Welcome to the CRA!

We seek to represent the interests of residents within the Parish of Chigwell, including Chigwell Village, Chigwell Row and Grange Hill and to protect the integrity of the area. Our aim is to seek the views of people in our community and provide a voice for those who care about the village and want to make it a better place to live and work in.

We are a voluntary organisation that represents around 300 households in Chigwell but need more residents to join both to make our voices louder when seeking to protect the village and to help with raising funds to enable us to function effectively. We also need the input of and feedback from residents on local issues relating to issues such as planning and development, highways, transport and parking

 

 

Current News

 

Contacts from CRA members regarding the Local and the Neighbourhood Development Plans (January 2017)

The consultation periods for both EFDC’s Local Plan and Chigwell Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan have now concluded, and we have had quite a few contacts from residents in Chigwell to tell us about the issues they regard as the most important ones.

The vast majority of comments to us are in favour of putting new housing in Chigwell on smaller sites which are more concealed, and would have less visual impact. It was also the view of most of the members who contacted us that it was crucial to avoid those sites proposed in either the Local Plan (LP) or Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) – or in some cases in both- which would add to the daily traffic congestion in the centre of Chigwell or on the main arterial roads from there into Redbridge. There is a real fear about the increasing gridlock at rush hours and its growing costs to the local economy and the wellbeing of our community.

There is also very strong feeling that it is vital to retain all open green spaces. In the previous consultation in 2012 residents stated that their top priority was to retain all open green spaces, that the strategic Green Belt around Chigwell had to be maintained, and that Chigwell must not be merged with nearby suburbs and settlements.

Therefore there has been almost total opposition to the proposal in the LP to build 210 houses on the green spaces at Limes Farm, or at Chigwell Convent on High Road.

For the same reasons, there is great opposition to building on Chigwell Nursery - particularly with the daily additional traffic coming from the adjacent West Hatch School, plus the autistic school and housing being built in Luxborough Lane. The Chigwell Nursey site is also proposed in the NDP.

For these reasons, residents contacting us have been opposed to many of the proposed sites in the LP, but more in favour of the majority of sites put forward in the NDP.

It is really important that residents in Chigwell have contacted BOTH EFDC and Chigwell Parish Council (CPC) to voice their opinions. One of the real dangers is that if the responses to the consultations are very low in numbers then EFDC will assume that Chigwell residents are in agreement with simply all the EFDC’s own proposals, and merely then just incorporate them all into their final plan.

 They need to be informed by the choices of the residents of Chigwell in favour of options in the NDP for smaller, more dispersed sites further out.

Although some of these sites are Green Belt, we believe that CPC’s criteria for green belt sites actually stands up better than EFDC’s attempts to justify green open spaces on which to build. The total required in the NDP is about 1%, which is the same as that in the LP.

The best options for Chigwell are smaller housing sites, further away from the worst daily traffic congestion spots, and with less visual impact on the existing character of Chigwell.

We feel that the NDP is fundamentally sound, and therefore that its main sites should  be adopted into the LP.

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Programme for Local Plan (January 2017)

See up to date progress at https://eppingforest.consultationonline.co.uk/faqs/  and open ‘the local plan making process’

EFDC has completed consultations on their Draft Local Plan in December 2016 and they are analysing the feedback received and will revise the Draft Local Plan accordingly. The revised Local Plan will then be published for a six week period June/July 2017.  There will be an opportunity at this stage to make representations on the, ‘soundness’ of the Local Plan, i.e. whether the Council has followed the correct procedures and stages as set out by Planning legislation.

In November 2017 the Council will then submit the Draft Local Plan to the Planning Inspector for independent examination, and subject to any alterations required by the Inspector, the aim is for this to be adopted by Autumn 2018.

Programme for Neighbourhood Plan (January 2017)

Chigwell Parish Council received the responses to consultations on their Draft Neighbourhood Plan in November 2016 and are currently awaiting analysis of those results.  As traffic is a key issue in this area they have commissioned a traffic survey to add to the evidence base of their plan.

The Draft Neighbourhood Plan differs significantly from the EFDC Local Plan and further consultations are needed with EFDC. 

The final plan will need to be submitted to a government Planning inspector for ratification; no date has been set for this as yet.

If approved as sound by the Planning Inspector the plan will be subject to a ballot by all residents in Chigwell and only if this is approved by a majority of voters can this be put forward for inclusion in the Local Plan as an alternative to the EFDC proposal contained in the current draft Local Plan.

Beis Shammai Has New Owners (December 2016)

We were pleased to welcome to a recent committee meeting representatives of the new owners of the Beis Shammai School and they are keen to be part of our community make contact with residents in Chigwell. It is now to be a community centre catering for the needs of an area Hindu Group connected to the Neasden Temple.  The buildings will be refurbished internally to meet their needs and there will also be sports facilities outside. They have already been busy tidying up the site and have kindly agreed to Chigwell Primary School using the car park at school drop off and picking up times.

This of course will mean that the site is no longer available as a designated housing site which appeared in the Draft Chigwell Neighbourhood and Epping Forest Local Plans.

Report from the CRA General Meeting for residents, 24th October 2016 at St Mary’s Hall.

The Chairman introduced the local councillors in attendance, Cllrs John Knapman, Alan Lion, Barry Scrutton, Kewel Charna, and Gagan Mohindra.

Treasurer’s Report: Peter Garner presented a summary of the current financial position of the Association, which indicated that income continues to meet expenditure, and that our position remains sound. He said that we are currently attempting to update and improve the CRA website, and that the eventual costs were likely to be in the region of £1000 – 1500. There were no questions for the Treasurer; he was thanked for his continuing careful managing of our resources.

The EFDC Local Plan; and Chigwell Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan: concern was voiced that the EFDC Local Plan, although available online, was not accessible to many residents, and also was difficult to follow; in particular some Chigwell residents are experiencing difficulty in finding information about the proposed housing sites proposed for Chigwell. Many residents are also worried that the CPC Neighbourhood Plan has not been sent to Chigwell households, that their website is difficult to access, and that the 2 information leaflets which were promised by Chigwell Parish Council to be sent to every home have not been delivered.

Councillor Knapman said that there were important differences in the two Plans. Although meetings at District Council over the past 2 years have only discussed Green Belt sites (for housing) the Local Plan now proposes putting houses on local green spaces. Chigwell’s Neighbourhood Plan proposes sites in the Green Belt which are largely hidden.

He said it seems good news that the Local Plan doesn’t suggest any housing on the Courtland fields, or opposite the “Three Jolly Wheelers”, but that their proposals for 210 houses on the green space at Limes Farm, and 60 on the field in front of Chigwell Convent were opposed by Chigwell councillors. Each would have an unacceptable visual impact, and also create more traffic congestion onto already overcrowded roads. Other residents commented  that the number of houses proposed at Chigwell Nursery (66) would cause further traffic blockages with the increasing traffic from the housing at Luxborough Lane already being built.

Cllr Knapman said that he thought the total for housing in Chigwell (to be set by EFDC) would be nearer 600 than their numbers proposed in the Local Plan, and that the Neighbourhood Plan would meet this target; he said that recent legislation allows a larger number of residences to come with a care home, as suggested at Rolls Park. He felt the Neighbourhood Plan would link better with Chigwell’s infrastructure needs (eg increased Chigwell entrants at West Hatch School).

Pat Ward (Meadow Way) queried the figure for the number of houses needed; his reading was that the numbers were more like 420. He wondered if the Neighbourhood Plan actually proposed more houses than the Local Plan?

Graham Osborne (Smeaton Road) queried whether in Luxborough Lane there would be additional houses built nearer the river? The councillors said no. Robert Ayrton (Chigwell Rise) said there were rumours that the tip in Luxborough Lane would not only be used for housing, but that a road would be put through to New Barnes Farm. The councillors said the tip seemed to be being run down by Essex CC, but there were no plans to create such a road, or to extend a road from there into Chigwell Park estate either.

Susan Mina (Smeaton Road) reported no letter from Chigwell Parish had been delivered, and they desperately needed information on what is being proposed. The councillors said they would pursue this problem. They said that a referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan will be in May, and that prior to that it will have to be approved by an Inspector.

Other residents were concerned that there were insufficient numbers of the 3 booklets on the Neighbourhood Plan published, and that the Parish Office could not meet the needs of its residents for accessible information.

Katharine Garner (Emmaus Way) asked how residents should go about responding to the Local Plan; Cllr Knapman said they are able to write a letter on any point, and that it would be properly noted. Mrs Garner said that green spaces, such as Chigwell Nursey, were the top priority to retain for Chigwell residents, and that continuing access to community spaces was absolutely vital.

Pat Ward said at last week’s District Council Meeting planners had said that they should not change the green spaces recommendations (such as Limes Farm) because government would then impose a new plan on the District. Cllr Knapman said that government “could” not “would” impose a new plan, and that Chigwell councillors were confident the proposals could be rejected.

It was strongly felt by a majority present that a peak time traffic assessment in Chigwell was needed to support the sites proposed in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Chigwell Residents Association Committee:   the meeting was reminded that there would be several changes on the CRA Management Committee at the AGM (April 2017). The Chairman has recently moved out of the area, and the Treasurer was also standing down after 4 years service in the role. Therefore there was an urgent need for new people to step forward to work on the Committee on behalf of the local residents.

Julia Hills (Hainault Road) was concerned that the through tube trains from Chigwell Station have been cut to only one in the rush hour. It was agreed that this was causing great difficulties, and the Parish Council are consulting London Transport.

There was a discussion about parking difficulties on roads around the Station caused by commuter vehicles. Cllr Knapman reported that the propose Report from the CRA General Meeting for residents, 24th October at St Mary’s Hall.

The Chairman introduced the local councillors in attendance, Cllrs John Knapman, Alan Lion, Barry Scrutton, Kewel Charna, and Gagan Mohindra.

Treasurer’s Report: Peter Garner presented a summary of the current financial position of the Association, which indicated that income continues to meet expenditure, and that our position remains sound. He said that we are currently attempting to update and improve the CRA website, and that the eventual costs were likely to be in the region of £1000 – 1500. There were no questions for the Treasurer; he was thanked for his continuing careful managing of our resources.

The EFDC Local Plan; and Chigwell Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan: concern was voiced that the EFDC Local Plan, although available online, was not accessible to many residents, and also was difficult to follow; in particular some Chigwell residents are experiencing difficulty in finding information about the proposed housing sites proposed for Chigwell. Many residents are also worried that the CPC Neighbourhood Plan has not been sent to Chigwell households, that their website is difficult to access, and that the 2 information leaflets which were promised by Chigwell Parish Council to be sent to every home have not been delivered.

Councillor Knapman said that there were important differences in the two Plans. Although meetings at District Council over the past 2 years have only discussed Green Belt sites (for housing) the Local Plan now proposes putting houses on local green spaces. Chigwell’s Neighbourhood Plan proposes sites in the Green Belt which are largely hidden.

He said it seems good news that the Local Plan doesn’t suggest any housing on the Courtland fields, or opposite the “Three Jolly Wheelers”, but that their proposals for 210 houses on the green space at Limes Farm, and 60 on the field in front of Chigwell Convent were opposed by Chigwell councillors. Each would have an unacceptable visual impact, and also create more traffic congestion onto already overcrowded roads. Other residents commented  that the number of houses proposed at Chigwell Nursery (66) would cause further traffic blockages with the increasing traffic from the housing at Luxborough Lane already being built.

Cllr Knapman said that he thought the total for housing in Chigwell (to be set by EFDC) would be nearer 600 than their numbers proposed in the Local Plan, and that the Neighbourhood Plan would meet this target; he said that recent legislation allows a larger number of residences to come with a care home, as suggested at Rolls Park. He felt the Neighbourhood Plan would link better with Chigwell’s infrastructure needs (eg increased Chigwell entrants at West Hatch School).

Pat Ward (Meadow Way) queried the figure for the number of houses needed; his reading was that the numbers were more like 420. He wondered if the Neighbourhood Plan actually proposed more houses than the Local Plan?

Graham Osborne (Smeaton Road) queried whether in Luxborough Lane there would be additional houses built nearer the river? The councillors said no. Robert Ayrton (Chigwell Rise) said there were rumours that the tip in Luxborough Lane would not only be used for housing, but that a road would be put through to New Barnes Farm. The councillors said the tip seemed to be being run down by Essex CC, but there were no plans to create such a road, or to extend a road from there into Chigwell Park estate either.

Susan Mina (Smeaton Road) reported no letter from Chigwell Parish had been delivered, and they desperately needed information on what is being proposed. The councillors said they would pursue this problem. They said that a referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan will be in May, and that prior to that it will have to be approved by an Inspector.

Other residents were concerned that there were insufficient numbers of the 3 booklets on the Neighbourhood Plan published, and that the Parish Office could not meet the needs of its residents for accessible information.

Katharine Garner (Emmaus Way) asked how residents should go about responding to the Local Plan; Cllr Knapman said they are able to write a letter on any point, and that it would be properly noted. Mrs Garner said that green spaces, such as Chigwell Nursey, were the top priority to retain for Chigwell residents, and that continuing access to community spaces was absolutely vital.

Pat Ward said at last week’s District Council Meeting planners had said that they should not change the green spaces recommendations (such as Limes Farm) because government would then impose a new plan on the District. Cllr Knapman said that government “could” not “would” impose a new plan, and that Chigwell councillors were confident the proposals could be rejected.

It was strongly felt by a majority present that a peak time traffic assessment in Chigwell was needed to support the sites proposed in the Neighbourhood Plan. 

Chigwell Residents Association Committee:   the meeting was reminded that there would be several changes on the CRA Management Committee at the AGM (April 2017). The Chairman has recently moved out of the area, and the Treasurer was also standing down after 4 years service in the role. Therefore there was an urgent need for new people to step forward to work on the Committee on behalf of the local residents.

Julia Hills (Hainault Road) was concerned that the through tube trains from Chigwell Station have been cut to only one in the rush hour. It was agreed that this was causing great difficulties, and the Parish Council are consulting London Transport.

There was a discussion about parking difficulties on roads around the Station caused by commuter vehicles. Cllr Knapman reported that the proposed controlled parking zone for the Chigwell Park estate was bringing conflicting opinions, and that Tudor Close has now put in its own application for a CPZ.

There was other discussion about the future community hub, and about the proposed local bus routes. Attendees were urged to get details of the Local and Neighbourhood Plans and to respond during or at the end of the consultation periods  (12th December and 25th November respectively).

The meeting closed at 9 45 pm.

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Summary of the CRA Annual General Meeting (20th April 2017).

The meeting at St Mary’s Hall commenced at 8 pm, with local councillors present being introduced. Deborah Hall, who is stepping down, was thanked for her years of service on the CRA Committee.

The Treasurer reported that finances remain sound, and the annual income from subscriptions continued to cover the basic costs of running the Association. We have £4209.74 in our Deposit Account and £1579.97 in our Current Account. Our honorary Auditor, BA Patel is retiring after auditing our accounts free of charge for many years, and we thank him for his work
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The Chairman reminded the meeting that he was stepping down, as were Peter and Katharine Garner as Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively, and that therefore these vacancies needed to be filled for the Association to continue. Several members of the Committee were standing again, and Jacquie MacLeod was prepared to become Treasurer and Janet Hutchins to become Membership Secretary.

Jamie Braha was proposed and seconded as Chairman, and unanimously elected. Rhys Jones, Keith Lakey, Chris Jolly were all willing to continue to serve on the Committee and re elected. Tracey Seagood joins the Committee, and Arlene Hopkin volunteered to become Secretary. All were thanked for their willingness to work on behalf of the CRA.

Cllr Knapman gave an updated summary of the current situations regarding the Neighbourhood Development Plan and the EFDC Local Plan. He said that there remain fundamental discrepancies between the 2 Plans, particularly in the desire shown in the LP to put large numbers of houses on open spaces at Limes Farm and Chigwell Convent. He said that the NDP of Chigwell Council was opposed to any development on either, and also wanted a much reduced number (to those of the LP) on the Chigwell Nursery site for the same reasons, namely to stop communities merging; and to avoid creating further traffic bottlenecks at already overcrowded venues.

He reported that West Hatch School is increasing its intake numbers by two forms, which will add further congestion. The traffic survey commissioned by CPC has been completed and should add strength to the arguments against development at these pinch points.

He believes that the planners at EFDC are the ones pushing for these developments, and that EFDC councillors will be more persuadable that building on open spaces is not the solution. There are further meetings with district councillors this weekend. He felt that the portfolio holder wants to have a LP which will be accepted, and therefore will be amenable to looking at sites in Chigwell which are smaller and more hidden. However, there is still no total of numbers of houses to be allocated to Chigwell (or at which sites) being given by EFDC, much to residents frustration and concern.

He said that it seems there may be the possibility of building more houses on the Guide site at Chigwell Row, the proposal being that houses built there remain more affordable. There is a linked scheme to build a primary school there, which would mean that Chigwell Row children would not have to transfer to Chigwell Primary School at 8 years (making more places available at both for local children).

JK said that there is discussion about knocking down a former care home on Lambourne Road and building about 25 assisted places homes, which will help Chigwell achieve its target of homes required and also address the shortage of places for the older age group.
Peter Garner asked when would residents get to vote on the NDP? JK replied that it would have to be before it was declared “sound”, and that a 51% majority of those voting would be required to take it forward to become a part of the LP.

Rhys Jones asked about the plan to build 650 homes (including 250 starter and 250 retirement) on Woolston Manor. JK said that it remained only a plan at the moment, with no application submitted. He said that if it ever became a planning application, then Chigwell’s NDP would not necessarily be needed to be implemented, and at that point the CPC would involve residents in further consultation. It should not go into the NDP as well as the housing sites already proposed in it. He felt that any housing at Woolston Manor might also be used to help contribute to numbers required for Loughton or Theydon Bois.
He was asked by a resident from Dickens Rise about the 32 houses to be built near to Chigwell Primary School as funding for its refurbishment, and he confirmed that these were not included in the NDP.

In questions on local issues, dissatisfaction was voiced about the continuing number of potholes not repaired, and the fact that even when work was done that nearby potholes were still left. JK said that the ECC Highways Dept had given a 10 year contract which was proving very unsatisfactory, imposing an inflexible scheme of work that didn’t respond to lately reported potholes, even those close by ongoing work. He was angered that a proposal by Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton to together employ a team of 3 to tackle local holes had been turned down, and the inefficient system continued. He and Cllr Lion suggested that residents lobbied Gagan Mohindra, standing for Essex CC, to keep raising the issue on their behalf.
It was asked if Domino Pizza had been granted permission to use the former HSBC shop on Brook Parade, but this has been refused. It is not known if they will reapply, seeking an earlier closing time.

JK was asked about any proposal for a one way system around Station Road. He said the prices quoted on the schemes so far proposed were too high.

He reported that on the plans for Victory Hall, they were getting towards agreement about the land behind, but there were still many details to discuss, including the position of any houses at that site.

He said that the bus service was planned to start in January 2019. The first tranches of financial contributions from developers were now in, and councillors were looking to order the buses.
There were presentations to the retiring Chairman, and to the retiring Treasurer and Membership Secretary, with thanks expressed for their contributions to their work for the CRA on behalf of the community.

The meeting concluded at 9.30 pm.

E Bow.

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Current CRA Events

Next Committee Meeting:  18th September 2017