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Development on green belt land on the Epping and Harlow border would be a disgrace, according to a residents' group
The recent revelation areas bordering Epping are the most likely to see the highest number of new homes built in the district has been met with outrage.
Epping Forest District Council planning officer, Ian White, last week told the Guardian sites on the east and south-west borders of Harlow and Epping are likely to take the “biggest hit” under the Local Plan.
The Epping Society, which represents hundreds of residents, has accused the council of being reckless and described the news as “shameful”.
Vice chairman Stephen Harding insists the council has a duty to protect green belt land.
He said: “The simple answer is that not enough work has been done to identify appropriate sites for development, such as brownfield sites.
“Insufficient thought has been given to infrastructure and we are not convinced that the projected housing numbers are correct. So far it has been a very shabby exercise.
“It is shameful considering that they are the custodians of such valuable land. Not just for the people of Roydon, Nazeing and the Harlow borders but for the nation.
“They have a nerve to believe that they can behave so recklessly with it.”
East of England Regional Director of the National Trust, Dr Ben Cowell , visited Epping to talk about the Local Plan earlier this year.
And he also believes that, despite the need for new housing, green belt land should be protected.
He said: “The National Trust is keen to play its part today in looking after special places for the future.
“We welcome the work that the Epping Society is doing to protect Epping from inappropriate development in and around the town."
Nazeing Parish Councillor, Daphne Borton, warned the council is likely to have a battle on their hands if it presses ahead with allowing extensive development in the area.
She said: “There are so many traffic problems in Nazeing and Roydon. We have had no-end of discussions. We really could not take any increase in traffic.
“It is all in the pipeline and nothing has been confirmed so it is hard to say what will happen. The people of Nazeing are not laid back about planning.
“When we had the first consultation we had a horrendous couple of meetings.”
Mr White said no firm decision had been made, but added the areas in question have the infrastructure to cope with the increase in homes.
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