Next.plc want to build a massive distribution centre on over 85,000 square meters of Waltham Abbey’s green belt.

This would lead to hundreds of additional vehicles on our roads causing increased congestion and pollution, a massive loss of wildlife habitat and further encroachment on the green belt.

The more we look into the planning application the more holes we discover. For example:

  • Highways England say that Next haven’t provided figures to back up their traffic claims
  • Essex County Council’s Historic Environment department have pointed out that the site could be of archaeological importance
  • Thames Water have said that the existing infrastructure won’t be able to cope with the development

Most damningly, Next’s headline figure of ‘up to 955 jobs’ is questionable at best. Their own documentation shows that long-term jobs at the distribution centre could be as low as 175. Another 250-630 jobs depend on development next to the distribution centre, which Next haven’t made any proposals for.

All of that is on top of the loss of current Green Belt land and the arrival of more industrial building which is slowly changing the character of our town.