EPPING FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL
Ongar Park & Blunts Farm Golf
Courses - Ad Hoc Special
13 August 2003
Committee Room 2, Civic Offices,
High Street, Epping
4.00 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Councillors D Stallan (Chairman), L Martin, R Newland, M Woollard
Councillors R Morgan, Mrs C Pond
J Preston, I White, C Embling, R Horsey (Planning Services),
C Robinson (Environmental Services), G J Woodhall (Policy Unit)
C Thompson (Clerk to Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers Parish Council)
That the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 24 July 2003 be taken as
read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
14. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were made in accordance with the Council's Code of
Conduct for Councillors.
15. GOLF COURSE - ONGAR PARK (Minute 9 - 24.7.03)
The Committee expressed concern about the prohibition on turning right at the
junction when leaving the site. It was considered that there was a high
possibility of an accident unless the junction was redesigned to allow right
turns out of the site.
Options offered included widening the road at that point, building a mini
roundabout, or designing a series of controlled junctions with clear signage
to reduce the speed of the traffic.
The Head of Planning Services pointed out that there would be an issue with the
nearby Little Chef and Organic Farm Shop if a mini roundabout was built as it
was not considered appropriate to build one close to a dedicated right turn
Members were reminded that planning permission had been granted on condition of
a no right turn out of the site.
The Clerk to the Parish Council of Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers stated
that the Parish Council had been convinced that an accident would happen at
the junction and had sent a letter to Essex County Council asking for a
different configuration of the junction. Both the Farm Shop and Little Chef
had been very successful and were generating much traffic. Essex County
Council had replied that it was awaiting the results of the Safety Audit.
A site visit had recently taken place by Planning Services Officers. Some
sections of the course had been finished whilst others were nearly finished.
There had still been some concern over land levels and the filling in of clay
pits, but there were no current delays and the contractors were on target for
completion of lorry movements by the end of September 2003. The clubhouse had
been subject to a separate application and would be built later as permission
had only recently been given. There had been no direct answer from the
Contractors about when the traffic movements would cease, and this was
possibly one lesson to be learned for the future.
The Committee felt that for future applications of this nature, a clear
schedule for the moving of soil should be proffered and measures taken to
ensure that it was kept to, including a substantial financial penalty for
finishing late. There were concerns raised about the tractor shed being a
larger building than the Clubhouse, and whether there would be a continuation
of lorry movements during the construction of the buildings.
Members were advised that planning permission for the tractor shed had not yet
been granted and that the latest application was for a smaller building than the
original. It had been confirmed that the lorries would continue to use the main
entrance for the construction of the buildings, thus continuing the movements.
(1) That further representations be made to Essex County Council
regarding the approved entrance/exit to the site; and
(2) That for future applications involving the movement of soil, a schedule
be submitted specifying the proposed arrangements and that consideration
be given to the imposition of financial penalties for not achieving the
16. GOLF COURSE - BLUNTS FARM (Minute 10 - 24.7.03)
The Head of Planning Services informed the Committee that the Council's concerns
had been brought to the attention of Enforcement Officers. There had been a
meeting on site with Planning Officers and photographs had been taken showing
that the contractors had been working on the site laying access tracks. Members
expressed concern about the volume of materials to be imported and what would
happen when the construction work started.
The development had been subject to a Section 106 Agreement with Essex County
Council, but this had not restricted the current developments. For the safety
of all road users in the area a protected right-hand turn lane had been
required for entrance to the site before pre-construction began, but this had
not been carried out.
A report would be produced regarding possible enforcement action.
The Committee was advised that the developers had agreed orally not to bring any
more materials to the site, but written confirmation was still awaited. There
had also been concern over the closeness of the onsite haulage roads to trees
Plans had been received detailing where the incoming material would be
The additional increase in levels had not been agreed, and there was a meeting
with the Architect scheduled for 27 August 2003 where plans would be produced
to justify the amount of tipping proposed. This meeting would also determine
whether any enforcement action would be required.
(1) That a further report be made to the next meeting on enforcement
(2) That the pro forma being developed for completion by applicants for
similar developments in future include, questions about the pre-construction
phase aimed at establishing existing levels and proposed levels, details of
landscaping and drainage and access roads within the site.
17. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION - PRO FORMA
The Head of Planning Services informed the Committee that the version of the
pro forma produced at the last meeting had been passed to the Principal
Development Control Officers and would be discussed at their next team meeting.
The comments from the Blunts Farm Golf Course Architect were also being taken
into account in relation to the production of a revised version.
(1) That further consideration be given to the pro forma at the next
meeting and that a revised version be produced for that meeting including
questions seeking details of the type and quantity of all materials to be
imported and requiring the submission of level drawings; and
(2) That prior to the next meting, members be invited to express further
views on the pro forma to Planning Services so that these can be taken into
account in the production of the revised version.
18. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
That a further meeting be held at 4.00 p.m. on 8 October 2003.
Ongar Park and Blunts Farm Golf Courses - 13 August 2003
Ad Hoc Special Committee