A £5million estate will be built under plans for the biggest construction of council housing in Epping Forest in generations.

Leading district councillors last night agreed for plans to be drawn up for sites across the district, including a major scheme including 31 flats on the site of the council depot in Burton Road, Loughton.

So far 12 sites have been identified for development, with six having space for up to a total of 185 council homes.

The larger developments are planned for areas with the largest number of council house applicants.

These are Loughton (478), Waltham Abbey (472), Epping (95), Buckhurst Hill (80), Ongar (76) and North Weald (48).

The rest of the sites could see a total of 26 council homes built in Theydon Bois, Nazeing, Roydon, Coopersale, High Ongar and Matching Green.

However, the council has not revealed the exact locations of sites earmarked for development.

Councillor David Stallan, housing portfolio holder, said he had identified a “wealth of potential sites” in towns and villages across the district.

Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens raised concerns over the Burton Road site, warning the wrong design could have consequences for future generations.

He said: “We must be careful that we don’t intensify the development so much that we don’t have sufficient play space and green space for people to live in green space or we will end up with the slums of the future.”

Councillor Stephen Murray agreed, saying he will be keeping an eye on the size of development to ensure amenities are not lost.

Sites able to deliver the most homes will be prioritised, under the plans.

The council cabinet also agreed work should be carried out on its existing council housing stock.
Improvements are to be made to the Oakwood Hill Estate and Wifi will be delivered at Norway House homeless hostel.

Sheltered housing schemes in the district will be given stores for mobility scooters and communal kitchens will be refurbished.

The council is also releasing funds to pay for garden maintenance for some older and vulnerable tenants.

A total of 10,000 homes must be built in the district in 20 years under the new Local Plan.