Harlow Council set to discuss plans for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

A ‘vision’ for the proposed Harlow and Gilston Garden Town will be put before Harlow Council on Thursday evening.

The vision, which was started to be drawn up in June 2017, aims to set out the way that the garden town would help the area and contribute to the regeneration of Harlow town centre.

Executives from East Herts District Council (EHDC), Harlow Council, and Epping Forest District Council (EFDC), will have to separately approve the document, with any changes having to be agreed by all three councils.

A series of workshops have been held since then to help develop a vision, a draft of which was considered by a review panel in May, 2018, and consultations were held during the summer.

The proposals are for seven new ‘villages’ to be built in the Gilston Park area of Hertfordshire, just north of Harlow, while other areas of development are proposed for the western, southern and easterly edges of Harlow.

These principles are centred on four areas, economy and regeneration, placemaking and homes, sustainable movement, and landscapes and green infrastructure.

In a report accompanying the documents it states: “The final vision and its supporting design guide were considered by the Garden Town Member Board on the 12 November 2018 and it was agreed that, in light of the specific advice provided by the Quality Review Panel, each local planning authority (East Herts Council, Epping Forest District Council and Harlow Council) should give formal weight to the documents in the planning process.

“It is recommended that these are agreed as a material planning considerations when assessing site specific master plans, the emerging Gilston Area Charter, pre-application proposals, planning applications and for any other development management purposes.

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“This will ensure that development proposals will achieve garden town ambitions, and that clear parameters are established for future masterplanning and consideration of planning applications across the garden town.”

However, during the consultation process, representatives from parish councils around the proposed sites registered their concerns with the plans, in particular over infrastructure and the future of Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The document will be discussed and decided upon at the meeting of the Harlow Cabinet on Thursday, December 6, Epping Forest District Council’s cabinet on December 10, and at East Herts Executive on December 11, at Wallfields in Hertford.

If agreed, the final vision and design guide will be submitted to the Garden Town Member Board on February 4, 2019, for endorsement.

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