The Government has prioritised building new homes and requires all local authorities to produce a Local Plan to set out housing growth for the next 20 years.
As part of its ongoing Local Plan process, Epping Forest District Council has identified an objectively assessed housing need of approximately 11,400 new homes to be built in the period 2011 to 2033 (22 years). This would require 518 new homes to be built each year. So far, in the period 2011 to 2017, the Council has failed to achieve this target.
Epping Forest District Council has identified North Weald Bassett as a location to accommodate 1,580 new homes during the Plan period. Peer Group has advanced 38 acres to the northeast of North Weald Bassett to be allocated as a residential development site for new homes in the Local Plan. This is consistent with the Council’s own technical assessment and Master Plan for North Weald Bassett, undertaken by Allies and Morrison for the Council in 2014.
The assessment stated 38 acres to the east of the High Road on the Ongar Park Estate was the most suitable land for allocation to provide up to 300 new homes. A number of other sites to the west of North Weald Bassett were also considered by Allies and Morrison but the majority of these sites are in open countryside, located on ‘the best and most versatile agricultural land’. Many of these sites are unsuitable for allocation in accordance with the Council’s own sequential approach to site allocations in North Weald Bassett.
The plan below is taken from Epping Forest District Council's draft Local Plan, which was put out for public consultation under Regulation 18 in December 2016. It shows the allocation of residential development sites (shown in orange) on the best and most versatile agricultral land in open countryside.