Issued: December 9, 2016
STATEMENT: Draft Local Plan - Disproportionate Allocation
Joint Statement from Epping Town Council and
North Weald Bassett Parish Council
Epping Town Council and North Weald Bassett Parish Council appreciate that some growth is necessary throughout the district, however argue that this growth has been disproportionately allocated to Epping and North Weald Village, going directly against the preferred option as identified in from the Issues and Options consultation in 2012.
In considering the potential for growth in the district, seven spatial options were investigated.
The first suggested option was "proportionate distribution allowing for constraint".
This was on the basis that available land was heavily constrained in Loughton and Buckhurst Hill, and the proportionate distribution approach was refined to take this into account.
This was considered to be a reasonable option for the distribution of growth within the Issues and Options Consultation.
The Foreword of the Issues and Options document states: "This is your opportunity to get involved and help shape the future of Epping Forest District - this really is all about 'Community Choices'."
The results of the Issues and Options Consultation clearly identified that "There was a clear preference for the ‘basic’ Spatial Option 1: Proportionate distribution (24 per cent of respondents)."
The Draft Local Plan suggests that development has been "distributed throughout" the district in the "most sustainable" locations, however this has fundamentally failed to take account of the proportionate distribution preference identified by the district's residents, which has consequently meant a disproportionate distribution pattern.
In the Issues and Options 2012 Consultation, under the Proportionate Distribution allowing for constraint, a number of indicative housing figures were proposed based on population figures.
For Epping (including Thornwood), 941 additional units/dwelling were suggested. The figure in this current consultation is 1,820 - an increase of 879 units.
Epping’s population is approximately 11,800. An increase of 1,690 dwellings specifically for Epping, with an average housing density of 2.2 per dwelling, would result in a population increase of 31.5 per cent.
The town is a traditional market town in a conservation area with a road structure that was designed for horse and carts. The town is known for its character, Monday market, community mindedness and charm; but it is also known to have severe parking and congestion problems and pressures on health facilities and schools.
A potential population increase of 31.5 per cent is not sustainable development in economic, environmental or social terms.
With reference to North Weald, 1,580 new homes are proposed. The number of dwellings in North Weald is approximately 2,014.
An additional 1,580 dwellings equates to a 78 per cent increase in the number of dwellings for North Weald Village, and an additional 80.14 per cent in residents.
Both North Weald and Thornwood also suffer from the congestion problems identified above in Epping.
A potential population increase of 80.14 per cent is not sustainable development in economic, environmental or social terms.
Susan De Luca - on behalf of members of North Weald Bassett Parish Council
Beverley Rumsey - on Behalf of members of Epping Town Council