About Flitch Green
Flitch Green is a modern village community of 987 homes, set in the stunning North Essex countryside between the villages of Little Dunmow and Felsted. It is home to approximately 2500 people, with a high family demographic.
Flitch Green is bounded to the North by Station Road (the main road that runs between Little Dunmow and Felsted), to the West by the Flitch Way country park (see later), to the East by Stebbing Brook and to the South by the river Chelmer.
The things that make Flitch Green very different from other modern developments are its countryside setting, its community facilities and its fabulous community spirit.
A brief history
Flitch Green officially became a Parish entity in April 2009 and was known before that as Oakwood Park. Flitch Green is built on the site of a disused sugar beat factory which was demolished in 1999. The factory was originally built in 1926 alongside many others in East Anglia to combat sugar shortages arising from WWI. It was the last remaining sugar beat factory in Essex and was once a major employer in the region.
There was also a station (Felsted station) adjacent to the sugar beat factory, which was part of the old Bishops Stortford to Braintree branch line which was closed in the 1960s. The station building still exists today as a residential property and the line path is now part of the Flitch Way country park (see later).
Building work started on Oakwood park in 2001 and the first residents moved in at the end of that year. The village was built in phases and the final properties were completed in April 2018.
The battle for facilities within Flitch Green
In the early stages of its life as a village, there were many battles between the developers, the district council and the local parishes. It’s fair to say that neither Felsted or Little Dunmow villages were in favour of Flitch Green being built.
By far the biggest battle was between the residents of Flitch Green (then Oakwood Park), the developers and the District Council, over community facilities that were promised to residents when they originally bought their houses. Residents were promised shops, schools, medical facilities, equipped play areas and a community centre. According to the planning consent, all of these were supposed to be in place before the 501st home was occupied.
Unfortunately the developers exploited a loop-hole which meant that Uttlesford District Council were unable to enforce this until a dispute over another planning application in the area had been resolved.
The battle continued for many years and the residents became more determined to succeed at every step. Campaign action even included a roadblock preventing developers from working on the site (pictured above).
A group of residents formed the Oakwood Park Residents Association (OPRA) to continue the battles, and many of its members were then elected as Little Dunmow Parish Councillors (Oakwood Park was originally part of the Little Dunmow Parish).
Eventually the residents succeeded and the remaining facilities were developed, all of which are very much enjoyed by the community today. Nearly all of the people that made that happen are still active members of our community and some of them are current serving Parish Councillors.
Formation of the Flitch Green Parish and Council
Recognising that the residents of Oakwood Park would be best served by their own Parish Council, Uttlesford District Council granted an order for the creation of the Flitch Green Parish, which came into being on the 1st of April 2009 with a new Parish Council and 9 Councillor seats.
Flitch Green is one of the newest and smallest parishes in Essex. The name Flitch Green was chosen by the majority of people who expressed a view during the review. It commemorates the association of the area with the famous Flitch Trials which can be traced back for several hundred years, and are still celebrated today.
Parish Councils usually carry the stigma of being run by old people with nothing better to do, but this is certainly not the case with FGPC. Our community has a high family demographic and our Councillors represent a broad range of ages and professions. The current serving councillors also reflect the spirit of the Flitch Green community, each being passionate about where they live, willing to offer a healthy challenge when debating issues, and keen to make sure that the community remains a great place to live for everyone.
Flitch Green has an excellent range of community facilities for a village of its size and some of these facilities are far better than those offered in the neighbouring villages. Our current range of facilities include:
Large Community Hall (located on Tanton Road) with excellent facilities including:
- Large main hall suitable for sports, functions and other events
- Meeting room
- Commercial kitchen
- Toilets and showers
Available to hire through the Flitch Green Trust
Multi-use games area suitable for football, basketball, netball and tennis.
Large neighbourhood equipped play area (located next to sports field and community hall). Note: there is also a small equipped play area for very small children, immediately outside the entrance to the community hall.
Community lake, which has footpaths all the way around it. These paths form part of a network of paths which run around the east and south sides of the village, and join up with an extensive network of public footpaths and rights of way.
A large park to the South of the village, with riverside walks along the banks of the River Chelmer and access to many public footpaths and rights of way.
In addition, there are several other great facilities in and around Flitch Green:
- An equipped outdoor gym area
- Outside table tennis and chess tables
- Village store (Co-Op) located in the village centre
- Easy access to the Flitch Way Country Park which runs along the western border of Flitch Green (see below)
- A further neighbourhood equipped play area situated in Baynard Avenue
- A fantastic academy primary school (The Flitch Green Academy – click here to visit their website)
The Flitch Way Country Park
The Flitch Way Country Park is part of the disused railway line between Bishops Stortford and Braintree. It is maintained by a group of volunteers (The Friends of the Flitch Way).
The Flitch Way is fantastic for a country walk or cycle, passing through old stations, holts and over old railway bridges. The station building at Rayne operates as a coffee shop, with an old railway carriage on the tracks in front of it.
The Flitch Way is approximately 15 miles in length and Flitch Green roughly represents the half-way mark.