Not coming to Waltham Abbey… a giant Next distribution centre

Councillors were not convinced by plans for the Next development (pic Envision)

Plans for a Next distribution centre at Waltham Abbey have been refused by Epping Forest District Council.
The verdict on the five-hectare warehouse, multi-storey car park and photo studio came at an extraordinary council meeting held on Tuesday, June 24.
Council officers had originally recommended the Next scheme be approved, but the development management committee nevertheless refused it, causing the fashion retailer to make size concessions as well as additional pledges to fund schemes such as cycle and walking paths, a bus service and a community centre.
This was not enough to convince councillors, however, who rejected the revised plans by a vote of 25-10.
More than 450 neighbours had raised concerns about increased traffic (a likely 1,000 extra vehicles per day), air quality, noise and impact on wildlife.
One councillor said the Next application could not be granted as it contravened the Habitats Regulations 2017, which afford Epping Forest some protection as a Special Area of Conservation.

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