AN INDUSTRIAL yard could be built on Green Belt land to cater for a town's high level of labourers.

A planning application submitted to Epping Forest District Council requests permission to turn scrubland at Maxens Yard in Galley Hill Road, Waltham Abbey into a combination of business, industry and storage units.

If approved, the site will be split into three yards and kitted out with portacabins, surrounded by a 2m high fence and given access to an allocated parking area.

As the build is on unused, Green Belt land, Phase 2 Planning and Development Limited have to offer a 'very special reason' as to why the plans should be given the green light.

It chose to focus on Waltham Abbey's labour force make-up and the town's levels of educational achievement.

In the application the company wrote: "The Waltham Abbey area is characterised by a workforce that is heavily dependent upon lower skilled and manual/routine jobs, rather than managerial and professional work.

"Paternoster ward, the ward within which the Maxens Yard lies, shows only around 4.5 per cent of its workforce engaged in higher managerial and professional occupiers, compared to an average

of 9.1 per cent for the East of England, and over 10 per cent for Epping Forest.

"By contrast, significantly greater proportions of the local population are engaged in non-professional occupations, including routine and semi-routine labour.

"Waltham Abbey also suffers from lower level of educational achievement.

"Around 36 per cent of residents in Waltham Abbey and 40 per cent of residents in Paternoster ward have no qualifications, according to the Census, compared to 29 per cent for Epping Forest as a whole."

The application concludes that the development would 'deliver much needed employment opportunities' in a town that needs 'new small local sites as identified by the Council themselves.'