Over the border: Plans for 11,000 homes near Harlow draw nearer
News / Wed 20th Jul 2022 at 07:28am
EPPING FOREST District Council is expected to vote on adopting a planning blueprint for over 11,000 homes this autumn, cabinet members have said reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
A final six-week public consultation over Epping Forest District Council’s local plan is set to happen in August after modifications were made by a new planning inspector.
According to a council report, more work needs to be done to satisfy new inspector Jonanthan Bore that a five-year housing land supply will be available when the plan is adopted.
Council leader Chris Whitbread (Con, Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common) said at a cabinet meeting last night the council has been working on the plan for 12 years.
Cabinet members met last night (July 18) to note the progress of the plan and its examination after the appointment of Mr Bore as the new inspector overseeing the council’s local plan in May.
Council officer Nigel Richardson told the cabinet: “We will get there one day. There’s a bit of frustration isn’t there that we’re going to be required to do some further consultation on main modifications, but just to make it clear officers are working very hard to deal with some of the questions that inspector Bore has raised.”
Deputy Leader and Place Portfolio Holder Nigel Bedford (Con, Shelley) said: “What was very helpful from the inspector was that he gave us a timetable going forward, and that actually he believes we can finish by the autumn of this year.”
Mr Richardson said a full council vote on adoption is more likely to happen towards the end of the autumn than the beginning.
Cllr Whitbread said: “I think we’ll all just be glad to see the local plan finally agreed after all these many years.”
According to the report, additional modifications suggested by the inspector include streamlining policies regarding air quality outside the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation and small changes to strategic masterplans and the infrastructure delivery schedule.
The council will now have to produce a new “schedule of main modifications” with the changes and submit this for public consultation.
A full council meeting will then be held, where councillors will vote on whether or not to adopt the plan.
Local plans are blueprints which councils are required to make, which set out how they will meet the government’s housing targets.
According to the emerging local plan, Epping Forest District Council’s housing target is 11,400 homes by 2033.
The actions taken by Harlow Council in 2017 to create the Harlow and Gilston Town means that the decision to allow the development of Green Belt land around Harlow's Southern and Western borders will be taken by Councillors in Epping later this year. This breaks the election pledge of 2020 made by the Tories in Harlow to stop such development. Many Councils across the South East of England have withdrawn their Local Plans, questioning the need to allow the building of so many homes, EFDC should be encouraged to do the same. The Harlow Alliance Party will be writing to every EFDC Councillor urging them to do the same. If these plans go ahead, much of Harlow will be like a doughnut, surrounded by thousands of expensive homes in the middle of fields (none of them Council owned) whilst those of us already here will have to put up with intolerable levels of traffic, no financial gain as a council, indeed no benefit at all.
Interestingly, sky larks nest on these fields bordering Sumners & Katherines and I believe they are now on the endangered list. Wonder if the developers are aware of this fact.
I should add that Penny Mordaunt MP,, still in the running for PM has declared that one of her policies is to "ditch housing targets, which have been tested to destruction". Our Council and MP should fall in line with her and the many Councils who have already ditched their Plans.
Sandra, theses people don't care about things like that, all they care about is greed and profit. They haven't cared about the destruction of the river stort, ripping up habitat s, ect ect I just been on HGGT, post where there talking about quality of life, lollll There taking away our quality of life, by leaving us with no green spaces to escape to. NONE OF THESES NEW HOUSING ESTATES ARE COUNCIL. we should be addressing this problem first, not bringing in big fat greedy developers. Quess we know where there proitys are. Air pollution Damage to thousands of old trees. Habitat s destroyed. Congestion Ect ect ect. All theses things are at the bottom of there list. Progress people call this, we'll we are heating up in summer, and flooding in winter. You work it out. You carnt plant an old tree in a new place. You will reap what you sow, but never mind your have lots of money, but may be one day your have no where to put it.
I certainly hope that these new homes will be built to withstand the sort of heat we've just witnessed over the past few days, as well as being able to cope with our winters. New build homes are an excellent opportunity to introduce new technologies which will bring us closer to the net-zero target. However, homes these days are built for profit and not sustainability and habitability...
The Epping forest District Council (EFDC) Local Plan proposes to allow the building of several thousand new homes on Harlow's borders with EFDC on what is effectively Harlow’s Green Belt. Until now, Harlow residents have not been consulted about these plans. There will not be a single Council home built to address the real housing need in the area. All the New Homes Bonus, business rates and Council Tax will be paid to EFDC but there will be a huge increase in traffic and therefore maintenance costs for Harlow's roads. This huge increase in traffic will cause unprecedented and unreasonable delays for journeys on Harlow roads such as Rye Hill Road, Paringdon Road and Southern Way. No account has been taken of the extra noise and pollution that will be experienced by Harlow residents as a result of the increase in traffic. New Planning Applications (windfall sites) will mean that 3,000 more homes will be built in Harlow than required by Government. New estimates in respect of the growth in household numbers and immigration clearly show that the number of new homes needed is far lower than was envisaged even just a few years ago. As a result, there is no need to build new homes on Harlow's borders. No account of these windfall sites has been taken by those providing public services such as school places and health services, which can only mean they will be stretched even further than they are now. These comments should be given serious consideration and solutions identified and implemented prior to the EFDC Local Plan being commenced.
Councl could at least declare they will build no and constrict the current roads to and from these developments in to and from Harlow to cycleway tracks, don't give planning permission for any links through Harlow to the Thames trunk sewer and stop any drainage run off from heading into Harlow and the Stort to prevent traffic pollution and vastly increased instances of flooding in the town.