District and Parish Councillors sympathise and express support for over 100 local residents who say NO to proposed 90 new houses in Buckhurst Hill.
On Monday 28th November, over 100 residents of Buckhurst Hill crowded into the Library to voice their concerns about the plans for development proposed by Epping Forest District Council in its Draft Local Plan. The meeting was arranged by Buckhurst Hill Parish Council, and was chaired by District Councillor Gavin Chambers. The Residents' Society helped to publicise the meeting by distributing flyers to residents who live close to the proposed sites.
The points raised during the meeting will be used by the Parish Council to formulate their response to the Local Plan. The Residents' Society had already drafted its own response and circulated it to residents; this has been updated as a result of the meeting, and can be read on our website.
It became apparent that many residents had not received the leaflet which was supposed to have been distributed by EFDC, and had only learnt of the plans shortly beforehand. This included some residents and businesses directly affected in Lower Queens Road.
There were questions raised about the Green Belt at 1 Powell Road and about the car park on Queens Road, but most of the discussion concerned Lower Queens Road where occupiers of flats and businesses might be moved out during the redevelopment. The lack of consultation by EFDC and the vagueness of the Local Plan has lead to considerable anger. Several residents said that they owned their flats leasehold, not as council tenants, and they would now not be able to sell because of blight caused by the Council's plans.
It was pointed out that the infrastructure in Buckhurst Hill is already overloaded; Buckhurst Hill is the most densely populated area in West Essex. The schools have no spare places, there are just three doctors surgeries, the Central Line is full, the traffic congestion is already severe at the junction of Palmerston Road and Victoria Road where 44 new flats are proposed.
All the District and Parish Councillors present expressed their support for the views of the residents, and gave assurances those views would be communicated to EFDC.
Residents were given advice on how to read the Local Plan, and were encouraged to submit their own responses to the questionaire on the EFDC website.. The website of the Residents' Society also provides links.
A further meeting may be arranged, where a representative of EFDC would be present, but this would not be before the deadline for submitting comments of 12th December.