Bushey Croft: Residents unhappy as approval given to build 19 new council homes for local people.

News / Thu 23rd Aug 2018 at 04:28pm

THE green light has been given to build 19 new Council homes for local people on the Harlow Housing Needs Register

Last night (22 August 2018) the Council’s Development Management Committee gave planning permission to two Council-led developments in Bushey Croft and The Readings.

Now planning permission has been agreed the Council will work to develop the project plans and financing required to ensure that the 19 Council homes can be built as quickly as possible.

The first development approved was for 16 homes on land south of 43-56 Bushey Croft. The development will include 6 two-bedroom houses and 10 three-bedroom houses. Thirty-two car parking spaces will be allocated to the properties with forty-one unallocated car parking spaces being provided in a similar position to the existing parking area. Any mature existing trees will be retained in the development area and some additional trees will be planted along with new landscaping.

As you will se from our film, residents spoke very passionately against the development.

The second development approved last night was for three new homes on a former garage block site in The Readings. The development will provide two semi-detached wheelchair accessible bungalows and one new terraced house. Five standard car park spaces and two disabled car parking spaces will be provided. The development will include new landscaping in the area.

The three homes in the Readings are part of the Council’s planned housebuilding programme for 2018/19.

Councillor Mark Wilkinson, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “There is no doubt that as a Council we need to do more to provide the social and affordable housing that local people need. All 19 homes will be allocated to local people on the Harlow Needs Register, which will mean that those being housed in the new homes will have a local connection to Harlow. Harlow homes for Harlow people is very important to us and we know that this is also important to many people who live here. Whilst we recognise these schemes are not nearly enough to house everyone who needs a home, they represent the start of our ambitious programme of building more quality housing, available on long-term secure Council tenancies for the people of Harlow.”

Over the next year the Council will also be supplying a further 11 new Council homes with refurbishments at Sumners Farm Close, Partridge Court, Hare Street Springs and Collins Meadow.

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20 Comments for Bushey Croft: Residents unhappy as approval given to build 19 new council homes for local people.:

2018-08-24 04:06:35

Is this the, " we always listen to our residents " council ? Typical socialist arrogance. Can you vote this lot back in ?

tony edwards
2018-08-24 07:51:16

This was passed unanimously by the Development Management committee - whose membership consisted of 3 Conservative and 6 Labour Councillors. There are thousands of Harlow people on the Housing Needs register and both parties actually agree on the need for the council to build more houses.

2018-08-24 12:58:26

I was on the development committee when this was put forward. I said to one of the officer in a one to one meeting, if these houses are given the approval to be built on this land then number priority should be the people of Harlow who are on the waiting list and have been for years. Let's see if the Labour administration party and Harlow council, stick to their guns.

2018-08-24 14:40:21

Well Councillor Edwards, the residents of Harlow will have a clear choice next May when it comes to the Local Elections, you can vote for the Labour and Conservative Parties who completely disregard the view of residents who do not want to see recreational areas built on or you can vote for The Harlow Alliance Party who have been campaigning to retain these areas since it's inception. Members of both parties did not actually address the concerns expressed by residents, it was clear that their minds were made up before the meeting started. One of the points I raised was the fact that objections to the proposal were removed from the Council website just days after they had been put on and not reappeared. Low and behold they were put back on, on Thursday morning! So much for transparency in the Council. For many of those in the Council chamber, it was the first time they had seen how Councillors actually work. I can tell you from what was said afterwards that they did not like what they saw. It reminded me of the late 1990' early 2000's when I was lead officer for two area committees, residents did not like what they saw and withing a few years a Labour Council, of some 40 years was toppled. So lets look at the proposals in more detail. The average council house rent is about £95 per week (£411 per month). Check out what an affordable rent is locally, I can tell you it is about £860 per month. The idea expressed by Cllr Harvey that some council tenants might want to downsize into the houses that are built just does not hold water, when they would have to pay double the rent to downsize. Council's are finding that prospective tenants are unwilling to accept properties that are affordable, but would rather wait for one let at council standard rents. For most of these new tenants, probably on average Harlow wages it will mean a lifetime on Housing Benefit. Finally we agree that more homes need to be built, but there are many other sites that could be built on around the town without causing such misery for existing residents. We also want to see many more bungalows built so that residents have the opportunity to downsize.

tony edwards
2018-08-24 18:07:05

To aid the future public debate on this important issue - can we all say who we and which if any party we either represent or are a member of. For clarity I am a Labour Councillor for the Toddbrook Ward. Tenpin from your reply - you are a member of the Alliance Party - DPL I presume is Dan Long of Ukip and MickyB77 I an not sure but - you may be a Conservative - but I might be completely wrong. Thanks

2018-08-24 19:22:05

It don't take Rocket scientists or a brain surgeon to know who I am does it Tony. My comment gives you a clue.

2018-08-24 20:01:16

Having put many posts on this website since January, including my name at election time, I am Nich Taylor, the Leader of The Harlow Alliance party. I worked for Harlow Council for 22 years during which time I was the Area Housing Manager at The Stow and more latterly the Neighbourhood Manager for Bush Fair and Potter Street/Church Langley, until the Council closed it's area offices and neighbourhood committees. the day that effective and meaningful interaction between the Council and residents died. I then went to work in Housing at Epping Forest DC until I retired but remain a member of The Institute of Housing.

2018-08-24 20:03:22

To all the residents of Harlow, I would like to draw to your attention a change in council policy that you may not be aware of. There are building works that are to be carried out between Rushes Mead and Bushy Croft on the green field opposite William Martin School. Now these building works are to be council houses which was agreed would be for the people of Harlow. Now to qualify as a resident in Harlow you must have lived in the town for a minimum of 5 years. I would like you all to cast your minds back to 2015 when one of this towns born and raised residents was refused council accommodation as he hadn't lived in the town for 5 years. His reason for being out of town for this period was he was serving in our armed forces. UKIP Harlow have now discovered that the 5 years has now been reduced to just 2 years and not just living in but also working in Harlow will qualify you to be eligible. I see this as a proverbial kick in the teeth to a lot of the towns people that are and have been patiently waiting for a home for many years. I publicly ask the Labour controlled Harlow Council to explain this change in policy as I suspect that this will suit somebody related to one of our Labour Council members rather than being for the good of the people that deserve these homes the most.

tony edwards
2018-08-24 21:29:59

Thanks Dan and Nick Logic4U The criteria are on the Councils website - see link https://www.harlow.gov.uk/housing-allocation#qualify

2018-08-25 05:39:29

How will Harlow residents know if they are getting value for money? Has there been an open sale of the land or does it remain publicly owned? Is there to be an open and transparent tendering process for the development? What compensation or mitigation has been put in place to help those using the school? Which will face hugh disruption not only during development, but possibly more so once the properties are occupied.

2018-08-25 07:38:58

Carra, the land remains in Council ownership, which is why HAP are saying this land does not have to be built on, the Council is choosing to do so. Adding to the points already made, the Council is also planning to build homes at Elm Hatch, St Andrews Meadow and allow housing to go on the church site next to the Popular Kitten, bringing about 100 families to the area, adding more pressure on the doctors surgery, schools and of course congestion on roads designed for traffic levels of the 1950's. This is why the Council's plan to infill open spaces is being opposed by HAP. There are other sites around the town which have been discounted, but the Council have not provided any evidence of the way that it has 'scored' sites, leaving 21 on it's Local Plan and choosing other sites such as Bushey Croft which are not even on the plan, to go ahead and build on anyway..

2018-08-25 09:57:42

I notice that nearly (if not all) all of the new homes being built have allocated parking for 2 cars as well as additional parking. Whilst I am glad that someone at last realises that families often have more than 1 car per household, I'm also wondering if these are really destined for people on the waiting list who cannot afford to buy (not all of us can) and if they will be on sale in a few years time. PS. If you now only have to live here 2 years, does that mean I, born here in 1957 and apart from 1980-1997 when I was in the army, have lived here since can go straight to the top of the list?

2018-08-27 09:15:43

This is proof that the Labour administration party of Harlow are not willing to listen to the opinions and concerns of the local residents. The main thing this town needs is parking spaces so it's no good building residential properties without having parking spaces in place for the current local residents plus for the local business's and service's such as the school staff. The housing waiting list in this town needs to reduced but it's no good buliding houses here in Harlow without having proper infrastructure in place such parking places, transport links,highways, schools, medical centres and leisure facilities. .

2018-08-27 12:28:41

Dpi makes a very good point here. When asked at the meeting about parking the Officer rather skating over the point. The fact is, the new homes to the front of the development are sited on the row of parking spaces furthest from the road, thus there will be less spaces than there are now. In practice this will mean that parents dropping off or picking their children from the school who use these spaces will try to use the spaces being built near the houses when not being occupied by residents cars. With residents coming and going as well, the situation can only get much worse than it is now. The fact is, none of the Councillors who voted for the new houses lives near the development or indeed experiences what it is like there in the mornings and early afternoon. And as for during the time it takes to build these houses and the new car park, an accident waiting to happen.

Brett Hawksbee
2018-08-28 21:08:59

Top picture; 'Say no to building on our children's play spaces'? Lady on the far right ... (Figuratively too?) You cannot be serious!

2018-08-29 08:53:46

What point are you trying to make this time Brett? Another insult, the sort of thing that you get most upset about when others throw them your way but happy to make them yourself.

Brett Hawksbee
2018-08-29 15:53:48

I'm not sure that I either insulted the lady, or am particularly bothered by insults myself. I think not, in both cases. I just think that it looks incongruous. I do not know the lady, but suspect she has no children 'playing out' around Bushey Croft. She may even have grandchildren who would like to have their own homes soon, for all I know. I find the presupposition 'If Labour are doing it we must oppose it' tiresome. To a degree we have to take care of our green spaces. But all of them, in all circumstances, is unnecessarily prescriptive. Frankly, there are way less children running around our green spaces than would have been imagined when the town was designed. There are however always legitimate concerns when green space is lost. All plants are part of the lungs of the planet, for example. So a rational, grown up acceptance that as a society we have 'competing priorities', and none of us should presume a right to getting their own way all of the time has to be the way to a more sensible discourse. A pensioner waving a sign claiming her objection is that her kids, (who could easily be close to pension age themselves) can't play on the field is just mildly absurd. It was an observation, but not one intended to cause offence. Harlow Council unlike most, are actually building homes for council tenants, but the focus has to be on nimbys. Not exactly civic minded ...

2018-08-29 16:46:29

Typical of this Momentum admirer,BH. Lying through his back teeth, as usual, he's so crooked I'd be surprised if he could lay in bed, straight. Alongside his oppo, jerryforqueen, he insulted all and sundry, never conceding a point, and spouting out nothing but tosh. Criticising anybody, for a different point of view, even to the elderly lady that he pin-pointed, who was protesting about the LOSS,of an open space. Vote for these people, not on your life, and he is one of the ringleaders of the local, so called, 'labour' group, behind your back.

2018-08-29 17:33:56

The demonstration was a good example of people from across the town coming together to support others, who are first in line to see a recreational space disappear under homes and a car park. The first resident who spoke at the meeting made it quite clear that people of all ages use this space on a daily basis, children, their parents and grandparents. The fact is that Cllrs from both Parties voted in favour of the proposal so we are not just opposing the Labour group, indeed there are some things that we would agree with them. There are of course competing priorities, but it is clear that we and the 170 people who signed the petition do not agree with the Councils.There are sites elsewhere that could be developed and HAP will be asking Harlow Council how and why the dozens of sites listed in the Local Plan work were whittled down to the 21 in the Plan and indeed why Bushey Croft was picked which is not even in the Plan. This smacks again of the lack of transparency exercised by Harlow Council which is at the heart of why HAP was formed. To many decisions made behind closed doors.

2018-09-05 13:10:29

Is Harlow Council legally run? The Harlow Star dated 30th August 2018 made a number of claims that Harlow Council have made a decision based on inaccurate and false information. From my experience of Harlow Council led by BOTH Harlow Conservatives & Harlow Labour it is TRUE! It has been proven beyond any doubt that Harlow Council have abused their complaints procedure and allowed their trees to cause damage to our property. The lies started with the MP's meeting which he organised and chaired on 23rd September 2010!!! Questions about broken promises and me being misquoted have still not been answered or explained. Why? There is no democracy in Harlow if Harlow Council officers are allowed to break civil and criminal laws. How many other Harlow residents have been deceived with letters written by other officers and signed with printed signatures either inside or outside of the Harlow Council complaints procedure? The Bushey Croft decision is in question because decisions for Harlow need to be done by a legally run council with officers who are honest, and the Leader of the Council and councillors having ZERO TOLERANCE to lies, deceit, etc and not being complicit! The stress and huge time over the last 8+ Years has lost me my health getting Eczema, Sepsis, and a Heart Attack! The evidence is enormous and unquestionable, but ALL councillors ignore the evidence and have a wall of silence and form a ring of steel to protect dishonest council officers. Their Local Government Elections is so hypocritical. People of Harlow NEED to stick together, because you cannot rely on councillors to provide support - just empty promises!!!

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