Report of the Superintendent of Epping Forest.
The Committee received a report of the Superintendent of Epping Forest which summarised the Epping Forest Division’s activities from June to July 2019.
A Member highlighted the summer football tournaments, which had been held at Wanstead Flats, and enquired if the events had been staged on the site of the proposed music festival. The Superintendent confirmed that the events had been held at both Aldersbrook and Harrow Road pitches and had experienced no significant access issues.
In response to a Member’s question on Land Registration, the Superintendent confirmed that all Land Registration had been completed and had resulted in 32 encroachments where responses would have to be determined by Committee, prior to further action. The settling of boundaries had resulted in a further project to audit access rights across Forest Land which was still underway.
A Member queried if any key drivers were associated in relation to the increased number of rough sleepers present in the Forest. The Superintendent explained that the increase was associated with pressure on hostel places; some individuals whose behaviours made them unwelcome at hostels and workers seeking to avoid the high London rents. In addition, it was explained that the Epping Forest team continued to work with the relevant authorities to resolve issues of rough sleepers. It was also noted that a new phenomenon was the associated rise in car and camper van sleepers in the Forest seeking weekday access to the London transport network.
Replying to query from a Member the Superintendent explained that the Broomhill Road case had concluded with payment of costs by both sides.
Following the clearance of the proposed play area, a Member questioned the status of the Wanstead Park play area and sought information on the timeline for the project. The Superintendent explained that the project faced challenges around funding and the responsibility for safety inspections noting the Epping Forest and Commons Committee would of course be consulted further before any permanent plans could be confirmed.
RESOLVED- That the report be noted.