Latest: Land North of Dowding Way – Next Distribution Centre – Planning Appeal Dismissed!

As many of you will know we have consistently opposed this scheme on the basis of damage to the Green Belt and potential damage to Epping Forest due to increased traffic and pollution. We are therefore delighted that this morning the Planning Inspector dismissed Next’s appeal against Epping Forest District Council’s initial refusal of the scheme.

This comes after EFHT Trustee Melissa Murphy QC and Chief Executive Peter Lewis gave evidence at the appeal hearing at the end of May alongside the Save Epping Forest SAC Campaign and other community representatives, with Epping Forest District Council holding firm on their objections to the scheme.

Peter Lewis, EFHT Chief Executive says

“We are delighted that the Planning Inspector has dismissed Next’s Appeal. Epping Forest is a truly precious ancient Forest which needs to be properly protected against inappropriate adjacent development so that it can be a truly thriving environment, rich in biodiversity, heritage and culture; enjoyed and conserved now and for generations to come.”


Next have appealed against Epping Forest District Council’s refusal to give planning permission for a large depot on Dowding Way, and the appeal is currently with the Planning Inspector for consideration.

Read the news here: Next launches appeal after distribution centre plan rejected | Epping Forest Guardian

next dowding way development

We have expressed serious concerns about the impact this development could have on the Forest as a Special Area of Conservation due to the increased lorry, van, and car journeys that are likely to result, and the impact that those journeys will have on pollution levels throughout the Forest. We will continue to make our concerns heard at this appeal stage.

Our letter to the Planning Inspector

We submitted our formal objection to the Next development on the 21st of April based on the likely negative impact it would have on the Forest. To read the letter, please click here. 

Our attendance at the planning appeal

On Thursday and Friday (19-20 May), we attended the planning appeal related to the proposed new Next plc distribution centre on the Green Belt north of Dowding Way. We presented our concerns about the negative impacts we believe it could have on the Forest, particularly in relation to increased traffic and pollution, and the fact that we do not think it is possible to guarantee that a development of such a scale, generating so many trips, would not adversely affect the Forest.

We have also suggested key changes that should be imposed on Next should the Appeal be granted – including the provision of a Demand Responsive Transport service, creating more walking and cycle routes, banning Next vehicles from going through the Forest and discouraging their future staff from driving to and from the distribution centre through the Forest.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Appeal and feed in our views.

How you can support

You can make personal representations through the Planning Inspectorate website here and/or please get in contact with us through if you would like to support our work in this area.