Council takes next step in protecting the character of Harlow’s first neighbourhood

Communities / Tue 15th Nov 2022 at 10:51am

HARLOW Council is inviting residents in Mark Hall North to have their say on the introduction of an Article 4 Direction as part of work to enhance the protection of the new town’s first neighbourhood area.

This direction means that planning permission would be needed to make certain changes to a house. This allows the council to ensure that changes are positive and sympathetic to original housing designs and character of the area. 

Due to the responses received from residents during initial consultation held over the summer, the council has removed some of the proposed restrictions.

Most of the direction now only applies to changes visible from a highway or at the front of a house. Solar panels or thermal equipment, aerials and satellite dishes are no longer included.  The direction is not due to come into force until October 2023.

The council is now consulting on the direction, along with a draft management plan and guidance document which will provide guidance to people making planning applications for changes covered by the direction.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 9 December 2022.

Councillor Dan Swords, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: 

“Mark Hall North is one of ten conservation areas in the town and was the first neighbourhood to be completed as part of Harlow new town. When Harlow turned 40 the area was made a conservation area and as we celebrate the town’s 75th anniversary we want to continue preserving this area’s unique history and look at extra ways to protect its character and original features. 

“We have listened to residents’ comments made during the consultation held in the summer and we have removed some of the proposed restrictions. The changes will not be applied retrospectively and applying for planning permission for anything covered under the Article 4 Direction would be free.

“We welcome residents’ thoughts on this as part of an ongoing conversation around protecting this important area of the town.” 

The council has written to all residents in Mark Hall North about the consultation and the document can be viewed online https://www.harlow.gov.uk/your-council/have-your-say/consultations or in Harlow Central Library, Mark Hall Library, Old Harlow Library and the Civic Centre during normal opening hours.

Public drop-in exhibitions are also being held at Harlow Museum, Muskham Road, Harlow, CM20 2LF, on Tuesday 22 November 2022 at 10am to 12pm and Thursday 24 November 2022 at 6pm to 8pm.

The council will take all comments into account when it decides whether to confirm the direction.

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