Controversy over no plans for health services for over 1,000 homes on Harlow border

Communities / Fri 9th Dec 2022 at 11:24am

THE prospect of a development of at least 1,050 new homes with no health facilities has been criticised by North Weald Bassett Parish Council.

A councillor told Monday’s parish council meeting there was “no common sense” behind the decision to not include a health centre as part of the proposed Latton Priory development off London Road, Hastingwood.

The parish council is also concerned at the absence of any suggestion of a fire station or police base on the development earmarked for opposite the McDonald’s restaurant and off the M11-A414 roundabout at Hastingwood.

Latton Priory is a strategic development site allocated within the submission version of the yet-to-be-approved Epping Forest District Council Local Plan for a minimum of 1,050 homes.

Public consultation on the Strategic Masterplan Framework for the site, which forms part of the new Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, runs until January 9.

In addition to the new homes, the site is set to provide community facilities including a secondary school, primary school, nursery and pre-school facilities, employment area, central commercial centre and a large area of green space – but no health facilities.

A draft report for consultation, which was discussed by parish councillors, states: “Latton Priory has the potential to accommodate a health centre. However, discussions between Epping Forest District Council and the local health providers have indicated that there is no requirement for such a facility.

“The masterplan for Latton Priory seeks to create a health environment in which to live and work in.”

An earlier section from the document stated: “The Local Plan identifies that appropriate coommunity health facilities should be accommodated and the masterplan provides sufficient capacity within the local centre for this, although more recent discussions with local health bodies suggest that current health service strategies will not require it in this location.”

Councillor Sheila Jackman said: “I don’t see how anybody can build that number of houses and not have a health facility. There is no common sense in some of this. I do think we ought to make that point strongly in our response.”

She added: “Why don’t we approach the people who provide the health (services) because they probably don’t know about all of this? We ought to be writing to the people who provide the doctors.”

Commenting on the consultation document, councillor Terry Blanks said: “Things like this (consultation literature) are designed and paid for very expensively by people who are paid to build houses, and that’s the whole thing.

“The second part is whenever you attend one of these (consultation sessions) the question to ask is how did old smartypants with the microphone get here? And the answer is almost invariably ‘by car’, but they expect all these thousands of people (who would live in the new homes) to get about by bike.”

Councillor Andy Tyler expressed concern at the absence of any proposal to provide additional fire or police cover to serve the new housing development.

He said: “It’s just like, let’s build houses and make money and go away. There’s no infrastructure to this at all.”

Monday’s meeting was told that the developers are yet to agree on the exact point where the development will access onto London Road.

A spokesman for Harlow & Gilston Garden Town commented: “Our five council partners are all committed to community and social infrastructure in the new Garden Town neighbourhoods and a health centre for Latton Priory remains under discussion with the local Integrated Care Partnership who advise on such matters.”

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7 Comments for Controversy over no plans for health services for over 1,000 homes on Harlow border:

Mr Grumpy
2022-12-09 11:44:32

What part of "you can't put a pint in a half pint pot" don't these developers understand?

Nicholas Taylor
2022-12-09 11:51:26

Well at least the Parish Council have been able to formally comment on the matter, even though as the crow flies it is about a couple of miles away. And yet most of those most affected by these plan, that is those of us living in Harlow have never been invited to comment. I understand that nearly 3000 people were invited to respond to this consultation, but those living the closest to the development have not been made aware of this consultation. Today marks the last day EFDC residents have been given the chance to respond to the latest consultation about it's Local Plan. The Harlow Alliance Party are about to write to all 55 Councillors at EFDC urging them to take a leaf out the books of the 100 MP's who recently got changes to the new Planning Bill which will now see the scrapping of mandatory house building numbers set by Government, by withdrawing the plans to allow building on the Green Belt around Harlow.

David Forman
2022-12-09 12:00:39

I wonder if the promises of schools and nursery will be delivered? If Newhall is anything to go by, the new residents will be waiting a long time. Plus, given the current economic circumstances, the developers will be pleading poverty to justify zero affordable housing.

2022-12-09 13:16:47

They will need to move the traveller camp to build this. Good luck!

2022-12-09 13:52:55

Epping Council is just dumping on Harlow and taking the inducements from the tory government who in turn is being funded by property developers and speculative foreign investors. 12 years of total incompetence and trashing the environment.

Michael Hardware
2022-12-09 16:17:19

As far as I am aware, the NHS (in the form of the Clinical Commissioning Group, soon to be the West Essex and Hertfordshire Intergrated Care Syetem) where consulted and asked their requirements and they said they did not need a health centre on Latton Priory. As they are the authority which has the duty to provide healthcare facilities to the existing and new residents, Epping Forest Council and the developer have no choice but to listen to them. I am sure the NHS will request significant financial contributions from the developer to reinforce the existing facilities as needed. Not sure where the extra police and fire cover has come from as the site will be covered by the existing services in Harlow and Epping.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-12-09 17:42:52

Interesting comment Michael. It's a shame that your Administration has not taken any steps to inform let alone consult with residents in Harlow as part of HGGT. I learn today that even residents living along Rye Hill Road have not received notice of the Consultation. We already know that throwing money at the problem solves nothing, practices such as Lister House are already deemed inadequate by everyone who uses the service. If they cannot recruit doctors and other medically trained staff, no amount of money will help the situation.

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