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Letter to Editor: Netteswell Hall “development by stealth, neglect and decay”

Politics / Sun 18th Apr 2021 at 10:03am

Sir,

Re the recent planning meeting and the decision regarding Netteswell Hall

Cllr Danvers, I think that hit the nail on the head with his comment. It is indeed development by stealth, neglect and decay.

Profit before people and the environment. Whilst new homes are needed, here is an example of infilling that step by step overloads and destroys towns.

Councillors need to be vigilant and aware of this process that happens over decades, chokes towns and permanently damages the environment and quality of life in the town. 

Garden and green towns like Harlow are particularly and especially vulnerable. Better that new ultra green towns are built rather than destroy towns like Harlow by infilling. 

Placed in the context that the town has seen in the same vicinity the loss of the green sites of the old sports centre, fields and track, the ski slope and the field upon which the LeisureZone was constructed and add the future housing development of the PAH site the impact on the natural environment is considerable. 

This process is destructive and happens step by step. It appears from the meeting that the site was once in public ownership under the new town plan, a pity that it was ever lost and not made part of the town park.It is surprising to learn from the debate that the developers can get away with “computer generated LEGO” type drawings and a neglect to provide essential details. 

It’s also shocking that it could only be hoped that developers would stick to proposals and that the Council are almost powerless or lack the will to apply significant penalties should any aspects don’t come up to spec.

It’s clear that the council has known who owns the site, so why has the council not required the owner to maintain the environment and take steps to prevent fly tipping and remove it on environmental grounds?

I’m sure that if any resident piled rubbish on their front lawn that’s an environmental issue they’d be in court if they failed to act.

Cllr Danvers has identified the fundamental problem and measures are needed to prevent developers employing this strategy. 

It would also have been better to further limit the parking even to zero. That number of properties will generate two or three cars per household or dwelling with accompanying pollution and over fill parking issues. 

It’s time to make areas such as this entirely pedestrian, they are right in the town centre, near cycle tracks, public transport hubs and taxi services. 

Finally there was no reference to ecological matters, such a site is likely to be a haven for wildlife. Also as for poor specimen trees, it sounds like they are poor because of old car parking tarmac, this should have been removed. Councillors seem unaware of the powerful and natural processes of succession, it’s produced most of the natural green environment.Time look at the bigger picture before Harlow becomes totally overwhelmed.

The writing is on the wall.

Kind regards 

Edward Vine

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