On 27 October, Epping Forest District Council’s Development Committee Meeting issued a resolution to grant planning permission to Qualis Commercial for five key development sites in Epping Town Centre.

The sites include the delivery of a new £25m leisure centre, a new multi-storey car park, commercial units and 269 high quality new homes.

Simon Rutter, Managing Director of Qualis Commercial comments, “These applications are the conclusion of almost two years hard work by an experienced professional team, with support from many others on the Council and in the community.”

“Through extensive public consultation with over 10,500 visitors to our website and over 2,200 contributions these schemes have evolved from feedback received throughout the comprehensive process. We now look forward to delivering these quality schemes that will bring financial and community benefits to the district.”

The new leisure centre on the Bakers Lane car park site will provide a six-lane swimming pool, fitness suite, gym, studios, sports hall and two squash courts and targets ‘BREEAM Excellent’.

Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said, “My congratulations to the Council’s wholly-owned development company, Qualis, for taking our vision and bringing it to the verge of reality. The St John’s consultations have been going on for perhaps ten years or more. It has been a long and difficult process, but we are now on the cusp of delivery. Taking a holistic approach, we are delivering a balance of development to rejuvenate the town. Residents said they wanted a new leisure centre with a swimming pool, and a cinema.

“Our younger residents who are driven from Epping by the high price of property have been crying out for starter homes. Over those ten years, the environmental climate change debate has also driven the process, shaping our plans for sustainable transport, limiting the number of new cars while re-providing town centre parking in the most sustainable way. All the new developments will be at the cutting edge of sustainable energy use, making Epping an even more green and attractive place to work and live.”

Simon Rutter continues, “The approvals mark an important step and early milestone in delivering the aspirations of Qualis that has been formed to drive regeneration across the district, creating jobs, economic growth and better public amenities’’.

“The team has worked closely with experts to ensure that the schemes are sustainable and sympathetic to the environment they will impact. These sites will be delivered as a comprehensive plan for the town centre that will complement and enhance the existing High Street and see a vibrant cohesive community develop.”

The new Cottis Lane car park site will provide a multi-storey car park of 330 spaces, to support the continued vitality and viability of the Town. There are additional commercial and mixed use units focused around an active meanwhile space to create a vibrant environment. The BREEAM Excellent building will have 50 spaces for electric vehicle charging use only.

The St John’s Road site will provide 184 much needed new homes for the local area, including 46 affordable homes and will revitalise the derelict former school site whilst refurbishing the locally listed Centrepoint building and Cookery school to restore its heritage and bring them back into use. All complimented by extensive green biodiverse landscaping and increased tree planting to include fruits trees. 

The site of the vacant Conder Building behind the Councils Civic Offices will transform an underutilised car park into 45 new homes. The pond, which is home to Great Crested Newt will be retained and the area enhanced with planting and trees.

The existing leisure centre site at Hemnall Street will be redeveloped once the new Bakers Lane leisure centre has been opened. It will provide complete the town centre transformation with 40 new homes.

Parking for all the three residential schemes will have 100% electric vehicle charging spaces and there will be over £2.5m of contributions through the Section 106 for education, health care, open space and other wider community wide benefits. For further information about Qualis Commercial please visit: www.qualiscommercial.co.uk

St John Road site in Epping by Qualis Commercial