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Theydon Bois Village Web Site

Theydon Bois Village Design Statement News


August 2015 Village Design Statement Addendum Added:

At its AGM in July 2015 the Village Design Statement Association agreed to remain in existence so as to be of assistance to our Parish Council in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish of Theydon Bois that will become a supplementary planning document to the EFDC New Local Plan.

In the interim it was agreed to update the Village Design Statement of 2012 with a brief addendum. This has now been added as a pdf download from this site.

June 2012 Village Design Statement Now Published:

From June 2012 The Theydon Bois Village Design Statement is in it's first published version and has been excepted by Epping Forest District Council the District and they have added the VDS to the evidence base for the new Local Plan.

At present the Theydon Bois Village Design Statement can be downloaded as a pdf version (below) or hard copies are available for viewing in the Parish Office. A fully printed version for all village households will be considered after EFDC have completed their Local Development Framework, which may then require revisions to this June 2012 version of our Village Design Statement.

VDS Poster

You can View the Statement online here as a pdf
or obtain a paper copy from the Parish Office.

Pleas send your comments to:
or by post to TBVDSA c/o The Parish Office,
Village Hall, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, CM16 7ER

Theydon Bois Village Design Statement Association
Chairman’s Report for the year June 2008 - June 2009


The Village Design Statement Association Committee was set up in June 2007. In July 2007 the Association was registered and funding awarded by the Community Planning Fund through the Rural Community Council of Essex. Following guidance given by Chris Hobbs, Field Officer, Rural Community Council of Essex, a plan was drawn up for the Project. This included the production of a questionnaire to be distributed throughout the village and a photoshoot day when villagers would be encouraged to go out with their cameras and shoot the aspects of the village they liked and anything they did not like. The plan provided for the questionnaire to be produced and distributed with the Christmas edition of the Village News for completion and return by the 31st January 2008. The photoshoot day was scheduled for 3rd May 2008. Once enough material was to hand, writing the various sections would commence. A soft target for the project completion date was end October/ November 2008.


At the November 2007 meeting, the Treasurer stated that he had heard from the Rural Community Council of Essex that the application for funds had been granted. The Chairman had also written to a number of the village clubs, associations and societies seeking donations. As at 12th November 2007, funds stood at £2615. By the meeting held 4th February 2008 this figure had grown to £2735. Following payment of £480 to Theydon Bois Parish Council for the cost of printing the Questionnaire, the figure stood at £2255.

The cost of the production of the brochure was estimated to be in the order of £3500 and the need to raise an additional £1000 of funds to meet this cost was identified. Additional letters were sent to the Rural Community Council, the Parish Council, the Village Association, Theydon Bois and District Rural Preservation Society and the City of London requesting further funding. The balance currently stands at £2280.     

Since the inception of the project the Association has received the following donations:

Date                                        Received From                                             Amount

1st August 2007                     Theydon Bois Rural Pres Soc                     £50.00
2nd October 2007                  Roding Valley U3A                                       £20.00
2nd October 2007                  Theydon Bois Action Grp                             £25.00
2nd October 2007                  Anonymous donation                                    £20.00
30 October 2007                   Rural Community Council Essex            £2500.00
26th November 2007            TB Horticultural Society                                £50.00
29th January 2008                 Theydon Bois Drama Soc                           £50.00
29th January   2008               Theydon Art Group                                        £20.00
31st March 2008                    K Rush                                                            £25.00

Since the inception of the project the Association has the made the following payments:

Date                                        Payment to                                         Amount

18th February 2008               Theydon Bois Parish Council                      £480.00
Re printing costs of VDS Questionnaires

Balance at Bank                                                                                         £2280.00


Project Progress on the production of the Village Design Statement

Input of the findings of the questionnaire was complete by May 2008 and writing of the various sections was getting under way but some drafts had been completed as early as April 2008. The aim was to have the draft document produced by the end of June 2008. In July 2008, Amanda Wintle, Senior Planning Officer, Epping Forest District Council attended our regular monthly meeting. It was immediately clear that the District Council was not in a position to formally process our document because they were only at an early stage in the production of their Local Development Framework. A letter was sent to Anne Grigg, (then Planning & Economic Development Portfolio holder at EFDC), copy to Mr John de Wilton Preston (Head of Planning EFDC) and Peter Hayward, (Chief Executive EFDC) asking for clarification of the current position and development of the 'core plan'. Information about this exercise indicated that going out for consultation would not go ahead before Spring 2010 and that the new Local Development Framework would unlikely to be in place for at least two years after that. Nothing of any substance has been heard since from EFDC.

The members of the committee, having invested so much time and dedication to the Project, elected to push on with the preparation and completion of the draft document in a form that can be put on hold until EFDC have produced their Local Development Framework. The plan is to get the document into good order, with all chapters complete with “place-holders” to indicate the proposed positioning of photographs to illustrate the relevant points. The draft VDS document will then be passed to Amanda Wintle at EFDC for her comments. Once that process is complete, a formal copy of the draft document will be lodged with Di Collins (new Portfolio holder) and John de Wilton Preston. It is hoped that the contents of our guidance notes will be recognised as important planning issues and hopefully, will be incorporated into the Local Development Framework. The task now is to complete the document and hand it over to EFDC. The regular monthly meetings will be discontinued once this is complete with the next proposed meeting scheduled for Monday 5th October, 2009.

After a very good start, members of the committee rightly feel let down by the lack of progress regarding EFDC’s Local Development Framework, something completely beyond their control.  Despite this, I would like to record my sincere thanks to members of the committee for the enthusiasm and dedication towards this Project throughout.   

John Eaton
Chair, Theydon Bois Village Design Statement Association
June 2009


VDS Questionnaire Analysis:

The Village Design Statement Association Committee have now finished analysing the data collected in the Questionnaire that was circulated in December 2007. This Questionnaire is now closed, but can be downloaded as a PDF here. Of the 1600 questionnaires circulated, 383 were returned which equates to a 23.9% uptake.  We considered this to be a good return and the VDS Committee would like to thank all those that took the time to participate in this important exercise for the village.  The complete data gathered can be viewed as a PDF here and we hope you will find it of interest.  Those without internet access can ask to see a copy of the analysis data at the Parish Office.  Please note that the data given in the table is only that which was gathered voluntarily from the residents and businesses of this parish and is reproduced on the website for public interest.  Any comments, remarks or views stated for those questions requiring narrative answers are the actual responses received and do not in any way reflect the opinions of the VDS Committee.  We will, of course, be using the analysis data to influence the text we shall be writing for the Design Statement which we hope to be producing some time in the autumn.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind people which buildings in the parish are already listed, firstly as Grade II (buildings of special merit or interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve them) which are Parsonage Farmhouse and Barn; Queen Victoria Public House; The Bull Public House; Pakes Farm house, The Cottage and Trail, Poplar Row; Baldocks; Piggotts Farmhouse and Barn; Theydon Hall; and 4 & 6 Theydon Park Road and also those buildings on the Local List (buildings of local architectural or historic interest) which are Woodside, 40 Blackacre Road; St Mary's Church; The Old Schoolhouse, Beaulah House, Theydon Lodge, [including thatched shed to the rear] and Ivy Cottage, all along Coppice Row; the milestone on Epping Lane; Mulberry Cottage, Brackley and Ridge House on Forest Side; 17/19 Heath Drive; Little Gregories, Little Gregories Lane; The Old Vicarage, Fairmeads, Wansfell College and Pagoda theatre, 21, 23 and 29 Piercing Hill;  Telephone Exchange and 1 & 2 Chestnut Cottages, The Green; Theydon Towers and Bowlands Meadow, Theydon Road; and finally a metal boundary post on the B172 and a boundary stone south of the station.  If you would like to peruse the Local List yourself it available as a PDF here and to see pictures of some of our Listed Buildings visit and search for Theydon Bois.

A couple of points that stood out from the analysis were that there is great opposition to building within the parish boundary (question 2.16) but on a positive note, our public houses are probably safe, with all four rated in the top six visually/historically important buildings (question 2.02)!  Visit the link and see for yourself what parishioners had to say about the design of our village and its environment.



As explained in earlier editions of Village News a Village Design Statement is being created for Theydon Bois. This is a document, produced by residents, describing the visual character of the village, to be used as a reference by planners and designers.

The development process has provided two principle opportunities for all residents of Theydon Bois to get involved and state what they like and dislike about our village and what they would like to retain and what they think should be changed. The first was the questionnaire that was distributed to every household in last December’s Village News. Nearly 400 residents completed the questionnaire and the data provided has been compiled and analysed. The analysis can be found as a PDF here.

VDS Photoshoot
Photographers gather on the steps of the Village Hall prior to the Photo Survey.

During May we have conducted a second exercise encouraging residents to provide photographs illustrating their likes and dislikes. Entries closed at the end of May and
have provided a lot of material which is now being considered by the Steering Committee.

We are intending to exhibit the final pages of the Village Design Statement booklet before it is printed in December this year.


VDS Questionnaire & Photo-Survey Day
We would like to thank all the residents who have returned the Village Design Statement Questionnaire that was distributed with the December issue of The Village News. We have received nearly four hundred replies to date. The draw took place on Friday 8th January and was won by: Mrs E M Janes, Mr & Mrs King, Mrs M Biggart, Mrs C Freeman, Ms Bennett, Mr & Mrs W J Hills, Mr S Gant, Mrs Jessop, Mr P Warwick-Munday and Mr R W May  who each received vouchers that can be redeemed at any of the following shops in the village: The Bookshop, Tikadi, Theydon Beauty, Phillips Butchers or Theydon Bakery. We are now analysing the questionnaires so we can use residents’ opinions to support the ideas and guidelines that we will eventually include in our Village Design Statement.

Photoshoot PosterOur next event is to take place on Saturday 3rd May. This will be a ‘Photo Shoot Day’ and we would like anybody who is interested in helping us identify aspects of the village that you like, and want to protect from inappropriate development, to join us. The day will start at the Village Hall at 10.00 a.m. Members of the Committee and Chris Hobbs, a representative from the Rural Community Council of Essex, will be available to explain the format of the day. This, in essence, will involve you walking around the village in small groups and taking photographs of particular aspects of the village you are keen to protect or indeed aspects that you feel perhaps do not reflect the way you would like to see our community being developed. The photographs will be displayed and used to stimulate further discussion so we can ensure that the final Village Design Statement reflects the views of the residents. The day will end with a summary session at 3.00 p.m. in the Village Hall.

We are sure some people have opinions about views, building and streetscenes they are keen to protect, or examples of developments they would not like to see repeated extensively in order to conserve the character of our village, but are unable to attend the Photo Shoot Day. In this case please send in your photos to the Parish Office at the Village Hall, any time from now, with a short note explaining why you particularly like or dislike the aspect shown in your photograph. We will be able to include these in the display on the actual day.

Alternatively you can upload any photographs and place a comment directly into an online photo album that has been set up at

You will need to go to the site and then follow the instructions below.
Click: ‘log in’
Enter email address:
Enter password: Theydon
Click: ‘log in’
Click on either of the Theydon Bois albums
Click: ‘upload photos and videos’
Click: ‘add photos’
Click: ‘upload’
Follow instructions

There will be committee members at the hall throughout the day so if you cannot attend the whole day please feel free to come in and join us for a while and take the opportunity to chat with us about the Village Design Statement and it aims. We look forward to seeing many of you there


Last Updated 27th August 2015