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.
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
LRA thinks this is preposterous, unreasonable and entirely short