A campaign has been launched to save former school playing fields from being destroyed and replaced with hundreds of homes.

At the beginning of January New City College - which now runs Debden's Epping Forest College - employed Frank Knight to list 14.8 acres of land along Borders Lane for sale.

The two parcels of land were including in the district council's Local Plan and could fit 630 homes, leading to an estimated price tag of at least £20m.

Rather than sitting idly by and watching development companies scrap it out for the deeds to the land, one man has launched a community led campaign to save the green fields from development.

The Valentine Foundation UK is attempting to raise £30m to buy the land, which it would then turn into parkland surround by 40 small homes.

Luke Valentine, who heads up the foundation, said: "With your help we can preserve this area of land for the enjoyment of everyone and future generations."

A seven step plan has been drawn up by the foundation which begins with raising £30m.

With that achieved, it would convert one of the fields into a head office and community event centre.

Then 40 small homes would be built around the perimeter of the main site which, it claims, would not impede on current residents due to a tree barrier.

It has also resolved to turn the field into a park with playground, pond, walkways and wild areas, to employ a dedicated team to manage the site and to hold community events on the site.

The continued upkeep of the park would be funded through the income raised through the houses.

To donate go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/borders-lane-playing-fields-preservation-1