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You can keep-up-to-date with the latest news on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook page and group, on Twitter (@eefnews) and Instagram (eefnews), and via the EEF News WhatsApp group. To be added to the group text your name to 07710 447868.
 
NEWS ARCHIVE: For earlier articles CLICK HERE
The Everything Local News media service - part of Everything Epping Forest and 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 
CLICK HERE
CLICK IT LOCAL

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

For more details
CLICK HERE
Pixel Business Centre, Waltham Abbey

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


Website  Facebook
Oakland Care

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

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

Website  Facebook
Forest Skin Clinic

Tel: 01992 276376
Email: info@forestskinclinic.com

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


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

Website
Protecting People and Property. Established in 1979. 24-hour emergency service. Approved contractors for electronic security systems - intruder and fire alarms, CCTV and access control systems.
✅ Brand new model, purpose-built six-seater London Black Taxi
✅ Perspex screen separating driver and passenger compartments
✅ Driver operated passenger doors and contactless payment options
✅ Vinyl seats designed to be easy to clean and sterilise after every journey
✅ Reduced price fares from £25 to Central London and ride sharing options from £5 pp

 For more details CLICK HERE
Haslers

Old Station Road, Loughton, IG10 4PL

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


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

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

A long established Epping-based architectural practice offering a cost-effective service to achieve planning permission and building regulations approval for a wide range of projects.
The company prides itself on offering an attentive and professional services.
Ring Paul on 07736 922863 to discuss requirements
Website
WALTHAM ABBEY NEWS
2.24pm - December 23

Ram raid gang - including man from Waltham Abbey - sentenced

Members of an organised crime group - including a man from Waltham Abbey - who stole more than £465,000 in a series of ram-raid burglaries in London's West End have been jailed following an investigation by the Met's Flying Squad.

The five men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (December 21) after pleading guilty to conspiring to burgle three premises in Westminster.

Martin Dunne, 37, of Foxes Parade, Waltham Abbey, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Omar Bakali, 28, of Hopefield Avenue, Kilburn, was sentenced to four years and four months’ imprisonment.

Jamie Claydon, 28, of Ipswich Road, Newbourne, Suffolk, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

Gary Lynch, 32, of Tudor Close, Highgate, was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment.

Anthony Alleyne, 54, of Peckham Road, Peckham, was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment.

The first burglary took place at 3.30am on July 14, 2020, at Selfridges in Oxford Street. 

Two vehicles - an Audi S4 bearing stolen number plates, and a Jaguar S-Type, which was on cloned number plates - approached the store.

The Jaguar then reversed through the entrance doors. Five suspects ran into the store and stole a number of Valentino and Balenciaga handbags. They then returned to the vehicles and drove off.

Detectives from the Flying Squad began an investigation to trace the movements of the vehicles and suspects. Extensive CCTV enquiries tracked the vehicles to a residential area in Highgate.

It was not until after they committed the second burglary that officers were able to identify the members of the organised crime group by using evidence from hours of CCTV, and extensive telephone records and automated number plate recognition (ANPR).

The second offence occurred at 4.05am on July 24, 2020, at Celine on Mount Street. Two stolen vehicles, both displaying stolen number plates, an Audi S4 and a Volkswagen Golf, arrived at the scene. 

The Golf reversed through the entrance doors at speed and five suspects ran into the store and stole a number of handbags. 

Extensive structural damage was caused to the store. 

The Golf was abandoned in the store whilst the men left the scene in the Audi.

DNA linked Alleyne to the Golf.Further telephone evidence and ANPR showed Dunne and Bakali to travel from Clacton-on-Sea to north London on the evening of July 24 in the Audi S4. 

CCTV evidence showed them meet with other members of the group at a residential area in Highgate to change clothing and prepare the Audi and Golf.

This involved changing number plates on the vehicles. 

CCTV evidence showed the group to rendezvous in Highgate after the offence and transfer property stolen into a Ford Transit van. 

CCTV from the night of the offence and later surveillance observations linked this van to Lynch. 

Images and messages found on Bakali’s phone showed him attempting to sell the handbags on in the days after the offence.

The third burglary took place just after midnight on October 9, 2020, at Moncler in Old Bond Street. CCTV evidence showed the group meeting in a residential area in Chalk Farm.  

As with the earlier offences, the group turned their mobile phones off at this meeting in order to evade detection. 

The suspects approached the venue in a stolen vehicle, a Kia Niro and two motorbikes. 

They smashed their way through the entrance door with a sledgehammer. They stole a number of jackets, bags and other items of clothing and fled the scene.

One of the motorbikes used was abandoned at the scene. Enquiries showed it had been stolen.

Later that day, on the afternoon of October 9, detectives conducted surveillance in a residential area of Epping. 

They located Claydon in a van and found a large amount of Moncler clothing in bin bags.

The property had been stolen during the offence. He was arrested for handling stolen goods and released under investigation.

DNA linked Bakali to the motorbike left at the scene.  

Images found on Dunne’s phone showed him to have been in possession of stolen clothing from this burglary.

Detective Constable Martyn Stone, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This was an immensely complex investigation involving a huge amount of evidence. 

“The group caused havoc in the West End with buildings being severely damaged and high valued goods being stolen. 

"These men have since discovered that crime does not pay and thanks to the complex investigative work by the Flying Squad, they will instead be spending time behind bars.”

Claydon was later arrested again in May 2021 and charged with conspiracy to burgle. 

The other members of the group were arrested throughout March and May 2021 and also charged with conspiracy to burgle.

Investigations continue to track down and bring to justice outstanding suspects who are believed to be involved in these offences, police said.
4.47pm - December 21

Man and teenager jailed for at least 23 years over death of pedestrian

A man and a teenager convicted of killing a pedestrian in Waltham Abbey earlier this year have been jailed for a total of at least 23 years.

A 17-year-old boy, from Cheshunt, was behind the wheel of a car that hit Neil Darnell on Friday, April 16.

Patrick O’Driscoll, 18, from Hertford, was the passenger.

They had been attempting to pursue a cyclist following an earlier altercation in Market Square, Waltham Abbey, that morning.

While following the man at speed in a damaged BMW, they hit 50-year-old Neil, a completely innocent pedestrian, who had been crossing the junction at Farm Hill Road.

He died in hospital two weeks later from a traumatic brain injury.

On Monday, November 8, a jury found both the 17-year-old and O’Driscoll guilty of causing Neil’s death.

The driver of the car was found guilty of murder and O’Driscoll found guilty of manslaughter.

At the same court today on Tuesday, the driver was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 15 years and passenger Patrick O’Driscoll was sentenced to eight years imprisonment.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Greg Wood said: “Even after they had hit and fatally injured an innocent man they still continued to drive dangerously to follow the cyclist.

“They didn’t stop their vehicle, call for help or make any attempt to help Neil. Instead they fled the scene and dumped the car to try and cover their tracks.

“I don’t think they had a care for who they would possibly injure that day.

“Although this result can’t bring back the loving husband and father Neil’s family have lost, I hope they will find some relief knowing that they are now rightfully behind bars.”
11.24am - December 3

Decision awaited over any Next plc appeal against decision to refuse permission for distribution centre

High street retailer Next has until the end of the month to lodge an appeal to challenge Epping Forest District Council's decision to refuse permission for a distribution centre on the edge of Waltham Abbey.

District councillors met in private session on Thursday to agree next steps, should Next plc submit an appeal against the decision which was made earlier this year.

In a statement issued last night (Thursday), the council said: "The Next planning application for Dowding Way, Waltham Abbey, was a major planning application refused by the council. 

"Councillors received further legal advice and agreed their strategy for defending the decision, should Next submit an appeal."

Any planning applicant has a right of appeal when a council refuses a planning application.

Appeals are held before an independent government-appointed planning inspector. 

Next plc must confirm in December whether it intends to appeal, the council added.

Everything Epping Forest has submitted three requests to Next requesting a statement on its position with regards to any appeal decision.
3.38pm - November 28

Two school year groups to study at home for a week after "significant number" of teachers test positive for COVID-19

Two year groups at King Harold Academy in Waltham Abbey will be studying from home this coming week after "a significant number" of teachers have tested positive for COVID-19 "in the last few days".

Members of the Senior Leadership Team are among the staff members having to isolate for ten days.

A letter to parents states: "Fewer staff and a lack of supply teachers locally (since other schools are in a similar position) means we are unable to welcome all year groups into the Academy between Monday (November 29) and Friday (December 3).

"Without the required number of teaching staff available, we cannot guarantee a safe and effective environment for all students, so we are going to remain open for specific year groups only."

Students in Year 8 and Year 9 will be set remote learning to be completed at home.

The school adds that any students unable to study safely at home will be able to complete work in school in a supervised setting.

Students in Years 7, 10 and 11 are required to attend school as normal.
3.44pm - November 18

Man stabbed

Police are continuing to investigate after a man, aged in his 30s, sustained stab wounds in an incident on Paternoster Hill, Waltham Abbey, at about 10am yesterday (Wednesday).

The man was taken to hospital for treatment.

A police spokesman said no arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
3.43pm - November 18

Students act as museum guides for Takeover Day at Epping Forest District Museum

Students from King Harold Academy in Waltham Abbey acted as guides when the Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey took part in the national Takeover Day event.

The students demonstrated the knowledge they had learned about various displays and items to give guided tours around the Sun Street venue.

Various exhibits were also explained to Upshire Primary School children who also took part in activities at the museum.

Year 7 King Harold Academy students Grace Cooper and Tilly Giddy showed Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing and Epping Forest District Council chairman councillor Helen Kane around the museum.

Dame Eleanor said: "It was a pleasure to visit the Epping Forest District Museum and be shown round by Grace and Tilly. Their knowledge of the displays was amazing and they would certainly make good museum guides or curators in the future!

"The museum is a fantastic place with so much of our local history recorded there, including many artefacts that have been recovered from around the Epping Forest area."
3.45pm - November 16

MP cuts ribbon to officially open estate agent's new office

A Waltham Abbey estate agent has officially opened its new offices to the public.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing was invited to cut the ribbon at the new premises of Duncan Phillips at 40 Sun Street on Friday.

Dame Eleanor said: "I was delighted to officially open the new offices.

"Duncan Phillips is a long-established Waltham Abbey business, having been based in the town for more than 30 years, and I wish Howard Green and his staff all the very best as the business starts a new chapter in its history."

Duncan Phillips caters for residential and commercial sales, lettings and management.

The company was founded by Howard Green in 1990.
12.26pm - November 13

More events confirmed for 'Festival of Light'

New events have been added to the 'Festival of Light' programme of festive events which begins with the 'Cavalcade of Light' on Friday, November 26.

Members of the Epping Forest Band will be playing while printable sing-a-long carol sheets are now available to download at https://festivaloflight.uk/sing-a-long/

The 'Cavalcade of Light' procession will set off from the Cornmill car park at 7pm and head to Waltham Abbey Town Hall for the switching on of the Christmas lights.

The procession will then head up Quaker Lane before turning left into Sun Street.

Local groups and organisations - including schools - as well as individuals are invited to take part in the procession with the town council awarding a prize for the best float and best individual entry.

For more details and to register an entry for the procession, email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk.

* Friday, November 26 - A Christmas Carol-oke will take place outside the Abbey Church directly after the procession.

* Friday, November 26 - Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street open 5pm to 7pm - festive refreshments, live entertainment and games, Free entry.

* Friday, November 26 - Wilsons of Waltham Abbey, 29 Sun Street - Elf workshop with a special gift for every child and Prosecco for adults (6pm to 8pm).

* Sunday, November 28 - A carols and Christmas tales service will be held at St Thomas' Church, Upshire, at 4.30pm.

* Monday, November 29 - A Christmas event will be held at Hillhouse Square, Ninefields, with a lantern workshop in the Community Room at Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre (3pm-5pm) and an event featuring the U3A Line Dancers and Chingford Morris Dancers and carol singing at 7pm.

* Thursday, December 2 - Christmas wreath making and festive floral arrangements - Waltham Abbey Community Centre, 46 Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey. Booking required via https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/277

* Saturday, December 4 - A Christmas Market is being held in Sun Street.

* Saturday, December 4 - Father Christmas at Epping Forest District Museum (11am to 3.30pm) with a Game Plan exhibition and Santa's grotto.

* Tuesday, December 7 - Toddler Father Christmas event at Epping Forest District Museum (10am to noon) and an Evening Father Christmas event (4pm to 7pm). £6 per child. Booking not required. Time slots will be allocated on the day. More details at https://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum/

* Thursday, December 16 - Christmas wreath making and festive floral arrangements - Waltham Abbey Community Centre, 46 Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey. Booking required via https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/277
6.13pm - November 11

Still time to book stalls for Christmas market

There is still time to book stalls for the Waltham Abbey Christmas Market which is being held in Sun Street on Saturday, December 4 (9am until 3pm).

Stalls already confirmed will be selling crystal candles, sterling silver men’s jewellery, glass art, shawls, blankets and Christmas stockings, handmade face masks, wheel thrown pottery, scented wax melts, handmade children’s clothing and craft gins.

St Clare Hospice will also be having a stall.

Anyone interested in booking a stall should ring Sarah Colley on 01992 714949.
5.08pm - November 9

Fundraiser receives recognition from Prime Minister

The fundraising efforts of a Waltham Abbey man who has raised over £160,000 over the past ten years to support victims of crime or abuse and those affected by ill-health or disability has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Points of Light award.

Shane Yerrell, who is a Waltham Abbey town councillor, receives the award in recognition of his dedicated fundraising in support of anyone facing hardship.

Shane, who runs the 'Through the Fight Foundation', started fundraising after being the victim of a knife attack in 2007, and realising he could turn his experience into a positive by supporting others who were going through their own traumatic or difficult situation. 

Following the success of a sponsored climb in aid of ‘The Rob Knox Foundation’, set up in memory of the actor killed in a knife attack to support young people gain opportunities in the arts, Shane was inspired to continue his fundraising efforts, leading to the creation of his own foundation,‘Through The Fight’ in 2016.

'Through the Fight' is dedicated to supporting anyone facing hardship. 

Shane's most recent fundraiser is in support of a terminally ill 48-year-old man, raising over £3,000 to help him fulfill his bucket list wish of attending a Tottenham Hotspur match in a VIP box with all his family.

Shane said: "This is so overwhelming. I’ve had an incredible journey over the last ten years and met some amazing people.

"I set up ‘Through The Fight Foundation’ to ensure victims of violent crime and people affected by illnesses could have somewhere to turn. Someone who would reach out to them. I wanted to be the person who reached out.

"To receive recognition from our Prime Minister is incredible. The fact that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to acknowledge my fundraising is amazing.

"I would like to dedicate this award to my family, close friends and all the people who have have fought back from their struggles.

"Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today."
4.34pm - November 9

Two teenagers convicted over death

A teenager has been convicted of murdering a man in Waltham Abbey earlier this year.

A second teenager has also been convicted of manslaughter in connection with the death of local man Neil Darnell, 50, who was found seriously injured at about 10am on Friday, April 16, after being hit by a car on Farm Hill Road.

The driver of the vehicle failed to stop at the scene and the car was found abandoned a short while later.

CCTV footage recovered showed that two teenagers had attended Le Golden Touch barbers on Market Square, Waltham Abbey, that morning.

An unknown man had approached the barbers to threaten the two teenagers, before slashing the tyres of their car. 

He then fled the area on a bicycle.

Despite the car having been damaged and in a dangerous condition to drive, the two teenagers then got behind the wheel of their grey BMW to pursue the man at speed.

Mr Darnell, an innocent pedestrian crossing the junction at Farm Hill Road, was struck by their car.

He died in hospital two days later.

A forensic post-mortem examination found he had suffered a traumatic head injury.

On Saturday, May 8, a 17-year old boy, from Cheshunt, was arrested in Harlow and charged with murder.

Within a week, a second 17-year-old boy, from Hertford, was also arrested and charged with murder.

Both teenagers stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court and yesterday (Monday) a jury found both guilty in connection with Mr Darnell’s death.

The Cheshunt boy, the driver of the car, was found guilty of murder.

The Hertford boy, the passenger, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Both will be sentenced in December on a date yet to be fixed.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Greg Wood said: “What initially appeared to be a case of dangerous driving turned out to be much more disturbing.

“Evidence clearly showed that both the driver and passenger got behind the wheel of their car intending to cause harm to someone.

“During their pursuit the driver drove directly at oncoming vehicles and mounted the pavement several times to deliberately try and collide with the cyclist.

“Even after they hit a completely innocent bystander, who subsequently lost his life, they continued to follow the cyclist with no regard for anyone else around them.

“At no point did they attempt to get help for the man they had fatally injured. Their only focus was to cover their involvement.

“As with any investigation where someone’s life has been cut short by the actions of others, I know this result cannot bring back the loving husband and father Neil’s family have lost.

“I hope they can take some solace knowing that our teams have worked tirelessly throughout the investigation and that those involved have been convicted of their crimes.”
9.06am - November 8

UPSHIRE: Teenager seriously injured in road crash

A 19-year-old man has suffered serious injuries and two other people have been taken to hospital as a precaution following an incident on Horseshoe Hill, Upshire.

Police say the collision involved a silver Clio sometime before 8.30pm last night (Sunday).

A spokesman said: "A 19-year-old man sustained serious injuries and has been taken to hospital. Two other occupants of the vehicle have been taken to hospital as a precaution."

Officers want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw the collision or the car shortly before it happened.

Anyone with any information or dashcam footage should submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk, use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm, ring 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111  quoting incident 1414 of November 7.
9.19am - November 7

Various events to form Festival of Light

A host of events are being held this year as part of the inaugural Festival of Light in Waltham Abbey.

The festival begins with the traditional Cavalcade of Light through the town on Friday, November 26.

The parade, involving floats and individuals, will set off as usual from the Cornmill car park at 7pm, for the Christmas lights switch-on outside Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

Then, in a change to previous years, the parade will follow a route along Quaker Lane before turning into Sun Street.

Waltham Abbey Town Council will award a prize for the best float (£1,000) and the best walking entry (£500).

A Christmas Sing-A-Long will take place directly following the parade outside the Abbey Church (7.45pm).

Also on that day, the Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street will be open until late (5pm to 7pm).

On Sunday, November 28, a Festival of Light Carols and Christmas Tales service will be held at St Thomas' Church, Upshire (4pm) and a Service of Music and Readings for Advent will be held at the Abbey Church (6.30pm).

On Monday, November 29, a Ninefields Christmas Extravaganza event will take place at Hillhouse Square, Ninefields (7pm).

A Christmas Market will be held on Saturday, December 4.

A Carol Service will be held at the Baptist Church, Paradise Road, Waltham Abbey, at 4.30pm on Sunday, December 19.

Local groups and organisations - including schools - as well as individuals are invited to take part in the Cavalcade of Light procession while Festival of Light organisers are encouraging people to create-a-lantern which can be taken to any of the events.

For more details about the Christmas Market and to register an entry for the Cavalcade of Light procession, email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk.

More details about all the Festival of Light events can be found at www.festivaloflight.uk
3.34pm - November 1

Cavalcade of Light is back

Waltham Abbey Town Council - after a year's absence - will again be launching the festive season with the Cavalcade of Light.

This year the event - on Friday, November 26 - is being held as part of the town's Festival of Light which is seeing other events held across the town.

The Cavalcade of Light will set off as usual from the Cornmill car park at 7pm, for the Christmas lights switch-on at Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

Then, in a change to previous years, the parade will follow a route along Quaker Lane before turning into Sun Street.

A Christmas Carol-oke will take place directly following the parade outside the Abbey Church.

Also on that day, the Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street will be open until late.

On Sunday, November 28, a Festival of Light carols and Christmas tales service will be held at St Thomas' Church, Upshire (4.30pm) while on Monday, November 29 (7pm) a Christmas Festival event will take place at Hillhouse Square, Ninefields.

A Christmas Market will be held at Waltham Abbey Town Hall on Saturday, December 4.

Local groups and organisations - including schools - as well as individuals are invited to take part in the procession.

The town council will award a prize for the best float and best individual entry.

For more details and to register an entry for the procession, email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk.

More details about all the events can be found at www.festivaloflight.uk
9.23am - October 31

Halloween party guest carrying toy shot gun sparks armed police incident

A man carrying a toy shot gun as he walked home from a Halloween party in Waltham Abbey sparked an armed police incident after a member of the public reported seeing a 'gunman'.

Armed officers were among those who responded to the call and scoured an area around Woodgreen Road in the early hours.

The police helicopter was also involved in the search for the man who was given "words of advice" when he was found.

The man later explained the situation in a post on social media.

He said: "The police were raiding my house. I was seen walking back from a Halloween party with a toy shot gun and it got reported.

"I gave them the toy and it was all over in about 15 to 20 minutes, I can assure you they do not mess about and take their job very seriously. Hats off to them!"

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "We were called to reports of someone seen with what was described as a firearm in the Woodgreen Road area of Waltham Abbey shortly after 12.40am on Sunday (October 31).

"Officers attended, located the person and established it was a toy. "Words of advice were provided."
5.19pm - October 22

Multi-storey car park plan for Sainsbury distribution centre

A three-storey car park accommodating almost 500 vehicles - which would provide an additional 187 spaces on the site - is proposed for the Sainsbury distribution centre on the edge of Waltham Abbey, a planning application reveals.

The Waltham Point Distribution Centre, which employs just over 1,000 staff, currently has parking for 432 vehicles and space for 40 cycles.

In addition to Waltham Point’s core use as a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Sainsbury distribution centre, the site also contains a Resource Recovery Unit and Vehicle Maintenance Unite. 

The company is moving to a "more labour intensive system" which will create about 350 new jobs. 

A planning statement submitted to Epping Forest District Council with the planning application states: "The way that the shift patterns operate means that there is an overlap between shifts that mean pressure for car parking can be intense. 

"To accommodate new colleagues, even assuming future model shifts, SSL will need to provide approximately 200 additional parking spaces.

"The most sustainable and efficient way to accommodate these is to provide a new decked car park, comprising 494 car parking spaces, over the existing colleague car park. This will provide an increase of 187 new car parking spaces. 225 cycle spaces are also proposed." 

The planning application also includes proposals for 99 new trailer spaces.

The planning statement adds: "The car park will have three decks above the ground, reaching a parapet height in the north of 11.6m and a parapet height to the south of 10.5m.

"The highest point, at the top of the stair core, will reach 12.5m. This is still well below the height of the adjacent Waltham Point building and Resource Recovery Unit.

"The north and south elevations of the car park will be treated with a metal perforated cladding.

The south elevation is the most visible from outside of the site. The car park will be designed to have a functional aesthetic, taking context to its commercial surroundings and the needs of its proposed use, but opportunities to provide decorative elements will be pursued.

"The decorative cladding will be located in distinct areas to break up the façade. Textured and flat panels will be used with an inverted undulation to create a woven effect."
3.28pm - September 24

Two men charged after car crashes into house

Two men have been charged after a car crashed into the front of a house in Waltham Abbey.

Police were called to Stanway Road at about 6.50am yesterday.

Two men were later arrested.

Michael Zahra, 36, of Turpin Road, Romford, has now been charged with failing to provide a specimen.

William Smith, 37, of Leamington Road, Romford, has been charged with failing to provide a specimen and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

They are both due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on October 12.
2.25pm - September 23

Car crashes into house

Firefighters called to reports that a car had crashed into a house in Waltham Abbey this morning feared people were trapped inside the property, it has emerged.

Emergency crews were called to Stanway Road shortly before 7am after the vehicle went into the front of a house.

The property is having to be assessed for structural damage and the area remained cordoned off this lunchtime.

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: “Firefighters were called to Stanway Road, Waltham Abbey, at 6.58am to reports that a car had collided with a house and the residents were trapped inside. 

“On arrival, crews reported that a car had collided with the front of a house and nobody was trapped in the car or the house. 

"Firefighters from the Urban Search and Rescue team have been working throughout the day to make the house structurally safe and remain at the scene.”

Essex Police has been asked for a statement about the incident.
12.27pm - September 21

Police officers "followed policies and procedures" in pursuit

Officers acted appropriately, following policies and procedures during a pursuit prior to a fatal road traffic collision in Waltham Abbey, an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation concluded.

The collision occurred on March 28, 2019, in Parklands when a Vauxhall Corsa, which had failed to stop for police, collided with a Vauxhall Mokka and a Range Rover, killing the driver of the Corsa,

Jessica Ladkin, 31, (also known as Jessica Michael). The driver of the Mokka sustained serious life-changing injuries.

The IOPC investigation established that a police car from the combined Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit had been following the Corsa after it was identified as being uninsured. 

Officers made two attempts to stop the Corsa before the collision.

IOPC investigators attended the scene at the time and the police post incident procedure. Investigators gathered and assessed evidence including the incident data recorder, radio communications, dashcam footage captured from the Vauxhall Mokka, CCTV, body-worn video footage, statements from the officers involved and witness statements. 

The six-month investigation concluded there was no indication that any of the officers may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner justifying the bringing of disciplinary proceedings. All officers were treated as witnesses throughout.

An inquest jury at Chelmsford Coroners Court on Monday (September 20) returned a finding of death by road traffic collision for Ms Ladkin.

Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “The consequences of this incident are tragic and my thoughts are with Ms Ladkin’s family and all those who were affected by the events that evening. 

“When fatal road traffic incidents involving the police occur it is important we establish the circumstances surrounding them. 

"Having conducted a thorough investigation we found the officers’ involved followed policies and procedures during the pursuit which lasted under a minute.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary made a mandatory referral following the collision in March 2019 as is standard in cases where a death has occurred following police contact. 

Prior to Ms Ladkin’s inquest, IOPC provided its investigation report to family members, Hertfordshire Constabulary and HM Coroner. 
2.23pm - September 6

Firefighters called after van hits house

Fire crews from Loughton and Chingford were called to a house off Monkswood Avenue, Waltham Abbey, this morning after a van struck the front of a house and hit a gas box.

Gas engineers from Cadent as well as police officers were also on the scene.

The property sustained structural damage but no-one was trapped either in the house or the van.

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson told Everything Epping Forest: “Firefighters were called to Windsor Wood in Waltham Abbey at 11:04am to reports that a van had collided with a gas box in a house. 

“On arrival, crews reported that a van had collided with a house and had hit a gas box. 

“Nobody was trapped inside the vehicle or house and crews worked with the gas board to check if there was a gas leak. 

“Firefighters confirmed there was no gas leak and left the scene in the care of the gas board and homeowners.”
1.05pm - September 4

Town council hosts horticultural show and Waltham Abbey in Bloom presentations

PICTURES

Flowers and vegetables, scarecrows designed by children and homemade pickles were just some of the entries submitted for the seventh Waltham Abbey horticultural show and Waltham Abbey In Bloom competition.

The events, held by Waltham Abbey Town Council in conjunction with the allotment association, culminated with the presentation of certificates and trophies at Waltham Abbey Town Hall on Friday evening.

Waltham Abbey in Bloom prizes included awards for the 'Most Colourful Public House' and 'Most Colourful Business Frontage' both of which were won by The Welsh Harp.

Hillhouse Primary School won the 'Best School Garden with Pupil Involvement' and the 'Best Communal Container' category and was second in the tallest sunflower category.

Numerous horticultural show awards were presented with Monica Brzoza and Steven Moore receiving the 'Best in Show' trophy. The winner was based on the number of points gathered in all categories.

Town Mayor councillor Jodie Lucas, who announced the winners and presented certificates for the winners and second and third placed entries in a range of categories, said: "Well done to everybody.

"It was fantastic to visit the allotments and the schools to see what had been grown, and it was an absolute pleasure to see all the entries brought along to the town hall for judging.

"Congratulations to everyone who took part."
9.13pm - August 28

Firefighters tackle van blaze

Firefighters spent about 45 minutes dealing with a blaze which tore through a van on Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, this afternoon.

An Essex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman told Everything Epping Forest the alarm was raised at 4.03pm and the fire had been extinguished by 4.50pm.

Firefighters arrived to find the van was "100 per cent alight".

Damage was also caused to a nearby shop.

There are no reports of anyone being injured in the incident.
2.37pm - August 24

Police message ahead of weekend festivals

Police are asking people to enjoy themselves but to act responsibly as the Eastern Electrics and Maiden Voyage festivals make their debut at the Lee Valley Showground, Waltham Abbey.

Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend Eastern Electrics on Saturday (August 28) and another 15,000 are expected at Maiden Voyage on Sunday (August 29).

Event organiser Columbo Star is responsible for safety and security on site during the festivals.

The company has been working closely with Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Hertfordshire Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service to ensure the event is safe.

Essex Police and Hertfordshire Police also have plans in place to respond to any incidents that may require a police response and there will be officers near the showground.

Superintendent Craig Saunders said: “We’ve worked with partners to be satisfied that Columbo Star has a robust security plan in place to ensure the highest standards of public safety.

“As with any large event we also have a policing plan in place to ensure troublemakers do not spoil the event for the majority of people attending, or cause disruption to the local community.

“We want festival-goers to enjoy themselves, look out for one another and be safe.

“But anyone intent on committing crime or disorder will be dealt with robustly.”

If anyone experiences crime or sees something of concern, they should approach a member of the security team, speak to police officers outside the site or contact Essex Police online at https://www.essex.police.uk/ and speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Always call 999 in an emergency.
8.04am - August 24

WALTHAM ABBEY: Three dead; two arrested after M25 crash

Two people have been arrested following a collision on the M25 near Waltham Abbey in which three people died and another sustained life-threatening injuries.

The incident happened on the anti-clockwise carriageway at about 6.15pm yesterday (Monday) and involved a Ford Mondeo, a minibus and a lorry.

The opposite carriageway was also closed for a time so that air ambulances could land.

The road finally reopened at 5.10am.

The East of England Ambulance Service said nine ambulances as well as its Hazardous Area Response Team, two air ambulances, four ambulance officers and a BASIC vehicle were sent to the scene.

Fire crews from Brentwood, Loughton, Epping and Waltham Abbey were also dealing with the incident.

Anyone with any information about the collision, the moments leading up to the collision or who has dash cam footage is being asked to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Steve Holmes, from Essex Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, thanked everyone who had assisted officers in the investigation so far.

Speaking from the scene last night he said: “This evening has been incredibly challenging and we are continuing to work as quickly as we can to piece together exactly what led to this tragic incident.

"My thoughts and those of all officers on scene are with the families of those who lost their lives this evening.

“At present, two drivers have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

“I need anyone with further information to come forward. The road remained closed whilst our colleagues tended to those who were injured and whilst we have gathered evidence and preserved the crime scene.

“I would like to thank everyone on the M25 for their patience - I know it’s been a long night."

Anyone who witnessed the collision, has dash cam footage, or has information on it should submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Information can also be given on 101 (quote incident 972 of Monday, August 23), or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
3.52pm - August 19
 
Police respond to 'firearm' sighting

Police searched part of Waltham Abbey after receiving reports that two people had been seen with a "firearm".

The alarm was raised yesterday afternoon (Wednesday)  with the person who reported the incident believing an air weapon was involved.

Everything Epping Forest received reports that armed officers and the police helicopter had been called out to help with the search.

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "We were called to reports of two people seen with what had been described as a firearm in the Roundhills area of Waltham Abbey at around 4.25pm on August 18.

"The person reporting the incident believes it was an air weapon.

"Officers attended and carried out a search of the area but could not find the people."

Anyone with any information about the incident can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 826 of August 18).

Information can also be given via 101 or by ringing Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
8.58am - August 19

Firefighters commended
 
Four firefighters from Waltham Abbey and Brentwood fire stations have received Chief Fire Officer commendations for their lifesaving actions following a flat fire in Cheshunt.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Jo Turton visited Waltham Abbey Fire Station to present the commendations to Crew Manager Mav Langdon, Crew Manager Brenden Cardy and Firefighter Robert Bull from Waltham Abbey Fire Station and Firefighter Daryl Chapman from Brentwood.

They have been recognised for their courageous, lifesaving actions that gave a man fighting for his life the best chance of survival.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service also recognised their crews involved in the incident with Group Commander Commendations to highlight their quick actions in rescuing the man and woman trapped in the blaze.

Jo Turton said: "Their perseverance in a situation like this, when all hope could have been lost, is commendable beyond words.

"The way the crews worked as one team and dealt with this very high-pressured situation was exemplary. They gave the man the best possible outcome of survival and it is truly remarkable.

"They all demonstrated compassion and professionalism, and I am incredibly proud of them."

Station Manager Dave Bond said: "Our crews were called over the border to a flat fire in Cheshunt and worked with firefighters from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"The woman was rescued by Cheshunt crews down the ladder and the Cheshunt Breathing Apparatus crew found the casualty unconscious in the flat and brought him out the front door where our crews took over his care.

"Our crews carried out CPR on the man for around ten minutes. During this time the defibrilator that we were carrying on the fire engine analysed the casualty three times and at all times it found no shockable rhythm meaning there was no heartbeat detected to shock. The crews thought the casualty had passed away.

"The crews continued to work on him and their hard work meant that just as the ambulance turned up and were about to take over, colour had returned to his face and the ambulance crew detected a faint pulse.

"The man had suffered significant burns and was placed in an induced coma. At the time of the incident his injuries were described as life-changing but not life-threatening."

He added: "I am incredibly proud of the professionalism and dedication shown by our crews and our colleagues from Herts Fire Service on that day.

"The joint working between both services and the clear communication shown in an incredibly challenging situation was key to giving the man a fighting chance when the initial outcome looked bleak.”

Waltham Abbey Fire Station is recruiting on-call firefighters.

If you live or work within five minutes of Waltham Abbey Fire Station you could be paid to protect your community.
9.09am - August 5

Man taken to hospital after becoming unwell following arrest

A man was taken to hospital after he became unwell after he was arrested on Woodredon Hill, Waltham Abbey, after police were called to reports of a vehicle "acting suspiciously" in Horseshoe Hill.

Police were contacted shortly after 5pm yesterday (Wednesday).

A spokesman said officers attended the scene but the vehicle was driven off.

The vehicle later stopped in Woodredon Hill and a man was arrested.

The spokesman added: "Following his arrest he became unwell and was taken to hospital."
3.17pm - August 2

Housing plans for former swimming pool site

A planning application has been submitted for a development of 28 terraced homes on the site of the former Waltham Abbey swimming pool.

Qualis Commercial has submitted the application for the Roundhills site.

The application proposes 22 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom terraced homes with 40 per cent of the development allocated as "affordable" housing.

A report submitted with the application states: "Parking will be provided in a mixture of small parking courts accessed off the new street and undercroft spaces to the three-bedroom houses. 

"One cycle parking space will be provided per unit within secure garden sheds. At least 20 per cent of car parking spaces will feature electric charging points (eight spaces).

"Each three-bedroom dwelling will have an independent parking space positioned close to their front door. 

"Six private spaces are designed to be under-croft accessed at ground floor level of homes. Seven visitor spaces are positioned separately across the site for flexibility."

The application will be considered by Waltham Abbey Town Council before a decision is taken by Epping Forest District Council.
5.06pm - July 30

Fire station becomes a fully 'on-call' station

Waltham Abbey Fire Station has moved to a fully on-call fire station, with firefighters responding from home or work seven days a week.

The station had seen firefighters respond from home during evenings and weekends but has now become an on-call station meaning firefighters will respond from home or work at all times. 

A number of whole-time firefighters will also support the transition while some of the station's newer on-call firefighters continue their training. 

Station Manager Dave Bond said: “We’ve seen some really successful recruitment campaigns recently which have resulted in more on-call firefighters joining our station. 

"We now have 17 in our team with one more firefighter due to join later in the year.

“This success wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our local community - they are the ones who have stepped forward to apply to become on-call firefighters and play a part in protecting the local area.

“The additional support from our existing colleagues will also ensure we will maintain the same level of protection for the Waltham Abbey area.

“We’re still encouraging people to join us, so if you or anyone you know is interested please visit our website for more information.”

About 75 per cent of fire stations in Essex are crewed by on-call firefighters - people who live or work within five minutes of the fire station. 

They respond when called to an incident and are paid for the time they give.

For more about becoming an on-call firefighter visit www.join.essex-fire.gov.uk/on-call/
1.29pm - June 28

Mayor: Thank you to all involved with "fantastic" Town Show

The two-day Waltham Abbey Town Show, organised by Waltham Abbey Town Council, has been hailed as a "fantastic family and community event".

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic it was the first Town Show for two years.

Families turned out over the weekend for a variety of entertainment and stalls run by local charities and businesses.

Entertainment at Town Mead included a performance by Streetzahead dance group, Stagecoach Loughton and a display of Morris dancing.

There was also ferret racing, a dog agility course and dog show, Punch and Judy shows and circus skills.

Town Mayor councillor Jodie Lucas said: "I had such a fantastic weekend. Well done and thank you to everybody involved. 

"It was so lovely to see everyone out enjoying themselves with family and friends and with their dogs taking part in the agility course and the dog show.

"I'm so glad we were able to go ahead and despite some challenges and the current situation we were still able to provide a great family and community event."

She added: "We had some great performances across the two days with lots of fantastic stalls and entertainment for the children with circus skills, Punch and Judy, trampolines and the climbing wall! 

"I hope everyone that attended enjoyed themselves too."
8.25pm - June 26

High street retailer Next to "review options" after council rejected distribution centre plans

High street retailer Next is to "take time" to review Epping Forest District Council's decision to reject its plans for a distribution centre in Waltham Abbey before deciding its next step, "including whether to appeal".

Next's proposals for a distribution centre, photo studio and multi-storey car park off Dowding Way, close to the M25, were rejected by 25 votes to 10 at the end of a four-hour extraordinary district council meeting on Thursday.

The reasons for objection include the adverse impact the development would have on the Green Belt, the size of the proposed building, air pollution issues surrounding the nearby forest and the additional traffic the site would attract.

A Next spokesman told Everything Epping Forest today: "Next is naturally disappointed with the decision, which was made against the recommendation of council officers, and with it the opportunity to provide 436 full-time equivalent jobs.

"Next looks forward to receiving the decision notices in due course and we will take the time to review our options, including whether to appeal."
3.32pm - June 15

Town show to go ahead as planned

Waltham Abbey Town Council has confirmed that the Town Show will go ahead as planned on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27.

The confirmation follows the Prime Minister's announcement that the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will be extended by a month until July 19.

A council spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "The Town Show will still go ahead, all appropriate measures will be in place.

"On a normal year we usually have around 2,000 people attend on any given day of the show and that number is presently half the total number allowed per day for outdoor events. 

"It is expected that numbers will most likely be significantly lower due to the ongoing pandemic."

The event - with stalls, numerous other attractions including a Punch and Judy Show, ferret racing and a visit from the Essex Fire and Rescue Service and The Copped Hall Trust's Rolls Royce - will be held at Town Mead.
3.32pm - June 3

Woman arrested after woman hit by car

A woman has been arrested after a woman suffered serious injuries when she was struck by a car in Badburgham Court, Waltham Abbey, shortly before 1.45am today (Saturday).

Police were called by the ambulance service after a car collided with the woman who remains in hospital.

A 28-year-old woman, from Waltham Abbey, has been arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent, failing to stop and driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs.

She remains in custody for questioning.

A police spokesman said officers do not believe there is any wider threat to the community.

Officers want to hear from anybody who witnessed the incident or has relevant dashcam or Ring doorbell footage.

Anyone with information on the incident but who has not yet spoken to police, should ring 101 and quote incident 94 of June 5.

Information can also be submitted online at https://www.essex.police.uk or via the 'Live Chat' button where you can speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
3.32pm - June 3

Arsonist convicted over blazes which caused damage costing over £250,000

An arsonist who caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage has been convicted following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Mohammed Azizi had set fires at a garage in Sedge Green on July 1 last year and to a VW Polo parked in Bradley Road, Waltham Abbey, six weeks later.

The fire at the garage burnt several vehicles and a building causing £250,000 worth of damage.

Through their investigation, officers were able to identify DNA evidence which established Azizi was at the scene.

On August 15, Azizi, 30, of Bradley Road, Waltham Abbey, was caught on CCTV setting a fire underneath a VW Polo parked next to a residential address.

Later that month he was charged.

He denied arson, arson with recklessness as to whether life would be endangered, and malicious communications.

He was found guilty of the arson offences but was found not guilty of malicious communications.

He is due to be sentenced on August 13.

Detective Inspector Kate Murray, from Loughton CID, said: “Mohammed Azizi caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage and put lives at risk.

“His actions were premeditated and reckless and he clearly poses a significant danger to the public.

“I know these incidents caused significant concern within the community and I’m glad we’ve been able to bring Aziz to justice.

“He now faces time behind bars and our communities will be a safer place as a result.”
2.09pm - June 2

EXCLUSIVE

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

EXCLUSIVE

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.
9.25am - May 30

WALTHAM ABBEY: Twelve planning applications to be considered

Twelve planning applications are to be considered by Waltham Abbey Town Council's planning and licensing sub-committee which is being held at Waltham Abbey Town Hall, Highbridge Street, at 4pm on Wednesday (June 2).

The applications are:

* dropped kerb for a width of 3 metres, 36 Crooked Mile

* single-storey side extension, 47 Upshire Road

* haybarn, 7 Sergeants Green Lane

* new two-storey building for B1 / B2 / B8 offices, storage and light industrial use

* conversion of garage into habitable room, 3 Cobmead Drive

* retention of a permeable roadway made of broken brick, Normandy Nursery, Avey Lane

* retention of a 40ft container, previously used to block the second site entrance, Normandy Nursery, Avey Lane

* alteration of design and location of house on Plot 1, Fairmead, 1 Church Road, High Beech

* demolition of rear triple garage and conservatory and erection of a single-storey rear extension together with rooms in the roof of the existing bungalow, Roundhills, Mott Street

* work on protected trees - one Willow, one Ash, two Oaks and three Prunus, Baden Drive

* single-storey rear extension and loft conversion with dormer window, 4 Willmott Cottages, Copt Hall Green

* application for a Lawful Development certificate for existing use of Class B8 storage purposes.
8.59am - May 27

Town council's youngest member elected Town Mayor

PICTURES

Waltham Abbey Town Council's youngest member has been elected Town Mayor for 2021-22.

Councillor Jodie Lucas, 27, told the Annual Council Meeting she was "truly and deeply honoured" to have been nominated for the position.

She succeeds councillor Antony Watts who received his past mayor's badge from councillor Lucas at the meeting held at Waltham Abbey Town Hall on Wednesday.

Councillor Lucas said: "I really am truly and deeply honoured to be elected as Mayor of Waltham Abbey and it is a privilege to accept this position in the town my family has resided in for nearly 200 years."

Councillor Lucas, who has represented the Paternoster ward for more than five years having been co-opted in 2016 and elected in 2019, added: "I have learnt so much both personally and professionally for the best interests of the town and for those that I represent.

"As the youngest member of the council, guidance and support has been an essential aspect of my development."

Councillor Lucas has chosen the mental health charity Young Minds as her charity for the year.

She said: "Mental health and especially children's mental health is something I am personally passionate about. Mental health is at its most prevalent due to the increased stress and strain the pandemic has put on us all, and especially the younger generation."

Councillor Liz Webster, who was re-elected as council leader, had nominated councillor Lucas saying it was a "really, really, great pleasure" to put her forward for the position. Her nomination was seconded by councillor Tim Matthews.

Members of councillor Lucas's family - including her 96-year-old grandmother, Eugenia - were among the members of the public who attended the mayor-making meeting which saw councillor Jeane Lea elected as Deputy Mayor.

* Cheques totaling £4,250 have been presented by Waltham Abbey Town Council to three local organisations.

A cheque for £2,000 was presented to Waltham Abbey Youth 2000 (WAY 2000) while Through the Fight Foundation received £1,250 and 3FoodU £1,000 from outgoing Town Mayor Antony Watts.
12.54pm - May 25

Three arrested after police respond to report of man threatened with firearm

Three people have been released by police after officers were called to reports that a man had been threatened with a firearm in Waltham Abbey on Sunday evening.

A man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm while a man and a woman were detained on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply.

A police spokesman said: "We were called to an incident in Waltham Abbey around 10pm on Sunday (May 23).

"It was reported that a man visiting an address in Beechfield Walk had been threatened with a firearm.

"Officers attended and arrested a man and two women at the scene, all from the area.

"A 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm was released on bail until June 17.

"A 23-year-old woman and a 40-year-old woman who were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs have been released under investigation."
3.05pm - May 21

New councillor co-opted onto town council

Waltham Abbey Town Council has co-opted Tim Matthews onto the council to fill the vacant High Beech Ward seat.

Mr Matthews was elected in the High Beech Ward for Epping Forest District Council on May 6 and is Waltham Abbey Town Council’s fifth councillor to sit on both the town and district councils.

Councillor Matthews said: “It is a great honour to have been co-opted on to Waltham Abbey Town Council.

"I was born and raised in the Waltham Abbey area and still live there today with my young family."

He added: "I look forward to being able to represent the residents from all areas of Waltham Abbey.

"I strongly believe Waltham Abbey is a very special place that I would love to see thrive.

"I will do everything possible within my new position to make this happen and ensure we leave it in a strong position for future generations to enjoy."
3.44pm - May 20

Mayor reflects on "difficult couple of years"


The Mayor of Waltham Abbey has reflected on "a difficult couple of years" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and praised the town's community spirit as he prepares to hand over his chain of office next week.

Councillor Antony Watts, who has been Town Mayor for the last two years, has also remembered the family of Neil Darnell, the father-of-two who died in a hit-and-run road crash in Farm Hill Road, Waltham Abbey, last month, saying Mr Darnell and his family "will always be in my thoughts".

Mr Watts, in his annual report at the end of the 2020-21 civic year, said: "It's been a difficult couple of years. For most of us, we are looking forward to getting back to some sense of normality, albeit living with this virus.

"I count my blessings as I’ve only lost one friend to this dreadful disease. It has taken the lives of so many too soon but left so many more with their grief. 

"My thoughts and best wishes go out to you all, and to those unfortunate to have 'Long Covid' and who are still struggling with its effects. 

"I was warned over a year ago that we will probably have to live with COVID-19 for years to come.

"One person and family will always be in my thoughts; the care home worker who tragically died just a few days after her husband."

He added: "Alas, life, and death goes on outside COVID-19 and the whole town's thoughts and prayers are with Neil Darnell's family." 

Mr Watts added that his "biggest regret" at the end of his two-year spell as Mayor is that because of the pandemic he has not been able to play a more active role.

He said: "One of the great privileges and pleasures of the office is to get out and about meeting people, in the town and representing it elsewhere. That has just simply not been possible. I have tried to 'do my bit' with so many others and have hopefully helped in some small measure. 

"Of course, the most effective weapon in our armoury is the vaccine. I’ve had my first dose and, like many, felt relieved that at last we finally seem to be getting the better of this deadly enemy. But we will also have to continue being careful, wearing masks indoors,social distancing and washing hands.

"For many it has been, and continues to be a very difficult time but there have been many positive stories. 

"Waltham Abbey has always been a supportive community and this has never been more evident than during this past year. 

"The immediacy with which community support groups swung into action was breathtaking. The Town Hall has done its part, giving financial support to our customers, providing seed funding for 3Food4U and support groups and, of course, making the building available for the NHS.

"The Town Hall is there as a facilitator. The real work is done by each and every one of you. It might be collecting shopping or prescriptions, arranging food parcels, or just being there to provide a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. 

"I am so immensely proud of everyone who has helped and are still playing their part. It’s what makes our town and our community such a great place. It’s not unique. Communities all over the country have done their bit.

"I know, I’m a newcomer having lived here since 1985 but it is my town. Our community spirit existed long before COVID-19. It will survive COVID-19, and I hope that later in the year we will all be able to celebrate it."
4.38pm - May 19

Nine-hour music event gets go-ahead

A nine-hour live music event at the J26 Diner, off Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, for 450 people has been given the go-ahead - a month after an initial application was rejected.

Epping Forest District Council's licensing sub-committee refused an application for a Temporary Event Notice last month on the grounds of "public safety" after Essex Police licensing officer Ronan McManus expressed concern over pedestrians and HGVs sharing the same entrance and exit, and the potential for people under the influence of alcohol wandering onto the nearby M25.

However a new application for the event - running from 2pm until 11pm on Saturday, June 26 - was approved last week after district councillors were given reassurances over the issues and the objections which were set to be challenged at an appeal to magistrates.

Sarah Clover, speaking for the applicants, said there were two main issues which had been the subject of the sub-committee's initial decision to refuse a Temporary Event Notice for the event.

These were the issue of conflict between pedestrians and vehicles on the site, and the fear that intoxicated people could wander onto the M25.

Ms Clover told the sub-committee the conflict issue had been resolved as HGV movements would be grounded for the entirety of the event and also for two hours before and two hours after the event.

On the issue of people possibly walking onto the motorway, she said the likelihood was a "complete mismatch" between the "very, very unlikely" chance of it happening and she cited the example of motorway service areas selling alcohol and no such incidents of drunkenness having been reported nationally.

She said event-goers would arrive and be directed to a car park.

"It's not a common thing for people to get roaring drunk because they have to get themselves home again."

She added that since the original application had been rejected the proposed fencing had been upgraded with steel panels instead of wooden panels proposed.

Mr McManus told last Thursday's meeting that Essex Police repeated its objections and concerns and, again, referred to an unlicensed event at the site last August.

He also repeated his concerns over the possibility of intoxicated people walking onto the M25, issues over the number of taxi being available and the lack of public transport in the immediate area.

"Our concerns remain the same," he said.

The hearing was told the event is aimed at people aged 25 to 40.
4.17pm - May 19

All set for Waltham Abbey Town Show - COVID-19 restrictions allowing

More than 20 stalls have registered for the Waltham Abbey Town Show which Waltham Abbey Town Council hopes can go ahead as scheduled at the end of June, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

The final stage of the Government's roadmap is set to see COVID-19 restrictions lifted on June 21.

Waltham Abbey Town Council, which organises the show, is currently working on the show going ahead at Town Mead on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27.

In addition to the stalls, numerous attractions are planned including a Punch and Judy Show, ferret racing (thanks to Southern Ferrets) and a visit from the Essex Fire and Rescue Service and The Copped Hall Trust's Rolls Royce.

There will also be a mixture of stage performances, and a DJ.

Anyone interested in finding out more about having a stall or performing at the show should email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk or ring 01992 714949 for more information.
4.07pm - May 18

Development of 28 houses set for old swimming pool site

A development of 28 houses is being proposed for the site of the old Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool in Roundhills, Waltham Abbey.

Qualis Commercial - part of the wholly district council-owned Qualis Group - is behind the plans.

The development would see six three-bedroom houses and 22 two-bedroom houses.

It is unclear from flyers being distributed in the area whether the homes are for sale or rent.

Each house would have one parking space with the development would have three visitor spaces.

An area of community space for outdoor play with seating is also proposed.
3.08pm - May 14

Second teenager charged with murder after death of man "with a heart of gold"

The family of a man who died after being hit by a car in Waltham Abbey have described him as a “genuine force of life” with “a heart of gold” who would always “go out of his way to help others”.

Police today said a second 17-year-old boy had been charged with murder following the collision which happened in Farm Hill Road on Friday, April 16.

Local man Neil Darnell, 50, was found injured at about 10am after he was hit by a car.

He died in hospital two days later as a result of his injuries.

In a statement, those closest to him said: “No family should ever have to go through losing a loved one in these circumstances.

“Neil was a compassionate and loving family man. He had celebrated 26 years of marriage to his wife, Michelle, was a devoted father to his two daughters, Alice and Grace, and loved nothing more than taking his little dog, Ted, out for walks.

“He was extremely proud to have served his country with the British Army for six years, including in the first Gulf War, and would go out of his way to help others.

“Neil also completed three marathons, including both the London and Chelmsford marathons, to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust and the Alzheimer’s Association.

“He was always happy, always joking and could always see the brighter side of life.

“In the coming years, Neil and Michelle had plans to move to the countryside and travel to a long list of destinations they hadn’t yet had the time to visit.

“Neil was particularly looking forward to devoting more time to his passion for cooking, sampling different craft beers and bourbons, and seeing his beloved Arsenal play.

“Through such a senseless act, these aspirations have been taken from both ourselves and from Neil, and our lives have been changed forever.

“We are all completely heartbroken and no words can express how much Neil will be missed.”

On Saturday, May 8, a 17-year old boy, from Cheshunt, was arrested in Harlow and charged with murder.

He appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Mayc10 and will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on July 6.

Yesterday, a 17-year-old boy, from Hertford, was also arrested and charged with murder.

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

Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances behind the collision and ask anyone who has yet to speak to them and has any information or footage, to contact the Major Crime Team quoting reference 42/72816/21 at scd.appeals.essex@essex.pnn.police.uk

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

Information can also be given by ringing 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or by visiting https://crimestoppers-uk.org
9.05am - May 10

Boy, 17, faces murder charge after road crash

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with murder in connection with the death of Neil Darnell, 50, who died following a collision with a car in Farm Hill Road at 10am on Friday, April 16.

The boy, from the Cheshunt area, was arrested in Harlow on Saturday.

He has now been charged with murder and is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today (Monday).
1.45pm - May 9

Boy, 17, arrested over fatal crash

A 17-year-old boy, from the Cheshunt area, has been arrested in connection with the fail-to-stop collision in Waltham Abbey last month after which a 50-year-old local man died.

Neil Darnell died in hospital two days after he was in collision with a car in Farm Hill Road at 10am on Friday, April 16.

The teenager was arrested in Harlow last night and remains in custody where he is being questioned on suspicion of murder.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances behind the collision and thank witnesses who have helped with their enquiries.

Anyone who has yet to speak to detectives and has any information or footage is asked to contact the Major Crime Team quoting reference 42/72816/21 by emailing scd.appeals.essex@essex.pnn.police.uk, contacting police online at https://www.essex.police.uk/ or by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
3.58pm - May 6

Man dies in road collision

A man has died following a collision involving a car and a lorry on Dowding Way, Waltham Abbey.

The man, who was driving the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The collision happened shortly before midday.

The road remains closed while police officers investigate the incident and recover the vehicles.

A police spokesman said the road is likely to remain shut into this evening.

Anyone who saw the collision or has dash cam footage is asked to contact police on 101 (quoting incident 386 of May 6) or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
1.09pm - April 30

Man robbed in McDonald's drive-thru queue

A man was robbed of his watch when he was threatened with a knife while he queued at the McDonald's drive-thru at the Highbridge Retail Park in Waltham Abbey.

Police say the victim was approached by another man on foot at about  9pm on Thursday, April 15.

The man threatened the driver through his car window with what is believed to be a knife and stole his watch.

The man is described as white, aged in his early 20s and about 6ft tall. 

He was wearing a yellow high-vis jacket over a hooded jacket with a face covering, ski mask and blue cycling helmet.

He is believed to have fled towards Waltham Cross.

Anyone who may know the robber or saw the incident, or anyone who may have dash cam footage from the time, is asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference 42/69035/21.

Information can also be submitted online at https://www.essex.police.uk or via the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

To submit information anonymously, ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
3.33pm - April 28

HIGH BEACH: Uncertain future for church following introduction of Red Route parking restrictions

​The Church of the Holy Innocents at High Beach is facing an uncertain future if parking issues which have arisen with the introduction of 'Red Route' red line restrictions are not resolved. 

The church fears that without sufficient parking it will "not be viable". 

A bride-to-be has already received a fine for parking outside the church for her wedding rehearsal while some church members are reluctant to travel to services if they may be unable to park. 

Some of the red lines have been removed, but parking continues to be an issue. 

Church spokesman Jane Begley told Everything Epping Forest: "Without parking facilities, as a church we will not be viable and it will be impossible for us to hold services - such as weddings and funerals - teas, concerts, quiet days and other events. 

"We are the first rural area to have urban double red lines imposed on us.  

"Whilst some of the red lines have been painted out around the church, that does not give people visiting the church priority in parking.   

"Very early on Sunday mornings we are putting out  bollards linked by bunting all along the areas without red lines and then some of our church members patrol the area and ask the public if they would mind parking elsewhere as we have people wanting to attend services.   

"Our congregation is a gathered congregation with people travelling from Woodford, Chingford, Loughton, Epping, North Weald and Ongar, and at the moment some of them are reluctant to come to services because if they cannot park there is no alternative but to go home which is frustrating and a waste of time.   

"This has happened to several people already. We also had a bride who received a parking ticket while she was in church for her wedding rehearsal. Wedding couples are asking us about the parking issues and thinking of alternative venues. 

"There is no public transport in the area and the only way of reaching the church is by private cars, bicycle or walking: the latter two of which are not practical for young families or older people.  

"There is no easy solution but at present we are trying to deal with various bodies, including the City of London Corporation and North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) and getting nowhere very fast.  

"There needs to be some joined-up thinking to reach a solution acceptable to all parties to ensure the church survives.  

"We believe we give many people an opportunity of worship, of fellowship and a chance to enjoy God’s creation by the services and events we run, but that will be lost if we cannot resolve the parking issues."

A North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) spokesman said: “NEPP continues to meet with local representatives and stakeholders, including the church, and the outcomes will help to inform the eventual design of the parking scheme in the future. 

"The temporary nature of the initial restrictions was limited due to the emergency regulations under which they were introduced. 

"A future scheme will be able to consider the needs of all road users and different types of parking needs beyond the pandemic.

5.01pm - April 27

Police name hit-and-run collision victim as hunt goes on for car driver

Police have named the pedestrian who died following a hit-and-run collision in Farm Hill Road, Waltham Abbey, on Friday, April 16.

Police have not traced the driver of the car - a grey BMW 3 Series - which was found abandoned a short while later in Valley Close, off Crooked Mile. 

Neil Darnell, 50, died in hospital two days after the collision.

Following a post-mortem examination the initial cause of death is believed to be a traumatic head injury.

Detectives continue to appeal for witnesses who were in the area at the time and witnessed the collision, or the circumstances which led to it.

Anyone with any information, or with any CCTV or dash cam footage available to view, is urged to contact the Major Crime Team on 101, quoting reference 42/72816/21.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
4.14pm - April 27

Views sought over 'community and cultural hub'

Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with Essex County Council to combine the Epping Forest District Museum and library buildings in Sun Street in Waltham Abbey.

The new facility will include attractions and spaces for early years, improved access to local heritage, spaces and services to support health and wellbeing, spaces to socialise, and an offer for all age groups to access leisure, learning, culture and the arts

A district council spokesman said: "We want this new Community and Cultural Hub to become the 'go to place' for local residents, helping to support the regeneration of Waltham Abbey town centre through new and additional footfall to Sun Street.

To give your views on the new facility, complete the online survey
HERE before Friday, May 21.
3.11pm - April 21

Three people arrested at truck stop for immigration offences

Three Ethiopian nationals - two men and a woman aged in their 30s - were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after police received a report of people getting out of the back of a lorry at the Junction 26 Diner truck stop by the M25 at Waltham Abbey.

A number of police vehicles and ambulances were reported being seen at the location and on Honey Lane last night.

An Essex Police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "Officers attended and three Ethiopian nationals - two men and a woman all in their 30s - were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and our enquiries are ongoing."

Anyone with any information can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 1006 of April 20).

Information can also be given via 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
2.42pm - April 21

Boy arrested over knife and fight

A 16-year-old boy has been released under investigation having been arrested after a youth made off from officers in the Hillhouse area of Waltham Abbey at about 8.40pm on Monday.

The local boy was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon - a knife - and taken into custody. 

He was later further arrested on suspicion of affray in relation to a fight reported at the same location at about 1.50pm last Sunday (April 18). 

The boy was released under investigation on Tuesday evening while  further enquiries are progressed.
4.52pm - April 20

HIGH BEACH: Man jailed for 16 months after more than 500 cannabis plants found at house

A man has been jailed for 16 months after police officers found 571 cannabis plants growing inside a house at High Beach.

Officers executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at the property in Mott Street on July 15 last year.

Nicolas Vizzini, 31, tried to escape out of the back door but was arrested before he could flee.

Cannabis plants in various stages of growth were found in the living areas and three bedrooms. The majority of the plants were in the basement where officers found 405 plants in seedling and early stages of growth.

Vizzini, of Mott Street, admitted producing cannabis when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on August 13. He was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court last Wednesday (April 14).

PC Charlotte O’Brien said: "The court heard Vizzini was brought by other people to the house to take care of the plants. 

"Sadly this is the reality behind the drugs trade. Criminals exploit people, especially those who are vulnerable, and employ them to grow or sell drugs on their behalf.

“The production and supply of drugs is also connected to a world of violence and intimidation.

“Cannabis cultivation is not a victimless crime and it’s why Essex Police is working every single day to target criminals involved in drugs supply and working to protect those they abuse and exploit.

"If you have information about drug dealing in your community, or are worried someone you know is being exploited, tell us so we can take appropriate action.”

Anyone with any information should contact police online or on 101, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
12.33pm - April 19

WALTHAM ABBEY: Hit-and-run victim dies

The man struck by a car in a hit-and-run collision on Farm Hill Road, Waltham Abbey, on Friday has died.

The man, aged in his 50s, was taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, following the collision which happened at about 10am.

The car - which was being driven towards Honey Lane - failed to stop at the scene.

Detectives are still looking to speak to the driver of the car, a grey BMW 3 Series, which was found abandoned a short while later in Valley Close, off Crooked Mile.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the incident, or anyone with dash cam footage of the vehicle, is asked to contact police.

You can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm, or ring 101, quoting incident 309 of April 16.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org
12.59pm - April 17

WALTHAM ABBEY: Man remains in critical condition as police renew appeal

The man struck by a car in yesterday's hit-and-run collision in Farm Hill Road, Waltham Abbey, remains in a critical condition, police told Everything Epping Forest this morning.

Officers investigating the incident, which happened at about 10am, have renewed their appeal for information, telling Everything Epping Forest the car involved was being driven away from the town centre, towards Honey Lane when the collision happened.

The male pedestrian was taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

A police spokesman said: "The car failed to stop at the scene and the pedestrian, a man in his 50s, has been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries."

Officers want to speak to the driver of the car, a grey BMW 3 Series, which was found abandoned a short while later in Valley Close, off Crooked Mile.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw what happened or has dash cam footage is also asked to contact police by submitting a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or by using the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm or call 101, quoting incident 309 of 16 April.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org
5.40pm - April 16

Man suffers life-threatening injuries in hit-and-run

A man has been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries following a hit-and-run incident in Farm Hill Road, Waltham Abbey.

Police say the pedestrian was struck by the car on Farm Hill Road at about 10am today.

A police spokesman said: "The car failed to stop at the scene and the pedestrian, a man in his 50s, has been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Officers remain at the scene and the road is expected to remain closed until this evening.

Officers want to speak to the driver of the car, a grey BMW 3 Series, which was found abandoned a short while later in Valley Close.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw what happened or has dash cam footage is also asked to contact police by submitting a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or by using the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm or call 101, quoting incident 309 of 16 April.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org
9.11am - April 16

WALTHAM ABBEY: Dispersal order put in place after large group refused to leave area

A dispersal order was put in place last night to prevent anti-social behaviour from a large group which had gathered in the Sewardstone Road area of Waltham Abbey and were refusing to leave, police said.

The dispersal order gave officers the power to order people causing anti-social behaviour to leave the area. Breaching any direction given under the order is a criminal offence.

The order was in place from 11.15pm last night (Thursday) until 6am today (Friday) and covered an area including the whole of the A112 Sewardstone Road, Hayes Lane, Butlers Drive, Godwin Close, Mott Street and The Playing Field, Sewardstone Close.
6.10pm - April 14

District council rejects proposals for nine-hour music event

An application for a nine-hour outdoor music event for a maximum of 450 people at the Junction 26 Diner, off Honey Lane in Waltham Abbey has been refused permission on the grounds of public safety.

Essex Police objected to the application highlighting various concerns - including that the site was the venue for an unlicensed music event last August.

Hayley Rogerson applied to Epping Forest District Council's licensing sub-committee for a Temporary Event Notice for the event with live music, food and drink at the truck stop and restaurant at Skillet Hill Farm on Saturday, June 26, with the event running from 2pm until 11pm with food served between 4pm and 7pm.

However the application, considered by the sub-committee today, was refused on "public safety" grounds after Essex Police licensing officer Ronan McManus expressed concern over pedestrians and HGVs sharing the same entrance and exit, and the potential for people under the influence of alcohol wandering on the adjacent M25.

In a letter to the council, Mr McManus said Essex Police was objecting on the grounds of crime and disorder, public nuisance and public safety.

The objection referred to an unlicensed music event at the site on Sunday, August 30, last year when police reported 100 people present, dancing in the car park and signs of drug abuse.

The objection added: "The site is still being used by large goods vehicles with both pedestrian and vehicles sharing the same entrance and exit point with large vehicles in close proximity with people under the influence of alcohol at night.

"Given the number of people expected (450 - up to 499 with staff numbers included) Essex Police believe this is an unacceptable risk.

The police added the site is next to junction 26 of the M25, the site is not secure and there is a "real possibility" of people under the influence of alcohol making their way through the back of the site onto the motorway.

Mr McManus also noted there are no car parking facilities at the venue "therefore people attending will be forced to park their cars in the local vicinity thus causing nuisance and congestion to the community going about their lawful business" however the meeting was told there would be parking for between 80 and 100 cars.

In addition, Mr McManus stated in his letter: "The event organisers have given no consideration on how to get 450 people under the influence of alcohol safely away from the venue at 11pm."

He added the last bus from the location at 9.53pm and the nearest train station (Cheshunt) 5.5kms away."
UPDATE 2.52pm - April 9

UPSHIRE: Man charged after more than 400 cannabis plants found at property


A man was due to appear in court today charged over the discovery of more than 400 cannabis plants at a property in Upshire.

In a statement issued to Everything Epping Forest this afternoon, an Essex Police spokesman said: "A man has been charged after cannabis plants were found at an address in Warlies, Upshire, on Wednesday, April 7.

"Approximately 437 plants were found.

"James Lewis, 39, of Broomfield Street, Poplar in London, has been charged with producing cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and using electricity without authority."

He was due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today.


5.28pm - April 8

EXCLUSIVE

UPSHIRE: "Large number" of cannabis plants found at property

Police activity which has been ongoing at a property in Upshire for two days follows the discovery of a "large number" of cannabis plants, Everything Epping Forest can reveal.

A man has been arrested in connection with the find and remains in police custody.

Everything Epping Forest was first alerted to a police presence at the property, off Horseshoe Hill, yesterday afternoon.

Comments posted on social media report a police helicopter hovering over the area in the early hours of yesterday morning, but it is not known if that is linked to the cannabis plants discovery.

A dog walker who contacted Everything Epping Forest yesterday afternoon said she had seen "three police vans and two police cars and police officers going in and out (of the property) with evidence bags".

This morning five police vehicles - including two forensics investigations vehicles - were parked on the access road leading to the Warlies Park Estate.

This afternoon, an Essex Police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "A section 23 Misuse of Drugs Act warrant was conducted at an address in Warlies, Upshire, on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 7.

"A large number of immature cannabis plants were found and are being removed.

"A 39-year-old man, from east London, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in supplying a controlled drug, possession of drugs with intent to supply, abstracting electricity without authority and producing cannabis. He remains in custody for questioning."
9.48am - April 8

Police objecting to nine-hour music event at truck stop

A proposed nine-hour outdoor music event for a maximum of 450 people at the Junction 26 Diner, off Honey Lane in Waltham Abbey, is being opposed by police.

Essex Police has lodged objections highlighting various concerns - including that the site was the venue for an unlicensed music event last August.

Hayley Rogerson is applying for a Temporary Event Notice from Epping Forest District Council to hold an outside music event with live music, food and drink at the truck stop and restaurant at Skillet Hill Farm on Saturday, June 26.

The event would run from 2pm until 11pm with food served between 4pm and 7pm.

Essex Police licensing officer Ronan McManus, in a letter to the council, states police are objecting on the grounds of crime and disorder, public nuisance and public safety.

The objection refers to an unlicensed music event at the site on Sunday, August 30, last year when police reported 100 people present, dancing in the car park and signs of drug abuse.

The objection adds: "The site is still being used by large goods vehicles with both pedestrian and vehicles sharing the same entrance and exit point with large vehicles in close proximity with people under the influence of alcohol at night.

"Given the number of people expected (450) Essex Police believe this is an unacceptable risk.
The police add the site is next to junction 26 of the M25, the site is not secure and there is a "real possibility" of people under the influence of alcohol making their way through the back of the site onto the motorway.

Mr McManus also notes there are no car parking facilities at the venue "therefore people attending will be forced to park their cars in the local vicinity thus causing nuisance and congestion to the community going about their lawful business". 

In addition he states: "The event organisers have given no consideration on how to get 450 people under the influence of alcohol safely away from the venue at 11pm."

He adds that the last bus from the location at 9.53pm and the nearest train station (Cheshunt) 5.5km away."

The application will be considered by the council's licensing sub-committee at 10am on Wednesday, April 14.
3.05pm - April 6

'Closure order' issued for flat

A property in Caneland Court in Waltham Abbey, which was the scene of an alleged serious assault last month has been closed down under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

A joint operation between Epping Forest District Council’s Community Resilience team and Essex Police led to the Closure Order being made by Chelmsford Magistrates last Thursday.

The flat’s tenant had been ‘cuckooed’ and is now being safeguarded.

A Closure Order of up to six months can be granted to restrict all access and address disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour, serious nuisance to the public or disorder near the premises.

A council spokesman said: "This is an excellent example of teamwork between our Community Resilience Team, police officers based at our Council Hub and the wider Essex Police force. 

"A closure order allows us to quickly close premises being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder. 

"We acted swiftly to get the order made and it has already been posted on the property. This action should address the concerns of local residents and bring peace to the area.”

Sgt Neil Ross, part of the council's Community Safety team, said: "Epping Forest District Council officers worked closely with the Community Safety Team to secure the closure order.

"We understand the impact that visitors to this property have had on the local community and I now hope this will prevent further disturbance to local residents."

* Cuckooing is where a criminal gang targets the home of a vulnerable person to use it for drug dealing - in the way the cuckoo bird invades other birds’ nests. Victims are often left with little choice but to co-operate.
4.14pm - March 10

Town Show to go ahead

The Waltham Abbey Town Show is set to go ahead at the end of June, the town council has decided.

The council intends to hold the event - at Town Mead on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27 - in line with any Government COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time, but it is hoped that on June 21 national restrictions will be lifted.

Deputy Town Mayor Jodie Lucas told today's town council promotions and festivals sub-committee: "It seems we have some positive news (regarding the 'roadmap') that we can plan to go ahead.

"If we can pull it off it will be absolutely brilliant for our community. We need to be sensible and be planning for allowing for COVID restrictions - one-way systems, keeping everyone outside. That's probably going to be the most sensible way of going about it."

Councillor Bob Holmes said: "I think it would be ideal for Waltham Abbey people. It would give them a bit of oomph!"

Councillor Shane Yerrell said: "I don't think we should delay it as it would clash with the football (season) and the pitch hire.

"Everyone will be buzzing to get out as they have been indoors for so long."

Tricia Gurnett, representing various organisations in the town, told the meeting she was "nervous" about holding large events and was concerned about controlling social distancing where there is a "mass" of people together.

Councillor Lucas responded saying: "We will not be going ahead if it is not safe to do so. It is just going to be something we have to be quite flexible with.

"It's important to our community to show we have the right spirit and get back to normal as soon as possible but if there are any restrictions or we can't run it safely then we won't do so."

The council is to contact potential stallholders about having a stall at the event.
3.55pm - March 10

Search for missing man suspended after body found

Police have suspended a search for Alan Wright, 48, who was reported missing from his home in Waltham Abbey yesterday following the discovery of a man’s body in woodland off Nursery Rise, Upshire.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Mr Wright 48, was reported missing having been last seen at 10.30am yesterday (Tuesday).
6.05pm - March 8

Retired detective dies in car blaze

A former senior detective who investigated several murder cases in the Epping Forest area when it was covered by the Metropolitan Police has died in a 'non-suspicious' car fire in Suffolk.

The victim has been named by villagers in Cavendish as retired detective superintendent Edwin Williams, who was aged in his 70s, and is understood to have lived in the village for about 15 years following his retirement.

Fire crews and police were alerted on Saturday morning to reports of a car exploding. He died at the scene.

Among the high-profile cases he headed was the murder of student nurse Judith Knights, 20, whose body was found at Claypit Hill, High Beach, in August 1989.

Mr Williams was based at Kings Cross for a time and worked locally as a detective at Woodford, Walthamstow and Waltham Abbey.

A file will be prepared for the coroner.
5.05pm - March 5

Two arrested after man stabbed and another injured

Two people - a 16-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man - have been arrested after a man was stabbed and another man sustained injuries to his face and head in two incidents in Waltham Abbey in the space of about 45 minutes.

Police say they were called with reports of a man being stabbed in Caneland Court, on the Ninefields Estate, shortly after 11.45am.

He sustained injuries to his arm and head and was taken to hospital for treatment. 

His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening or life-changing.

A police spokesman added that officers then attended a separate address in Caneland Court shortly after 12.20pm following reports from colleagues in the ambulance service of an injured man who had sustained injuries to his face and head.

Police are treating the incidents as linked.

The 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of GBH and robbery.

The 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery.

An area of the Ninefields Estate remained cordoned off this afternoon as forensics officers worked at the scene.

Everything Epping Forest understands emergency services, including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, were called before a casualty is reported to have been taken from the scene in a land ambulance.

A resident told Everything Epping Forest that residents of four flats in the block in Caneland Court where the stabbing incident occurred are unable to leave their homes as the communal staircase is within the cordoned off 'crime scene' area.

Police enquiries are continuing and officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or has information to submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Information can also be given to police on 101, quoting incident number 407 and 466 of March 5, or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or  at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
4.33pm - March 4

Two arrested and drugs and cash seized

Two people have been arrested in Waltham Abbey and drugs and cash seized as part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of illegal substance, Spice, into prisons.

Officers from Operation Raptor, Essex Police's specialist teams targeting and dismantling drugs gangs, executed a warrant at an address off Mason Way yesterday (Wednesday).

A 42-year-old man, from Waltham Abbey, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in supplying a controlled drug.

A 71-year-old woman, from Camberwell, London, was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs.

Both have been released under investigation pending further police enquiries.

Detective Inspector Scott Fitzmaurice said: “These arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of class B drug Spice into prisons across the country.

“In yesterday’s operation we seized psychoactive substances with a street value of up to £57,000 and about £24,000 in cash.

“We began our investigation last year after being notified by prison authorities, who have been working closely with us.

“The substances are believed to have been disguised and sent through the post and our enquiries remain ongoing.”
3.32pm - March 4

Man suffers serious injuries in collision

A man aged in his 50s suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle collision which closed Crooked Mile near Waltham Abbey for two-and-a-half hours yesterday (Wednesday).

Police and ambulance crews were called to the collision on Holyfield Road at the junction with Stubbins Hall Lane at about 7am.

The road was closed while officers investigated the incident and was reopened at 9.30am.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has dashcam footage are asked to ring 101, quoting incident 124 of March 3. 

Information can also be submitted using the 'Live Chat' button on the Essex Police homepage or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
4.51pm - March 1

Waltham Holy Cross Primary Academy consults over extending school day

An extended school day may be introduced at Waltham Holy Cross Primary Academy to help pupils catch up with the schooling they have missed over the last 12 months because of Covid-19.

The academy is part of NET Academies Trust whose five other primary schools, all in Harlow, moved to an extended day four years ago.

The extended day has meant pupils have been able to enjoy more extra-curricular enrichment (sport, arts and more) as well as study more subjects and have boosters in reading and maths.

Children at Waltham Holy Cross Primary Academy would use the extra time for more project-based learning, extended science lessons, booster lessons and extra subjects, such as philosophy for children. This would allow the school to give adequate time to the core subjects while also continuing to enrich children's experiences in sports, science and the arts. 

The summer and autumn half-terms would be extended to two weeks, during which free holiday clubs for children would be run so that working parents are not inconvenienced. 

Staff would also be given extra days off at Christmas.

The suggestion for an extended day was put forward by staff, and today the school has launched a month-long consultation to ask parents for their views.

Executive principal James Hollinsley said: "All NET academies have excellent remote learning provision in place but there is no question that pupils generally have fallen back because they haven’t had the face-to-face teaching that is best for them.

"I have seen first-hand the huge benefits of an extended day for our pupils in Harlow in terms of catch-up, booster sessions, learning more subjects and extra-curricular opportunities, so would support it coming in at Waltham Holy Cross Primary.

“Especially in the context of Covid-19 and if children are to catch up what they have lost over the last year, the argument in favour of an extended school day is compelling.”

In Harlow, the NET schools’ day is longer by just 40 minutes than the norm equating to an extra three hours and 20 minutes of extra school time each week, or an extra 19 additional days of school a year. 

In particular, the arrangement maximises “prime learning time” (the mornings) so starting just a little earlier means the schools run three sessions before lunch, followed by two after lunch, while still allowing for additional reading and assembly at the end of the day.

The additional time teachers would be in school would still be within the stipulated 1,265 hours maximum that teachers can work but in recognition of this extra time and the commitment shown by teachers, they will receive additional holidays including an additional week’s holiday for autumn and summer half term, and extra days to be added to Christmas holidays to ensure staff get two full weeks off.

NET Academies Trust chief executive Jo Coton said: "Our experience over the last four years at the NET academies in Harlow demonstrates that a extended school day provides children with the best quality of education, while also offering an enhanced work-life balance for staff.

“It’s proved to be an excellent initiative - our parents and staff are really supportive of it, and above all we have seen such huge benefits for our pupils in terms of catch-up, booster sessions, teaching more subjects and extra-curricular opportunities.

“We hope parents at Waltham Holy Cross Primary are similarly supportive.”

If the proposal is taken forward, the extended day would be introduced from September and reviewed in June 2022.
1.45pm - February 20

Driver seriously injured in tree crash

A seriously injured driver was freed from his car by firefighters after the vehicle hit a tree off Woodridden Hill, Waltham Abbey, this morning.

Two fire crews - from Waltham Abbey and Chingford - were called out at about 8.15am following the crash which happened near the bottom of the hill, before the Woodbine pub.

Firefighters took about 45 minutes to free the casualty who was taken to hospital with what police described as "serious injuries".

A police spokesman said enquiries were "ongoing" into the circumstances leading up to the crash.

The road was closed until about 11am while the vehicle was recovered.
2.41pm - February 19

UPSHIRE: Train carriages to be primary school library and pre-school

Three train carriages are to be used as a pre-school and a library at Upshire Primary School.

The school is raising money and seeking sponsors so it can install a 'platform', book shelves and connect the carriages to the utilities. It is also looking for railway track on which to site the carriages.

A former 'first class' carriage will sit on the playground and be transformed into a library which the children can use at lunchtimes. Most of the seats and tables will remain enabling the carriage to be a luxurious and relaxing place for the children to read and play board games.

The other two carriages will go on the field behind the pre-school. The seats will be removed making them suitable for many purposes. 

The school's finance and personnel manager, Julie Hockley, told Everything Epping Forest: "Initially they will be home to our breakfast and after-school clubs as Covid-19 has made it impossible to use the spaces that have been used historically.  

"Having the extra spaces means we will not have to restrict available places and therefore can go back to ‘business as normal’ for our working parents. Once Covid-19 has gone, we will also use these two carriages to offer additional pre-school places to the local community."

She added: "The children are really excited. This is such an exciting project but it will cost a lot of money. We are looking for sponsors who can in turn share in the publicity surrounding the project.

"We have a fundraising team who are busy planning events to raise as much money as possible.  

"We have not set an overall target, we are instead focusing on each individual event as it comes. We hope this project will be good for the profile of Waltham Abbey and Upshire."
7.33pm - February 18

SEWARDSTONEBURY: Police secure closure order for illegal party house
 
Police have secured a closure order for a property in Sewardstonebury which has hosted four illegal parties since New Year’s Eve.

Most recently, 18 people were fined a total of nearly £15,000 after officers attended an unlawful house party at Knoll House in Bury Road on Saturday, January 30.

That came after police received reports of a number of people having a party at the privately-rented property in a clear and blatant breach of coronavirus regulations.

Police officers had already dispersed illegal gatherings at the property three times, on New Year’s Eve and twice earlier in January.

Now Essex Police has secured the closure order from the courts stating the order was necessary to prevent coronavirus breaches and disorder continuing.

The order means no one can go into the property or live at it.

District Commander Chief Inspector Antony Alcock said: “It has taken a significant amount of work from our local community policing team in order for us to gain these powers which means people cannot go to the property, they cannot reside at it and certainly cannot engage in any further unlicensed music events.

“I am really grateful to people who have reported these events so far. It is a difficult time for everybody and made more difficult by the people who are choosing to ignore the restrictions.

“People who are adhering to the restrictions, please tell Essex Police if you witness breaches.

"We will respond and will take matters seriously and will issue fines where there are clear and blatant breaches.”
1.29pm - February 16

Plans emerge for 425-home development

Initial details have emerged of plans for some 425 homes in Waltham Abbey.

Manor Oak Homes is promoting the proposed development for land north of Parklands.

The scheme is described as "a residential-led development of around 425 market and affordable dwellings" with areas of "publicly accessible open space and associated infrastructure". 

The land forms part of the Waltham Abbey North Masterplan Area earmarked for some 740 homes, a local centre, community facilities, traveller pitches and publicly accessible open space in Epping Forest District Council's emerging Local Plan.

A spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "Manor Oak Homes are working alongside other site promoters and Epping Forest District Council to bring forward some initial proposals for the Waltham Abbey North Masterplan Area in line with the council’s emerging Local Plan. 

"We hope to be able to share our ideas and seek residents views as part of a consultation exercise later this year.”
1.23pm - February 3

Police appeal for collision witnesses

Police are appealing for information following a collision involving a black Ford Fiesta and a blue Volkswagen Polo at the Sewardstone Road-Avey Lane junction near Waltham Abbey.

A woman was taken to hospital with what were believed to be minor injuries following the collision which happened at 2.35pm on Thursday, January 28.

Anyone who saw what happened or has dash cam footage is asked to contact Chigwell Roads Policing Unit quoting incident 679 of January 28.

Information can also be reported online at https://www.essex.police.uk or via the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm. Alternatively, you can ring 101.
12.50pm - January 31

Eighteen people fined after third illegal house party at property in a month

Eighteen revellers caught having an illegal house party at a vacant rented property near Waltham Abbey have been fined nearly £15,000 by Essex Police after officers used new powers available under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations.

Police officers attended a house in Bury Road, Sewardstonebury, at 5pm yesterday (Saturday) following reports that a number of partygoers were at the property having a party in breach of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

It is the third time officers have attended an illegal gathering at the property in a month.

Officers were initially refused entry from those inside the property who claimed to be making a music video.

A spokesman said officers gained entry and inside found 18 people clearly having a party while others were still arriving.

Officers quickly contained the party, prevented any others from attending, and fined all of those present before sending them on their way.

Detectives have now started an investigation to establish who organised the event. 

Essex Police is also working with its partners to put measures in place to prevent the future unlawful use of the property.

All 18 people present - including 17 people from London and one from Essex – were fined £800 each following the introduction of higher penalties last week for those caught attending illegal house parties of 15 people or more.

Essex Police Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “This party was a clear and blatant breach of the current restrictions which were put in place to save lives and protect the NHS.

“These selfish individuals not only have no regard for their own safety but they clearly didn’t give a second thought for the safety of the local community, the police officers who had to attend to deal with their reckless behaviour or the NHS which is under unbelievable pressure.

“The legislation exists for a reason, which is to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. It relies on us working together to drive down the risk of infection.

“The overwhelming majority of people continue to do all they can to support us and help stop the spread of the virus and it is only a selfish few, such as these individuals, who think they can flout the rules with no thought for the health risk posed by their actions.

“But, as the robust action we have taken in this instance demonstrates, Essex Police will simply not tolerate anyone in our county, or visiting our county, who blatantly and flagrantly break the law and put the lives of the people of Essex at risk.”

Essex Police had attended two previous unlawful gatherings at the same property (one on New Year’s Eve and one earlier this month) and an investigation is underway to establish whether all three were organised by the same person. 

Police say they will work with partners to prevent any events taking place at the same venue in the future.

Anyone with any information about who organised the event is asked to contact Loughton CID by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police want people to continue to report COVID breaches. This can be done via the Essex Police website by using its Digital 101 service where you can speak to an operator online live time between 7am and 11pm at https://www.essex.police.uk/

Information can also be given via https://www.essex.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/
11.51am - January 21

Man arrested over stolen car

A man has been released under investigation having been arrested in Waltham Abbey on Thursday evening on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle.

Community Safety Team officers had spotted a vehicle shortly before two of the three occupants ran off.

An 18-year-old man, from London, was detained and the vehicle was identified as having recently been reported stolen. 

The man was arrested at the scene and taken into custody. The vehicle was recovered. 

The man has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
12.40pm - January 14

Green agenda for town council in next financial year

Waltham Abbey Town Council has voted to make no increase to its share of council tax bills for the next financial year.

The council has agreed a precept of £855,395 for 2021-22.

Town Mayor councillor Antony Watts said: "We have agreed to fund the reduction in the tax base from reserves this year and there will be no increase whatsoever in the band D equivalent.

"We all understand how difficult it will be next year. We have been prudent in previous years so that we can do this."

He added: "We have got quite a few exciting projects coming forward in relation to our green policy and we want to press on with our aim to become a carbon neutral council.

"We aim to bring on stream as many of our green initiatives as we can in the next financial year.

"Not only is it good for the environment but it will be good for the budget in future years."

Councillor Watts thanked Town Clerk Jodie Law and Deputy Town Clerk Liz Cody for their work on the budget.
4.32pm - January 13

Town council voices no objection to plan for flats over Co-op supermarket

Waltham Abbey Town Council has voiced no objection to plans for five flats above the Co-op supermarket in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey.

Initially eight properties were proposed but the scheme has been reduced to five - four two-bedroom and one one-bedroom - following pre-application advice from Epping Forest District Council.

Committee chairman Jodie Lucas said because of the town centre location there was no requirement to provide parking.

She told today's planning and licensing committee meeting: "I can't see any objection. They are raising the roof height but it is set back and not overlooking anyone."

A report from dpa architects, submitted with the planning application, states: "Three flats will be duplexes and two will be single-storey. Each would comprise an open plan living/kitchen/dining area.

"The bedrooms of the duplexes will have a bathroom with an additional shower room or WC. The single-storey units will have a family bathroom."
2.33pm - January 5

WALTHAM ABBEY: Plans submitted for care home

Plans have been revealed for an 80-bed care home off Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey.

A planning application has been submitted for the development on the site of 'Chapelfield' and Sewardstone House.

The proposed development includes the demolition of the existing residential dwelling, garden centre and outbuildings.
9.55am - January 1

SEWARDSTONEBURY: Woman fined £10,000 for organising house party

More than 25 people have been issued with fixed penalty notices and a woman fined £10,000 for organising a house party with around 100 attendees on Bury Road, Sewardstonebury.

Police seized equipment inside the property.

A dispersal order authorised in the early hours remains in place until midday today (Friday).

A police spokesman said the gathering is in clear breach of the Government’s Covid-19 regulations.

The dispersal order covers Bury Road between the junction of Daws Hill and Rangers Road and also includes Gillwell Lane, Farm End, Woodman Lane and Hornbeam Lane. 

It allows police officers to move anyone on from the area to prevent anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder.
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