A campaigner has made a rallying cry for local groups to “put differences aside” and come together for the good of Epping Forest.

Following the publication of a draft Local Plan, residents’ associations, parish councils and members of the public have criticised proposals for 11,400 new homes and the loss of 200 hectares of green belt land in the district.

With Epping Forest District Council proposing Underground station car parks, green spaces and North Weald Airfield as possible housing sites, many people around the district have reacted angrily.

North Weald parish council has branded plans “unacceptable”, the Loughton Residents Association said “they expect the vast majority of Loughton residents” to object and the Theydon Bois Action Group claimed that at a parish council meeting with about 100 members of the public, “no-one spoke in favour of the plan”.

Now campaigner Paul Morris hopes to bring them together after starting Facebook page Save the District.

“If we get all the local residents’ groups all getting up in arms, one of [the areas in the district] will be the loser,” he said.

“Everyone starts focusing on their own little patch and not thinking about everyone else.

“I think it needs to be a district-wide support.

“Groups need to put their differences aside and come together.”

He hopes people will use the online group to share concerns and work together for possible solutions, and he said it could lead to meet-ups or petitions.

Mr Morris criticised the basis for the draft plan as out of date and insufficient.

Planning councillor John Philip previously admitted an online questionnaire to gauge public opinion was “horrendous” and too difficult to complete.

Mr Morris added that the possible strain on infrastructure from new housing was a key issue.

He said: “We all know we need housing but my biggest gripe is we already have problems with infrastructure.

“If we keep on adding to that, we get to a critical mass.”

However, speaking to the Epping Forest Guardian last week, Cllr Philip said: “I think one of the other things people haven’t yet realised is the documents come along with an infrastructure delivery plan and that is about developing hard and soft missing infrastructure – things like GPs, school places… the instinctive reaction is to look at the headline figures and react to them.

“Real concerns have already been thought about.”

To view Save the District, which has almost 200 ‘likes’ after one week, visit https://www.facebook.com/eppingforest1/.

Over the coming days and weeks, the Epping Forest Guardian will be examining the potential impact of the Local Plan on specific areas of the district. Got an issue you would like to raise, or an area you would like to highlight? Contact reporter Joseph Flaig by phoning 07795 316 211 or email joseph.flaig@london.newsquest.co.uk.