Many residents will not be aware that the District Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan.  As part of the process, there are areas that are currently designated as Green Belt (and therefore protected from development) which have been put forward for consideration to be released for future development.  The consultation document can be found here.  The portion of the document that covers Epping Greenbelt starts on page 82.

Epp-B Local Plan ext

The focus of this post is the land marked on the plan as “Epp B”, also known as “Old Pastures”.  A view across the land is pictured at the top of the post.  This land is next to the Stonards Hill Recreation ground and stretches along Stonards Hill up to the Epping – Ongar Railway line and backs onto the St Margarets Hospital site. (See Map below)

Epp-B Google

Epping residents have enjoyed access across this land as though it was a public open space for as long as anybody can remember.  The Town Council’s staff see residents accessing the land from the Recreation Ground on a daily basis to walk dogs, walks to Coopersale, picnics in the summer or sledging in the winter when there is snow.

The Town Council is seeking to protect the land for future generations by applying to have it registered as a Common.  

This is where we need your help.  To qualify for registration, we must be able to evidence that “a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years”

We are looking for Local Residents (or former Local Residents) who use or who have used this land for recreation to come forward and provide evidence to support our application.  Please tell friends and family who use the land for recreation to do the same.

Registration as a Common would protect the land from development and ensure the right of residents to use the land for recreation.

If you use “EPP B” or have done in the past , please complete the attached questionnaire and email it to . Even better would be if you could print it and sign it, then send it in as we will need you to sign a form at some point for evidential reasons when we make the application!

[link removed]


Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. Diana church says :

    Although I have used the land recreationally I think it vitally important that good quality family houses (not flats) are built to allow our young people to stay in the area . Any area that comes up for consideration seems to come up against the ‘no to building’. We are lucky that we have many areas, including the forest for recreational purposes but the town needs good housing stock. This land is close to high street and other amenities. Green belt is important but not to the exclusion of all building

    • Jane says :

      Where are all these people going to send their children to schools that are all full up, doctors surgeries, all full up and park their cars to get to Epping station and block up the roads and annoy us residents by taking our parking spaces. we have enough houses in Epping , we certainly do not need any more..

  2. vic mencner says :

    I regularly walk my dogs in the areas shown as Epp A and Epp B. I think it is vital that we preserve as much green space as possible for current and future generations to enjoy. Additionally we all need somewhere for all the rain to soak away, more concrete and development = more flooding. There is ample brown belt available in the area to build additional housing and perhaps we should first look to that including change of use from industrial to residential usage,

  3. Andrew Marshall says :

    We regularly use this space for exercising our dog. It is a wonderful asset to Epping dwellers so close to the town and yet very accessible.

  4. Helen White says :

    I was born at St Margaret’s hospital, grew up in Theydon Grove and spent my childhood playing in these fields. I new them as the blackberry fields in the early eighties as a large area was covered with bushes, crisscrossed by well worn footpaths created by locals making the most of the free fruit. I was devastated when they cleared the bushes to make way for cattle crazing, but my brothers and I continued to use the field for games, sledging, and one brother even built a secret tree house in the coppice. I understand land is at a premium and new housing in short supply, but I don’t believe it should be at the expense of the greenbelt, especially areas like this that have been used by locals for generations. Selling off greenbelt to developers might be the most lucrative solution for the council but it’s not the only option. There are many brownfield sites in desperate need of regeneration first.

    • eppingtown says :

      Thanks Helen, Please fill in the questionnaire with this information so we can use this to support our application!

      • Robert Levene says :

        I also have very regularly walked across this area and for many years lead walking groups across it. Epping needs to be different from just another urban sprawl, which if all its unique and non replaceable green spaces go, it will slow become. I agree people need homes (quiet why so many need “spare rooms” is beyond me) and the move to larger property for fewer people just increases the demand. But we must recognise that demand not ignore it so there is a balance to be struck. With the proposed Massive St Johns Road development, the District Council rejection of residents wishes for leisure facilities, we already can meet reasonable demand from within the existing built up town, without impinging on Green Belt and one of the things that make Epping and its surrounding villages “different”. So no to developing this and other green belt sites but yes look more closely at the several “in town” possible sites.

  5. Derrick Hambleton says :

    I was brought up with my brothers and sister in nearby Debden. But as a youngster regularly rode my bike past this common on training rides around the Debden, Theydon Bois, Ongar to Epping then home loop. My mother spent time as a patient and my father died in St Margarets hospital in 72. So. I know the area well though I now live in Ireland and have for the past 35 years. Green belt land, especially Epping Forest land, is precious and urban sprawl is spreading out from Greater London like a weed. Please keep this land in common public ownership. With the growth of global climate change, we need to keep soakage that helps control flooding. So, that’s it, that my tuppence worth.

  6. Mark Woolcock says :

    I enjoy walking this land daily to get my family and I out of the house and into the fresh air. It is for this reason, combined with the proximity to London, that first drew me to become a resident of Epping. It would be a shame if this land were not retained as common land for us all now and future generations to come, to enjoy and treasure.

  7. Tracey Ashton says :

    I have lived in Epping for nearly 30 years and have always used Stonards park and surrounding fields to walk our dogs and when the children were younger it was a wonder place to take them. Please please do not develop this area, it would be a shame that future generations cannot enjoy this land as an escape from our concrete world we live in. Epping is a special town and does not really need further development, as this would encrouch on many already stretched facilities.

  8. Angela Golding says :

    I regularly use the land ‘Epp A and Epp B’ to walk my dogs and young children. This is one of the reasons I love to live in Epping. The local and central governments are slowly ruining towns like mine by constant building on beautiful areas and tearing down character buildings (even when they are listed). My road is congested from commuter parking and my Doctor is constantly busy. The last thing we need in Epping is another housing estate. Once this land is used it will be gone forever.

  9. Michelle Chapman says :

    I regularly use this land to walk through to the village of Coopersale and I take my daughter over there often to play. It’s a beautiful setting and it would be an absolute crime to build there. Greenbelt land such as this is what makes Epping a pleasure to live in, take this away and you take away the essence of the area. Epping doesn’t need another housing estate and it certainly doesn’t have the facilities to cope with one.

  10. Stuart batten says :

    If we sell green belt off Epping will turn into a normal town everything possible should be done to protect our town

  11. caroline johnson says :

    there are so many people living in council property’s, that can afford to buy. I feel this is wrong. council housing, is for
    people that need help.
    epping is full. of this.
    why dont epping council, do something about it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: