Letter to Editor: Save Our Stort and save our climate
General / Sun 20th Jun 2021 at 11:11am
THIS week saw the publication of The Climate Change Committee Report on the UKs readiness and current response. In short we’re pretty rubbish.
Harlow is under immediate threat vis the Gilston estate development, yes people need homes but what’s important is the nature of the build. The planning application before East Herts CC doesn’t even request an environmental impact assessment and report.
The neglect or ignorance of developers and Councils can in the light of the Climate Change Committee report now be reversed if all of our politicians and Cllrs read the report and take immediate action, the full planning committee at East Herts meets later this month (27th June I think) to take a decision on the application.
The rallying point has been the SOS, Save Our Stort campaign first really highlighted recently by Your Harlow. There’s a proposals to dump thousands of tons of concrete and steel into the Stort Valley to create an elevated road bridge from Pye Corner to Edinburgh Way.
There’s many other cheaper and more environmentally friendly options and the developers seem to have chosen the worst of places where there’s lakes, wetlands and the floodplain and greenbelt that form an especially valuable and sensitive wildlife ecosystem and recreational area. The developers vaguely say they will make a more detailed effort after planning permission is granted but then admit the “mitigation” measures will be miles away. (ie not a care for Harlow Otters, wildlife and residents).
Can all of our political parties and local leaders including those who have been involved over the years, read the Climate Change Committee report and the planning application and repent, or at least come out and declare their position and thinking, demand a stop to the Stort Valley Crossing and deliver a complete reappraisal of the whole project: this would avoid the consequences of a failure to act at this 11th hour becoming a permanent record of failure and myopia.
Science and Engineering and environmental knowledge have changed radically since the Gilston estate development project (Harlow North) was first mooted, however, one did trust it would be done to reflect the Gibbard Plan and sound environmental thinking, unfortunately as illustrated by the Bridge across the Stort, this was not so.
The development needs to recognize the potential of future tec to make this development and that of Harlow to be ultra green and to enhance the ecology of the environment and the quality of life for residents.
Harlow has the potential to be a world leader in such development, we have the tec industries and science parks, there’s potential green jobs in building and engineering with economic benefits, it’s not simply tree hugging.
SOS act now.
Edward makes a number of good points. The Harlow Alliance Party's objections to the plans to build on the Green Belt around Harlow included the following 1) The number of new households being created in England is less than had been predicted and predictions for the future suggest that the increase will be about half of what had been anticipated. 2) The % increase in the UK population in the next decade will be far less than previously thought and 3) The number of new homes that will be built in the next decade is about 3,000 more than set out in Harlow Council's Local plan, due to new Planning Applications coming forward on brownfield sites such as in the Town Centre. Since then of course Covid has meant that more people are and will continue to work from home and tens of thousands of people have returned to countries where they have come from. What does this all lead to .... building on the Green Belt in the way planned is not needed. These Plans have always been about housing greed rather than housing need .... where in these villages are the council homes which are really needed, there are none. Council's get paid huge sums called "New Home bonus" from the Government when they allow new homes to be built in their area and house builders and property speculators make billions in profits. Once the Green Belt is built on, it is lost forever.
It’s all about money at the end of the day, always is. Once our green belt is gone, it’s forever. Please protect it
There’s no doubt that the environment is the last thing on the developer’s minds. As has already been pointed out, it’s all about making money, without a care for the disastrous mess they’ll leave in their wake! How can this even be on the table before a detailed wildlife and environmental study has been made? The effect on the wetland/floodplain could be catastrophic!