Angry scenes as Katherines’ residents meet with councillors over controversial warehouses
News / Sat 7th Aug 2021 at 10:52am
THERE were angry scenes as Katherines’ residents met with two Harlow councillors regarding the warehouses that loom over their homes.
Portfolio Holder for Strategic Growth, Cllr Mike Hardware and Great Parndon Councillor David Carter met with the residents at the meeting in the Great Parndon Community Association on Friday afternoon.
The residents asked a great deal of questions that both councillors attempted to answer.
Perhaps the most direct accusation of the night was: “You have turned Katherines into an industrial estate”.
The meeting was chaired by local resident Hayley Parker who was keen to establish what exactly it was that the councillor could do now to support them.
Ms Parker also indicated that residents may take advice over what legal action they could take.
They hope to meet again in a few weeks time.
Film of the meeting is below.
Pull them down and compensate the householders it’s a disgrace these people in charge couldn’t careless as long as it’s not on their doorstep
Why were the other two Ward Councillors not at the meeting? Why were Council Planning Officers not at the meeting? Should also have invited those Councillors who actually made the decision back in January.
how something so insane and wrong can still be legal in uk..... The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and nobody seems to care to put things right
@Nicholas Taylor we were informed by Mike Hardware that non of the deciding members could attend as all decisions were made in 2017 and with Mike only joining in May 2021 and being the head of the dept - "the buck stopped with him" (his words) Was told no chance of the buildings coming down and literally nothing we can do other than hope they put in place "dense landscaping" to dampen down the visual and noise impact. Because everyone knows, trees cut out noise and make huge industrial structures look pretty!!
Well done to the Katherines residents!! The fight is on! These two even admitted it was a disgrace that this building was allowed to be put up. Now to hear from the developers..... Shameful people!
The council can call a meeting at the Civic this has to be attended by planning officers, The legal department and councillors which includes the leader of the council. The ward councillors also have to be present. A noise survey should also take place by EHO should also take place prior to any meeting.
Dave, The Head of a Department is actually a paid Officer of the Council, Councillors are not paid employees and may well have little expertise or experience of the subject they are voting on. They have to be guided by the former and it is clear that in this case as in many others there is insufficient communication between the two. Officers of the Council should have been on the top table at this meeting, to explain how and why they thought such a monstrosity should be built so close to peoples homes. The Planning Applications at Bushey Croft and Purford Green have similarities to this one.
This reminds me of local councillor' meetings of the past when residents' raised issues and were told "nothing to do with us, it was them". Or "we support you, but...." In the end it was obvious nothing would change. The residents' options are limited unless they can find evidence that there was illegality or fraud in the process or the council took the decision without the powers to do so, and that will be very difficult. The Judicial Review process is an option for residents to hold the council to account for their actions, but sadly this process is now being reviewed by this government: I wonder why?
What I find sums up the whole pointless planning exercise well is that the 188 letters which went out yet the council cannot prove that they were actually received or to who, with nobody local to the development having received one. Even more pointless the initial consultation to make objection on carried no detail or weight about the size of the warehouses or the proposed closeness to dwellings. It simply stated the size of the boundary of the site. Put simply its like buying a vehicle except the dealer can only tell you what you've ordered has 4 wheels and asks if you have an issue with its suitability. You wanted a convenient economical runaround such as a smart car, but receive a stretched hummer 12litre and not suitable. The meeting was a farce filled and blames such as the planning Councillor stating even if you did have the planning details it's too hard to find the information on the planning website, "but all council planning portals are like that" which makes it OK then! Or how he only came to power in May and has no real historic knowledge of the job, the smirks seemed to sum his attitude up well. Local government is only out for itself and is protected well by law and procedures written deeply into history. The common person and their land is protected by nothing. When we complained about the building work happing way into the night, because its a planned development they were given 28 days to cease works. They stopped after about the 26th day way past 11pm! If I were to have a party and be noisy have complaints this would be considered a nuisance and stopped straight away with enforcement.
Judicial Review is the only answer. It's clear Cllrs are and have been driving blind for years, part time well intentioned amateurs. The consultation system is a total farce, inadequate and not fit for purpose. a The Council as a body has failed. The planning system is fundamentally flawed and rotten, a system that enables changes of such a significant and major proportion an application needs to be taken back to the drawing board. It's this system development by development that has polluted our environment and contributed to Climate Change. The same system that is proposing to devastate the Stort Valley natural nature reserves and damage the flood plains that protect towns and villages from flooding with a bridge barrier crossing and 5 miles of main sewer pipeline.
Everyone looses here. The residents will eventually take legal action as the council has clearly not represented them in the process, which is what councillors are supposed to do. Money will be awarded, and council tax goes up to pay for it. Then we all will complain about our taxes going up. Maybe at the next council election, we should all make sure we do not vote for the current councillor. This will hopefully make them a little less complacent in their duties, and realise they have to earn our vote.
Theman.... it is a shame that residents have not taken up the opportunity you suggest, to vote for an alternative representative. I have stood in the Ward as the Harlow Alliance (HAP) candidate for the last three years and been beaten by Conservatives who do not live in the Ward and are rarely seen by residents until an election is on the horizon. Both main Parties are wedded to Westminster, hell bent on trying to out do each other at a national level which trickles down to politics locally. When questioned, I have posted on another article on the warehouse issue what HAP would have done during this whole episode, my response is really common sense. Our Party was formed because of the Council's attitude of "we know best" and therefore it avoids engaging with residents. This is endemic across all Council services, when residents contact the council they often receive no response or one that is very late. Change will only happen when enough people stop voting as they do because "their mum and dad always did" or "as I have always done" or simply don't bother "because both Parties are the same" ... all heard on the doorstep when campaigning.
It is pleasing to see many more readers and comments on these pages. I will give the following example which mirrors much of what has happened in Katherines. Bushey Croft. The Council sought Planning Permission to build 16 homes on a field. 183 resident objected but permission was agreed by both Labour and Conservative Councillors. What it failed to tell resident was that the land was designated allotment land and the Council had to apply to the Secretary of State to change the lands use and before doing so had to consult with residents. Without telling any residents, many months later, the Council formally consulted with residents by placing a notice in the Harlow Guardian (which most residents have never seen or read), put up a notice in the Civic Offices (which most people never go to) and a notice on their website. In their application a couple of months later they were able to advise the Secretary of State that they had consulted with residents but (no surprise here) they never got any response. They did not of course say that 183 residents had objected to the planning application. When questioned later in the year when it was to late to respond, the then Leader of the Council Cllr Ingall indicated that legal advice had been sought and the Council's actions were considered Ok. I leave it to readers whether they think this was morally correct. Cllr Ingall lost his seat in May.
Same Council Issues, Different Problems Same People, Abusing the People of Harlow - Who Pay Their Wages Same Abuse of Peoples; Rights By An Illegally Run Council See The Your Harlow Video at: https://www.yourharlow.com/2021/10/11/katherines-resident-continues-his-battle-with-harlow-council-over-tree-roots/ - Harlow Council have abused their own procedures - Harlow Council have lied, falsified records, abused their own procedures in front of Mr Halfon MP, Leaders of the Council since 2010, etc. Too much to go into here - BUT PROVEN with much evidence given to the Police and Your Harlow - Harlow Council know that they have lied, manufactured a dispute - Harlow Council have ignored the evidence INCLUDING admissions from their own representatives ie "Zurich Subsidence Team" and solicitors working for them and Zurich Municipal Is this DEMOCRACY OR AUTOCRACY? You Vote Harlow Conservative , You Vote Fraud? You Vote Harlow Labour, You Vote Fraud? In my view there is no question that we have a highly fraudulent and dishonest Harlow Council - and the problem is a combination: 1. Harlow Council officers 2. Broken local political system 3. Suppliers of Harlow Council 4. Abuse of Harlow taxpayer's money Decisions are now being made about the future of Harlow by (in my view) a highly illegally run council that lacks any controls, scrutiny, accountability or adherehence to laws or even their own procedures. Supervised by a BROKEN POLITICAL SYSTEM who seem powerless to Lead Harlow! KEEP VISITING THE YOUR HARLOW LINK - I WILL SOON BE PROVIDING AN UPDATE WHERE WE CAN LINK TOGETHER!