PLANS for more than 400 homes and a new wellness centre will be built after council decisions were overruled.

Proposals for the 139 flats at the site formally used by at Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton and also plans for 285 flats, a new Wellness Centre also at the site were initially refused by Epping Forest Council.

The authority raised concerns about a range of issues including lacks vision for the site, over provision of parking.

But the developer took an appeal to the planning inspectorate which over ruled the council’s decision.

The proposals include 139 homes in three 3 buildings ranging from three to five storeys.

The huge development will also include 285 flats in a series of blocks ranging from two to five storeys in height and a new wellness centre.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Both sites are accessed off Borders Lane and are close to Debden Underground Station.

One site was previously part of the college but has been vacant since 2011, with derelict buildings still on site.

The second site was originally used as playing fields of Lucton School for Girls, and was subsequently associated with the College but, despite its private status, has been used and continues to be used informally by local residents.

The large wellness centre is set to include a sports hall, dance exercise studio, fitness suite, physiotherapy space and a cafe.

Plans say: “The development of the Borders Lane Park site represents an significant opportunity to bring about much needed housing to Loughton.

“The site’s key position - adjacent to Debden town centre and public transport links along Borders Lane, Chigwell Lane and Colson Road - will ensure that the new residential development proposed is sustainably located to minimise car use.

Epping Forest Guardian:

“The proposals also recognise the importance of creating a safe, welcoming development.

“The delivery of a new Wellness Centre will provide a significant new community hub linking with the new public park, Epping College and the local residents. Tying together the new residential community with the existing.”