Latton Priory: Council awarded cash boost to develop design code

General / Fri 25th Mar 2022 am31 07:05am

EPPING Forest District Council has been awarded £120,000 from the Government to produce a design code for Latton Priory – one of the Council’s three Harlow and Gilston Garden Town development sites.

The Council’s Implementation team will work with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ (DLUHC) in delivering the design code as part of its Pathfinder Programme.

This programme starts in April and will run for a year with the aim of achieving an aspirational design code that can be used as a model for other communities within the district, the garden town and across the country.

Its focus is on steering new development to deliver well connected homes, with an emphasis on community engagement and empowering local communities to have their say on new homes, buildings and amenities.

The Latton Priory element of HGGT will bring a new neighbourhood of around 1,050 homes, 2 schools, a new local centre, open space and community facilities.

The design code will set out key design principles for this new community, promoting active travel, landscaping, community facilities and high-quality, sustainable places in line with both the district and garden town visions.

Epping Forest District Council’s Planning Portfolio Holder, and EFDC representative on the HGGT Board, Cllr Nigel Bedford, said:

This is excellent news for EFDC and the Latton Priory project. It lays the foundation of a good design code for not only our new neighbourhood of Latton Priory, but other such developments across the country.

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18 Comments for Latton Priory: Council awarded cash boost to develop design code:

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-25 08:50:30

This is even before the final stages of the Examination process of the EFDC Local Plan has taken place. Just the first of the millions of pounds that EFDC will receive in decades to come by allowing the building of homes on what is in effect Harlow's Green Belt. The new residents will be encouraged to use all the facilities in Harlow without paying a penny towards them and the roads in Harlow taking a pounding and being even more congested than they are now. They simply cannot be well connected homes, this 'village' is in the middle of a field. So much for the Tories election pledge last year to stop this development from going ahead!

Neil Warner-Baker
2022-03-25 13:52:17

Building on farmland is just crazy. Our Country needs to pull together to increase food security. Now we've left the European Union we really need to become self sufficient once more. We all saw what happened after Brexit. We have left ourselves wide open to blockades at French ports and increased tariff controls. Yet up and down the Country, greedy property developers have been doing deals to buy or, with our governments assistance Compulsory Purchase Farmland..this is plain dumb..the simple message is that we need more farmland to grow more homegrown food..not less.

2022-03-25 15:06:40

Whilst I agree with food security and protecting the green belt, we have the issue of a growing population who want, food, amenities, countryside, etc and homes. How does one square the circle?

2022-03-25 15:14:00

Nicholas Taylor, I think you are being completely unfair in stating that the current pledged to stop the Latton Priory development. They said they would object, which I understand they did. It is in EFDC land and had been fully adopted by the previous Harlow Labour administration in their adopted 2020 Harlow Local Plan.

Neil Warner-Baker
2022-03-25 16:17:55

Connie, with respect, do we really need so much speculative housing? Harlow's waiting list is under 5,000 yet we are expected to believe we need 23,000 extra homes by hggt and countless blocks going up throughout the town.. Just look at all the cranes working overtime throughout our town right now.. And what then, when those householder have kids... What do we do? Bulldoze our parks and any grass verges and build, build build.. And as for playing the blame game and saying its all Labour's fault... Just dig a little deeper. Perhaps start by researching Chelgate, see if you recognise any of the directors.. Isn't it odd that a Conservative Councillor for both Harlow and County has also been advising the developers for some years

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-25 18:31:48

Connie, you really should carry out research before you make some of your comments. The Harlow Conservatives published a list of 8 pledges which appeared on their election leaflets which were delivered to households across the town. One of these was to stop development to the South of the town. I have a copy I can send it to you if you would like. Another pledge referred to the new hospital, which of course has nothing to do with local councillors. It was agreed at a Council meeting that the Chief Executive of Harlow Council would write to the Planning Inspector of the EFDC Local Plan, this was going to be three years to late of course because the Inspector said she would not look at new objections. However, what actually happened was that Cllr Hardware wrote instead. Now he of course is on the board of HGGT, bit like the foxes looking after the chickens. Just to add, the development to the West of Katherines will see a huge area of commercial greenhouses being demolished to make way for a road and 1000 homes, leading to even more food imports and the loss of jobs.

2022-03-26 06:25:37

Dear Neil, I did some research on housing waiting lists. In 2021, Harlow's Council Housing list was 3,661. The highest in the region representing 4.21% of the town population. This compares with Stevenage: 1,925 - 2.2%, East Herts 2,174 -1.45%, Broxbourne 1,586 - 1.63% and Epping Forest 1,355 - 1.03%. Furthermore, proportionately, Harlow has the highest level of social housing at a staggering 29.3% of total households. Stevenage 26.9%, East Herts 13.1%, Broxbourne 14.0% and Epping Forest 14.7%. This means that Harlow has a social housing property for every 7.6 inhabitants. The average for the others is much higher at one social housing property for every 14.7 inhabitants. Is not possible that the Harlow waiting list is artificially inflated with ineligible applicants? By law, the only categories that must be entered onto a council housing list are the following: Legally homeless people People living in overcrowded or unsafe housing People who have to move because of a disability, medical, welfare or hardship However, even if you fall into one of these categories, the council can refuse you accommodation for another reason. For example, they may refuse people with a history of antisocial behaviour or those who can afford to rent privately. I do not know if Harlow applies different criteria to the other authorities, but it does seem very odd. Maybe restricting those eligible to apply to the statutory guidelines would bring our waiting list in line with the other neighboring authorities.

Kim Oconnor
2022-03-26 10:50:25

I wish to make this very clear to certain people. It's not people who can afford private renting, there's thousands in private accommodation on U credit and other benefits, THESES RENTS ARE BEING PAID BY BENIFTS. How do I know, because we are landlords, our last tenant was on benifts, we had to give her a good reference to get her out of flat, even thou she left owing us a 1,000 pounds , and where did she go in the new housing association near churchgate Street. We have our second tenant on benifts in now, so far so good we will see. She all so will go in housing association. My point is, that theses association s are not council, there private, they can put there rents rents up a high as they like. But it doesn't matter coz state will pay. I keep saying that we need council built properties, not unaffordable housing. It's the only why we will fall in line with other county's. Harlow is going the completely in wrong direction for future generations. THERE HAS TO BE A POINT WHERE THESES DEVELOPERS HAVE TO STOP GETTING THERE OWN WAY THROUGH GREED AND PROFIT, AND ITS COUNCILS ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN. Through direction of government. DEVELOPERS buy, they feed back to government, at the expense of out green belt, our wildlife and our lands. Over 6,000 signatures, along of public opinion s on the monstrosity going over our peaceful, beautiful river. But they disregarded every one . And as for farm lands, I've always said , we may need theses lands one day. As we did in years gone by. And as for building on wet lands, THERES VERY GOOD REASON S THESES LANDS HAVE NEVER BEEN BUILT ON. But you councils know best. Then when it's done, you can all sit back and watch us flood, with sewage pouring on our land. You reap what you sow.

Kim Oconnor
2022-03-26 11:12:43

Those that can afford to rent privately haha There are thousands in private accommodation being paid for by benifts. How do I know, because we are landlords. Our last tenant was on U credit, this knew tenant is on U credit s. And theses benifts are payed to landlords. So its not a question if you can afford to private rent. As for building on farm lands, I've always said ONE DAY WE MAY NEED THESES LANDS AGAIN. And as for building on wet lands, WELL YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW, When it's done you can all sit back and watch us flood. There's good reason why wet lands are not built on. But you councils just don't won't to know. Over 6,000 signatures against the build on wet lands, in Harlow, and against the 4 lane road across theses wet lands. But you just didn't won't to know.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-26 11:16:29

Dear Connie, I can tell you from experience that the waiting list does not reflect the true housing crisis experienced by those who cannot afford to buy, it is far worse. Firstly, you are comparing chalk with cheese so here are some facts about how we have got where we are now. Back in 1980, just like most New Towns, Harlow Council owned over 21,000 homes, about 70% of those in the town. Since then the RTB has seen this stock reduce to about 9,000 but in the meantime, many thousands of homes have been built in the private sector, meaning that Harlow Council now only own (not staggeringly) about 29%. Most councils would be only to pleased to have such a high percentage. Secondly, all councils have strict rules about who are excluded from applying for a council home. They include those with an income of over £41k in Harlow, I believe £50k in Epping, those who have not had a permanent home in the district for a number of years, by and large single people, those that have caused anti-social behaviour whilst a tenant, those who have been evicted for rent arrears and many more. Thirdly, Harlow has one of the lowest average income levels in the East of England, meaning that a higher percentage cannot afford to buy. In conclusion, there is no housing crisis in the private sector, people are choosing to leave London having made a killing because of inflated house prices. The housing crisis exists because of a lack of Council homes, those sold have not been replaced but the need is still there. Having to privately rent just means more people are claiming housing benefit. As I have said before, spending a week with me when I was a housing manager with Harlow Council would have opened your eyes as to what is really going on in this town behind closed doors.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-26 14:48:30

Dear Connie, you are comparing chalk and cheese. As a New Town, Harlow Council owned over 21, 000 homes in 1980, about 70% of the total housing stock in Harlow but now, 40 years later due to the effects of Right To Buy and all the new homes built since, the figure is about 29%. Not a staggering amount at all, it is similar to that in other New Towns. Other Councils like Epping would only be to pleased to have such a high percentage. All councils preclude people from their housing lists, just as Harlow does, for instance if you have a joint income of over £41k per year, by and large if you are a single person, if you have been evicted for failure to pay rent or caused anti-social behaviour and many others. Despite the rhetoric by the two main Parties, both have failed those in most need of a home, that is, those who will never be able to afford to buy one. Millions of people are thrust into private accommodation they cannot afford and therefore spend a lifetime on housing benefit, the only people who benefit from this is those who build homes in the private sector and those like the ones who are benefitting from the crazy prices in London who sell up and buy homes which they can then rent out. As I have said before, if you had come to work with me for just a week when I was a Housing Manager with Harlow and Epping Councils you would soon see just what a crisis there is for so many families here in Harlow. As things stand, it can only get worse.

2022-03-26 16:33:54

Nicholas, I checked average salaries in 2021 on Adzuma. In the region, Harlow comes out in the middle at £31,827 above Bishops Stortford, Loughton, Broxbourne and Ware. The highest is Stevenage at £ 38,119, Hertford £36,489, Epping £ 33,302 Welwyn GC £ 32,077. However, Harlow has the cheapest average house prices at £ 332,639. The closest to Harlow are Stevenage £ 336,529 and Ware £ 393,557. The other districts average range from £402,000 to £ 636,841. Therefore, in terms of price/ earnings Harlow is very favourable. Why is Harlow seen as some island of deprivation?

Tony Durcan
2022-03-26 17:14:01

Ok I can’t believe am stating this but I agree with a key point that Nicholas Taylor states. The problem we have is none of the housing will benefit Harlow but access will come into and out of Harlow. The council are looking at building homes on Ridings lane which means this road will be open and access will be via Latton common School onto Commonside Road. Funny how the Tories just published a story about this road,penny drop time. Why is the council biding for this money to design a code when in opposition the Tories voted against it. Epping gets the benefit Harlow gets the traffic.

2022-03-26 23:16:56

Cllr Durcan, it may have escaped your attention but it was your Party that signed up for the HGGT project in 2017, including Latton Priory, voted for it consistently no less than 7 times (all on the record) and endorsed it on your Adopted Harlow Plan December 2020. Do you deny it? Your hypocrisy fools nobody. This is your Labour Party plan.

Jamie Henderson
2022-03-26 23:30:03

Tony Durcan, it was Harlow Labour that signed up to the HGGT project in 2017, including Latton Priory, the Stort Crossings, etc. Your former Administration voted in favour of it no less than 7 times (all on the record, so don’t even bother denying it as I can produce the evidence). The hypocrisy of Harlow Labour is staggering. Still, you will be out in May and your ward will have an honest representative.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-26 23:50:28

Because Connie other statistics show that are many more poorer residents in Harlow than in other areas, indeed Harlow has some of the poorest Wards in the East of England. The website I have looked at says that as at 2021 the average full time income in Harlow is £28,496 P/A, in the East of England it is £32,696 and in the UK overall £31, 876. The % of residents unemployed is higher than the national average and 30% of the population report that they have no qualifications. Tony, I am quite happy to agree with you on occasions, but I have to say that ECC gave assurances to the EFDC Planning Inspector that Riddings Lane will not be opened to vehicles from Latton Priory, which is why a new road will be built across the fields leading South towards Epping. The only access into Harlow will be from Rye Hill Road.

2022-03-27 16:09:11

Dear Nicholas, in the words of Disraeli: “Lies, damned lies and statistics..” Harlow does have the lowest property prices in the area and represents pretty good comparative value given its location and transport amenities. I don’t think people will leave London just to commute; many will now work largely from home, meaning they will spend on local services. Covid has been a game changer, allowing people to improve their life styles. Harlow was originally built to give a new start to post-war Londoners. Maybe, we are in for a new wave. I really cannot accept this notion that people born here have any superior rights to those who choose to move here. That is how the town started. You yourself mentioned low educational achievement. That is probably the biggest problem that needs to be addressed. New residents coming here, with skills and qualifications will alter the demographics for the better. We want to attract companies offering well paid jobs; we need the people with skills. Our MP is a genuine champion on education, skills and apprenticeships. I see the glass as half full and looking to improve rather than half empty and getting worse. In the end, the free market will prevail. We should focus not on creating undue dependency but rather in enabling people to compete effectively, giving them the education and skills to prosper and succeed.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-27 22:35:04

Who is the 'we' Connie. I presume you are a member of the Conservative Party or perhaps someone working for a house building company or HGGT? Back in the 1950's people moved to Harlow because many firms relocated to the area and brought their workforce with them. The simple fact is, an extra 23, 000 homes will mean at least double that number of people looking for a job, but the number of new jobs being created locally will be far far less than that. Whilst some jobs can now be done from home, that is not the case in the manufacturing or scientific industry and many others, meaning that HGGT will just be a commuter town. The fact that the Councils involved are creating a sustainable transport corridor linking the Gilston development and Latton Priory to Harlow Town Station just bears this out. This means more car journeys, more pollution and simply adds to the towns carbon foot print. I will conclude this debate, clearly we will have to agree to disagree about what the future of this town should look and feel like in years to come.

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