OVERVIEW OF ONGAR
LOCATION AND CONTEXT
The Ongar Neighbourhood Area covers 12 km2 (902 hectares) and mirrors the Civil Parish of Ongar, in Epping Forest District. It is located 5km (3 miles) east of North Weald Bassett, 9km (6 miles) east of Epping, 11km (7 miles) south east of Harlow, 12km (8miles) north west of Brentwood, 15km (11 miles) west of Chelmsford. It is 33km (21 miles) north-east of Central London and 32km (20 miles) away from Stansted Airport.
The Civil Parish consists of the central historic town of
Chipping Ongar located on a tongue of higher ground between two river valleys – The River Roding to the east and its tributary Cripsey Brook to the west. The surrounding smaller settlements of Greensted, Greensted Green, Marden Ash and Shelley lie within 2km of the town centre, each with a distinct character. These settlements are surrounded by inhabited countryside.
An arial view of the historic centre of Chipping Ongar
NATURE OF THE AREA
Of its 902 hectares (2229 acres), 8% is developed, with the remaining 92% Metropolitan Green Belt, 86% of which is farmed with the remaining made up of 6% woodland and ponds and water courses This substantial amount of surrounding countryside provides a tranquil backdrop for residents and a range of ecological services including food production, carbon capture and opportunities for flood control. The responses to the Residents Survey revealed that
86% felt that Ongar is a friendly place in which to live with a strong sense of community. The historic centre of Chipping Ongar has retained much of its charm with a significant number of listed buildings and two Conservation Areas. In the residents’ survey, 94% either agreed or
strongly agreed that it is Chipping Ongar as an historic town centre which adds character to the area 
Forty percent of Ongar residents are aged 30-59 and over 55% are 18-59. Thus, Ongar’s housing and amenities will be expected to continue to focus on young families attracted to the rural town and surrounding countryside with good local schools.
However, in a nation with an ageing population 27% of Ongar residents were over 60  and have lived in Ongar for many years and indicates a stable community. See also Residents Survey 2018.
In 2011, the population of Ongar was 6,251. The age distribution is broadly similar to the district and county, however there are slightly more older residents (aged 60+). The average age in the parish is approximately 43 years, which is lower than the Epping Forest district average age of 46 years, but higher than the county level of 41 years.
Between 2001 and 2011 the population grew by 182 people (2.9%) but did not change significantly in terms of the overall age profile. 
More detailed evidence on a range of subjects is included in the policy rationales, later in this document.
3. State of the Parish by Navigus in Evidence File