Ongar, located in Epping Forest District in Essex, is known for its rich history, wealth of local facilities and wide range of transport links, while there are also plenty of developments taking place in the area.
As Essex property experts, here at Balgores Property Group we’ve put together an overview of the latest housing developments taking place in Ongar.
Protected animals stunt plans to build 24 homes
Epping Forest District Council has been called to provide permission to build new homes on Gypsey Mead Works on Ongar Road.
The development would see a mix of 24 houses and apartments built with car parking and cycling facilities.
Situated on the outskirts of Fyfield, the site is a prime location for development. However, an ecological report found the site’s trees had ‘moderate levels of bat roosting potential’ and an active badger set had been identified.
Both creatures are protected by law, with all bat species protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and badgers kept safe under The Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
The report said that ‘boundary tree and hedgerow retention should be maximised as part of any future proposed layout’ in order to maintain and enhance bat habitat.
At the moment, planning permission has not yet been granted, and a lengthy delay is to be expected.
Neighbourhood plan Sub-Committee has been launched
Meanwhile, during May, Ongar Town Council voted to no longer consider planning applications from Epping Forest District Council – effectively dissolving the committee.
What’s more, the district council is required to legally consult the town council on planning decisions within Ongar. However, the town’s councillors have withdrawn from reviewing decisions in a committee.
The verdict was met with fierce criticism, with some urging the council to reconsider.
Mary Dadd, chairwoman of Ongar Neighbourhood Plan Committee Group, said that housing allocated for Ongar in Epping Forest’s Local Development Plan and the recent new homes in Ongar total 800. This will increase the town’s size by approximately one third by 2026.
“Never before has a local voice been so important, particularly as the planning authority is also set to delegate more decisions to their officers rather than being decided on by democratically elected councillors,” she commented.
“Town councils have better local knowledge, and they also have more influence than individuals, particularly when planning policies are subjective and open to debate. I would urge them to think again.”
Could shipping containers help to solve the housing crisis?
In a bid to tackle the growing housing crisis, four shipping containers have been converted into affordable housing units by Epping Forest District Council.
Part of a trial project at the Council’s homeless hostel at Norway House in North Weald, the new scheme will offer temporary homes and storage for people.
The ‘pods’ – comprised of studio or one-bedroom homes – are said to provide emergency accommodation to those facing homelessness across Epping Forest, which Ongar is nestled in.
Councillor Holly Whitbread, Cabinet member for housing, said the pods will boost the district’s housing supply and ‘reduce the Council’s reliance on bed and breakfast accommodation’.
“Having recently visited the pods, I am most impressed with their quality. I am pleased this temporary accommodation is comfortable and practical,” she added.
With a range of housing and development plans afoot, the property market in Ongar remains in good health, with high levels of demand and strong property price growth.
Using our experience and extensive local knowledge, here at Balgores Property Group we can assist home movers looking to buy and sell property in Ongar. For more information on our services, please get in touch with our many branches, or call us on: 0208 5921 038.Also, if you’re eager to know how much your property could be worth on the current market, you can also request a free instant online valuation today