EPPING Magistrates' Court is to close, the Government has confirmed.

The building, which is located behind Epping Police Station in Hemnall Street, is one of 142 courts being shut as part of Whitehall cuts.

Harlow County Court will also close, but Harlow Magistrates' Court, which deals with most cases in Epping Forest, has been saved.

Proposals had been made to close it as well, but the court has been given a reprieve after Lord Justice Goldring urged a rethink from the Ministry of Justice.

The Government says the plans are part of a wider drive to make the justice system more efficient.

But concerns have been raised that the closures could overwhelm remaining courts and put off witnesses and victims from testifying if they have further to travel.

In a statement, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said: "Access to justice is not just about access to buildings. It's about the type of justice delivered, decent facilities for victims and witnesses and efficient use of the system.

"Our court estate has simply not kept pace with the changing nature of our society or with the demands modern society places on our justice system. An estate of over 500 court buildings is not now necessary or sustainable, nor is it a reasonable expense for the taxpayer.

"We are closing the worst courts in the estate - so we can concentrate our limited resources on the best ones."