Letter to Editor: Harlow Tories crying “crocodile tears” over Latton Priory

Politics / Sat 7th Jan 2023 at 04:04pm

Dear Editor,

COUNCILLOR Hardware’s article is clearly just another example of more crocodile tears from Harlow Conservatives, seeking to distort the truth in the hope that his Party can retain seats on Harlow Council in a few weeks time.

Firstly, Harlow Council is one of the five Local Authorities signed up to the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town and despite the pledge to stop the proposal to build on the Green Belt on Harlow’s border made before the Local Election in May 2020 they are still working closely with the others authorities on this project.

Secondly, the development is not an extension of Harlow. The Green Belt around the town lies in the Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) area. They will receive the New Homes bonus, Council Tax and Business Rates payments from the new occupants, who will in turn get their bins emptied, streets swept and receive all the other services provided by EFDC.

Thirdly, Cllr Hardware does not say his party objects to homes being built on the Green Belt. What he actually says is that they are concerned about the quality and the number of homes being built, the lack of infrastructure needed and who will pay for it.

The Conservatives can say they have opposed this development but until recently this was only expressed in the Council Chamber in Harlow, not when and where it really mattered. The draft Local Development Plan of EFDC was published as long ago as 2018 and a Planning Inspector was appointed by the Government to examine the Plan. Residents, businesses and interested parties across the EFDC District were invited to comment on the proposals. Neither Harlow Council or Harlow Conservatives advised residents of this opportunity despite the effect these plans will have on where they live and work.

Following this, the Planning Officer invited those who had responded to the consultation to participate in the many public hearings held at the Civic Offices in Epping. These were held during the period February to June 2019. The Harlow Alliance Party (HAP) was the only Party to advise residents about the Plans progress. It made a written objection and representatives attended the hearings when they were relevant to Harlow. On one of those occasions I met Cllr Simon Carter in Epping, and he told me he had forgotten the hearings were even taking place.

Fourthly,the Planning Inspector spent nearly two years before making what is known as his ‘Main Modifications’. No changes were made to the principle of building on the Green Belt around Harlow.

Further consultation has taken place since then but only in respect of these Main Modifications. 

The Conservatives at Harlow Council only made their comments known much more recently, frankly these were nearly four years too late. You too can join HAP’s opposition to the Plan by signing our petition which can be found at  https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-building-on-harlow-s-green-belt

Nicholas Taylor


Harlow Alliance Party

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1 Comment for Letter to Editor: Harlow Tories crying “crocodile tears” over Latton Priory:

Kim Oconnor
2023-01-07 19:42:29

Save our green belt. Save our river stort valley. I dread to think of the harm all theses development s are going to do. With no infrastructure what so ever. Bringing thousands into this town, when hospital s, school s and lots of services carnt cope now. Well said Nicholas.

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