Conservative Council to propose motion opposing development to the south and west of Harlow
Communities / Thu 9th Sep 2021 at 06:58am
THE Harlow Conservatives have campaigned against development to the south and west of Harlow since the idea was first posed well over a decade ago and furthermore, to mitigate the impact of any development to the east of Harlow such as Junction 7a. Under the previous Council, the Labour party did not take that position and chose not to oppose the proposals in the Epping Forest Local Development plan which threatened Harlow with widescale developments in Sumners West, Katherines West, Latton Priory and to the east of Harlow.
However, the Conservatives are set to deliver on their pledge to oppose these proposals, now that they are in control of the Council, and pass a motion at next week’s Council meeting.
Sumners and Kingsmoor Councillor, Cllr Russell Perrin, who is bringing forward the Conservative motion said: “We have always opposed development to the south and west of Harlow. We pledged in our campaign that we would do everything possible to stop them and mitigate the impact of developments to the east of Harlow. Sadly, the previous Labour Council did not act at the crucial time, they did not consult residents on these developments, in fact they supported the proposals to the south and west when they tore up a cross party agreement made by the Conservatives to oppose these developments several years ago.
“In stark contrast, we are not only passing a Full Council motion, but also taking concrete action to do everything possible to stop development to the south and west and support our residents in the east of Harlow. We understand the need for new housing; that is why we have always supported development to the North of Harlow.”
The motion reads:
“This Council recognises the huge concerns many residents have about the proposed developments around Harlow, including Sumners West, Katherines East, Latton Priory and to the east of Harlow. There are worries that these developments will overwhelm the existing town transport infrastructure, services and amenities.
In particular, these concerns surround transport links in west and south Harlow, the lack of capacity on Southern Way, Water Lane, Broadley Road and the B181 Epping Road, and the potential impact on local medical and education services.
The proposed strategic housing site to the east of Harlow, and those developments already taking place on Gilden Way and the new M11 junction, will add additional impact upon the residents of Old Harlow who rightly continue to raise objections about the proposals for further new housing.
In support of the above, this Council resolves that it:
1. Remains against growth to the southern and western boundaries of the town, preferring any growth to be to the north (Gilston Villages) and east of Harlow.
2. Will make any representations necessary to communicate that it does not support any development of Sumners West or any other developments to the south or west of Harlow.
3. Will not sell or lease any land or rights of way which it possesses that may assist in the development of Sumners West or any other developments to the south or west of Harlow.
4. Puts in place a plan to do everything possible to mitigate the strategic housing site to the east of Harlow. To better recognise the potential impact on existing residents, particularly in Churchgate Street and the neighbouring parts of Old Harlow that will also be affected, by:
a. Conducting an additional strategic assessment of the proposed housing site to gain further clarity about its feasibility and publish a specific mitigation action plan to limit the severity of the impact of such potential housing growth;
b. Developing a separate agreement between this Council and Old Harlow residents to safeguard the community from future over-development, recognising the importance of preserving the Conservation Area; and
c. Committing to additional consultation in line with the new community engagement strategy that will be developed by this Council, so that Old Harlow residents’ concerns can be used to inform future plans to mitigate the prospect of an east strategic housing site.5. The Chief Executive in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Strategic growth submits a formal objection to Epping Forest District Council Local development plan to the extent that it impacts upon points 1 – 4 and sub clauses raised in this motion.”
Well what a turn around from the Conservatives, but is it really? The Cabinet meeting tonight will be presented with a report which sets out a vision for the future of Harlow, referring to the creation of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town which will see the population increase to 130,000 plus. This can only be achieved by building to the south and west of Harlow. Yet we now see the motion being proposed next week which on the face of it sinks much of this project. I would suggest that this motion is only being made now because they have seen that over 600 residents have already signed the Harlow Alliance Party's petition objecting to the house building proposals on Harlow's borders being made by EFDC. Where have they been for the last three years, why did they did they not make their objections known at the public examination hearings of the EFDC Local Development Plan back in 2019? The Harlow Alliance Party did and are now mobilizing residents in objecting to the Plan of EFDC. So I put a question to the Tory Councillors ..... will you formally end the agreement with Epping Forest DC to work together on the part of their Local plan which forms part of the creation of The Harlow and Gilston Garden Town?
The question remains, when Harlow Conservatives opposed the 2020 Development plan, and despite Robert Halfon's call for planners to go back to the drawing board, why the Conservative group have not yet come out to oppose the highly damaging and unnecessary Easten Bridge barrier Crossing across and through the natural nature reserve of the Stort Valley? The crossing increases the risk of flooding homes in Harlow, will destroy wildlife and habitats of protected species, increase and attract traffic and congestion as well as being a giant blot and carbunkle on the face of the planet.. The developers say they wish to cut traffic journeys by 50% so instead of developing two crossings into Harlow, the answer is develop only one, the central crossing, don't build the Eastern crossing, use other obvious alternatives. Do provide park and ride with low cost high quality frequent 24 x 7 hydrogen bus transport, cycle tracks, walkways and encourage the use of electric scooters. These are far better options that are less polluting, have a 90 % less environmental impact and far by less costly. The Eastern crossing will cost at least £62.5 million of taxpayers money, will have a carbon footprint of embodied emission of 19.5 million kg of CO2 every year (equivalent to 160,000,000 km of car journeys every year before even one car travels on it) and £62.5 million can pay for a virtually free eco bus public transport service. Save Our Stort
Well said previous comments. Over 5000 residents have petitioned the Council to stop the building of the Eastern raised road bridge barrier crossing from Pye Corner to Edinburgh Way yet it's reported that Cllr Garnett Chair of Planning has refused to receive the petition while East Herts Council leader is welcoming it today. It's clear Harlow will gain absolutely nothing from the development and the building of the EasternCrossing, except more traffic, pollution, sewage discharges into the environment, and more flash flooding. It would be good if Harlow Conservatives recognised Climate Change and the damage the Eastern crossing would do if built and stopped it immediately. . The East Herts Gilston hggt villages will be quite green and well protected from flooding because all of the million of tons of sewage and surface water is being thrown into the Stort Valley and towards the already overloaded flood plain and Harlow system. The Eastern crossing will make matters worse. East Herts has little to worry about because Harlow and the Stort Valley will take the brunt, pay the price at no benefit and suffer all of the financial and environmental costs. Why previous administration failed to see Harlow has been taken as the fall guy here is beyond belief. Harlow Conservatives have an opportunity to.show that the Party is worthy to host COP 26 and that it's not simply in favour of unbounded property developers and a road building programme that has been taken to court for ignoring Climate change policies.
Can we expect the Tory Party to endorse the petition set up by the Harlow Alliance Party and encourage their members and supports to sign it? The numbers are increasing each day, the support found on the doorstep is overwhelming. It was also good to see that the map of the area used in this article was taken directly from a Harlow Alliance Party leaflet. Where we have been leading for the last three and half years the Tories follow.
These proposals are a welcome breath of fresh air and cllr Perrin should be congratulated on sticking up for Harlow residents. Privately many councillors have grave concerns about the creation of a highway though the Stort Valley which will devastate our natural environment, cause traffic delays and congestion, seriously be detrimental to local businesses and create a rat run though our town to facilitate commuter traffic onto the M11. Wake up people this highway is completely unnecessary and is primarily designed to service construction traffic which will continue till 2040 and beyond.
I hate the expression "Wake up people". So condescending.