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5.14pm - August 30

DISTRICT: Virgin Media customers without services for five days

Virgin Media customers are waiting for answers from the company - and the reconnection of their services - after parts of the district have been without TV and internet services for five days.

A Virgin Media spokesman told Everything Epping Forest a "small number" of customers in the Nazeing and Waltham Abbey areas are "experiencing issues with their services".

However it appears the issue is affecting a large number of customers.

Everything Epping Forest is also aware of issues in the Theydon Bois and Ongar areas bit it is not known if the breakdown in services in all areas are because of the same issue.

It is understood roadworks on Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey - near the Jewish Cemetery - are linked to at least the Waltham Abbey and Nazeing problems.

No time has been given for when services will be restored.

Karen Walker, who lives in Nazeing, told Everything Epping Forest her Virgin Media broadband went down at about 10am on Thursday.

Virgin Media customer Wendy Shirley, who lives in Nazeing, told Everything Epping Forest: "I've had no phone or broadband since last Thursday.

"My neighbour also has Virgin TV. Virgin need to be honest about how long the repair will take rather than raising our hopes with constant time updates."

Marian Marsh told Everything Epping Forest: "It seems Virgin Media think this is a bit of a laugh, no phone, TV, internet or mobile, all with Virgin, since Thursday morning. 

"All updates apparently say engineer is on his way. Joke number one.

"Then the time it would be fixed goes up by two hours. Now it seems it goes up by 24 hours.

"I can't even get into my account  as it says I am not the main account holder."

Christopher Jones, writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group, said: "I'm in Theydon Bois. We too have been affected. Basically running my business by hot spotting from my mobile. 

"Tried phoning Virgin Media numerous times, just get automated options and no person to speak to!"

Claire Robinson, also commenting on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group, said: "Why don’t they just be honest and say they don’t know when the problem will be fixed? Constantly sending messages saying it will be fixed at different times during the day isn’t right. 

"I also think it’s quite a lot of customers and not just a few!

"People have been without phone, internet and TV since Thursday, a much-needed lifeline for many."

A Virgin Media spokesperson told Everything Epping Forest: “Due to a third party damaging our cables, a small number of customers in the Nazeing and Waltham Abbey areas are currently experiencing issues with their services.

"We are working closely with the third party involved to ensure we can restore services as quickly as possible.”

The company has been asked to clarify the number of customers affected and also to give an update on the situation in the Theydon Bois and Ongar areas.
9.15pm - August 28

WALTHAM ABBEY: 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.
9.13am - August 26


ONGAR: Redevelopment plans for Shelley Estate

Initial proposals have been drawn up to redevelop part of the Shelley Estate in Ongar with new houses and flats and additional shops, Everything Epping Forest has been told.

Epping Forest District Council has said fuller details will be published when the plans are "more established" but Ongar district and town councillor Basil Vaz told the last town council meeting the proposals currently include replacing 40 flats with 54 dwellings and replacing four shops, on St Peter's Avenue, with six retail units.

It has not been confirmed which flats would be replaced with the new properties and where any new-build development would go.

Everything Epping Forest understands that the district council invited residents and shopkeepers to a coffee morning when the proposals were presented but only one resident and two shopkeepers attended.

Shelley district councillor and district council deputy leader councillor Nigel Bedford told Everything Epping Forest: "At the moment it’s a proposal. Nothing is set in stone yet and a lot depends on funding which we are looking into with possible assistance from Homes England."

He added: "Basically, if approved, the proposal could include a Central Park area new houses and flats, better use of the land and improved parking along St Peters Avenue to help with the off-road parking that currently takes place.

"I must stress that this is a proposal and (council) officers will work up a scheme that can then go out to consultation with residents."

A district council spokesman has not confirmed the number of new properties and shops which could be built but told Everything Epping Forest: "It's an exciting time for Epping Forest District Council.

"Our resident involvement team and development team have been consulting extensively with residents, shop owners and local members (councillors) to understand which estates across the district, including the Shelley estate in Ongar, would benefit from additional works regeneration.

"Further information will be released when plans are more established.

"This forms part of our vision for council housing in the Epping Forest district, called ‘Creating great places where people want to live'."
7.12pm - August 25

EPPING: Blue plaque highlights 'Brambly Hedge' creator's connections with town

AUDIO: David Jackman reports on the plaque unveiling CLICK HERE

For pictures CLICK HERE


The "important contribution" made to the literary and art world by author Jill Barklem through her 'Brambly Hedge' childrens' books has been recognised by Epping Town Council which has unveiled a blue plaque at one of her former homes.

Town Mayor councillor Michael Wright, who unveiled the plaque today with Jill's daughter, Lizzie, and son, Peter, said the plaque also highlighted her "special connection" with the town.

Jill Barklem was born Gillian Gaze at St Margaret's Hospital, Epping, on May, 23, 1951.

Her father owned Pynes department  store - now Wildwood restaurant - on the High Street for many years.

She died on November 15, 2017.

The Barklem family lived in Buttercross Lane and then in Theydon Grove until 1987. Her last home was on Church Hill where the plaque is located.

In 1980 Collins published four picture books by Jill. 

'Spring Story', 'Summer Story', 'Autumn Story' and 'Winter Story' chronicle in astonishing illustrative detail, the lives and adventures of a community of mice who live in 'Brambly Hedge', an idyllic spot where old values flourish and seasonal self-sufficiency is the order of the day. 

Speaking at the plaque unveiling, Town Mayor councillor Michael Wright said: "Jill originally conceived the idea for 'Brambly Hedge' in the 1970s during her long commutes on the London Underground from her home in Epping to study at St Martin’s School of Art in London. 

"Intended for small children, the books were an immediate success with readers of all ages and the books have been translated into more than 13 languages and have sold more than seven million copies. 

"We understand that the 'Brambly Hedge' series feature recognisable parts of the town and often refer to the forest."

Councillor Wright added: "Many people who live in Epping, like many around the country and the world, have enjoyed Jill’s 'Brambly Hedge' creations.

"I am delighted to unveil this blue plaque to permanently commemorate the important contribution that Jill Barklem made to the literary and art world and to mark her special connection to Epping."

Jill Barklem's daughter, Lizzie, said: "I'm so very grateful that the council has put up this plaque in recognition of her contribution to childrens' literature and illustration.

"She loved the town very, very much and Epping Forest was such an influential part of her research and her writing and it's lovely it has been recognised and will be there for a very long time."
7.38pm - August 24

EPPING: Changes proposed to planned multi-storey car park

Amendments to the height of the ground-floor parking deck at the proposed new multi-storey car park in Epping will ensure access for larger vehicles, including market traders' vans.

Proposed changes drawn up by Qualis Commercial include a "change in the lowest car park entry level to allow taller vehicles at a height of 2.4m to use the ground floor parking spaces".

Some vehicles with height adaptions for disabled people would also be able to access the planned car park while market traders' vans will be able to use the ground-floor spaces too, town councillors have been told.

Qualis Commercial development manager Karen Telling told Tuesday's town council planning and general purposes committee the car park amendments have been proposed to accommodate higher vehicles - and she gave the example of a Land Rover with a roof box up to 2.3m high.

She added disabled people would be able to use the six parking spaces at the proposed new leisure centre on the existing Bakers Lane car park, - all of which are to be allocated for blue badge holders.

Town Mayor Michael Wright told the meeting: "This (the car park height) shouldn't be an amendment it should have been thought about right from the off. 

"If that has gone by the board has anything else gone by the board that should have been included from the beginning?"

Ms Telling said: "By increasing the height it (the car park) is being dropped down very slightly so it bares no additional impact to surrounding properties."

She added: "Market traders in their standard normal vehicles are all accounted for."

Councillors question need for additional retail and office space

Town councillors questioned the need for retail and office space as part of the proposals for the Cottis Yard multi-storey car park development where
a cinema remains part of the plans.

Town Mayor Michael Wright told Tuesday's planning and general purposes committee the space earmarked for retail and offices "could be utilised much better".

He added: "They (the proposed shop units and offices) are basically in a secondary position, I just can't see the point."

Councillor Barbara Scruton, questioning the need for additional retail space in the town, said: "One of the main concerns is that we protect the High Street."

Council seeks written confirmation over toilets

The town council has also sought written confirmation from Qualis that the existing toilet block in the Cottis Lane car park is retained until new public toilet facilities are built.

Councillors have asked that the new block accommodates more toilets than in the current building.

Change to housing plans for current sports centre site

On the current Epping Sports Centre site, changes have been made to the planned residential development with two houses now proposed instead of a block of three apartments as part of the planned housing scheme.
Revised landscaping plans have also been submitted.

Amendments proposed for Civic Offices housing

At the Civic Offices site, where housing is proposed on the site of the Conder Building, 'minor amendments' are proposed to the 'architectural detail to reflect site context' in respect of the setting of the listed Civic Offices with the amount of soft landscaping increased.
3.00pm - August 24
ONGAR: Town council vacancy after councillor disqualified for non-attendance

A casual vacancy for a seat on Ongar Town Council is to be advertised after councillor Bruce Freeman was disqualified from being a councillor having not attended a town council meeting for six months.
2.38pm - August 24
WALTHAM ABBEY: 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 and speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Always call 999 in an emergency.
8.02am - 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 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
2.13pm - August 23

EPPING: Epping-based radio station granted FM licence
Now you can listen to the local news from Everything Epping Forest
on your FM radio!

Epping's classic oldies radio station Classic Hits Forest Gold - which broadcasts local news provided by Everything Epping Forest - has been granted a special FM licence.

The station is one of only a handful offered the licence on a 12-month trial basis by Ofcom.

Classic Hits Forest Gold will begin broadcasting to the area around St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping on 99.3FM from Sunday, September 5.

The radio station is part of a registered charity and a team of talented volunteers have been broadcasting from their Epping base since 2002.

Forest Gold was established to entertain audiences in NHS hospitals around Essex but since launching online ten years later, it has enjoyed massive growth across Essex and beyond.

With the help of radio apps, in-car connectivity and smart speakers, like Alexa and Google Play, Forest Gold is now one of the most popular internet radio stations in Essex with more than 24,000 fans regularly listening in via the TuneIn app alone.

Forest Gold’s vice-chairman Paul Mumford said: "This FM licence will make it easier for people to listen around St Margaret’s Hospital and help to raise our awareness in the Epping area.

"Our licence application has been funded thanks to donations from our loyal audience and that has helped to keep us commercial free too."

Classic Hits Forest Gold plays music from the  60s to the 90s and draws from a huge playlist.

National news is broadcast on the hour with local news, provided by local news services Everything Epping Forest, Everything Harlow and the Everything Local News media service on the half hour.

Everything Epping Forest owner David Jackman said: "Everything Epping Forest, which has more than 40,000 connections with its news - which includes a weekly audio 'News Talk' bulletin - available via email to EEF News subscribers and via various social media feeds - has been providing local news content for Forest Gold for many years.

"The launch of an FM licence for the station means Everything Epping Forest's unrivaled local news content can now be shared with an even wider audience.

"I'm delighted the link between Everything Epping Forest and Forest Gold is continuing as part of this new and exciting chapter in Forest Gold's history.

"Broadcasting from Epping, thanks to Forest Gold's volunteers, and with local news provided by a local news source run by a locally-based journalist means there can be few, if any, better examples of 'local radio'."

Forest Gold will begin broadcasting on 99.3FM at 10am on Sunday, September 5, in the St Margaret’s Hospital area of Epping.

However, you can still listen to Forest Gold anywhere via the TuneIn Radio app, by asking your smart speaker for 'Classic Hits Forest Gold' and by visiting
7.43pm - August 22

BUCKHURST HILL: Football club to officially open new stand

A new 100-seater stand at Buckhurst Hill Football Club will be officially opened before the biggest game in the club's history - its first appearance in the FA Vase on Saturday, September 11.

The stand will be followed by the installation of floodlights at the Roding Lane club which is experiencing its first season at senior level having been promoted into the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South this season.

Club chairman Simon Cornwell said: "We are delighted that the next piece of the jigsaw for the long-term future of the club has been completed with the installation of our new stand. This is yet another piece of history for the club.

"We would like to thank Alderdale, the suppliers of the stand, and Sports Ground Development for their consultancy throughout this process.

"The club would also like to thank the Football Foundation for its support towards the funding and Epping Forest District Council, Buckhurst Hill district councillors, Buckhurst Hill Parish Council and Buckhurst Hill Residents' Society for their incredible support with the project and for supporting our plans."

The stand will be officially opened at 1pm on Saturday, September 11, before the club's FA Vase match against Enfield (3pm kick-off).

Mr Cornwell added: "We hope as many local people as possible will come along to witness the opening and stay and support their local club.

"It would be wonderful to have a full house at Roding Lane and to see the local community get behind their local football club."

* Another history-making fixture is on Thursday, September 2, when the club visits Takeley for its first appearance in the FA Youth Cup. Kick-off 8pm.
2.01pm - August 21

EPPING: Rededication service for 100-year-old war memorial

For pictures CLICK HERE

A rededication service has been held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Epping war memorial.

Wreaths were laid and the names of the fallen who are remembered on plaques on the memorial on the Town Green were read.

John Duffell, a town councillor and Royal British Legion Remembrance Day organiser, said: "At the end of the First World War the people of Epping looked for a suitable way to commemorate the young men from the town who had given their lives for their country.

"After much discussion a cross bearing the names of the Fallen was chosen. It was originally going to be erected in the market place but it was decided that the town green offered a more prominent position."

The £600 cost was raised by public subscription.

A notice was placed in the then West Essex Gazette inviting people to submit names of relatives for inclusion on the Roll of Honour.

The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday, May 8, 1921. 

Mr Duffell said: "Despite the fact it was raining, it was estimated that half the population of Epping attended the ceremony. Sadly it was necessary to add more names after the Second World War. Two new tablets were fixed to the memorial and these were unveiled in November 1948.

"In 2004, it was discovered that some names from the First World War were not included and these were added. More from the Second World War were added in 2009.

"Another name, added in 2009, was that of Georgie Sparks who had lost his life in Afghanistan the previous year."

Mr Duffell added: "This memorial is now the focal point for Remembrance in Epping.

"There are 150 men from the town listed on the memorial. They fought and died in some of the most famous battles in history - Ypres, Loos, Gallipoli, Jutland, the Somme, Passchendaele and Arras in the First World War, and Dunkirk, El Alamein, Normandy, the crossing of the Rhine and Burma in the Second World War.

"They are buried or commemorated in countries across the globe but on here they are all together."

The service was taken by Rev'd Lee Batson with the names of those remembered on the memorial read by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Hugh Pegrum, Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing, Town Mayor councillor Michael Wright, Deputy Town Mayor councillor Barbara Scruton, and councillors Jon Whitehouse, Mari-Louise Whitbread, Grahame Scruton and Cherry McCredie on behalf of Epping Town Council.

Wreaths were laid by Mr Pegrum, Mr Wright, Mr Duffell, Freemen of Epping Ruth Benjamin and John Batchelor, and Epping Town Council's Young Townspeople of the Year Julie Turrell and George Sack.

The service included a two-minute silence.
4.38pm - August 20

ONGAR: Councillor to set up Flood Network group

A Neighbourhood Watch-style Flood Network group is to be established by Ongar & Rural county councillor Jaymey McIvor.

He wants to see a united approach to flooding issues across all 18 of the town and parish council areas included in his Division which stretches from The Rodings to Stapleford Abbotts and from Norton Heath to North Weald.

Speaking at last night's Ongar Town Council meeting, councillor McIvor said: "Ongar Town Council on its own is not a strong enough voice but all 18 Ongar & Rural Division councils supported by the MP, county councillor and district councillors could sign a letter to central Government and have a strong voice."

He added: "I don't think we should accept that we have to live with flooding. I want us to have a very robust response."

Councillor McIvor said the Flood Network would issue key messages and warnings and give updates on where sandbags and help, such as people who have 4x4 vehicles and are available to collect prescriptions, is available.
1.58pm - August 20

ONGAR: More stalls sign up for Ongar Farmers' Market and Craft Market

More traders have signed up for the next Ongar Town Forum Farmers' Market and Craft Market on Sunday, September 5.

All the traders who attended the August market have signed up for the September and October events, with the newcomers taking the total number of stalls expected at the next market to 25.

The new stalls will be selling meat, eggs and other items, fruit and vegetables, sausages, apple juice and beeswax, handmade ceramics, candles, natural environmentally-friendly skin products, jewellery and wooden items.There will also be a stall selling homemade dog bandanas.

A coffee van is also expected and music will be provided by Toot Hill Folk Club.

Returning stallholders will be selling fish, homemade cakes, handmade gin, vodka, rum and whisky liqueurs, personalised gifts and natural skincare products and personalised greetings cards.

The market will again be in the Pleasance car park, next to the library, in the High Street.

The October market is on Sunday, October 3, the November market on Sunday, November 7, with a Christmas market on Sunday, December 5.

All the markets run from 10am until 2pm.

Market co-ordinator Derek Birch said: "We have had some really good feedback after the first market and we are delighted that we have received so many requests for stalls.

"Ongar Town Forum is keen to involve the local businesses in the markets and we would encourage them to get involved with future market days."

Ongar Town Forum is appealing to local individuals and representatives from local groups to help on market days.

If you can assist in any way, email
9.39am - August 20

LOUGHTON: Police launch murder investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have any information ring police on 101 quoting incident 13 of 20 August or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
4.55pm - August 19

ROYDON: 'No further action' against man arrested over Barrymore pool death case

The detective heading the investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock at the Roydon home of entertainer Michael Barrymore more than 20 years ago has said the case remains open - after a man arrested over the case was released without charge.

No further action will be taken against the 50-year-old man who was arrested in March on suspicion of the murder and indecent assault of Stuart Lubbock.

In a statement, Essex Police said the force, working in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service, and taking into account the expert legal advice received and all of the evidence gathered both previously and since the recent arrest, has decided there is insufficient evidence to reach the level where there is a realistic chance of a successful prosecution.

Senior Investigating Officer DCI Stephen Jennings said: “We have worked tirelessly to secure justice for Stuart, for his devoted father Terry and for the whole family. 

"This news is a huge personal disappointment to all of the detectives involved in this case. 

"We have explored all possible lines of enquiry and sometimes, regrettably, the evidence is not yet there to issue charges. 

"I know that this may of little comfort to Stuart’s father and his family. At every stage it is the Lubbock family and our search for justice for them that dominates our thoughts and our actions. We have tried our best. We will continue to try our best.

“For the last 20 years, as we have continually stated that two things have remained consistent: one is the commitment of Essex Police to deliver justice for Stuart and his father Terry; the second is that we believe of those present on the night Stuart died, someone at the house was responsible and someone knows what happened.

“Our investigation into Stuart’s death has never closed and over the years we have repeatedly taken all opportunities to pursue new lines of inquiry. "Doing nothing has never been an option and will never be an option. 

"When we were approached to be part of the Channel 4 documentary exploring this case, we saw a further opportunity to bring the case to the fore once more. 

"I was appointed as the new Senior Investigating Officer in 2018 and, when the programme aired, for the first time in the case’s 20-year history we also took the opportunity to launch a £20,000 reward with Crimestoppers - this was later doubled to £40,000. 

"The appeal generated fresh information, all of which our detectives reviewed and acted upon.

“I will repeat: we believe someone, or some people, at that party know what happened.

“Essex Police has never given up on this case. All we want is to deliver justice for Mr Lubbock and his family.

“We have never given up on finding out exactly what happened to Stuart. This case, like all of our unsolved crimes, will remain open and we will continue to pursue any reasonable lines of inquiry.

“It is no secret that Stuart’s father Terry is suffering extremely ill-health and his wish is to know that justice will be done. 

"If you have information, now is the time to come forward with any information if you haven’t done so already, to help us finally deliver justice for Stuart and his father Terry.”
4.30pm - August 19

EPPING: Bowls club hosts mixed pairs competition

Twenty-four Epping Bowls Club members competed for the club’s annual Mixed Pairs competition when ladies captain Margaret Hopkinson and Peter Bates beat Rosemary and Andrew Preston 10-3 in their first appearance in the final.

The event was sponsored by independent family funeral director Daniel Robinson & Sons which has supported the club over many years.

The event brought together 12 pairs drawn in two groups of six. Each pair played four games of eight ends against each pair in their group. 

This produced two overall winners from each group who played each other in the final.

Prizes of hampers and goody bags were presented by funeral manager Seamus Setterfield who has been with the company for 25 years. 

He said "It’s always a pleasure to support Epping Bowls Club which has a long-established history in Epping. The event is always strongly contested and this year was no different."

Club president Peter Bates celebrated 32 years with the club with his win in the final. 

He said "We are grateful for the continued support from Daniel Robinson & Sons for their care and generosity in helping to make this such an enjoyable event. Everyone who took part had a great day."

Established in 1911, Epping Bowls Club is part of Epping Sports Club based in Lower Bury Lane.

The bowls season continues until the end of September. For more details, visit
3.56pm - August 19

WALTHAM ABBEY: 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 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.
8.56am - August 19

WALTHAM ABBEY: 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.
8.23am - August 18

EPPING: Amendments revealed for town centre redevelopment sites
Amendments have been made to proposed schemes for housing and a new leisure centre in Epping.

Changes have been drawn up to the highway and 'public realm works relating to the main entrance and external seating areas at the proposed new leisure centre on the Bakers Lane car park.

Amendments have also been made to the 'architectural composition' of the building, including additional glazing.

The plans have also been amended for the proposed redevelopment of the Cottis Lane car park with a multi-storey car park and cinema with changes to the highway and landscape work and 'minor scheme changes' to accommodate 'flexible cycle storage options', bin storage space and material colour change to the northern elevation.

The location of new public toilets has been changed with amendments too to the height of the ground floor parking deck and the height of the roof parapet.

One of the amendments to the car park is a "change in the lowest car park entry level to allow taller vehicles at a height of 2.4m to use the ground floor parking spaces".

At the current Epping Sports Centre site in Hemnall Street, changes have been made to the residential development proposed with two houses now proposed instead of a block of three apartments as part of the plans.

Revised landscaping plans have also been submitted.

At the Civic Offices site, where housing is proposed on the site of the Conder Building, 'minor amendments' are proposed to the 'architectural detail to reflect site context' in respect of the setting of the listed Civic Offices with the amount of soft landscaping increased.
1.37pm - August 17

ABBESS RODING: Two people taken to hospital after collision

Two people were taken to hospital following a collision involving a motorbike and a car in Abbess Roding.

Police have told Everything Epping Forest a red Honda motorbike and a black Audi Q2 were involved in a collision on Dunmow Road, Abbess Roding, shortly after 12.45pm on Sunday.

The male motorbike rider and his female pillion passenger were taken to hospital.

The 28-year-old man, from north west London, suffered serious injuries which were not believed to be life-threatening. 

The 31-year-old woman, from Corby in Northamptonshire, suffered minor injuries.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance was called to the scene and the road was closed for several hours.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Stanway roads policing unit quoting incident 657 of August 15.

Information can be submitted online at or by using the 'Live Chat' button where you can speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

Alternatively information can be given by ringing 101.
5.56pm - August 16

EPPING: School proud of GCSE results achieved through "sheer grit and determination"

Students at Epping St John's School secured GCSE grades to be proud of through “sheer grit and determination” during the pandemic.

Year 11 students received more top grades across more subjects than ever before.

For the second year running, the traditional external exams were cancelled and students were instead graded on a combination of in-school assessments, work already completed and coursework.

Head of School Mike Yerosimou said: “We are beyond proud of this group of students. We’ve rarely seen a year group pull together in the face of adversity in the way that this Year 11 did.

"When we returned in March there was lots of uncertainty around the way students would respond to the fact exams had been ‘cancelled’. Would they simply down tools? Would they lose focus? Would they not even bother coming in!? We needn’t have worried.

“Nobody will ever be able to discredit or take these grades away from them because they earned them in unprecedented circumstances through sheer grit and determination. 

"The fact they have done so well and that we are welcoming so many of them back through the doors of Epping St John’s Sixth Form makes it all the sweeter.”

Among the success stories at the Bury Lane school were:

* Will Gaskin, who suffers with severe dyslexia, was awarded six grade 5 and two grade 6 results despite his additional learning needs.
He will now stay on at the school’s sixth form to study sociology, media studies and applied law.

* Tilly Nelson is looking to study sociology, media studies, English and geography at the Epping St John's Sixth Form after achieving two grade 8, four grade 7, two grade 6 and one grade 5 results.

* Samaya Kaleel, from Waltham Abbey, achieved three grade 9, two grade 8, four grade 7 and one grade 6 to add to a grade 8 she was awarded last year. She will study history, English, economics and biology at the sixth form.

* Mia Knight will study history, Spanish and psychology after achieving three grade 9, six grade 8 and one grade 7

* Paul Adams will study maths, biology and chemistry at the sixth form, with hopes of going into a career in biomedical science, after he bagged five grade 8 and four grade 7s.
5.17pm - August 16

TOOT HILL: Three boys, aged 16, arrested after pursuit

Three 16-year-old boys have been arrested after a police pursuit took officers from Coopersale to Toot Hill.

The teenagers, all from the Epping area, were released under investigation after police spotted a car which they suspected to have been stolen.

The pursuit was on country roads through Toot Hill to Blake Hall Road where the vehicle stopped.

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "Officers on patrol noticed a suspected stolen car in the Coopersale area at about 6.10pm on Thursday, August 12.

"Officers followed the car which stopped in Blake Hall Road, Ongar. 

"Three teenagers got out and ran off. 

"The boys, all aged 16, were arrested a short time later on suspicion of failing to stop when directed, dangerous driving, and handling stolen goods.

"The three, all from the Epping area, have been released under investigation while we continue our enquiries."
4.52pm - August 13

EPPING: Office development could be turned into 51 apartments

Plans have been revealed to convert the office development at Falconry Court, off Bakers Lane, Epping, into 51 apartments.

The 46 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom apartments would be housed in the three existing L-shaped office buildings - Peregrine House, Kestrel House and Merlin House - which look out onto the Bakers Lane and Cottis Lane car parks.

Kestrel House is earmarked for conversion into 20 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment.

Merlin House could become 14 one-bedroom apartments and three two-bedroom apartments and Peregrine House 12 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment.

Documents submitted to Epping Forest District Council with the planning application state that the site currently has parking for 128 cars. No change is planned for the number of spaces which would be available as part of the new plans.

* Plans have been drawn up to convert Brickfield House, off High Road, Epping (between Epping and Thornwood) - which is used as serviced offices - into five residential properties.

A planning application to determine whether prior approval is required for the proposals has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council.
5.40pm - August 12

BUCKHURST HILL: Braeside School celebrates "fantastic" GCSE results

Braeside School is celebrating another outstanding set of GCSE results.

All GCSE grades were at grade 5 or above and 66 per cent of grades were 7-9.

Students again achieved superbly in Sciences with 100 per cent passes in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. 

Other subjects with 100 per cent passes included Maths, English Language, English Literature, French, History, French, Drama, Computer Science, Religious Studies and Spanish.

Headmistress Chloe Moon said: “These are a fantastic set of results for the Braeside pupils who thoroughly deserve such an outstanding set of GCSEs after the past two years being affected by the pandemic. 

"Most pupils achieved the top grades of 7-9 and in the circumstances we faced nationally, this is a tremendous achievement.

"I’m proud to be able to see our pupils move onto the next stage of their education as well-rounded, motivated young people who are well-equipped for life beyond Braeside. 

"They leave us to join some outstanding schools and colleges, and I wish them all the very best for the future."
5.23pm - August 12

EPPING: Epping St John's celebrates exam successes

Epping St John’s School saw a boost in the number of top A* to A grades in this year's A-Level results, as well as an increase in strong A* to C passes.

There were also more Year 13 students this year securing places at Russell Group universities on competitive courses such as law, engineering and optometry, as well as a leap in students being accepted onto apprenticeship programmes with companies such as BT, Bloomberg and KPMG.

Among the top achievers were:

* Sabina Miah who picked up A*s in biology, chemistry and maths. She is off to City University to study optometry.

* Finley Jacobs-Roth achieved As in government and politics, history and sociology and is off to Nottingham University to study politics with American studies, including a year spent studying in America.

* Amy Burges has earned a place at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts after making her way through an intense application process. She had to showcase her talents by filming a dance, two songs and two monologues, taking part in ballet, jazz and commercial lessons and sitting an interview, all remotely during lockdown.
She achieved As in drama, English literature and psychology.

* James Cronin has deferred his university place and instead of starting to study computer science at Nottingham University this year, he is taking a year out in the hope life returns to normal by next September. James achieved an A* in physics and As in science and maths.
2.55pm - August 12

STANFORD RIVERS: Toot Hill Show - “A fine example of our community at its best”

Ongar & Rural county councillor Jaymey McIvor has praised all involved in the successful execution of the 2021 Toot Hill Show describing last Saturday's event as "a fine example of our community at its best".

The extreme weather of last weekend did not stop the community turning out in true rural spirit to support the fun-filled family event on Saturday.

From the competition entries in the main tent to the main arena with entertainment there was something for everyone.

The show included stalls run by businesses both local to Ongar Rural and across Essex.

Councillor McIvor said “This year's Toot Hill Show was a fine example of our community at its best, not only because of the great show of local people supporting the event but the great variety of interesting stalls.

“From Essex business Alpaca Hire to the Epping Ongar Railway to Essex’s most exciting new business, Pot Luck, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from people who have used the last 18 months to set up businesses which have blossomed into bigger businesses."

He added: "It was wonderful to see these businesses making the most of showcasing their work from a field in Ongar Rural.

“Visitors were also able to meet parish councillors at their interactive stall and it was great to meet several residents whilst I was enjoying the event.

“Whatever your role at the Toot Hill Show, whether as an organiser, stall holder or attendee - thank you for all you have done to support our community.”
2.38pm - August 12

LOUGHTON: Debden Park High School students praised for "impressive results"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Debden Park High students with particularly impressive results are:

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

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

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

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

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

More details will be released via the school's website nearer the time.
2.25pm - August 12

LOUGHTON: Roding Valley High School GCSE students "should all be incredibly proud"

For results day pictures

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

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

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

"The school is proud of every single student and their individual success." Particularly outstanding performances were achieved by:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any other enquiries can be emailed to
2.15pm - August 12

CHIGWELL: West Hatch students "should be very proud"

For results day pictures

Students at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, were celebrating their GCSE examination results today with the vast majority enrolling into the school’s Sixth Form. 

Headteacher Daniel Leonard said: "Results days are always a stressful enough time for our students but having had to deal with the disruption to their lives and their studies over the last two years our students are finally able to celebrate their hard work and plan for their next two years of study."

He added: "This year’s students have worked so hard under such challenging circumstances and within an ever-changing landscape. 

"They should be very proud of what they have achieved. We all certainly are.

"The results our students have achieved this year are the culmination of their diligence and dedication. 

"We look forward to seeing so many of them return to our school in September ready to start the next stage in their lives."

As a result of the processes by which students have been awarded grades this year the school is not releasing overall school figures.

Top student was Max Richards who recorded 11 Grade 9 results.

Mr Leonard said: "We are exceptionally proud of all of our students and are delighted to be able to share such outstanding achievements with our community. 

"I hope our Year 11s can now relax for the summer and prepare themselves for the road ahead. 

"I’m sure I speak for all of our students in thanking the staff who have helped them to achieve such fantastic results.”

The Sixth Form at West Hatch is well known for its excellent provision and results, extensive range of well-established A-Level and Vocational Courses, its Work Shadowing, Extended Project Qualification, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and opportunities to trek and travel abroad. 

When West Hatch Sixth Formers leave, they take with them the confidence, skills and excellent results enabling them to compete with the best.

The Sixth Form Centre is set in extensive grounds with superb facilities.

Details of courses open for recruitment and information regarding the school's Sixth Form Open Events for the next year’s intake will be available on Monday, September 6. Visit or contact the school office.
8.08pm - August 11

EPPING: District council consultation over wider pavements - stay or go?

Epping Forest District Council is consulting over whether the wider pavements in Epping High Street should stay or go.

The council says the pavement widening scheme has helped to make the town centre a more appealing place to visit and shop.

New planters and extra seating along with more space to walk, and socially distance, has been provided with the council saying the work has generated many positive comments.

Initially introduced to support social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, the changes have brightened up the town centre and made it easier to navigate, the council says.

A spokesman added that eight parking spaces were lost but none were disabled spaces.

"We’d like to know your views on the improvements and whether they should stay, or go!"

Epping Forest District Council is considering applying to Essex County Council to make the changes permanent.

Comments can be made until September 10 by emailing
8.08pm - August 11

FYFIELD: Police want to trace hit-and-run driver over fatal collision

​Police want to speak to a van driver following last night's collision near the Ongar Road-Herons Lane junction in Fyfield where a motorcyclist died and a teenage girl was injured.

Police say the 47-year-old man was riding a motorbike when it was in collision with a small, white Ford Escort car-derived van shortly before 8pm.

He died at the scene.

His pillion passenger, a 17-year-old girl from Brentwood, was taken to hospital. Her injuries are now described as potentially life-changing.

Inspector Mark Fraser, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We are supporting their families at this awful time and are progressing our enquiries to establish the circumstances behind this tragic incident.

“We have identified a white van which is believed to have been involved in the collision and left the scene before emergency services arrived.

“We are continuing our enquiries to locate the van and driver, and urge the driver to contact us.

“I’d like to thank members of the public who have helped us with our investigation so far and ask anyone with information or footage to contact us.”

Contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on

You can also speak to an online operator at between 7am-11pm or ring 101, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or (quote incident 1189 of August 10).
2.37pm - August 11

Parking meter plan "slippery slope" for parking in Epping

A plan to introduce parking meters along Kendal Avenue in Epping is unnecessary and could be a "slippery slope" to the introduction of meters elsewhere in the town, the town council fears.

North Essex Parking Partnership has drawn up a scheme for parking charges to be introduced in Kendal Avenue from September but the town council is calling for the meters to be put on hold.

Councillor Hugh Pegrum told Tuesday's town council meeting: "I can't quite get my head round what problem they are trying to cure.

"We've already seen a loss of parking in the High Street. Every house in Kendal Avenue has off-street parking. Kendal Avenue is wide enough to take four lines of traffic so why can't we use some of that for parking?

"It's madness to do away with the parking that's available in Kendal Avenue.

"Most of the places where they propose 'no waiting at any time' restrictions are quite capable of accommodating parking.

He added: "We are on a slippery slope if we allow parking meters in the town. The hour between 10am and 11am when people can't park there seems to be satisfactory."

Town Mayor councillor Michael Wright said: "If it isn't broken why use a sledgehammer to crack a very small nut."
2.09pm - August 11

EPPING: Death of former Town Mayor

Epping Town Council has reported the death of former Town Mayor Peter Burns who was Mayor in 1981-82.

Current Town Mayor councillor Michael Wright was invited to read Peter’s eulogy at his funeral.
1.29pm - August 11

DISTRICT: Housing numbers reduced in Local Plan amendments

The number of homes earmarked for parts of the district in the yet-to-be-adopted Epping Forest District Council Local Plan has been reduced, consultation documents reveal.

Documents currently out for consultation show a reduction of 596 homes in Epping (down from 1,305 to 709) and a figure for Loughton which is down 566, from 1,021 to 455.

The Main Modifications document also shows a drop in housing numbers for Waltham Abbey, down from 858 to 836, while the figure for Chigwell is down from 376 to 206.

Nazeing's housing number has been reduced from 122 to 118 and the number for Roydon is down from 62 to 48.

The overall number of new homes for Coopersale, Fyfield, High Ongar, Lower Sheering, Sheering and Stapleford Abbotts has been reduced from 175 to 161.

Areas that remain unchanged are 'sites around Harlow' 3,900 homes, North Weald Bassett 1,050, Ongar 590, Thornwood 172, Buckhurst Hill 87 and Theydon Bois 57.

Tuesday's Epping Town Council meeting heard criticism of the consultation document which, according to a resident, runs to some 2,704 pages in 30 documents.

It was stated the number of documents and the way the Main Modifications are worded make it difficult for people to understand what the changes are that are contained in the papers.

Councillor Hugh Pegrum said: "You would need days to read through this (all the documents). The overall impression was that it was a done deal and it was going to happen and this was just occupying peoples' time and nothing else.

Councillor Christine Burgess said: "I read it twice and couldn't make sense of it either time. I thought it was so involved that a normal person couldn't understand it. It needs to be simplified."

Councillor Barbara Scruton said: "As town councillors we should be supporting our residents and enabling them to know what the modifications are. It's another case of the town council being sidetracked again."

She added: "If it isn't a consultation document it will just go through without the residents being able to say something. 90 per cent of our residents won't (go through all the documents). The town council should have more say on these matters."

The views will be forwarded by the town council to Epping Forest District Council.

Councillor Cherry McCredie expressed concern over school provision in the South Epping area, where new housing is proposed off Brook Road, and the impact new development would have on Ivy Chimneys Primary School.

The meeting heard that an initial proposal for a new bridge over the railway had now been dropped.

Councillor Simon Baker said: "Epping will now have fewer houses than Waltham Abbey and North Weald."

Details on the consultation being carried out on Main Modifications to the emerging Local Plan can be found at
9.27am - August 11

FYFIELD: Motorcyclist dies and woman pillion passenger suffers life-changing injuries

A motorcyclist has died and his woman pillion passenger seriously injured in an incident involving a motorbike in Fyfield.

The incident happened near the Ongar Road-Herons Lane junction shortly before 8pm yesterday (Tuesday).

Police say the rider died at the scene. His pillion passenger was taken to hospital where her injuries are described as life-changing.

Police are carrying out enquiries into the circumstances which led to the collision.

Anyone in the area is asked to check their CCTV, dash cam and doorbell cameras to see if they have caught any footage which may have captured either the incident or the moments before or after it.

Any information can be submitted online at, via the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 1189 of August 11) or via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
6.44pm - August 10

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

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

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

Among the top achievers are Martin Carner, Lauren Rutherford and Pawel Makes who all achieved 4 A*s and Finlay Jordon who with his 4A*s is off to study at Oxford.  
Che Zucconi has secured a much sought after apprenticeship at Morgan Stanley.

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

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

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

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

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

"We look forward to hearing about their success at their universities, in their apprenticeships and in the workplace.“
6.44pm - August 10

LOUGHTON: Debden Park High School "delighted" with exam results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I have had such an incredible time since joining Debden Park in Year 12, the support I’ve had from the teachers has been great and I am delighted to be able to go and follow my passion to become a doctor over the next few years."
2.20pm - August 10

LOUGHTON: Roding Valley High School "incredibly proud" of exam students

For results day pictures CLICK HERE

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

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

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

Among the top achievers are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Livvy Turnball - A*A*AA - exploring opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Our supportive sixth form is now oversubscribed and outstanding achievement at the highest level is embedded in our practice.”
2.14pm - August 10

CHIGWELL: West Hatch High School students praised over exam successes


Year 13 students at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, have today seen the culmination of two years’ hard work in "what must be two of the hardest years of their schooling", headteacher Daniel Leonard said.

Students faced multiple lockdowns, isolations, uncertainty and dramatic changes to courses and assessments. 

Mr Leonard said: "We are exceptionally proud of the resilience and commitment our students have shown and congratulate them on achieving some fantastic results despite the disruption they have faced.

"Finally they are able to celebrate the end of their time at West Hatch and
contemplate their futures. 

"We are delighted that so many of our students have achieved results that have enabled them to progress on to their desired future pathways. 

"It is important to remember that the 6th Form is not just about academic outcomes, although clearly this is important, but it is also about preparing them for the next stage in their lives and our students have taken every opportunity afforded to them to grow as individuals."

As a result of the processes by which students have been awarded grades this year the school is not releasing overall school figures but wants to celebrate the achievements of its students nonetheless. 

Among the top achievers are: 


Diya Zaman A*, A*, A*, C
Emsal Ali A*, A*, A*, A* (Extended Project)
Imogen Stephens A*, A*, A*
Lorena Ejupi A*, A*, A*
Anastasija Boikova A*, A*, A*
Frederick Taylor A, A, A, B (Extended Project)
Ziyad Zikrya A, A, A.

The following students all achieved A*, A, B:

Amy Fitch, Muhsin Khan, Laura Kazickaite, Anya McComish and Joshua Martin.

BTEC Business Extended Diploma

Ciaran Freeman - Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction*
Nicholas Rodriguez - Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction
Gianni Zeolla - Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction
Aayush Chandel - Distinction*, Distinction, Distinction
Olivia Hogarth - Distinction*, Distinction, Distinction
Rishin Patel - Distinction*, Distinction, Distinction
Romone Persaud - Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
Aaqib Raja - Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Mr Leonard added: "Post-16 study is a stepping stone to the future and our students’ results mean most are able to progress on to their desired further education, training programmes or employment.  

"We are delighted that so many of our students have achieved their ambitions and are going on to either study at university or have been accepted onto prestigious higher apprenticeships."

This year West Hatch High School has students going onto study at universities such as Exeter, Durham, Loughborough, Kings College, Queen Mary and UCL among others and students taking on apprenticeships with the RAF and in Quantity Surveying and Finance. 

Mr Leonard said: "I would like to thank our staff for all of their hard work in supporting the students through the unchartered territory of TAGs to ensure they achieved the grades they deserved. 

"Congratulations again to all of our students for their hard work and
achievements this year and wish them the very best of luck for the future”.

For further information on West Hatch High School visit or email the school office at
1.53pm - August 10

THORNWOOD: Patrolling police officers praised after spotting car wash blaze

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The investigation continues."

Josef Burda, 27, of no fixed address, has been charged with arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered, and is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday 10).
1.19pm - August 9

THORNWOOD: Police forensics officers at car wash blaze scene

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

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

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

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

No-one was injured.
9.02am - August 9

THORNWOOD: Man arrested over car wash blaze

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information can also be submitted online at, via the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm, or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
2.26pm - August 6

LOUGHTON: Man charged over stabbing

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 19 year-old woman, from Romford, has been released on bail until August 26.
5.05pm - August 5

CHIGWELL: Jail for rapist who also burnt, punched and kicked victim

A woman who survived a horrific and sustained attack in which she was raped and tortured by a Chigwell man has said a heartfelt thank you to the police officer who rescued her in the street and the detectives who brought her attacker to justice.

Today her attacker, Daniel Machon, 45, of Trotwood, Chigwell, is starting a 12-year sentence behind bars thanks to the victim’s bravery and the determination of detectives to bring him to justice.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the attack began on the evening of July 10 last year.

Machon subjected his victim to a horrific ordeal lasting several hours in which he repeatedly raped her, burnt her, repeatedly punched and kicked her to the face, held a knife to her throat, choked her to the point of unconsciousness and kneed her to the face.

Machon also took gloating selfies posing with his victim as she lay suffering severe injuries which he then sent on to a third party.

Despite her horrific injuries, the victim bravely managed to call 999 when her attacker briefly left her alone.

When officers arrived, the victim managed to run out into the street where one of our officers, PC Christopher Simpson, took her to safety.

Machon was arrested and charged with rape and seven counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, making threats to kill and witness intimidation.  

Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, jurors found him guilty of all offences except for making threats to kill and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Machon returned to the court for sentence today (Thursday, August 5) where he was given a 12-year sentence and a further three years on extended licence.

Speaking after the sentencing, the victim paid tribute to PC Simpson and the team of detectives from Harlow - including investigating officer Detective Constable Jonathan Trevallion, Detective Sergeant Sam Bailey and Detective Constables Sarah Faircloth, Russell Cutchey and Craig Davey.

She said: “Firstly, I can’t describe the horror I went through at the hands of a monster. I just hope that no one ever has to experience the same pain and humiliation that I went through.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the detectives who dealt with my case. Their hard work and determination throughout led to a rightful conviction.

"I can’t say thank you enough for their kind words throughout the ordeal, for the time and effort they all put in to help things run smoothly for me and for always taking the time to keep me updated on the case and for checking on my wellbeing.

“Lastly, I would like to thank the first officer I saw after escaping. His actions saved my life and he showed such bravery and compassion.”

Following the sentencing Det Sgt Bailey, speaking on behalf of his team at Harlow, said: “My team and I are all seasoned detectives but this case was the most harrowing any of us have ever had to deal with.

“We would like to pay tribute to the victim who showed bravery and courage in supporting this prosecution and standing up in court to tell the jury about the horrific ordeal she went through.

“Her bravery made us even more determined to do all we could to support her through our investigation and to put Machon behind bars where he belongs.”
3.14pm - August 5

NORTH WEALD: New homes named after "man for the people"

For pictures CLICK HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"They are built to modern housing standards, they are environmentally friendly and most importantly they're providing fantastic family homes for local people."
12.47pm - August 5

THEYDON BOIS: Man found guilty of rape and making threats to kill

A man from Theydon Bois has been found guilty of raping a woman and other offences including making threats to kill after a woman was attacked in a hotel room in Hatfield Heath.

Paul Ballard, 39, of Woodland Way, was found guilty on all counts at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, July 30, after denying rape, attempted rape, assault, criminal damage and threats to kill.

Police say Ballard launched his attack shortly after 5am on September 19 last year.

During the incident he told the victim: “Your life is ending. You’re dying tonight.”

After the ordeal, the victim bravely fled the room and found a member of hotel staff who then called the police.

Police attended and safeguarded the woman who has been supported throughout the last 11 months by specialist officers.

Ballard had claimed to have had consensual sex with the woman and denied he had threatened her.

But the jury took just two hours to convict him on all counts.

He will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court from September 6.

Detective Constable Dan Lambert, who led the investigation, said: “Ballard has never taken responsibility for his actions – indeed he continued to deny them throughout the trial.

“It is telling that the jury arrived at a verdict within two hours.

“I hope this provides some comfort to his victim, who he subjected to a terrifying ordeal that night in September last year.”
9.11am - August 5

WALTHAM ABBEY: 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."
10.05pm - August 4


LOUGHTON: Shopper describes how he went to aid of stabbing victim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.36pm - August 4

LOUGHTON: Man in life-threatening condition after stabbing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information can also be given via 101 and Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
9.22am - August 4

DISTRICT: Two people arrested over watch thefts

Two people have been arrested in connection with a series of high-end watch thefts and attempted thefts.

Loughton CID officers are investigating a number of reports of robbery, attempted robbery, theft and attempted theft across the district.

The incidents took place between Wednesday, May 19, and Sunday, July 4.

Victims have reported a woman approaching them and engaging in conversation about finding work.

It is then reported that she has shaken the victims’ hand, grabbed hold of their wrist or pushed herself up against them in order to steal their Rolex watches.

In several cases, she has been successful.

As a result of proactive patrols by Community Safety Team officers, a man and a woman were arrested after officers spotted a vehicle in a car park "acting suspiciously".

The man and woman, both aged 29 and from Chigwell, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft.

The man was also further arrested on suspicion of driving without insurance.

They have been released under investigation while enquiries continue - this means they are actively being investigated in connection with a number of crimes.

Officers in Loughton CID are aware of similar reported offences elsewhere in Essex and have been considering these alongside the investigation.

There may also be other victims, either in the Epping Forest district or elsewhere in the county, who have not yet come forward.

Anyone who has any information on the thefts and attempted thefts or who believes they may also be a victim should submit a report online or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Information can also be given by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
2.19pm - August 3

BUCKHURST HILL: "Next chapter begins" for newly-promoted football club

Newly-promoted Buckhurst Hill Football Club has launched the new season with its first point in the First Division South of the Thurlow Nunn League.

The Roding Lane club - which fought out a goalless draw at Harwich and Parkeston on Saturday - visits Wormley Rovers tonight (Tuesday) before hosting Halstead Town in the club's history-making first home match of the season on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The first team will also be at home the following weekend (Saturday, August 14) when Wivenhoe Town are the visitors.

The club's elevation to Step 6 of the football pyramid - after gaining promotion from the Essex Olympian League last season - means it will be playing in the FA Vase for the first time in its history when it hosts Enfield at Roding Lane on Saturday, September 11 (3pm).

Off the field, the club has received funding for stands, floodlights and turnstiles.

Club chairman Simon Cornwell said: "We look forward to welcoming you to Roding Lane on Saturday as the club starts a new chapter in its 35-year history, and our biggest achievement of them all as our first team make their home debut in senior mens' football."

Mr Cornwell has been involved with the club for 17 years since taking his then seven-year-old son for a trial to instantly falling in love with the club and becoming a manager from Under-8s through to Under-21s.

He added: "The ethos, the family environment, just everything about Buckhurst Hill wanted me to help as much as i could.

"Then before you know it you get involved with the committee and then the rest is history.

"When I was asked to become chairman ten years ago it was a huge honour and i just wanted to build on the successful foundations already in place, but with a vision to grow the amount of teams across all age groups, and to take our first team up the football ladder.

"Our President and the life-blood of the football club, and one of our original founders, Ray Sherrin, had a dream to one day watch the first team from a stand, under floodlights and in a FA competition. Ten years on and that dream has become a reality.

"This could not have been achieved without all the endless hours of dedication from our trustees, committee members, who are all volunteers, and the incredible support from Epping Forest District Council, Buckhurst Hill Parish Council and the Football Foundation supporting 70 per cent of the funding towards the total project.

"Our first stage was to move our first team pitch, build a concrete walkway all the way round, a pitch barrier, new goals and dugouts."

The second stage is the installation of a 100-seater stand, floodlights and turnstiles.

"We hope you come and visit, enjoy the hospitality and more importantly support the boys on the pitch and the community spirit we desire.

"I would like to thank Mark Williams (first team manager), who is Buckhurst Hill through and through, all his coaches, and more importantly the players. Their achievements on the pitch over the last three years has been nothing short of inspirational.

"Finally it just shows that from humble beginnings anything is possible if you want to follow your dreams with hard work and dedication.

"Now the next chapter begins."
1.45pm - August 3

NORTH WEALD: Parish council objects to second storage location for London taxis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He expressed concern about potential vandalism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It adds: "Given the separation distance from the neighbouring properties and the application site, this very occasional movement is not considered to be significant enough to cause a detrimental impact upon the amenity of these neighbouring occupiers."
4.24pm - August 2

Ongar High Street businesses encouraged to get involved with new monthly markets

Ongar Town Forum is highlighting the impact its first Farmers' Market and Craft Market, which attracted more than 620 people, had on business trade in the town  - and is urging local businesses to get involved and keep the momentum going.

Market traders reported bumper sales with some selling out while the market resulted in a noticeable increase in the number of people visiting businesses in the High Street.
Ongar Town Forum wants businesses to get involved with future markets and make the most from the additional footfall that the first market attracted.
Some traders who had only booked for the first market have now confirmed they will be at the next two - in the Pleasance car park, next to the library, on Sunday, September 5, and Sunday, October 3 (10am until 2pm).
Ongar Town Forum is calling on businesses to join the forum and play an active role in promoting the town's business community.

Market co-ordinator ​and town councillor Derek Birch said: "The cake stall sold out, the two gin stalls were running very low on stock and some stalls which only brought along limited stock and range intend to bring more and extended ranges next time.
"The town was very busy and all the cafés did well as a result of the market. Some had queues and so we achieved our aim which was to bring shoppers to the High Street. Not for a long time have I seen so many people in the High Street.
"Now it is up to all the shops to react, get involved with Ongar Town Forum and support future markets."
Ongar Town Forum has already received six new enquiries about the September event.
Mr Birch added: "We are keen to add to the stalls and are especially looking to attract traders selling, bread, fruit and vegetables, jams, honey, pickles and local artisan foods and craft stalls​.​"

For more information about having a stall at future markets, email

To receive Ongar Town Forum's news updates - and the latest on forthcoming markets - register your email address at​
4.47pm - August 1

WALTHAM ABBEY: 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.
5.08pm - August 1

EPPING: No town council objection to restaurant / take-away plans

Plans to turn the former Santander premises in Epping High Street into a "tastefully fancy" restaurant and take-away have met with no objection from Epping Town Council.

Councillor Grahame Scruton told Tuesday's planning and general purposes committee: "As a town council we would rather have an occupied shop than an empty unit."

A document submitted with the planning application states that the proposals are to provide a "tastefully fancy destination for the community" which would "make the area lively".

A minimum of ten full-time jobs would be created.  

Since the bank closed, planning consent has been granted for the premises to be turned into a wine shop and luxury wine bar.

The town council was commenting on a further change of use planning application has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council.

The existing consent, approved by the district council about a year ago, was for a "high quality, luxury venue" open from 10am and into the late evening catering for retail customers and evening on-sales customers when the intended specialist independent wine retail shop could be used for private functions "or just as a relaxing venue to enjoy a glass of wine". 
4.47pm - August 1

DISTRICT: Town council victorious in annual petanque challenge

​For pictures CLICK HERE

Epping Town Council has retained the trophy following a 13-5 victory over Epping Forest District Council in the annual petanque challenge match held at the Stonards Hill recreation ground in Epping.

It takes the overall number of victories in the annual encounter to 15-15.

Epping Town Mayor Michael Wright and Deputy Town Mayor Barbara Scruton represented the town council with councillor Sam Kane and councillor Les Burrows playing for the district council.

The match was hosted by the Epping Horizons Petanque Club.
4.31pm - August 1

ONGAR: More than 600 people at first Farmers' Market and Craft Market

For pictures CLICK HERE

The first Ongar Town Forum Farmers' Market and Craft Market held today (Sunday) in the Pleasance car park, High Street, Ongar, attracted more than 600 people.

Arrangements are already in hand for the next market - on Sunday, September 5 (10am-2pm).

Ongar Town Forum chairman Martyn Pattie said: "It was great to see so many people turn out for our first market which featured an array of stalls selling gifts, cakes, meats and more. A big thank you to everyone who came along. 

"It was the first time Ongar Town Forum had held such an event which certainly fulfilled the aim which was to bring people, including many who live outside Ongar, into the town.

"Many stall holders will be returning and we are already receiving enquiries for the September market.

"A special thank you to Epping Ongar Railway which offered a special discounted return ticket for passengers visiting Ongar during the market and to Chingford Morris Men who travelled by train to Ongar to perform."
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