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Lucton's Field

Lucton's FieldJanuary 2015

In summer 2015, LRA Cllr Chris Pond headed off temporarily an attempt by District Council cabinet member John Philip to release the protection this 11-acre field between Borders Lane and Colson Road has enjoyed since 1952. The protection is a covenant restricting its use to educational or NHS uses, and the Council controls the covenant.

Epping Forest College, who own the land, wanted to develop it for a sports centre, and, importantly, for housing, to finance the sport centre and improve their finances. The sports centre is a good idea, but it won't take up 11 acres.

LRA believed that some of this land is still needed for educational purposes. Loughton will need a new school within a decade or so. But with land at up to 4m an acre, how could such a site be found anywhere in Loughton, without taking green belt or valued urban open space?

All this was aired at a special meeting in Epping, when the decision to go ahead with the covenant release was scrutinised. LRA Cllrs Leon Girling, David Wixley, Howard Kauffman and Chris Pond all pointed out how the decision was flawed, and how much Lucton’s Field was valued, and should be continue to be protected for educational use. However, the silent Conservative majority on the committee - not one of whom spoke to defend this short-sighted decision - voted it through.

So the chances are that the college will cover this land, and its middle site (other side of Borders Lane), with yet more housing, as well as the sport centre, so we will need even more school places, which we will be unable to provide as we have no land.

LRA thinks this is preposterous, unreasonable and entirely short sighted.