Place Services was commissioned by Epping Forest District Council to undertake Historic Environment Characterisation of the District in order to inform their Local Plan. As a fundamental aspect of the District’s environmental infrastructure, the historic environment has a major role to play in Epping Forest’s future. At the same time it is sensitive to change and it needs to be properly understood before change is planned. This is in order to ensure proper management and conservation so that the historic environment can make its full contribution to shaping sustainable communities. It is also important that the many opportunities for the enhancement of the historic environment are realised and that adverse impacts associated with development are minimised so as to avoid unnecessary degradation.
The historic environment of Epping Forest district was assessed using a methodology developed by Place Services and implemented across most of the local planning authorities of Essex. It comprises the undertaking of character assessments of the historic urban, historic landscape and archaeological resource. These are then used to characterise Historic Environment Character Areas and Zones in order to inform strategic planning, and master planning activity within the District. The Characterisation Project is designed to be a live document which can be updated in line with new discoveries and changes to the historic environment within the area.