Jessel Green, Epping

Hi there

PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR MUCH LOVED JESSEL GREEN.

I write further to the help tweet I posted the other day.

Currently 154+ dwellings are being proposed on an areas of land in Epping Forest District, the public call Jessel Green.

Epping Forest District Council in their Local Plan class Jessel Green as site LOU.R5.

The community value this Urban public open green space. Sports groups unofficially at the moment use it for Bootcamps, martial arts classes and fitness clubs. Locals use it for football, cricket, picnics, grass fights, after school hangouts, snowman building, sledging etc.

Local community stakeholders like Loughton Town Council, Restore Community Church, Epping Forest Community Church and Red Balloon Foundation use the green for large scale community events like the annual fun day, in which thousands of families etc. attend.

Jessel Green is loved by the community and we have started the ’Save Jessel Green’ campaign seeking to:

  1. Removesite LOU.R5 (Jessel Green) from the Epping Forest District Regulation 19 Submission Local Plan.
  2. Encourage Epping Forest District Council to (as land owner) issue Jessel Green with ‘Local Green Space’ designation.
  3. Change the name of the land to the ’Sir George Jessel Park’. Due to its historic relevance
  4. Encourage the council to enhance the existing open green spacer the good of its community

The council have only just drafted their Open Green Strategy, which prevented many people from responding to the council Open Space vision for the future.

The Corporation of London – Conservators of Epping Forest responded to the Draft Local Plan consultation in 2016, they said;

‘At Loughton The Conservators would disagree with the proposed loss of green space at Borders Lane and Jessel Green. The latter site in particular, if lost, would place considerable pressure on the nearby Forest and also would seem to be in contradiction to the green infrastructure policies in the draft PlanSuch a large green space is currently valuable and has considerable potential to be developed for both access and for wildlife’.

The population of the Debden housing estate is in access of 8,550. We attach a map of the local area for your reference.

Many of the local green spaces on the estate are not suitable for most recreational activity. There are 5 schools on the estate, 3 primary and 2 secondary.

As part of the Local Plan process EFDC have earmarked a further 448 new housing allocation on an already densely populated housing estate.

We are aware of:

The National Playing Field Association has since been superseded by Fields in Trust (FIT). FIT has conducted research which has indicated that 81% of local planning authorities express quantity standards for open space as “hectares per 1,000 population.” This has enabled comparison across England and Wales, and is the most widely used metric for open space standards.

We have a Facebook group – https://m.facebook.com/SaveJesselGreen/. Currently 2,411 Likes

We have just started on Twitter : https://twitter.com

We have an online petition: ON LINE PETITION

Started approximately two weeks ago and currently has 4,300+ signatures

We are encouraging as many residents in the area to complete their own independent response to the final Local Plan consultation process. This will be the standard  text we have encouraged supporters to put in their submission.

Positively prepared & Justified

As land owner, Epping Forest District council put forward site LOU.R5 (Urban Open Space between Jessel Drive and Goldingham Avenue, Loughton – 1.87 hectares) for assessment as part of the call for sites process in October 2008.

Since then two rounds of initial consultation have been undertaken by the council in 2011 and 2012. The Community Visioning Consultation in 2011 sought to understand what the planning issues are for the local community and how people would like to see the area develop in the future:

  • Q1: What do you think the priorities are for the District over the next 20 years?
  • 32.4%(the largest response) said ‘Protect & enhance green spaces’ (not focused solely on greenbelt)
  • Q2: What planning issues do you think most need to be addressed in your local area?
  • 20.6%(the largest response) said ‘Protect green spaces’ (not focused solely on greenbelt)

The Community Choices consultation July – Oct 2012 set out the main issues that need to be considered and addressed by the Local Plan over the next 20 years. 6,000 responses were received. (Urban Open Space between Jessel Drive and Goldingham Avenue, Loughton – 1.87 hectares) was not listed in the Loughton sites under Question 41, page 115 of the ‘Planning our Future’ Issues & Options for the Local Plan. Again residents expressed protecting open spaces.

 

In 2016, the council consulted with the public on the draft Regulation 18 Local Plan. Residents in Loughton wrote in large numbers to object to (Urban Open Space between Jessel Drive and Goldingham Avenue, Loughton – 1.87 hectares) being added into the list of sites.

 

The EFD Regulation 19 Submission Local Plan has been published with a period of public consultation on its soundness. A petition (Save Jessel Green) has started. Within two weeks of the petition starting 4,112 people have objected to the council including site LOU.R5 in the Local Plan list of sites.

 

The public have been ignored at every stage of the Local Plan process.

 

We are encouraging members of the public to include the following in the Regulation 19 Submission Local Plan consultation.

 

Consistent with planning policy

In respect to the allocation of Jessel Green, site LOU.R5 for a housing development, the plan is unsound, as non-compliant with NPFF National Guidance Paras 73, 74, 76 and 77 for the following reasons:

  1. The evidence provided by the EFDC Open Space Strategy Nov 2017 by 4 Global identifies a significant shortfall in recreation space for young people. Furthermore, the Open space audit of March 2009 commissioned by EFDC for Loughton states that Jessel Green was well used by young people and its use has grown significantly since then. Building on this location will therefore create a further deficit in open recreational space, which is counter intuitive and contrary in the extreme to the healthy community objectives that EFDC aspire to, in its commitment to National Planning Policy.
  2. Loughton residents through its Local Town Council have identified Jessel Green as having special importance as a Local Green Space, specifically as a highly utilised and valuable recreation space at the heart of Loughton. This request and requirement made by the Loughton community through its elected representatives, Loughton Town Council has not been taken into account by EFDC and its consultants ARUP, despite an overwhelming petition and response from local residents to the proposals for residential development on this open space. To confirm, this open space is enjoyed by all ages and abilities throughout the year, which culminates in an annual event, which brings together 1000s of residents across the district to a community fun day. This location therefore has a unique significance and provides an incredibly valuable service in connecting the community.
  3. There is no provision in the plan for replacing this valuable recreation space, if built on, so again is not compliant with National Planning Policy.

 

On Page 121 of the submission version para 5.33 should be replaced with, ‘In its commitment to promote healthy communities, Jessel Green shall be designated as a ‘Local Green Space’ as having unique importance to the local community as a vital recreation space and connection point for the local community. This is consistent with National Policy in promoting healthy communities, specifically it is fully compliant and aligns with the requirements as set out in NPFF para 77, to provide this status to spaces that are particularly valued by the local community. EFDC by doing this will set a high bar in protecting such important space that is both highly valued and well used by the local community, as well as preventing any further shortfall in space for young people to grow and flourish.

Naturally on Page 122 LOU R5 should be therefore removed from the list of residential sites under section B, Policy P2 Loughton.

I apologise for the length of the email David, but thought it was useful to give you some context when asking for your help. This is a very serious situation.

We are asking for an official letter from your organisation supporting our four goals:

  1. Removesite LOU.R5 (Jessel Green) from the Epping Forest District Regulation 19 Submission Local Plan.
  2. Encourage Epping Forest District Council to (as land owner) issue Jessel Green with ‘Local Green Space’ designation.
  3. Change the name of the land to the ’Sir George Jessel Park’. Due to its historic relevance
  4. Encourage the council to enhance the existing open green spacer the good of its community

Obviously it would be helpful if you explained why an Open space such as Jessel Green is vitally important to the community it serves and the wider, benefits to the council to ensure its future protection.

If you are also able to submit a response to the EFDC Local Plan consultation in support of saving the green that would amazing and very powerful to assist the campaign. It wouldn’t take long as the step-by-step guide is laid out for you and to have your fantastic organisation supporting our case would really help. Most residents say by copy and pasting from our pdf takes just a few minutes to complete.  It would really boost our campaign so much.

The deadline for us to submit our response is next weekend so please please please support our campaign to ‘Save Jessel Green’.

Thank you for your time and patients getting through such a long email.

Best wishes

Leon

Save Jessel Green Campaign team

07713 444 712

Email: SaveJesselGreen@gmail.com

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