Residents and businesses urged to have say on Harlow’s future

News / Wed 9th Apr 2014 at 09:37am

RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged to have their say on where new homes and new jobs could be created for Harlow as part of the preparation of the new Local Development Plan.

The consultation, which starts on Monday 14 April 2014, will ask for views on five different examples for how new housing developments could be accommodated within Harlow and possible locations outside Harlow. All examples protect Harlow’s existing green spaces as much as they can.

The Local Development Plan will set out how many new homes and jobs are to be provided in Harlow up to the year 2031. It will reflect the future needs of the community and businesses, and will provide a framework for the consideration and assessment of planning applications received by the Council.

To achieve the Council’s key priorities of delivering more and better housing, regenerating the town and stimulating the local economy, evidence shows that between 12,000 and 15,000 new homes and between 8,000 and 12,000 jobs will be required up to 2031. Four thousand five hundred homes in Harlow already have planning permission to be built, so locations for a further 7,500 to 10,500 homes need to be identified. Approximately 30% of new homes will be affordable/social housing homes to help families and individuals that cannot currently afford to buy their own home.

The Council is required by Government policy to boost significantly the supply of housing to meet the needs of the community, which means that ‘no housing growth’ is not an option.

A Council spokesperson said: “Harlow was never meant to stand still and today Harlow faces a number of issues and development pressures. The Council needs to plan for the future by providing development to meet local needs and to deliver the regeneration of the town.

Harlow is an important location in the London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough corridor and is a key sub-regional centre for employment, especially in technology. If we do not deliver the housing to support regeneration the risk is that Harlow will decline. We all know what new housing and new jobs mean to Harlow so we need as many people from the young to the old and all sized businesses to let us know their views on this vital issue. We want to start a healthy debate on Harlow’s future. We need new housing for Harlow people but where should it go?”

The Council has published the Emerging Strategy and Further Options document for consultation which provides detailed information on the options for development. This document can be read and views given via a questionnaire on the Council’s website: www.harlow.gov.uk/local-plan from 10 April 2014. Views the Council receives will help to inform the preparation of the new Local Development Plan and the selection of a preferred development option. Further consultations will take place later this year.

The document will also be available to view in the Civic Centre, Central Library and Old Harlow Library. Exhibitions will also be held throughout the consultation and details of these will be available on the Council’s website. The consultation closes on Friday 30 May.

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