Decision day beckons for Stort River Crossing

News / Sun 14th Nov 2021 at 01:28pm

MAJOR proposals for a new highway, pedestrian and rail crossings connecting Essex and Hertfordshire are set to be voted on by councillors next week report the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The plans submitted to Harlow Council seek to widen and enhance the central crossing on Fifth Avenue over the River Stort, build a new eastern crossing for cars, cyclists and pedestrians and replace an existing railway bridge.

According to a council report, the crossings are needed to accommodate thousands of new homes which would form part of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town development.

A £171million government grant has been allocated via Homes England for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town as a whole.

According to the report, a “large portion” of the fund would contribute to the crossing, but it must be spent within a strict window of time.

The applicant, Places for People Ltd, has also submitted a separate application to build six new villages in the Gilston Area, combining to reach 8,500 new homes.

Additionally, Briggens Estate Ltd are seeking permission for a further development, “Village 7”, which would bring the total number of new homes to 10,000, according to the report.

The report continues to suggest the benefits of the development give rise to “very special circumstances” and it should therefore be permitted on the green belt.

A section reads: “This proposal is for the delivery of a critical piece of infrastructure, comprising new bridges, new sustainable transport routes and new pedestrian and cycle infrastructure. 

“The provision of essential infrastructure carries significant positive weight and the development is considered to be acceptable in principle.”

A later section reads: “It is considered that temporary visual harms to the landscape arising through construction and the residual permanent visual harms arising from the scheme once operational are outweighed by the beneficial impacts arising from the scheme in terms of providing additional transport capacity required for the Gilston area outline housing developments”.

Proposals for the Central Stort Crossing would alter the existing Fifth Avenue road and rail bridge and create new bridges to the west to support a widened highway.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Stort Crossing application is for a new road, pedestrian and cycle bridge, the  replacement of an existing rail bridge at River Way, alterations to the existing local highway network, lighting and landscaping works and listed building works to Fiddlers Brook Bridge.

The boundary between Harlow and East Herts districts follows the River Stort, and the application site straddles the two.

East Herts District Council will also be voting on identical applications next week.

The report states if one local authority grants permission and the other defers, the approving authority is recommended to delay issuing its decision notice by four weeks, so the deferring authority has time to reconsider the applications.

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town will be made up of new and existing communities in and around Harlow and would contain 23,000 new homes, the report continues.

Both crossings are recommended for approval.

Harlow Council’s Development Management Committee will consider the applications on Wednesday November 17.

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2 Comments for Decision day beckons for Stort River Crossing:

2021-11-14 18:04:46

They tell mistruths as far as what's essential destruction of green belt : also the Eastern Crossing is not a bridge it's mainly a raised road across the floor of the Valley plus a chunk taken out of the side of the Valley destroying irreplaceable woodland: Also, hggt dismissed out of hand alternative routes to the Eastern Crossing that would avoid the decimation of the Stort River Valley wildlife, wetlands and flood plain. Alternatives that would cost the environment and the public purse (our taxes) less, are available. The crossing has a massive embodied carbon footprint and will, according to hggt consultants increase flooding, ie flooding containing raw sewage into the river Valley including Harlow homes. Hggt have also neglected to reduce the carbon footprint pollution and congestion by traffic generally and it's major impacts on Harlow by failing to notice that construction materials and waste could be transported by rail to the rail freight and aggregate site at Harlow Mill and a new site in River Way, reducing hgv movement by an estimated 95% . Hggt pfp, Epping, East Herts and Harlow Councils have said that they hope to achieve an eventual 60% reduction in private traffic: not building the Eastern Crossing (which is in fact mainly raised road across the floor of the Valley )would immediately achieve a 50 % cut in potential traffic and instead token green gestures like a few electric cargo bikes, hggt partnership could provide park and ride centres and low cost hydrogen bus services, electric scooters, bikes and small electric bubble cars for hire, given these, the central crossing would benefit from reduced private car traffic, reduced pollution and loss of precious flood avoided. Over 5000 residents have signed the Save Our Stort petition, the negative impacts on Harlow of pollution, congestion and the needless loss of a tranquil natural nature reserve are such that the name should be Save our town, Harlow gets no benefits, no Council homes from the Crossings. East Herts gets all of the cash from Council taxes and Government grants. SOS :

David Forman
2021-11-15 23:29:03

Don't forget the archeological site damage as stated on paragraph 9.10 on page 37 of the Report Pack to councillors and public. Download the Report Pack at: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/g1441/Public%20reports%20pack%2017th-Nov-2021%2019.00%20Development%20Management%20Committee.pdf?T=10

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