Next has submitted their planning application for the land to the north of Dowding Way, Waltham Abbey

Since 2018 Next plc (Next) have been working with Epping Forest District Council (EFDC), local stakeholders and the community to bring forward plans for a state-of-the-art Regional Service Centre in Waltham Abbey.

Having submitted an initial application in May 2018, we have worked with a new design team, led by pHp Architects, to develop a revised scheme which actively responded to feedback from the community and stakeholders.

As a direct result, we submitted revised plans in September 2019, comprising detailed plans for the Regional Service Centre. If approved, the new Regional Service Centre and Photo Studio will deliver a high-quality, sustainable development and provide a range of new employment opportunities to the district.

Following on from previous updates, the application is expected to be heard by members of Epping Forest District Council's District Development Management Committee on Monday 21 December and we are pleased to let you know the application has been recommended for approval.

Summary of the plans:

  • State-of-the-art Regional Service Centre with 52,621m² of warehouse space and parking for delivery vans and HGVs

  • 367 parking spaces to serve the Regional Service Centre and Photo Studio, alongside 120 cycle parking spaces

  • Next Photo Studio to create market-leading creative content for Next’s fashion and home collections

  • Sustainable infrastructure including solar panels, electric vehicle charging points and on-site attenuation ponds.

  • A Green Corridor and green walls to increase planting and enhance biodiversity

  • Contemporary landscaping that transitions into the surrounding area, including a ‘trim trail’ and outdoor seating areas

Summary of key benefits:

  • Approximately £40m of investment in the area

  • Up to 436 new full-time equivalent jobs, including 111 specialist jobs in the Next Photo Studio

  • New graduate, apprenticeship and training opportunities in a variety of roles

  • Supporting around 70 jobs during the 17-month construction phase

  • Significant employee spending in the area, helping to support Waltham Abbey’s shops and businesses

  • Investment in local infrastructure, including enhancing existing walking and cycling routes.

  • A Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) scheme for staff, visitors to the site and local residents to use

  •  Delivering a sustainable, high-quality project with exemplary landscaping

Responding to key issues

Quality of jobs
Our warehouse operations will provide a wide variety of jobs, including: 

- Warehouse operatives
- Drivers
- Operational managers
- Administrators
- Maintenance and quality controllers
- Security staff

The Next photo studio will create market-leading creative content and support 111 jobs across a range of skilled roles - from photographers and stylists to set designers and studio managers. Of these jobs, 67 are new and 44 will be existing roles transferred from other studios. The Photo Studio will also offer a graduate and trainee scheme to applicants from across the UK, including residents from the local area and wider district. We will also offer work experience to students at nearby schools and colleges, providing a valuable in-sight into the inner workings of a creative photo studio.

Traffic and highways
We fully understand that transport is a very important issue for local people and have taken a number of steps to directly address concern:

- The majority of HGVs will use the M25 roundabout and travel along Dowding Way.
- A Routing Management Plan will prevent vehicles from routing through the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation and restrict HGVs from Honey Lane
- Vehicle movements will be spread across each day to minimise the potential impact on traffic conditions.
- The proposed layout will provide ample space for HGVs to park within the site and prevent idling in nearby laybys or roads.
- Funding a new DRT public bus service, operated by ‘Arriva Click’, for three years following completion.
- A sustainable Workplace Travel Plan will incentivise staff travel on foot, by bike or on public transport.
- Additional funding will deliver improvements to the Public Right of Way that links to Waltham Abbey.

The project will be delivered to a high standard of sustainable design and construction. The key features include:

- Targeting a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, with the expectation to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating
- A+ energy efficiency rating and net-zero carbon when measured against current building regulations
- Solar panels installed across the entire roof of the building
- Electric vehicle charging points provided for 10% of all parking spaces with all remaining spaces capable of future conversion
- A net gain in ecological value by including extensive landscaping, native planting and the new Green Corridor
- Incorporating sustainable drainage features, including attenuation ponds which also create habitats for wildlife
- Promoting sustainable travel with a new footpath and cycleway linking to the existing Public Right of Way, providing a direct route to Waltham Abbey

Contact us

For more information please contact Cascade Communications, who are co-ordinating our community engagement, on:
020 3866 4696

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