The City of London Corporation has found major flaws with plans for a large distribution centre.

At the beginning of May Next Plc announced it had purchased land north of Dowding Way in Waltham Abbey.

The retail giant expressed a desire to build a regional service centre at the site, which would distribute goods along the M25 to outlets such as those on Epping High Street and Epping Forest Retail Park.

The building would consist of one warehouse, some accommodation, a two storey admin office, a one storey goods office and a security gatehouse.

In a letter written on behalf of the Corporation,which manages land across the capital including Epping Forest, head of conservation Dr Jeremy Dagley highlighted some serious concerns he had with the proposals.

Foremost amongst these were conservation issues.

He wrote: "We regard its (the plan's) conclusion that a 'neutral or minor positive change to the biodiversity could potentially be achieved' as unrealistic and not supported by the evidence.

"For example, the Environment Agency report itself shows that the site currently supports Skylarks (a red -listed species, due to steep population declines – including locally) across the year and probably with two breeding territories.

"The Skylarks and other birds will be lost from this site if the development goes ahead and the wider countryside environment (including feeding areas for birds and bats) around the Forest will be further impoverished as a result, with no suitable mitigation being offered."

Dr Dagley also noted Next Plc's Air Quality assessment does not adequately deal with traffic queuing and congestion impacts and uses the wrong nitrogen oxide level threshold.

He also refutes the company's assessment that HGVs will not use the surrounding road network and asks where support for the proposed £325,000 a year bus service will come from once the two year funding arrangement elapses.