EPPING FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL
Ongar Park & Blunts Farm Golf
Courses - Ad Hoc Special
19 November 2003
Council Chamber, Civic Offices,
High Street, Epping
3.00 p.m. - 4.45 p.m.
Councillors D Stallan (Chairman), Mrs J Davis, L Martin, R Morgan,
R Newland, Mrs C Pond, M Woollard
C Neilan, C Embling (Planning Services), C Robinson (Environmental
Services), G Lunnun (Policy Unit)
That the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 8 October 2003 be taken
as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
26. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were made to the meeting pursuant to the Council's
Code of Member Conduct.
27. GOLF COURSE - ONGAR PARK (Minute 21 - 8.10.03)
The Head of Planning Services tabled a plan received on 18 November 2003
showing proposed changes to the approved layout. In particular, changes were
being sought to the agreed contours.
He advised that the course had been visited by officers on several occasions
recently and reported on the progress being made with the development.
Members noted that the large hole which had been created on the site was
taking longer to fill than anticipated due to a lack of availability of
suitable imported material.
The Head of Planning Services reported that residents had expressed concerns
about the height of the area immediately to the rear of residential properties
fronting onto the High Road and the possibility of water flowing off the golf
course into their gardens. He advised that generally water flows would be
away from the residential properties and that as an added precaution a french
drain had been dug.
The Committee was advised that work had commenced without planning permission
on the construction of an emergency vehicular access to Skips Corner. This work
had subsequently stopped following advice from the officers that it could not be
undertaken without specific permission. The developers had been asked how much
longer the material would be imported to the site and having regard to the
shortage of suitable material to fill the large hole they had indicated that
February 2004 would be a realistic timescale.
Members expressed dissatisfaction about the progress being made in relation to
the development and in particular the continued need for imported material.
The Head of Environmental Services advised that the County Council had still not
received an amended plan showing the proposed permanent access to the site.
As a result the developer had been urged to contact the County Council's
agents as it was understood construction of the access was programmed to
commence in April 2004.
(1) That the revised plan received on 18 November 2003 be not
(2) That, the developer be instructed to lower the levels of hole 18 to the
approved levels without delay with all surplus materials being put into the
large hole on the site;
(3) That the officers make arrangements for a spot level survey across
the unfinished part of the site (the south west quadrant) at approximately
10 metre intervals in order to establish the current levels with the approved
(4) That in the event of the levels on the unfinished part of the site (the
south west quadrant) exceeding the approved levels all surplus material be
removed and used to fill the large hole on site; and
(5) That a further report be submitted to the next meeting on the
proposals for the permanent access to the site.
28. GOLF COURSE - FORMER BLUNTS FARM SITE, THEYDON BOIS (Minute 22 -
The Head of Planning Services advised that the Highways Agency had now advised
that the proposed changes to holes 12 and 13 were acceptable.
The Committee noted that on 7 October 2003 plans had been submitted to the
Council seeking approval to changes in levels on the site. Some of the proposed
changes appeared far from acceptable and the Architect had been asked to provide
further information and clearer plans. The Architect had requested a meeting to
discuss the issues but he had subsequently been admitted to hospital and no
further progress had been made. The Committee noted that whilst the planning
permission could not be re-visited there was a condition in relation to
contours which enabled the Council to insist on plans showing cross sections
and to reject the mining of sub-soil for capping as a method of operation.
The Committee noted that the submitted plans included one showing the
original site contours and this would be used to monitor compliance with
That the current position in relation to the former Blunts Farm Site, Theydon
Bois be noted.
29. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION - PRO FORMA (Minute 23 - 8.10.03)
The Committee gave further consideration to a pro forma to be completed and
submitted by applicants in respect of future applications involving soil
movement and importation.
Members suggested several further alterations to the pro forma including
references being made to the plan numbers against specific questions rather
than at the end of each section.
(1) That a further revised version of the pro forma be submitted to the
next meeting for consideration; and
(2) That a report be submitted to the next meeting on the steps available
to the Council in the event of a golf course or a similar development being
only partially completed.
30. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
That a further meeting be held in late January/early February 2004.
Ongar Park and Blunts Farm Golf Courses - 19 November 2003
Ad Hoc Special Committee