Harlow Council accused of “not taking the town with them” as angry scenes at public meeting on building plans

THE Harlow Alliance Party held their second public meeting within the space of a month at Paringdon Sports Club on Saturday. Party Leader Nicholas Taylor gave a powerpoint presentation on the proposals by four councils, including Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) and Harlow District Council (HDC) to allow the building of thousands of homes on green belt land adjoining Harlow and on 20 greenfield sites in the town.

Over 140 residents attended the meeting, most of whom stated they had no idea of what these councils are planning, the outcome of which will see the population of the town and the wider area grow by up to 50,000 people.

In addition to house building targets, the plan includes the development of a sustainable transport corridor, which includes a tramway running from Fernhill Lane through to The Leisurezone and onto Harlow Town railway station and beyond.

The launch of the Harlow Alliance Party was in part due to concerns expressed by residents about a perceived lack of transparency and resident involvement within Harlow Council’s decision making process. HAP’s concerns about the lack of consultation with residents undertaken by both EFDC and HDC in respect of their plans for Harlow’s future were clearly shared by most of this mornings audience based on the questions which were asked.

Three councillors from Harlow Council attended the meeting to give something of a different point of view. HAP’s Party Leader suggested that if either of the main two political parties or Harlow Council had wanted to do this they should have held their own public meetings during the last four years or so.

The Government appointed inspectors are due to formally examine the Plans of EFDC and HDC in the coming weeks, The Harlow Alliance Party are the only Party who have made representations objecting to the Plans.

Further public meetings are to be held by The Harlow Alliance Party in the near future. In the meantime the powerpoint presentation can be viewed on the parties website at www.harlowalliance party.org.

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4 Responses to "Harlow Council accused of “not taking the town with them” as angry scenes at public meeting on building plans"

  1. Costanza   February 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    The plans have been in the public domain for the last five years.

    I’m interested to know where the HAP think the land is coming from to build new houses on. Perhaps we’ll all live on platforms supported by stilts.

    The Harlow and Gilston Garden Town plans (hint, “Garden Town”) will provide a balance of residential and green environments.

    Whipping up anger and resentment while at the same time not being in a position to influence anything is politics of the lowest order, and precisely what we would expect from former UKIPs members. Was that mentioned at the meeting?

  2. tenpin   February 10, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    In response to Costanza (perhaps you would enlighten readers as to whether you live in Harlow and whether you have any financial interest in this massive house building programme), I would make the following points, some of which can be viewed on our website:

    1 The Plans have only been in the public domain if you have access to the internet and you know where to look on Harlow Council’s website. The Council could have held public meetings but held none, it could of held exhibitions but held none, it could have used Harlow Times but didn’t, it could have created posters but didn’t and bearing mind that 21% of Harlow’s population was born abroad, did it provide any information in other languages, I think not.The lack of information is clearly evidenced by those who turned up at the meeting and the hundreds of other residents HAP members have spoken to in the last few months.
    2 Most of the land is green belt land, in private ownership, so no public ownership of homes to help those in most need of new homes there then. We want to see Harlow Council make the best use of it’s stock by building bungalows so allowing under occupied homes being released for families. In the last three years over 1000 homes have been created by converting offices to flats and hundreds more homes are in the pipeline on brown field sites, which means that green belt land and open spaces in Harlow need not be built on.
    3 You obviously believe the hype being pumped out by the Gilston Town developers. the same was said about the ‘village’ of Church Langley. Evidence of what actually happens once an area has been started can be found at Gilden Way, the developers come back and seek to get permission to cram more homes on the site. If as planned, some shops are built at Gilston, there will be no incentive for residents to shop in Harlow, so the town centre will not see any regeneration as being suggested.
    4 We had candidates stand for election during last years Local Elections, your last paragraph suggests to me that you do not live in Harlow otherwise you would know of this. The Plans were not really even supported by the Local Conservatives, indeed the Labour Parties election literature last year heralded the fact that it was ‘Labour’s Local Plan’.
    5 The name of our Party was chosen because we are an alliance of people with differing political views at a national level, I as Party Leader have no idea what the political views are of our membership, they have joined the Party because we are not required to toe the national party line but have the interests of Harlow at heart. Throwing insults at people you do not agree with such as in your last paragraph does nothing to enhance the debate.

    Finally, just to make one point about one issue, that of the proposed tramway leading from Latton Priory to Gilston. Unless this involves underpasses (how much would that cost), you would need level crossing type junctions across Commonside Road, Southern Way and at four very busy roundabouts. I think most residents of Harlow would say ‘you simply could not make it up’.

    Nicholas Taylor
    Harlow Alliance Party Leader

  3. jarrett   February 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    You make the comment “Whipping up anger and resentment while at the same time not being in a position to influence anything is politics of the lowest order” well perhaps it’s just as well that some people did or will would all still be living in serfdom, what the council lacks is transparency and yesterdays meeting was a group of people with a common interest and concern about the proposals.
    As an attendee to the meeting the headline angry scenes is misleading whereas passionate would be better, angry scenes are like what is to be witnessed in France, Belgium, and other European countries when the MSM can be bothered to report it.

  4. TiredofFailedpolitcalnorms   February 10, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Well, “Costanza” it did not take long for the tired and desperate political “norm” to trot out your weak and frankly pathetic diatribe. Much like the Labour Councillor’s attempt tho hijack the meeting with excuses as to why the people of Harlow were not properly informed . I DONT CARE about the political background HAP , right now they seed the only party that actually cares Or listens to the electorate. The whining of the Labour and Conservative Councillors at the meeting that it was pointless to consult whith the Harlow residents as it would have no influence , reflects the clear contempt and disregard they have for the Harlow electorate. WE HAVE A VOICE , DESERVE TO BE INFORMED AND TO BE HEARD . How dare you suggest otherwise. You hade the opportunity and ability to inform and these groups FAILED to do, so SHAME ON YOU ALL. This would , if for no other reason, have given people to inform our so called MP to reflect the the views of his constituents. But No ,it appears there is a party political consensus they the people of Harlow keep quiet and take whatever we are given.. (It does raise questions about the priorities and agenda of the relevant councillors). This is Simply Not good enough !!! This just reflects the Contempt by which the established political parties regard the thoughts and options of the people of Harlow. The present political mess with regards Brexit for which both the Conservatives and Labour Parties are equally responsible also reflects this lack of respect for the people they purport to represent. It is clear to me that for the time being Labour and the Conservatives are too bust ripping themselves and, for that matter the country, apart to give a second thought to the feelings of the people of Harlow. I would implore the voters of Harlow to ditch these self seeking groups.. YOU need to take control and send these arrogant organisions a clear message that enough is enough, don’t rely on these self serving Political old guard, take control , have your own voice. WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF LABOUR , TORY SELF SEEKING BICKERING.. Harlow is a great town and we deserve better!!

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