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
The Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan is now in its final form
Click Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan to view
Domino Pizza (old HSBC site)
CRA have just heard that Domino Pizza appealed to the Inspectors and were successful for the old site of HSBC in Brook Parade.
When they first applied they met strong objections from residents and the Parish Council and as a result the District refused planning permission however, they have appealed and have been granted approval by the inspector. CRA have contacted Parish and district councillors on this matter and will keep you advised
CRA General Meeting: Thursday 9th November 2017 at St Mary’s Church
1 Welcome – Jamie Braha
Good turnout. No Councilors are in attendance due to other commitments. Please be open and share any views you have so this can be fed back.
Updates – new website, new Facebook page (request for likes/shares) – need to build numbers to strengthen our voice
New committee members – Pat Ward well known to the area and will be a very useful member
Sabi, Not in attendance – Neighbourhood watch coordinator – as a community we need to try to prevent things and share information - her details added to website
Existing members to try and obtain more members
2 Treasurer’s Report – Jacquie Macleod
Residents Association Current Account:
Deposit Account 4110.72
Current Account: 363.92
Outstanding 281.84 – boardroom newsletters
Reduced balance 82.08 – not immediately required as renewals are due in January
Largest expenditure – Website costs – thanking Catherine for hard work and time for hard work on project
Expenditure 452.12 –due to new website – excluding this cost we are still pleased to announce we are still able to cover running costs and will not need to increase subscription in 2018
Concern regarding the members – we need the voice of the community on hot topics – 248 with 3 new members this year – 37 have left for various reasons.
Currently addressing this concern – there is a Join Us page on the website – profile needs to be raised
Auditor B A Patel stepped down and we would like to welcome Carl Hanson as a valid member of the team
3 Local Plan & Neighbourhood Plan – Jamie Braha
Update on the above – refers to Pat as both have been in various attendance (6 months) with the local Parish and EFDC
Parish Council – last month.
Not in a good position – EFDC not working with the Parish. Neigbhourhood has been completed – waiting for comments for last 6 months. Still chasing. Not in line with the local plan –time
Cannot go anywhere without comments –has to consider the impact on the Forest – at the they have no solution –cannot be made until then
Causes the village a problem – means the local plan has accelerated beyond the NP
Local plan in its final form taken to full Council on 14th December – no named sites as yet – we need to mobilize the troops and be ready for the announcement!
LP rushed through threat from the Government new formula which will exceed the number of housing in the area. Will this materialize? EFDC are using this to accelerate LP - Due to find out more first week December – then will make it public/update/comments and include Councilors
It will then have to be voted through by majority sent to inspector to make sound,
Lack of infrastructure with plan
Speaker discussing the fact the Neighbourhood plan is being overtaken
Council letter 12th October – they are so busy they are pushing forward and cannot do anything else. Half a dozen officers offering feedback and still not provided any comments – nothing can be done at the moment apart from building support network
If local plan goes first the neighborhood plan will not be sound – unless it falls in line with the local plan which currently it doesn’t
Neighbourhood plans 5 successful across the country – biggest issue is the Forest – (impact) – affects Redbridge/Waltham Forest – we are not sure how they are getting round this issue.
EFDC are controlling the situation
My view is once we get the local plan we will need to make contact with Chigwell Councilors – if it is not in line we cannot support it. One Councilor said whatever the CRA members say he will support. Literally a waiting game.
EFDC have their own agenda. Locally we want what we want and it is not meeting up. They have accelerated due to new Government Policy. Timing has affected us where the plan has been accelerated to March.
Can we stop the local plan? – Yes. It will be in public enquiry where each application will be looked at. We can use this time to expose holes within the plan.
Once it gets thrown out – back to the drawing board.
We have already registered our early interests to speak on the night as there is a limit to the amount of Public speakers.
We will try and arrange another meeting prior to Christmas but in the meantime there will be updates on website and FB Page and a newsletter
4. Neighbourhood Watch
Sabi would like members to join Neighbourhood watch
Increase on criminal activity – policing is not as it was.
Be vigilant and report anything suspicious – Community Hub
– Victory Hall/Chigwell Men’s Club/Parish Office and Library
Parish are looking to redevelop the site for multi-purpose use to include Parish office, men’s club and library but beyond that details are a bit hazy. Attended meeting – mixed reviews but everyone agrees it requires refurbishing – funding being discussed. Paid for by a development Rolls Park Corner – application not yet submitted. This is located left hand side up to the gates nearest to motorway will be the entrance and then down through the back next to a slice of land near Grange Farm.
Council said they would build a £6m building for this hub
We raised some queries – we are not against it but require more information – how will it be funded if Rolls Park Development does not go ahead etc.? In terms of building on Greenbelt they may get over this because they are providing a community benefits – we already have these facilities – what is the requirement to spend this amount?
5. Redevelopment Beis Shammi – Girish Patel
Beis Shammai High School Site/Development
Small Groups based all around London – we have been looking for the past 10 years for a site for our purpose. The building is in a really bad condition – damp etc. We talked about putting it back on the market but decided against it. We decided to raise money and refurbish it. We are working on the existing footprint of the building. The prayer hall is complete but wanted it to be officially opened by the Spiritual Head of our organisation. The rest is due for completion hopefully by mid-Jan 2018 including conference/sports health/fitness centre/offices – 6 classrooms in the basement intended for Sunday classes. Parking currently shared with the school. We intend to give them a license to permanently use it to prevent any chaos.
Surrounding areas need to be tidied up.
We intend to meet every week but may split into various groups on different days of the week, spread throughout the week
The school will also be able to use the facilities as long as they adhere to the rules of the organization
The building is larger than they require so they are thinking of other uses for the space.
Members of the Resident’s Association are invited to visit upon completion and the building will be open to visitors
Parking – this is an issue on roads around Chigwell Station. We do not have controlled parking and we need a scheme in place according to a speaker – leading on to littering/trees being knocked down.
Footpath within the green is hazardous for children and a number of near missus have occurred!
Jamie Closed the meeting.
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.
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.
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.
Current CRA Events
Next Committee Meeting: 5th March 2018
Annual General Meeting: 3rd April 2018
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
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.