RESIDENTS are fighting hard to save a beloved green space from being paved over to make way for a council car park.

Marlescroft Way is small road off Oakwood Hill, half a kilometre west of Debden Station.

At the end of last year Epping Forest District Council proposed flattening a large portion of green common land opposite the road.

In its place a car park would be built, to house the motors of the 70 to 80 council maintenance staff tipped to move to a depot on Oakwood Hill.

The plans incensed those who used the field and triggered Brenton Wait to launch a campaign calling for the plans to be scrapped.

He said: "They are proposing to use the green space at the end of Marlescroft Way opposite our house. There are a number of things wrong with this plan.

"In terms of putting the car park there, it is a one way street to removing the green.

"It is an area that everybody uses. Children play on it. People walk there dogs there. You meet your neighbours in the summer. It is particularly useful for the people that aren't able to walk out further.

"The quality of life around here will be seriously impacted. My family go out there for picnics. You sometimes see buzzards landing on it."

As well as the loss of leisure space and an area of green in an otherwise highly built up neighbourhood, Mr Wait is one of many concerned about an increase in congestion.

He added: "Milescroft Way is a narrow lane. 70 or 80 more people will not help traffic."

So far close to 700 people have signed a petition against the proposals and have pledge their support for the campaign.

Leonine Smith wrote: "We go there all the time. Why should we suffer and not have a green space so you can have a car park? It doesn't make sense.

"It will devalue the real estate and that is unfair to the residents."

To sign the petition click here.

The council had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.