EPPING FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL

COMMITTEE MINUTES


Committee:
Ongar Park and Blunts Farm Golf Courses
Ad Hoc Special

Date:
24 July 2003

Place:
Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Epping
Time:
4.00 p.m. 5.55pm

Members
Present:
Councillors D Stallan (Chairman), L Martin, R Morgan, R Newland

Other
Councillors:
-

Apologies:
Councillors Mrs C Pond, M Woollard

Officers
Present:
J Preston, I White, C Neilan, C Embling, R Horsey (Planning Services),
C Robinson (Environmental Services), G Lunnun (Policy Unit)

Also
Present by
Invitation:
H Swan Architect for the Golf Courses

7. MINUTES

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 28 May 2003 be taken as
read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

8. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

No declarations of interest were made in accordance with the Council's Code
of Conduct for Councillors.

9. GOLF COURSE ONGAR PARK (Minute 3 28.5.03)

(a) Permanent Access

Members were advised that at the last meeting of the Committee it had been
agreed, having regard to the requirement to turn left only out of the site,
that the County Council be asked to ensure that the central reservation be
extended to prevent a right turn.

Since that meeting the County Council's consultants undertaking the safety
audit had made the following comments on the revised scheme:

(a) additional signings would be required to advise drivers leaving the site
that there was a roundabout where they could turn back if they required to
travel eastwards;
(b) a no right turn was required on the traffic separator island within the
junction;
(c) further details were required in respect of Ashlyn's Farm Shop, i.e.
levels in order to check if there would be an adverse effect on vehicles
leaving the farm shop;
(d) as the farm shop had no dedicated right hand facility, vehicles waiting
to turn right into the site would probably be no more or less vulnerable to
nose-to-tail collisions than at present;

(e) various construction and material details needed to be agreed to ensure
that they complied with the new specifications that had come into being since
the first drawing received approval.

The Head of Environmental Services reported that the County Council's
consultants had yet to survey the site to establish levels in relation to
Ashlyn's Farm Shop: No action was to be taken to physically prevent a right
turn out of the site but the proposed signing was expected to achieve this
requirement.

RESOLVED:

That the progress being made on approving permanent access to the site be
noted.

(b) Section 106 Agreement

The Head of Planning Services advised that no progress had been made regarding
completion of a legal agreement but the developer's architect had advised that
they anticipated completing the importation of landscape construction material
by September 2003. The architect had further advised that once the final
contouring of the holes was achieved, and the clay pits completed the
operations would cease.

The Committee noted that in relation to the provision of signs directing
hauliers to and from the site a developer could provide agreed AA or RAC signs
at locations to be agreed by the Highway Authority. However, the expense had
to be met by the developer.

The developer's architect advised that his clients had made strenuous efforts
to ensure that hauliers did not travel to and from the site through North
Weald Village including handing notices to all the lorry drivers. The
Committee agreed that there had been an improvement since the last meeting but
that during the past two weeks HGV movements through the village to and from
site had increased.

RESOLVED:

That in view of the anticipated completion of the construction works no
further steps be taken in relation to:

(a) completion of a legal agreement restricting HGV movements; or

(b) the provision of signs directing hauliers to and from the site.

(c) Supplementary Information

The Committee agreed to defer consideration of a draft pro-forma to be
completed and submitted by applicants in respect of any future application
involving soil movement and importation until after discussing the golf course
at Blunts Farm.
10. GOLF COURSE - BLUNTS FARM

The Head of Planning Services advised that planning permission EPF/765/99 for
the development of this site as a golf course had been subject to a number of
conditions requiring prior approval of details before the commencement of the
development.
It had also been subject to a legal agreement that had been finalised in April
2002. As a result although approval had been given to the development in April
2000 the decision notice had only been issued in April 2002 following
completion of the legal agreement.

The Committee noted the following in relation to the conditions to be
satisfied prior to construction of the site:

(a) Condition 2 (Implementation of a programme of archaeological work on the
site) - satisfied.

(b) Condition 3 (Details of surface water and foul drainage systems) -
satisfactory details submitted but yet to be formally ratified.

(c) Condition 5 (Wheel washing or other cleaning of vehicles) - not satisfied.

(d) Conditions 6, 7 and 8 (Landscaping) - further details of contouring
requested; retention of trees satisfied; soft landscaping submitted and
acceptable in principle, however some issues including the density of planting
and the functioning of the matrix arrangement proposed for woodland areas
still under consideration.

(e) Condition 12 (Earth works) - some elements of the proposals unacceptable;
necessary alterations involved the reduction of the scale of the raising of
the levels and safeguards to ensure that the extent of changes no greater than
shown on the plans; drawings showing sections through the outer-fairway,
mound-work requested but not yet received.

The Committee considered a letter dated 23 July 2002 from the Chairman of the
Theydon Bois Parish Council to the Head of Planning Services. It was noted
that the Parish Council was particularly concerned about certain assumptions
in the report to this meeting including references to the importation of
materials onto the site.

Members noted that the developers had classified as follows the extent of
material to be used on the site for re-contouring of the land:

(a) 20,000m3 excavated from the lakes to be used for greens and trees

(b) 29,000m3 used on the landscaped buffer zone next to the M11

(c) 140,000m3 used in the creation of the inter-fairway mounding.

Lorry movements in relation to the importation of material were expected to
be in the order of a maximum of 6 per hour and restricted to working hours of
Monday Friday 7.30a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and would exclude weekends and bank
holidays. However, details of routes of access and exit to and from the site
were yet to be provided by the developer.

Members were reminded that like Ongar Park the principle that the Blunts Farm
Golf Course should be constructed using imported material to create the
contours had been agreed and could not now be reconsidered. However, it was
considered reasonable to insist on further modifications to the submitted
indicative earthworks plan to lessen importation and associated lorry
movements. It was further considered that the estimation of quantities of
imported materials should be checked against the approved drawings. The
Committee noted that importation of hardcore onto the site had commenced and
that a substantial working area had been constructed. This was in breach of
the conditions and the requirements of the legal agreement. Members noted
that the agents for the applicant had been asked to cease operations but this
had not had any effect.

RESOLVED:

That the officers be asked to ensure that the requirements of the Section 106
Agreement dated 23 April 2002 and the conditions applied to planning
permission ref EPF/765/99 are applied vigorously and without delay with any
breach of the agreement and/or conditions being subject to appropriate action
including, where necessary, court proceedings to prevent excess lorry
movements and the deposit of spoil on the site in excess of any importation of
materials specifically authorised.

11. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION PRO-FORMA

The meeting considered a draft pro-forma to be completed and submitted by
applicants in respect of any future application involving soil movement and
importation.

The Committee took account of a presentation from H Swan in his capacity as a
professional golf course architect with considerable experience in the
development of sites throughout the country and involvement in the publication
of the Essex Golf Report.

RESOLVED:

(1) That consideration of the pro-forma be deferred to the next meeting of
the Committee;

(2) That members of the Committee and H Swan submit comments on the
draft pro-forma prior to the next meeting; and

(3) That H Swan submit details of his presentation for forwarding to
members of the Committee not present at this meeting.

12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

RESOLVED:

That a further meeting be held at 4.00 p.m. on 13 August 2003.

CHAIRMAN
Ongar Park and Blunts Farm Golf Courses - 24 July 2003
Ad Hoc Special

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