We have been delighted with the response from the public following Council’s decision earlier in the year to see if the land at Stonards Hill known as Old Pastures or “EPP B” in the Local Plan could be registered as a Village Green under the Commons Act 2006.
Thanks in large part to the members of the Epping Society, whose members put in a lot of effort to raise awareness of the Campaign, we now have over 170 completed questionnaires from residents which we are now collating and will form the evidence base for our application to the County Council under the Commons Act 2006.
Many thanks to all residents who took the time to complete the questionnaires. We will post further updates here about how things progress. We will not be collecting any further evidence from residents at this stage, so the link to the questionnaire has been removed.
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.
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)
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 email@example.com . 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!