North Weald Council take legal advice over Latton Priory plans

Politics / Tue 9th Jun 2015 at 08:13am

NORTH Weald Parish Council is to take specialist legal advice over the district council’s intention to omit part of the parish from the parish council’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The parish council also fears that omitting the areas, at Hastingwood, could lead them being open to development, thereby excluding residents of the Parish in which the land lies from being able to ‘shape the future of where they live’ as the law intended.

A letter from planning consultants acting for developers, which was circulated at an extraordinary meeting of the parish council on Monday, reveals that land at Latton Priory – near the M11-A414 roundabout – could be developed with some 2,250 homes along with a business park, community facilities (schools and healthcare), open spaces and recreational areas with “significant investment” in highways and junction improvements.

The parish council is challenging Epping Forest District Council over its view that part of the parish – Latton Priory, and the Harlow Gateway site off the A414 London Road at Hastingwood – should not be included in the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan as it remains “a strategic site for possible development”.

Parish councillor Dick Spearman told Monday’s meeting: “Unless something is signed, sealed and virtually delivered it’s not a strategic site.”

Parish councillors voted to spend approximately £2,000 (less than 50p per elector) on obtaining specialist planning advice from Green Planning Studio to establish whether it is considered that the district council has the right planning policies in place to say that the areas can be excluded.

The council is also responding to a letter from the district council and is giving planning officers until May 15 to reply.

The issue is due to be discussed by the district council’s cabinet on June 11.

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