Letter to Editor: Latton Priory: Coming to a field near you

News / Tue 22nd Nov 2022 at 08:18am

Dear Sir,

COMING to a field near you….. it is now! Even though Epping Forest District Council have not yet finished their most recent consultation exercise with its residents about the final version of it’s Local Development Plan, the developers are pressing on with their plan to develop the Green Belt to the south of Harlow.

They have just begun a consultation exercise inviting residents to comment on the proposals to build at
least 1050 homes, a school, shops, and other community facilities on the fields to the south of Berecroft, running eastwards to the edge of Corner Meadow and beyond.

The current Travellers site will be removed but replaced with three smaller sites and the only road leading into the whole site other than one proposed to come out on London Road to the south will
be on to Rye Hill Road.

The whole document can be found here.


Much has already been written about this proposal, the fact that it is in the Epping Forest District so Harlow Council will receive no financial benefit from taxes paid, there will be a huge increase in traffic on Harlow’s roads, the proposed transport corridor will cut a swathe through open spaces in Harlow
and of course despite the close proximity to homes in Harlow and the fact that since 2017 we all now live in the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, we the existing residents have been given little if any notice of these proposals let alone invited to comment.

Added to this, new sites identified in Harlow where new homes will be built already number about 3000 more that the number required by the Government.

The Harlow Alliance Party was the only political Party in Harlow to object to these proposals when it really mattered, that is in 2019 when the Planning Inspector held her examination sessions in the Civic Offices in Epping.

Our petition against these proposals has continued to see the number of residents who support our objections increase, the petition can be found here
and if you have not already signed it, it is not too late.

Yours faithfully,
Nicholas Taylor
Leader Harlow Alliance Party

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16 Comments for Letter to Editor: Latton Priory: Coming to a field near you:

2022-11-22 09:12:49

The only thing we can try to do is get Harlow council to push for Essex county council to block at top of Rye Hill road, just before the traveller camp, or flood the area with traffic calming measures. Most of the traffic will probably use the London road access, but this stretch of road is gridlocked most of the day already, not to mention J7 of the M11 which is gridlocked most of the day already, or Southern Way which surprise, surprise is gridlocked most of the day as well. So just how are residents meant to get to and from these 1000 new homes without major changes to local road planning. I also don’t see moving the traveller camp ending well either. Also the questionnaire on their website has to be printed to be filled in then scanned and emailed back! Have they not heard of “Google Forms”. As stated above, please sign the petition and try to fill in the form, though I am guessing any forms from Harlow residents will be ignored.

2022-11-22 10:45:10

Clearly we need our local councillors to be stronger, not just the fella who’s just passed his GCSEs !

Elaine McCarthy
2022-11-22 13:17:20

Here we go again! A small Tory-led council takes the opportunity to build the houses it requires, and benefit from the subsequent council taxes, yet somehow uses Harlow to drain the unwanted traffic through our town, diminishing our environment, rather than pay to provide the necessary road through its own territory. Great neighbours, thanks, any time.

2022-11-22 20:20:16

When I was at school, I was taught that the GREEN BELT was sacred.. It was protected by Law and could never be built on... What's changed?? Greedy property developers and corrupt local politicians... NO WONDER THE YOUNG HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE LAW..

Nicholas Taylor
2022-11-23 00:03:42

News today that as many as 50 Conservative MP's have indicated that the way the Government places housebuilding targets on Councils should be changed and local people should have more say in the matter may give some hope that the Local Development Plan of EFDC might still bite the dust. I wonder if our MP will follow suit and join his colleagues?

Kim Oconnor
2022-11-23 08:31:21

Signed. I don't think councils listen to public options any more, to stop the road bridge going over our stort proved that. UNTIL THESES COUNCILS, THESES DEVELOPERS GET A GRIP ON GREED AND PROFIT THIS DESTRUCTION WILL CONTINUE. BUT AT WHAT COST, PERHAPS YOU COUNCILS SHOULD ASK YOUR SELFS THAT.

Roger Anthony
2022-11-23 16:17:03

My understanding is that Epping Forest District, Harlow District, East Herts, Essex County and Hertfordshire County councils are working together in what they call a unique partnership to bring transformational growth in and around Harlow through the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) project. The HGGT has received an award for being the best new or planned Garden Communities from design to construction, including zero carbon. Against this background, all the consultation taking place seems to me to be little more than a perfunctory exercise; and I doubt the current consultation will be different. Central Government has dictated what is to happen and Planning Authorities eg District Councils have to produce Local Plans for its approval. Just looking at the map(s) showing where Latton Priory and the other Garden Communities will be located makes it obvious that in reality they amount to expanding Harlow into the surrounding Green Belt. Politics can be the only explanation for presenting this expansion as “Garden Communities.”

Nicholas Taylor
2022-11-23 19:23:15

You are right Roger, HGGT was created back in 2017 and these Council's have been working together on some aspects but the one they have avoided is to engage and consult with residents across the whole area, at the same time and in the same way. Thus residents as far away as Chigwell have been made aware of the EFDC Development Plan part of which includes some 4000 homes on Harlow's borders but neither EFDC or Harlow District Council (HDC) have taken the trouble to engage with residents in Harlow. Indeed the former Labour controlled HDC took specific steps to ensure they they short cut the need for consultation with residents about its own Development Plan. We should take heart from what has happened in an area not far away when a Council withdrew its Plan following opposition from 18,000 residents and the latest news that MP'S frightened of loosing their seats are now objecting to Government imposed housing targets. The worse thing about this whole issue is the fact that decisions about the future of the Green Belt around Harlow lies with Councillors sitting in the Civic Offices in Epping.

Roger Anthony
2022-11-23 21:04:00

Yes Nicolas. A political approach described as a "duty to cooperate" but is probably a "divide and conquer" outcome.

Roger Anthony
2022-11-23 21:04:38

Yes Nicolas. An approach described as a "duty to cooperate" but is probably a "divide and conquer" outcome.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-11-23 23:59:00

Another thing has come to light today, the hard copy of the information produced has only gone 'to nearly 3000' homes near the proposed development. That is less than the number of homes in just one Ward in Harlow. We all know that the proposals will have a huge affect on thousands more families living on the South side of town.

2022-11-27 13:24:55

Sod the houses where is our new hospital.?

2022-11-28 14:25:00

But don't we need more houses 🏘️ Fields are okay but you wouldn't want to spend winter in one 🤪

Nicholas Taylor
2022-11-29 09:47:24

Johnny, sure we need more houses, but need to ask why. None of these will be Council houses or indeed what most people can really afford or indeed will never be able to afford. In the meantime services locally are at breaking point, the towns roads will never be able to deal with the amount of extra traffic on them and of course Harlow Council will not receive a penny in Council tax to support the public services in Harlow.

2022-12-04 10:11:43

Red and Blue, /they have it in for you! /Either by sheer stupidity, incompetence or greed, /they have no understanding of the need./ Labour were taken for mugs,/ whilst the Torys just filled their jugs! Let's call it for what it all is. HGGT pfp is a greenwashing conspiracy backed by local Cllrs to overload Harlow with traffic, pollution, far beyond the optimum design plan whilst recklessly destroying the Stort River Valley and the greenbelt surrounding the town for the benefit of the wealthy getting out of London, the backers of the Tory party (foreign speculators and property developers), the finances of East Herts and Epping Councils and at the cost and detriment of Harlow and its residents. Labour should come clean admit it's mistakes and come to an arrangement with the greens, the Torys who are opposed to development of green belt and other minority parties here to reverse the situation by putting an immediate stop to building property and roads.

emma toghill
2023-01-06 15:54:02

The woodland trust has said that if there are any ancient trees in danger through this development, they may be able to intercede

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