, 21, both from Loughton, were in the car that hit a tree on August 24, 2019. They died from their injuries.

Two teenaged girls were seriously injured and left with life-changing injuries.
9.52am - January 15

Man jailed for eight years over stabbing

A man has been jailed for eight years for stabbing another man in a house in Loughton.

Sean Thompson had sent threatening messages to the victim late in the evening and demanded he meet him to discuss a family dispute.

The victim, who knew Thompson but was not related to him, went to Thompson’s then home address in Colebrook Gardens, Loughton.

They became involved in an argument during which Thompson punched the 30-year-old man and threatened him. He then went inside the house and returned with a large kitchen knife.

He stabbed the victim in the chest, causing life-threatening injuries.

Thompson, 30, was arrested the following day following the attack on August 30 last year.

On October 22 he admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of a bladed article in a public place.

He was jailed on Friday, January 8, for eight years.

Investigating officer PC Jamie Williams, of Loughton CID, said: “The court heard Thompson had been suffering from stress and substance misuse at the time of the attack, and had shown remorse for his actions.

“However this is not an excuse for the violence he used that night, which could so easily have been fatal.

“I hope the sentence will give Thompson time to reflect on the consequences of his actions, which have left a lasting emotional and physical impact on his victim.”  
5.15pm - January 11

RNLI branch raised almost £5,000 last year

The Loughton and Woodford branch of the RNLI raised £4,950.63 last year - despite being unable to undertake any of its regular fundraising activities after February.

The total includes a generous donation from a supporter.

Branch spokesman Mike Evans said: "This is a huge drop from the previous year, something experienced across the whole of the RNLI.

"Whilst income has fallen the cost of running the Lifeboat Service has not.

"Our crews continue to give aid and save lives, their difficult and dangerous work being made harder by the need to wear PPE and socially distance as far as possible (something not easily done on an inshore lifeboat).

"Quite often they are called out because of the foolhardiness of people who over-estimate their capabilities and under-estimate the power and dangers of the sea, as anyone who has watched the television series Saving Lives at Sea will be aware of.

"As ever contributions are most gratefully received, now more so than ever."
2.56pm - January 9

Nominations open for Loughton Citizenship Awards

Nominations are open for Loughton Town Council's Citizenship Awards which recognise local people for their efforts in the local community.

This may be through long service for a voluntary organisation or local charity, good neighbourliness, running a campaign to improve community facilities or cohesion, or by an act of courage or bravery.

Any Loughton resident or a Loughton employer, educational institution, group or society can submit a nomination, but should not let the nominee know at this stage.

The closing date for nominations is February 19.

There are three categories - acts of courage or bravery in the past year that have resulted, for instance, in the prevention of a serious crime or the rescue of individuals from danger; and voluntary service (for people aged 25 or over and for people aged under 25.

Each category winner will receive a silver bowl, an illuminated scroll and a cheque for £250 made payable to their favourite local charity.

For more information, visit the town council website HERE

The awards will be presented at the Annual Town Meeting at The Murray Hall, Borders Lane, Loughton, on Wednesday, March 10 (Covid-19 restrictions permitting).
6.16pm - January 8

Harley's mum pays tribute to her son after a man is sentenced for his manslaughter

The mother of Harley Watson who died after he was struck by a car deliberately driven at him, also injuring a group of people, has paid tribute to her "kind and caring" son after a man was sentenced for his manslaughter.

Terence Glover was today given an indefinite hospital order after killing 12-year-old Harley.

He died after he was hit by a car outside his school - Debden Park High in Willingale Road, Loughton - at 3.20pm on Monday, December 2, 2019.

A number of other people were injured including five teenaged boys, a teenaged girl, and a woman aged in her 20s who was a teacher at the school.

Glover, 52, of Newmans Lane, Loughton, pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and ten counts of attempted murder last November.

Today he was told he will serve his sentence in a secure hospital. 

Glover has been sentenced to 15 years for Harley’s manslaughter with a concurrent ten-year sentence for the counts of attempted murder.

Glover will not be released until it is deemed safe to do so. 

Should he be deemed mentally fit to be discharged from hospital at any point in his sentence, he will be transferred to a prison.

Harley's mum, Jo, said: "Harley was a kind, caring, selfless, intelligent and comical young man. He had a very bright future ahead of him which was cruelly cut short through no fault of his own. 

"He was dearly loved and is sorely missed by his family and many friends."

Investigating officer Heather Apen, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "My thoughts are with Harley’s parents today and with all the victims who were injured and traumatised by Glover’s deliberate actions.

“They have all been so brave throughout the course of this investigation and have shown the utmost dignity at today’s hearing.

“This outcome will not bring Harley back, and it won’t stop victims and their loved ones from reliving the terror they felt that December afternoon, but I do hope that Glover’s conviction and, now, his secure detention, means they can start to rebuild their lives, safe in the knowledge that he no longer poses a threat to their community.”

Numerous tributes have been paid to Harley since his death, including two occasions when his school organised minute's applause, the latter on the first anniversary of his death when a sculpture in Harley's memory was unveiled at the school.

Friends of Harley held a memorial ride out on their bikes around the Debden Estate just days after his death, and a minute's applause rang out days later at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Harley's favourite club organised a special tribute at a Premier League match.
3.51pm - January 7

MP calls for "rapid and significant improvement" to "unacceptable" postal situation

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing has taken up the cases of numerous constituents who have not had regular postal deliveries for more than two months, and is calling on Royal Mail to make a "rapid and significant improvement" to the current "unacceptable" situation.

One Chigwell resident who contacted Dame Eleanor said that since early November they regularly receive just one delivery a week, and have had no deliveries at all since December 23.  

They said they are concerned their son could miss vital hospital appointments if letters are not received.

Another constituent, in Buckhurst Hill, said he was anxiously waiting for bank cards to be delivered.

Royal Mail senior public affairs manager Michael Hogg has told Dame Eleanor 43 per cent of staff at the Debden Delivery Office, which serves the IG8 postcode area, are currently off work, with the figure up from 40 per cent on December 11.

He said the absences were for coronavirus-related issues, and with five staff members now shielding. 

He added some staff were absent for long-term sickness reasons, weekly rest days and annual holidays.

Mr Hogg added: "We continue to have a range of measures in place to adhere to the Government's social distancing guidelines to protect our people and the communities we serve. 

"Volumes are also up on this time in previous years putting additional pressure on our people."

Additional agency support workers and vehicle hire put in place to manage deliveries at the Debden Delivery Office over the Christmas period have been kept on to help address the issue, he said.

He said deliveries are taking place "at least every other day and collections from Post Offices, postboxes and businesses are taking place as usual".

Dame Eleanor said: "Obviously my best wishes go to all those staff who are off sick or having to shield however it is an unacceptable situation that so many people in the area have been without regular postal deliveries for such a long time."

She added: "When so many people are having to stay at home, it is all the more important that they can expect regular post deliveries so they can keep in touch with loved ones, and not have the worry of not receiving important items of mail such as hospital appointment dates, financial documents and bank cards.

"I have written to Royal Mail and welcome the reply that promises that the cases I have highlighted will be investigated.

"I sincerely hope there is a rapid and significant improvement in the level of service currently being provided in the area and that deliveries can very soon return to the level of service expected."  
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