The Conservative Party has been criticised following the advertisement of 15 acres of college land for sale.

Last week it was announced that New City College - which runs Epping Forest College in Loughton - planned to sell two parcels of land on Borders Lane for upwards of £20m.

The announcement was met with negativity by those concerned too much of Epping Forest land is behind built upon, including Labour regional leader Angela Ayre.

She said: "Not content with trying to sell off Jessel Green in Loughton for housing, the Tory Council paved the way for the selloff of more of Epping Forest land.

"In 2017, the Tory controlled Tory Council designated some of the Epping Forest College land, as suitable for housing by removing a covenant.

"Hence, it was already on the cards when New City College took over Epping Forest College that the 14.8 acres would be sold off.

"In addition, the Conservative dominated County Council intends to close three libraries in Epping Forest designated as being in the first tier, that is Chigwell, Debden and North Weald Libraries.

"They will no doubt then sell off the land they stand on. If Epping Forest Libraries in the second tier, such as Chipping Ongar, Epping, Waltham and Abbey Library fail to make a go of it by being run by volunteers, they will also be closed and sold off.

"Meanwhile, Waltham Cross Primary School has been gifted to a profit making Academy with a reputation of selling off school playing fields.

"The Tories are planning to sell off so much of what was originally OUR land. Once sold, we cannot get back these valuable amenities: they are lost forever.

"Additionally, extra houses place pressure on local schools, GPs etc. Loughton High Road and Rectory Lane are already frequently gridlocked: it can only get worse.

"Epping Forest needs Labour Councillors as an effective opposition. While the Labour Party is committed to providing services to the residents of Epping Forest, the Conservative Party is devoted to selling off our assets.

"That is the great difference that voters will think about when they vote at the District Council election on May 2."

A spokesperson from New City College said: "The buildings have been vacant since 2011, when the college relocated into its current, refurbished campus.

"Development of the surplus land is included in the Epping Forest local plan."