In response to the proposed district development master plan that is just about to reach its next consultation stage there has been a lot of opposition towards the incredible amount of green space that could end up being built on.
A recent council agenda is available here
These plans potentially involve the loss of station car parks and green spaces as well as seriously increasing the concentration of housing into already urbanised areas of the district.
There is fierce opposition towards these plans in some of the districts towns where there are already strong resident groups and well respected local councillors however this plan must be viewed as a district wide concern so that areas with less representation do not get the brunt of the development because they have not shouted loud enough.
Epping forest as a district is named after the beautiful natural asset of our ancient woodlands. The very nature of the district is that of a blend or urban developments surrounded by green spaces and rolling fields. A carefully balanced mixture of historic old towns and villages and newer estate developments from the post war period with some more recent smaller scale additions to accommodate the need for increased housing.
Bordering London the green belt and the Forest has historically been a buffer to prevent London creeping outwards and up until now has sufficed in preventing the metropolitan sprawl from completely wiping out the natural aspects of the area. At points this has been under threat but never to such an extent in the district as it is now. The increased demand for housing is outweighing common sense it would seem.
These master plans are progressive, they very rarely recede in nature and look towards the developments that may well be needed in the next couple of decades. This may seem reasonable as we all understand the need for housing however the detrimental impacts and increased potential for further expansion must be considered and understood at this stage now.
Many of us will not see the final outcome of these plans, indeed depending on your current stage in life the impact may not seem important however in the past two or three decades with increased awareness, the ability to gain information at our fingertips and the current level of understanding that we now have about the impact of mass developments to our natural environment we have a moral obligation to really consider what is best for our surrounding areas and the legacy that we will leave.