Letter to Editor: Could plans for homes in Gilston hit a stumbling block?

Politics / Sun 29th Jan 2023 at 08:13am

IN the week that the future of Rank House has hit the headlines, it’s owner. Places For People could be hit with a double whammy on news that their plan to develop the land they own at Gilston Park is now facing further opposition.

The plan to develop this Green Belt land to the North of Harlow has faced opposition for decades but since 2017 has formed part of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town project. Residents in Eastwick, Hunsdon and Gilston who form the Neighbourhood Plan group had reluctantly accepted the building proposals having been assured that a sustainable community of high quality would be built.

The next stage of the planning process is due to take place on 28 February when Councillors at East Herts Council are due to discuss the planning application. It has now come to light that the developer will be unable to deliver in key areas, including sufficient affordable housing, timely delivery of infrastructure and contributions to acute and primary care.

Councillors are being urged to reject these plans because the pledges made by the developers when they successfully obtained permission earlier in the planning process are turning out to be empty words.  

So, is there any link to Rank House? Well, developers of new flat blocks to be built in the Town Centre have already gained permission to build without the need for any or very little affordable homes. Perhaps another reason for demolishing the block is to replace it with one where there is no affordable homes either.

Nicholas Taylor: Harlow Alliance Party

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3 Comments for Letter to Editor: Could plans for homes in Gilston hit a stumbling block?:

2023-01-29 09:36:04

East Herts, Harlow, Epping, Herts and Essex Councils and Cllrs need to get out of the pockets of the HGGT PFP alliance, they then might be able to see a better, more sustainable and affordable way forward and Harlow Council might start representing us Harlow residents, protecting the environment and re establishing a good quality of life here. At the same time Save Our Stort and start building the new hospital on the unused land at PAH tomorrow. Hggt pfp, all fur coat ....

2023-01-29 10:28:51

I was under the impression that the sewer that takes all the waste from this area to Hoddesdon was not big enough to take the waste from this development, and a bigger sewer would be required and that the cost of this would be prohibitive. Is this true or am I mistaken, or has a new solution been found.

Richard Adams
2023-01-29 11:00:58

You have to ask if our local conservative controlled Councils of Harlow and the surrounding districts are at odds with The conservative Government here? On Wednesday the Prime Minister in answer to a question from the MP for Dacorum Sir Mike Penning said, "this government will always protect our precious green spaces". In addition Michael Gove wrote to MPs in December about the forthcoming levelling up bill that amendments to the bill would bring i.e.: Greater protection for the Green Belt with changes to the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) Emphasis on brownfield first in order to protect greenfield development The abolition of top-down housing figures acknowledging that they are "unrealistic" Greater involvement of local communities in planning and especially local plans More control of the Inspectorate stopping developers obtaining permission through appeals against local opposition and in forcing local authorities to sacrifice Green Belt in Local Plans Strengthening neighbourhood plans Stopping land banking by introducing financial penalties for not building out when they have planning permission. None of this seems to be in line with local Conservative Council policies. Isn't it time that the HGGT proposals were looked at again to see if there other ways to achieve the additional housing needed in west Essex and east Hertfordshire.

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