Agenda and minutes

Local Councils' Liaison Committee
Monday, 15th June, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: Gary Woodhall The Directorate of Governance  Tel: 01992 564470 Email:

No. Item


Webcasting Introduction pdf icon PDF 25 KB

1.         This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking.


2.         The Chairman will read the following announcement:


"I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of repeated viewing and copies of the recording could be made available for those that request it.


If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.


This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if any member of the public wishes to avoid this they should move to the upper public gallery"


The Deputy Chief Executive explained that this meeting would not be webcast as it was a special single item meeting in the form of a briefing. The meeting was originally intended to be held in the Committee Rooms in a different format, but the many responses to attend had led to the relocation to the Council Chamber. It was never the intention to webcast this meeting, however, the standard Local Councils Liaison Committee agenda template had been used without amendment. All the Local Councils in attendance would be issued with a Green Belt Review pack at the end of the meeting, which would include:

  • the Green Belt Review presentation from this evening;
  • the draft Green Belt Review Stage I report;
  • the Settlement Hierarchy Technical Paper; and
  • a Questionnaire for feedback on the Settlement Hierarchy.


The Chairman apologised for the agenda stating that the meeting would be webcast.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 344 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 26 March 2015 and any matters arising.




(1)        That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2015 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Issues Raised by Local Councils

To discuss the following matters raised by local councils:


(a)       Local Plan Timetable


At the request of Chigwell Parish Council, to receive an update on the preparation of the new Local Plan.


The Deputy Chief Executive provided the Committee with an update on the current progress with the Local Plan and the proposed next steps following the agreement of the Local Development Scheme by the Cabinet on 11 June 2015. An overview of the important lessons learnt from recent Examinations in Public of Local Plans would be given, along with the advice received from Counsel regarding the development of the Epping Forest Local Plan. The next item on the agenda would brief the Committee on Stage I of the Green Belt Review and the evidence for the Settlement Hierarchy.


The Council’s Local Plan Consultant stated that the Local Plan would have a presumption in favour of sustainable development, would look to meet the development needs of the District until 2033 whilst also protecting the District’s most precious assets, and would provide a framework for where, when and how future development occurred in the District. An overview of the history of the Local Plan preparation was given, before the Committee was reminded that the process also included the Duty to Co-Operate and a forum for discussions with neighbouring authorities on cross boundary issues had already been established. An update on the Evidence Base was provided, and the Local Development Scheme recently agreed by the Cabinet envisaged the public consultation on the draft Local Plan taking place between July and September in 2016, before the Examination In Public in the early months of 2018. The following steps in the development of the Local Plan were scheduled for the next twelve months:

·         July 2015 – Green Belt Review Stage I and Local Plan Viability;

·         September 2015 – the Objectively Assessed Housing & Employment Need;

·         April 2016 – Workshops on the draft Local Plan; and

·         July 2016 – agreement of the draft Local Plan for public consultation.


The Planning Policy Manager informed the Committee that District Councillors had recently attended a Briefing given by Counsel on the lessons for the Council from recent Examinations in Public for Local Plans prepared by other local authorities, and further advice on producing a sound Local Plan based on these experiences. The main points of that Briefing was summarised for the Committee, and the theme running throughout the Briefing for the Council was “Do it once, do it right, do it well!”


During a question and answer session, the Committee was informed that a new junction for the M25 would be considered as part of the Transport Assessment, and that the London Borough of Enfield was also considering this as well. The Committee was reassured that there would be a full public consultation on the draft Local Plan prior to its Examination in Public, and that the length of this consultation had been extended as it was scheduled for the Summer period. The Committee was informed that the purpose of this meeting was to report on the Stage I Review of the Green Belt to the Local Councils, and that the Local Councils would be fully involved in Stage II. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Epping Forest Local Plan - Green Belt Review Phase I pdf icon PDF 4 MB

(Director of Neighbourhoods) As previously discussed at the Local Councils Liaison Committee, the District Council’s consultants will present the findings of Phase I of the Green Belt Review, being undertaken as part of the development of the new Local Plan. An insight into the methodology applied and conclusions reached will be outlined. A copy of the Phase I report will be provided and Local Town and Parish Councils will be asked to provide feedback.


The Committee received a presentation from the Planning Policy Officer concerning Stage I of the Review of the Green Belt. This presentation started with some background information for the Committee before reporting on:

·         the next steps and the timetable for Stage II of the Review;

·         the methodology utilised for Stage I of the Review;

·         the five purposes of the Green Belt, as defined by paragraph 80 of the National Planning Policy Framework;

·         the coverage of the Green Belt in the Epping Forest District;

·         assessment of the 61 Green Belt parcels within the District against the first four purposes of the Green Belt;

·         a map showing the boundaries of the Green Belt parcels within the District;

·         assessment against the first purpose of the Green Belt;

·         a map showing the contribution of each parcel to the first purpose;

·         assessment against the second purpose of the Green Belt;

·         a map showing the current distances between the towns within the District;

·         a map showing the contribution of each parcel to the second purpose;

·         assessment against the third purpose of the Green Belt;

·         a map showing the current encroachment upon the countryside;

·         a map showing the contribution of each parcel to the third purpose;

·         assessment against the fourth purpose of the Green Belt;

·         a map showing the contribution of each parcel to the fourth purpose;

·         assessment against the fifth purpose of the Green Belt, although it was highlighted that this was not actually performed.

·         The aggregate scores for each parcel of Green Belt; and

·         A map indicating the aggregated scores for each parcel as either weak, moderate or strong in their contribution towards the purposes of the Green Belt.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer then continued the presentation regarding Stage II of the Review of the Green Belt, reporting on:

·         the methodology for identifying broad locations for Stage II;

·         establishing a settlement hierarchy;

·         the five categories of services and facilities for the Epping Forest District settlement hierarchy;

·         the scores for the 26 settlements that had been assessed;

·         the draft settlement categories and what  each settlement was classified as;

·         a map of the draft settlement hierarchy;

·         the environmental constraints for development;

·         a map showing the location of the environmental constraints;

·         the parameters used to define the areas of search for new development, adjusted for the existence of defensible boundaries where appropriate;

·         a map indicating the broad locations for Stage II of the Green Belt Review; and

·         three questions for consideration by the Local Councils during the consultation period for Stage I of the Review:

o   have the right type of services and facilities been identified for assessment?

o   have the existing services and facilities been correctly identified for each of the settlements? has anything been missed?

o   have the settlements within the District been placed in appropriate categories?


The Committee expressed concern about the requirement to respond to the Stage I Review by 29 June, in order to draft a report for the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 23 July 2015; this was only 2 weeks from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.




The Committee noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration.


Dates of Future Meetings

Meetings of this Committee have been scheduled for the following dates in 2015/16:

·         Monday 6 July 2015;

·         Monday 16 November 2015; and

·         Monday 21 March 2016.


The Local Council Members have expressed a desire for these meetings to not be held on a Monday evening. The Essex Police & Crime Commissioner has already been confirmed for the meeting currently scheduled for November, so this date will have to remain in situ. However, the following dates are alternatives:


July 2015

·         Tuesday 7 July 2015;

·         Wednesday 8 July 2015; or

·         Thursday 30 July 2015.


March 2016

·         Tuesday 29 March 2016;

·         Wednesday 23 March 2016; or

·         Thursday 24 March 2016.


The Chairman noted that the Local Councils had expressed a desire that the meetings of this Committee should not be held on a Monday evening, and a number of alternative dates had been provided for the remaining meetings in the municipal year. It was highlighted that the Essex Police & Crime Commissioner had already agreed to attend the meeting scheduled for Monday 16 November 2015, and that this date would have to remain in situ. However, the Chairman suggested that the meetings scheduled for July 2015 and March 2016 be moved to Tuesday 7 July and Tuesday 29 March respectively.




(1)        That the meetings of the Local Councils Liaison Committee currently programmed for Monday 6 July 2015 and Monday 21 March 2016 be rescheduled to Tuesday 7 July 2015 and Tuesday 29 March 2016 respectively.