Residents and small businesses in Waltham Abbey have launched a campaign to stop a distribution centre being built on green belt land.
Proposals by Next.plc would see a 70,000 square metre development built on land between the M25 and Dowding Way, near Epping Forest, destroying arable land and wildlife habitat, in addition to adding an estimated 700 extra vehicle journeys to our roads, including HGVs.
Judy Rigby, a member of the Waltham Abbey Community Campaigns group, which has organised the campaign, said,
‘We spoke to over two hundred people at the weekend on Sun Street and at the Town Show. Very few knew anything about the proposed development and only a very small minority supported it. Many were shocked that the District Council wants to take this plot out of the Green Belt – a part of the Local Plan that they weren’t made properly aware of – and many more couldn’t believe the amount of extra traffic that would be created.’
‘Those who supported the development said that it would bring jobs to the town but, of the 950 jobs the proposal mentions, this could be as few as 175 in the first phase. Experience shows that they’d be unlikely to go to people in Waltham Abbey. With our low unemployment rate and relatively high housing costs it’s more likely that staff would be brought in by employment agencies from outside the area.’
‘There are very few reasons to support the planning application and many reasons to oppose it. We hope that Epping Forest District Council will reject it but people need to make their voices heard. We encourage everyone to contact the District Council explaining their opposition.’
Visit https://walthamabbeycampaigns.org.uk/next for details of the campaign and ways to help.