Agenda item

Release of Restrictive Covenants - Epping Forest College

Commercial and Regulatory Services – to consider the attached report (C-017-2020-21) – to grant a variation to the covenants on Epping Forest College land.



Epping Forest College be granted a variation to the covenants on the land further to previous removal of restrictive covenants, in order to facilitate the Colleges plans for the site.




The Commercial and Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor A Patel, introduced the report on the release of the covenant for Epping Forest College.


The Epping Forest College Site was subject to restrictive covenants in favour of Epping Forest District Council in relation to the use of the Property for Education. These were agreed to be released in 2019, but since this time, in order to facilitate further College plans, two variations to the covenants were required. The first involved transfer of land to the residential developer to facilitate housing development. The second involved transfer of development land from the residential developer back to the College and removal of the restriction that said land can only be used for residential purposes. This was to facilitate the Colleges proposed wellness centre.


Councillor Plummer raised concerns about sustainability of the site and the implications on Public Transport and why the report said that there were no safer, cleaner, greener implications. The Service Director, Contracts and Technical Services, replied that this report was just for the release of the covenant. Any further plans still had to be submitted to planning for approval and would have to be in accordance with the local plan. He noted that this was part of a deal that had been reached but not formalised with the college.


Councillor Chris Pond said that he had a number of quite detailed questions about this report, but without the report author being present he would not voice his concerns here but indicated that he would call the report in if it was agreed, and voice his concerns at the informal meeting that would be held to discuss the call-in.


Councillor S Murray noted that this was a major issue for Loughton and the District. There should have been a fuller report given from the Portfolio Holder or officer concerned and he found this unacceptable and asked that this item be deferred for more information. This was the last remaining site in Loughton where we would be able to put in a new primary school when needed. We could not continue just continually expanding our existing primary schools.


Councillor Patel was unsure what more the Councillor was expecting from the report, it was a straightforward covenant.


Councillor Philip added that the report covered what was needed to be said about this decision, background documents were referred to in the report, giving the background to this proposed decision. He noted that Essex County Council when consulted, confirmed that they did not want to put a Primary School on this site. Also, the Local Plan made no reference to a Primary School, therefore that would be against policy. Any detailed questions should have been provided to the Portfolio Holder and Officer beforehand so answers could have been prepared. This was a good report.


Councillor S Kane noted that the point on the primary school was dealt with on page 39 of the agenda and he saw no point in delaying the decision.






Epping Forest College be granted a variation to the covenants on the land further to previous removal of restrictive covenants, in order to facilitate the Colleges plans for the site.



Reasons for Proposed Decision:


Removal of the covenants benefits the District by allowing the College to develop the Wellness Centre while also assisting the developer in unlocking further housing provision in the District in accordance with the Local Plan.


Other Options for Action:


The restrictive covenants are not released. There is no governance, legal or commercial reason for EFDC to oppose the release of such covenants however and previous larger restrictions were agreed to be released in 2015 and 2019 by Cabinet.



Supporting documents: