Over the border: Plans for over 60 homes in Thornwood

General / Sun 8th Jan 2023 at 11:36am

PLANS for 62 homes on land in Epping have been given permission by the district council in the face of concerns inadequate crossing provision is being catered for reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The development in High Road, Thornwood, where 40 per cent of homes have been allocated as affordable housing, is one of the main roads in and out of Epping from junction 7 of the M11 and Harlow.

The current crossing arrangements envisage a refuge island but not a proper zebra crossing because the road is not wide enough for one. The eastern part of the site is allocated for 124 homes in the local plan. Another employment site is allocated further to the north.

But Councillor Chris Whitbread said it may be that a 30mph limit is imposed further up the road especially given the number of allocated sites along that stretch – with a possible relocation of a speed camera.

He said: “I believe while we are at this outline stage, it may be worth going back to highways again.

“I think some of the problem before was about the speed coming into the village particularly bearing in mind we have a black spot at Rye Hill Road, then the speed comes down to 40mph and then into a 30mph.

“Probably the 30 needs to start a bit earlier.”

He added: “It’s about repositioning of the camera. I think highways need to think about how far to push up the 30mph limit in light of the other developments that are within the local plan. I just think that’s essential and then I think that may facilitate a better crossing.”

The wider proposed development includes new vehicle access from High Road serving the whole development with pedestrian and cycle access to Carpenters Arms Lane and a new 1.9ha community public open space with walkways and community orchard.

Adriana Jones (officer for North Weald Bassett Parish Council) said: “It should however be noted that Thornwood residents will still suffer some degree of disruption and hassle form the development. £66,000 is the amount put forward for community facilities that are being proposed.

“While on face value £66,000 seems a considerable sum of money, this does not go far when it comes to the purchase of play equipment. The parish council hopes for a larger financial sum for Thornwood residents and request it is part of any section 106 meetings.”

However Matthew Corcoran from CDS planning, agent for the applicant Epping Road Ltd, said that financial contribution was index linked.

He added: “It is our ambition to work with local housing providers so affordable housing is directed towards members of the local community within the parish to help access the housing ladder.

“These proposals unlock an allocated development site which will see a significant array of public benefit for the community and supports the council’s local plan and the application is truly sustainable development.”

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16 Comments for Over the border: Plans for over 60 homes in Thornwood:

2023-01-08 14:02:17

More homes ?...

Kim Oconnor
2023-01-08 18:22:55

More unaffordable housing estates. And more damage to Environment, and our beautiful river stort valley.

2023-01-09 10:10:48

Kim O’Connor, what has Thornwood Common got to do with the River Stort or HGGT?

Kim Oconnor
2023-01-09 10:27:03

James ,, do go follow some one else, it's getting boring.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-01-09 13:30:11

James, this development will fill in another part of the Green Belt between Harlow and Epping. Creeping development which in years to come will see a complete urban sprawl from London to Bishops Stortford.

2023-01-09 15:02:40

Nick, I don’t disagree, but we have the eternal dilemma: those that want more houses to satisfy demand, whilst preserving the green spaces and green belt. How is it possible. We want more companies based here to provide good employment. People with the requisite skills need places to live. Whether private houses or social houses are built, the environmental impact is the same. Harlow has seen its population increase by over 10,000 since 2011 yet our boundaries remain unchanged. We have a high population density. HGGT highlights the defects of several local authorities seeking to operate. The only sensible solution is to expand Harlow or merge with a neighbouring council. Even then, housing demand in this part of England will continue. There seems to be no magic solution.

2023-01-09 16:03:58

I agree with James and I would sooner expand towards Epping than Sheering where the Stort Valley is located! and if these homes are going behind Berecroft etc then they wont touch Harlow other than shopping and lets face it with all the bus lanes planned there should be room for a park and ride as well on M11 junction!

Nicholas Taylor
2023-01-09 18:47:40

James, as I have said before, any merger with EFDC would be a disaster for Harlow, just ask the Loughton Residents Association, who like Harlow Councillors would be in the minority and have zero influence about what is going on both across the whole District as well as Loughton itself. On the question of employment, the plans will bring many many thousands of new residents, but not nearly enough jobs. At the end of the day, we have to make the best use of the resources we have, build homes for people to downsize, not just keep building more of the same. Harlow Council would have been better spending the recent £21 million loan on buying up land around Harlow so it would have full control over it's future. Problem is Tomcat, those in power in Harlow support development to the north and EFDC want to fill in the Green Belt to the south.

2023-01-10 09:28:51

Nick, I am not advocating a merger with any particular authority, I just believe the move towards larger unitary authorities is inevitable in order to gain economies of scale and better procurement. The current two tier system in confusing and inefficient. Counties such as Buckinghamshire and Dorset have abolished all District councils and now have a single countywide authority. In Essex, Thurrock and Southend are unitary authorities. Housing and the provision of services can be delivered better and more cost effectively. Harlow is just too small to meet the conflicting challenges for housing, protecting green spaces, etc whilst relying on Essex and other authorities for the provision of infrastructure, roads, etc. This makes it very difficult to form and implement a decent development strategy as we have seen over the years.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-01-10 09:38:16

Sorry James, I will have to agree to disagree. The Council already shares services with other Councils but there is a limit because of the political make up of Councils. Take it from me, the housing service in Harlow is very different from that at EFDC for instance. I stand by my comment that a merger with another authority would be a disaster for Harlow. As is happening now, virtually every green space in Loughton is being built on whilst the leafy village of Theydon Bois is left alone, the same thing would happen in Harlow if a merger with any of Harlow's neighbours took place.

2023-01-10 10:16:44

Fair enough, but this has to transcend local politics. It is about efficiency. I cannot see how much more housing can take place in Harlow given the existing density. Part of the problem is demand in this region. We lack land. Many want more housing, but ‘not in my back yard’. It is irreconcilable.

2023-01-10 10:22:29

Fair enough, but this has to transcend local politics. It is about efficiency. I cannot see how much more housing can take place in Harlow given the existing density. Part of the problem is demand in this region. We lack land. Many want more housing, but ‘not in my back yard’. It is irreconcilable. When Harlow designated a New Town around 1947, the UK population was 49 million. In 2022, it has increased by 38% to 67.7 million. That means a lot of new homes filling green spaces.

Kim Oconnor
2023-01-10 19:20:30

I think if you go out and knock on doors, and talk and listen to people. You will find that most people will say, it's not unaffordable housing we need, but council houses, for future generations, with no right s to buy. This is not satisfying demand, this is only satisfying people who can afford it, and most will come from out side Harlow to occupy theses property s. I could write a hole list of things, where people in this town have been , over looked, not heard. Bringing thousands more people into a small town with no infrastructure is a recipe for disaster.

2023-01-10 22:09:10

Kim O’Connor, I recognise the point you are trying to make, but building private houses or council houses has precisely the same environmental impact. We have so little available land. We have a very high density of population. We need to expand our borders and become part of a larger unitary authority.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-01-10 23:53:37

James, if you heard how the developers were talking at the EFDC Local Plan hearings you would know that they see every green space in Harlow as a prime building site. At some stage we have to say Harlow is full, whether in 2033 or when the next Local Plan needs to take effect. The wrong homes are being built, either in size, type or tenure. The private sector has never built this country out of a housing crisis.

Kim Oconnor
2023-01-11 09:01:05

I've heard every excuse under the sun for not catering for council houses. Both party's have failed miserable. Oh we will go upwards ,, but even theses are private. Do you councils sit there and just say ,we will scrap this green belt , that green belt, till we have nothing left, , which is happening, till nothing is left. With all the high technology, you carnt build on wet lands, the new builds are having problems now, you would know that surely, would you not. Theses lands weren't ment to be built on. If we cover theses lands in unaffordable housing Harlow will flood. We have a rising problem every where now in flooding . We can not keep covering lands in concrete , councils, must see that . Tory, and Labour have had plenty of opportunity s to cater for this town, Labour only built about 20 council houses, surely you can see the years of problems that have built up. You can not bring thousands of people into a small town, with no infrastructure, one hospital,, you have no hope of getting into . Schools will over flow, as they all ready are, a hole number of serves under pressure now , God knows what it will be like when all theses unaffordable homes are built. It's short sightedness. 5000 people need council homes now in Harlow, and I'm sure if you came up with a good plan could be catered for........ But your main focus is on growth,, big corporate builds,, while sadly the rest of Harlow and its people are left behind. . While theses massive projects make you a hole load of money. You councils are surpost to represent our town,, but your focus is sadly on big builds ,, while the rest of this town is swamping in problems, and people in this town left behind.

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