Appeal launched for 555 home mixed development on former North Weald golf course

Developers have launched an appeal for the redevelopment of a former golf club which would include hundreds of homes, a new care home, a school, buses and shops.

If approved by the planning inspectorate, 555 new houses would be built at the former North Weald Golf Club in Epping Forest.

Applicants Quinn Estates Limited and Redrow have appealed on the grounds of non-determination, which is when a local planning authority does not issue a decision in eight weeks, according to planning documents.

According to a design and access statement, the North Weald Park mixed-use development would be “highly sustainable”.

A section read: “Our aim is to deliver a productive and vibrant community where people of all ages will want to work and live.

“It is a scheme which combines housing with exceptional community, social and economic infrastructure, all set in an attractive and accessible landscape.”

The application is for hybrid planning permission, meaning some parts of the development would be approved in full, but others would only be given outline consent and would need a separate application to come forward in the future to approve further details.

Outline permission is being sought for all 555 homes, a 70-bed retirement home and an extra 70-bed nursing home, a two-form entry primary school, medical facilities, a local shopping centre, a sports hub including open-air pitches and a pavilion, a scouts hut, office space, a new country park, a park and ride bus station and road works including a new roundabout on the A414.

According to the application, full planning permission is sought for “Phase 1A”, which includes 116 of the total houses, a community centre, roadworks such as new access off Rayley Lane, parking and associated infrastructure.

40 per cent of the houses will be affordable homes, the application says.

The original hybrid application was submitted to Epping Forest District Council in 2018, but an updated planning statement and other planning documents were submitted in March this year.

According to the updated statement, a number of changes have been made since the original application in response to comments from consultees such as Natural England, most prominently the addition of the country park and the park and ride bus service.

An acoustic fence near the school has also been included, and the school site and sports hub have also been adjusted to allow for more green space.

North Weald Golf Course closed in December 2016 because it was no longer financially viable, according to the planning statement.

A public inquiry will likely be held later this year.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter