Petition objects to thousands of homes on Harlow’s border

News / Mon 16th Aug 2021 at 07:58am

THE LEADER of the Harlow Alliance Party has continued to highlight the imminent development of thousands of homes on Harlow’s border.

After some four years in the making, the Local Development Plan of Epping Forest DC (EFDC) is now in its final stages.

The Planning Inspector tasked at looking at the Plan has made her comments and the Council has now invited its residents and interested parties to comment on these changes by 23 September.

To date neither Harlow Council, the Conservative or Labour Party have made any attempt to contact those of us who already live in the town about the affect the proposed massive housebuilding programme will have on us and where we live claim the Harlow Alliance Party.

With the agreement of Harlow District Council (HDC) this Plan proposes to allow the building of thousands of homes to the East, South and West of the town on what is effectively Harlow’s Green Belt.

The Harlow Alliance Party are continuing to object to these proposals because:

  • These new homes are not within Harlow (although some could be just 4 metres away from the gardens of Harlow residents) so residents in Harlow have not been consulted about these plans.
  • These homes are being built on what is effectively Harlow’s Green Belt. Despite this, decisions about the future of this land is being made by Councillors in the Council chamber in Epping, when they should be made by Councillors in Harlow.
  • All the New Homes Bonus, business rates and Council Tax will be paid to EFDC. They will reap the financial benefit from these new homes whilst Harlow Council will get nothing to help regenerate our town.
  • There will not be a single Council home built to address the real housing need in the area, those who will never be able to afford to buy a home.
  • Whatever steps are taken, there will be a huge increase in traffic on Harlow’s roads, such as Rye Hill Road, Paringdon Road and Southern Way. No account has been taken of the extra noise and pollution which will be experienced by residents living in Harlow although much was made of the effect the increase in pollution will have on Epping Forest.
  • New Planning Applications (called windfall sites) will mean that 3000 more homes will be built in Harlow than required by Government. Recent reduced estimates of the growth in household numbers and immigration into the UK in the coming decade show that the number of new homes needed is far lower that was thought even just a few years ago. EFDC have ignored this evidence. Quite simply, there is no need to build new homes on Harlow’s East, South and Western borders.
  • No account of windfall sites has been taken into account by those providing public services such as school places and health services. This can only mean they will be stretched even further than they are now.
  • None of our political representatives, whether Conservative or Labour objected to these plans whilst the Planning Inspector looked at the proposals. Only the Harlow Alliance Party did so.
  • Join us in objecting to these proposals by looking at the website www.harlowallianceparty.org where you will find a petition objecting to these proposals.
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15 Comments for Petition objects to thousands of homes on Harlow’s border:

Wendy Ward
2021-08-16 09:07:51

Disgusting...the word consultation, once again meaning, looks good on paperwork, no-one really asked!!! Just like most projects in Harlow and everywhere else, come to that. Duped by developers, planners and local government!

2021-08-16 12:52:42

A direct link to the petition: this is not just an Alliance party issue but one for all of Harlow residents https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-building-on-harlow-s-green-belt also please sign the Friends of Latton Island petition non political campaign group https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/we-oppose-the-central-and-eastern-river-crossing-for-harlow-and-gilston-town to Save Our Stort Valley from the bridge barrier crossing that's due to poor planning and massive housing development on the Northern Edge of the town. Both projects are down to Places for People a coalition between Harlow, East Herts and Epping Councils and developers.

Anne McGirr
2021-08-16 20:24:12

I am all for new housing, however there needs to be social housing and NOT to the detriment of Harlow residents

David Benson
2021-08-17 09:40:08

Anne McGirr, easier said than done. 1. Where is the land to build economically viable accommodation? 2. Average house prices in Harlow are now £343,000 (according to Rightmove) and still cheaper than those of surrounding areas. If the town regenerates and improves its infrastructure and transport links, prices will rise further and justifiably so. 3. How do we balance building more on the Green belts and green wedges most of us want to preserve. Bottom line is that there is virtually nowhere in Harlow to build much more without impinging on the green areas and having intolerable levels of density. The Harlow Gilston project is such a move and just look at the opposition. Doesn’t matter whether it is private or social housing or a mix, the environmental impact and pressure on services, e.g. schools, healthcare, roads, etc. is the same. No easy solutions.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-17 11:38:52

David ..... one of our key points is that these decisions should be made by our elected representatives here in Harlow and not those in Epping and Hertford. Residents as far away as Chigwell and Fyfield have been consulted by EFDC about the proposals but someone in Harlow whose garden is just 12 feet away from a potential development has not been told/involved/updated. All the Councils involved including Harlow Council are just as guilty as each other.

2021-08-17 12:03:53

The trouble is social housing is only given to people on benefits ( as my son found out who works ) he was to to go private by Harlow council who said the could not help him, so there will be no income from those put into social housing. I am old enough to remember that to apply for housing you had to prove you had a job, it is the complete opposite now.

Paul Williams
2021-08-17 12:13:33

Nicholas how can we stop Epping building in their own territory. They have more space than Harlow has. Why can't we do a deal with them to build some housing, which Harlow purchases and Rents to people on the Harlow housing list the same as Enfield is doing here? Harlow has hardly anywhere to build more housing.

captain obvious
2021-08-17 15:09:13

hmmmm houses prices here are expensive so people work, people on benefits could be housed in hull loads of empty homes for the people who dont want to work and claim benefits

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-17 16:27:29

Paul, you mis-understand the situation. The plan of EFDC is to change the use of land from primarily Green Belt land to land which can be built on. They do not own the land, there will be no Council homes on it, the land is being sold by private land owners (mostly farmers) to property developers who are set to make millions of pounds profit. EFDC do have plots of land and have a council house building programme, but have hundreds of families on their waiting list and would have no desire to help families living in Harlow. Harlow Council also have numerous plots of land such as at Lister House and Elm Hatch and have (had?) plans to develop these sites but these may have stalled. I think I must correct readers who think homes are only given to those on benefits, this is simply not true. They do not allow people on their waiting list if they have a joint income of more that £41,000 per year, this does not mean those on a lower income are all on housing benefit.

Major Straighttalk
2021-08-18 08:42:59

Captain Obvious makes a valid point. If people can’t afford to buy or rent property here, then they should up and move to somewhere more affordable. No one has a specific right to live anywhere. Why should councils and taxpayers have to foot the bill. I want to live in Kensington, so can their council set me up? A bloody joke. If Harlow does regenerate and attract investment, it will draw high skilled, high paid jobs and property prices will boom to the benefit of those owing property. If you can’t afford, just move.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-18 12:37:57

Well major Straighttalk, that is a smack in the eye for all those who will never be able to afford to buy a home. Booming house prices help no-one apart from banks who lend the money to buy, property developers and estate agents. The simple fact is, the number of new homes and therefore people in the area will far outnumber the number of new jobs being created, mirroring what happened in Church Langley and now off Gilden Way, so Harlow becomes even more of a commuter town resulting in congested roads, more pollution and a strain on public services. Ringing Harlow with properties with an address in Epping will help no-one in Harlow, least of all Harlow Council who will receive not a single penny to help regenerate the town for those of us already live here.

Danny Rowlands
2021-08-18 13:03:37

Nicolas Taylor, there is no space within Harlow’s boundaries to build more housing: council or private. We cannot have more density without encroachment on green spaces, which nobody wants. If people can’t afford to live here, then they should move somewhere else. Let the market decide. No one has the right to live where they like at other's expense as Major Straighttalk mentioned with the Kensington example. Also you are wrong about rising property prices, they benefit home owners, creating wealth, they benefit those with pensions invested in property funds. There are always winners and losers. Harlow is currently comparatively cheap compared with nearby districts. Therefore, if the town improves and investment flows inwards, there is good scope for the gap to close. If I couldn’t afford to live here, I would up and go elsewhere. What is wrong with that. There are plenty of great places in the UK and nowhere that far.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-18 16:50:19

Hi Danny, I am afraid to say you need to check some facts from Harlow Council, there are many sites earmarked for Development within the town, Lister House, Elm Hatch, Slacksbury Hatch, Yorkes, Church site in Bush Fair, Pollard Hatch, site near Clifton Hatch, field behind Hawthorns, Sherards House site and more. Rising property prices do nothing to help those who cannot afford to buy, such people are essential to the town, shop workers bus drivers and thousands of others in low paid jobs. You may want to move elsewhere but for the rest of us that just means all the poorer people end up living in places which are run down, far from relatives, no-where to work and all the social problems that go with it.

2021-08-19 08:15:19

Nicholas Taylor, the sites you propose are mostly in use. However, let’s look at the facts with regard councils: East Herts - Area 480 sq miles - pop 144,000 - pop density 300 per sq mile Epping Forest - Area 131 sq miles - pop 132,000 - pop density 1008 per sq mile Harlow - Area 11.8 sq miles - pop 87000 - pop density 7073 per sq mile. Any further building will only increase population density. It makes clear sense that new building should be made in neighbouring districts which have dar more space. We are already overcrowded.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-19 16:42:31

Gillian, I am afraid you have missed the main points I was making. The sites I mentioned are in Harlow Council's Local Plan, they are not sites I am proposing. They will be developed during the next 11 years or so, some are already vacant and derelict, at least one is a field and three are sites already occupied by shops and or homes which will be demolished, these are all owned by Harlow DC and should see Council homes built on them. Other sites such as close to Old Harlow and in the town centre are also in the Plan of Harlow DC and they will add thousands more homes. When totalled up, 1600 more homes than is required by the Government will be built. However, because of new Planning Applications which are already in the pipeline, another 1400 homes will be built making a total of around 3000. Now perhaps the main point is that Epping DC plan to allow over 4000 homes to be built immediately on Harlow's border. What that means is that in ten years time, the creation of the "Harlow and Gilston Town" will see a population of 140,000 in an area of about 14 square miles. So the town will become even more densely populated whilst most residents living in the Epping Forest DC area will continue to live in the countryside. These Plans are set to destroy the Green Belt around Harlow, residents as far away as Chigwell and Fyfield have been consulted and involved in the EFDC Plan process whilst residents who in some cases live just feet away in Harlow have not.

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