Harlow Council vote against developments to the south of the town

Politics / Tue 6th Sep 2016 pm30 05:13pm

AJunction 7aBy removing sites to the south and west, including Latton Priory, Sumners West and Katherines East, it has reduced that number by 3,100 homes – almost 20 per cent of the total.

The result of these votes may put into jeopardy both Epping Forest and Harlow Local Plans as a result of a “failure of the duty to cooperate” and overall housing numbers.

The duty to cooperate is an important consideration for the Inspector, as St. Albans Council have just found out following the submission of its Strategic Local Plan last month. The Inspector has already called for an Initial Hearing session so he can consider whether the duty has been fulfilled or not. If not, it will delay the plan and put the council onto a path which may lead to Government intervention.

The Harlow Conservative Group also questioned the OAN numbers for Harlow, moving an amendment to reduce the numbers to those to meet minimum growth only. This was defeated. The Conservative Group leader called for numbers at Harlow North, or Gilston, to be increased to 6,000. East Herts is due to include 3,000 new homes in this plan period, although ultimately, Gilston will take 10,000.

More will be revealed when East Herts publishes its Draft Local Plan, including a concept document for Gilston and an Infrastructure Delivery Plan, next week, ahead of the September 15 Planning Policy Meeting. More importantly, as the sites to the south and west of Harlow are actually in Epping Forest, the District Council there will publish its Draft Local Plan on September 28, ahead of its meeting on October 6. Harlow has said it will announce at around the same time – there is a Council meeting on September 22, with papers published on September 15, although knowing Harlow it may slip a month to October.

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