Protest march held to rally opposition against plans for new homes at Little Easton
- Credit: Archant
Tea and cake in a house once lived in by the author H G Wells followed a protest walk against plans to build up to 10,000 homes in Little Easton.
The Stop Easton Park protest had two “heritage trails” of three miles or six miles. Group spokesman Vincent Thompson said there were people of all ages but very few children and “about 100 dogs”.
After the outing, more than 60 people repaired to the Thompson home, a house called Easton Glebe, for tea and cake hosted by Vincent and his wife Diana. The house was the Wells family home from 1909 to 1929.
Reflecting on the success of the walk, Mr Thompson said: “Everyone is conscious of the need for housing but it needs to be in an appropriate place.
“Easton Park is special and tranquil, it’s a unique piece of land which has been the same since 1300 or before that. It is one of the great parks of Essex.”
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He said it should be conserved as a park. “A place people walk, ride horses, run and watch birds. London is an amalgamation of little villages but they have preserved Hyde Park and this is the same. It is an asset that must be preserved.”
He added that the development would be too close to Stansted Airport to be a pleasant place to live in.
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He said: “There were 940 objections to the Easton Park. We want to build awareness. People don’t realise the impact the new town will have on Dunmow. There will be a continuous urban sprawl from Bishop’s Stortford to Dunmow.
“It might bring trade into the town at first, but eventually it would be self-sufficient with its own shops and rather destroy an old market town.”
Mr Thompson thanked Irene Jones and Shirley Holden for serving the teas and Shirley for organising the cake-baking rota, Stuart and Helen Walker for organising the event and Louise Pepper for supplying the notes on heritage sites on the routes as people walked past them.
Easton Glebe was formerly called The Old Rectory, but not being religious, Wells changed the name.
Most of his books were written before he moved there but while he was there, he wrote Mr Britling Sees it Through, a novel set in the First World War and regarded as partly autobiographical.
Wells, who had two sons, moved out after his wife, Jane, died