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Revised Local Plan to be debated

A Full Council Meeting of EFDC will be held on Thursday 14th December at 6pm at which Councillors will debate a revised version of the Local Plan, and decide whether to submit it to the Planning Inspectorate for approval. The Agenda for the meeting can be read here (some documents are very large).

There is limited space in the public gallery at the Council Offices. The meeting will be webcast live, so should be viewable on any PC or tablet at home (use the Links button below). If you miss that, the webcast should be available from the following day.

The Residents' Society strongly opposes the sites earmarked in the Plan for Buckhurst Hill, as does the Parish Council. Our response has been on this website for a year now (see Newsbox on right). The vast majority of Buckhurst Hill residents who responded to the public consultation also opposed the Plan.

We have written again to the five District Councillors who represent Buckhurst Hill to take note of the views of residents, and reject the EFDC Cabinet's call to submit the Local Plan to the next stage of the approval process.

Dear Councillors
We would like to summarise again the reasons why the EFDC Local Plan must NOT be approved on Thursday evening.
  1. All three sites in Buckhurst Hill are unsuitable for development, of any amount.
  2. The Local Plan as published conflicts in significant respects with details documented in the technical appendices. It is not fit for purpose. The public were not consulted on material details; it is not clear which version is being approved and how future planning applications will be assessed.
  3. It is now twelve months since 24 residents and 4 businesses on the site at Lower Queen's Road learnt that their properties were blighted by the threat of redevelopment. The Local Plan itself is silent on this issue, but the technical appendix exposes the truth. EFDC has done nothing to clarify this, or reassure those affected.
  4. Despite Cllr Philip's repeated assurances that Planning Applications will be assessed on their merits, the Local Plan states that inclusion of a site will be a material consideration. These statements cannot both be true.
  5. An overwhelming majority of residents oppose it, as do the Parish Council.
We urge you all to vote against approval of the Local Plan on Thursday, should a vote take place.
If the Local Plan is approved, this will
support building on Greenbelt;
support closure of the Queen's Road car park for a significant time;
condemn the residents and businesses on Lower Queen's Road to at least another year of planning blight and condone the reprehensible behaviour of EFDC towards them so far.

Jenn Page

Peter Foxton

Buckhurst Hill Residents' Society.