Plans for over 8,000 homes on Harlow border set to go in front of planning committee

News / Thu 16th Feb 2023 at 09:03am

EAST Herts District Council have confirmed that their Development Management Committee (DMC) will meet on Tuesday 28 February and consider Places for People’s application for up to 8,500 new homes as part of Harlow & Gilston Garden Town. 

Consideration of this application, which comprises six of the seven new villages planned for the Gilston area, follows the granting of planning permission for supporting transport infrastructure in March last year. 

The council officer’s report published today (Wednesday, 15 February) recommends the Gilston Villages application for approval.

It includes provision for:

· 29,000m² of employment space

· Significant areas of green open space – including community and country parks and buffer zones between villages

· Six primary schools

· Two secondary schools

· Healthcare facilities

· Leisure Centre

· Sport facilities 

The committee meeting will start at 11am in the Council Chamber at Wallfields in Hertford.

Due to the application’s significance, the council has extended the usual time allocated for speakers to 24 minutes in total.

12 minutes for those speaking in favour of the application and 12 minutes for those speaking against – to be shared by all who register online.

The meeting will also be live streamed on East Herts Council’s YouTube channel.

A further application, for the seventh village and in the name of Taylor Wimpey, remains to be determined.

Councillor Bob Deering, Chairman of DMC, said: “The Gilston Villages application is the largest planning proposal this council has ever considered, with wide-reaching consequences for our district and communities for many years to come.

“That is why we have allowed extra time for residents to have their say during the meeting, which will also start earlier in the day so that Members can debate and understand all aspects of this complex application thoroughly.”

For more details on how to register to speak, contact: [email protected]

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24 Comments for Plans for over 8,000 homes on Harlow border set to go in front of planning committee:

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-16 10:17:13

Strange how you talk only of the seven villages, not a mention of the destruction that will be done to our river stort valley, strange how you haven't mentioned in this article the four lane road that will be going over this beautiful river, destroying a whole Ecco systems, the destruction of our old trees, and the destruction of wildlife habitat s, I could go on, but you all ready know this , but not a care goes into the environment issues. The people of Harlow have had there say on this , by providing a petition to Herts, with 6,000 signatures, protest s against this monstrosity, this will destroy this river, and will ruin the only peaceful place we have now in Harlow. You know this is fact, but you care not for public options. As usual we are not seen or heard . Theses unaffordable housing estates, which are , NOT A GARDEN TOWN, are unaffordable to most that live here in Harlow. It will bring thousands into Harlow, with no consideration to infrastructure what so ever, we are all ready grid locked here, but you all wouldn't know this, because none of you live here. The people of Harlow have all ready spoke of disapproval of this matter, but it seems the people that keep you all in your jobs, have not a voice. You all know we are against this in Harlow, but still the thunder roars around your thrones, with greed and profit at the forefront..

2023-02-16 16:47:38

As I have said previously, HGGT only makes sense if the whole project is brought under a single authority. Infrastructure needs to be coordinated. Harlow, within it existing boundaries, has by far the highest population density of any comparable Post-War New Town. Unless we are going to destroy our green areas, the only answer is to expand the boundaries of Harlow incorporating HGGT. If not, it will be a mess.

2023-02-16 18:22:41

You could build quite a few homes in the potholes that litter the Harlow roads. Maybe Tory Haflon could spend some money on fixing the current infrastructure. Could speak to his mate Michelle Mone, she's got a few bob now...... For god sake vote these fools out in the local elections. They're not Conservative they are corrupt!

Neil WB
2023-02-16 20:02:14

I think your right Simon, this town is slowly being turned into a Slum, broken and dangerous paving everywhere, missing curbs, traffic islands without the fitted lights, leaves blocking drains and of coarse.. flipping potholes.. Harlow has become tatty and uncared for..One of the few roads that is actually free of potholes is Fifth Avenue from Sainsbury's to Eastwick roadabout....but guess what? Our council in its wisdom has authorised it to be ripped up, the Railway Roundabout to be offset and the Eastwick roundabout to be removed and turned into a complicated traffic light assisted crossroad leading into this new housing estate...ohh and no through traffic to Gilston/ Sawbo...complete mess

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-16 20:05:27

You are right James. When you look closely at the report you will see that much is expected of Harlow to make the Plan work, but we residents were of course never consulted about HGGT or the EFDC Plan despite the effect it will have on us who already live and work here. 40% of the outstanding retail space needed is expected to be provided in Harlow. Despite talk of sustainable transport corridors, with the best will in the world the Plan can only mean even more congested , damaged, polluted roads across Harlow. We can only hope that your Conservative colleagues at EFDC vote against the Plan.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-16 20:09:34

My previous comment was about the EFDC Plan. despite this, much of what I have said can be attributed to the East Herts District Local Development Plan as well.

2023-02-16 20:18:41

Can everyone stop being so negative it could be worse there could be 8501 houses

2023-02-17 01:54:24

Can our B roads sustain the additional traffic from 8500 new homes. I hope Harlow Council have assessed the plans and impacts to Harlow.

2023-02-17 09:04:37

Nick, why are you talking about the Epping local plan when this application is in East Herts? You are just confusing people. Yes, we do want new residents from both to come into Harlow and spend their money here: it is why we are starting to regenerate our town centre.

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-17 09:30:07

Michael Hardware. Regeneration at what cost.??? Regeneration on homes are not being built for the 5000 people waiting on homes here in Harlow, if they were may be it would go down better, theses unaffordable housing estates, are unaffordable to most here. You want to bring thousands more people here, with no infrastructure what so ever, our services are suffering now. This Regeneration project is for greed and profit, not for the people of Harlow.. remember the people who keep you all in your jobs. Your Regeneration plan, will see the rest of Harlow crumble, as it is now. And the destruction of the river stort valley in the process.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-17 11:57:55

Michael, I did correct my original comment. Clearly building thousands of homes around Harlow is nothing about need (witness the U Turn with regard to building affordable homes at Gilston), but all about greed by land and property speculators and developers. What is being touted now is exactly the same as when Church Langley was on the drawing board. It does not help anyone already living here whose council home is in need of repair, the run down appearance of most housing estates, damaged roads and paths, overgrown trees, a hospital no longer fir for purpose and other public services stretched to breaking point. Our two neighbouring councils and Herts CC will of course reap the financial benefit of thousands of new homes, the latter will not be paying for road repairs in Harlow for example. This whole HGGT project was ill conceived from the outset, Harlow's boundary should have been moved so that decision about the future of the Green Belt would be taken in the Civic offices in Harlow, not Hertford and Epping.

James Leppard
2023-02-17 15:26:25

I agree with Nicholas Taylor that HGGT has to be under a single authority and Harlow is the logical choice. With increased boundaries (as were made for Church Langley and Newhall) it becomes more feasible and can be better coordinated with regard to infrastructure needed. Harlow is currently at saturation point with regard population density and infrastructure strain. We need a new, greatly improved town centre for this growing population, similar to was was successfully undertaken in Bracknell, another New Town built at a similar time to Harlow. If we are to attract high tech industries, we will attract and train a skilled workforce who by definition will demand improved services, shopping and leisure options. It has been done in Bracknell and Welwyn/Hatfield. No reason for Harlow to continue to lag behind. We need ambition to raise our game as other New Towns have done.

Richard Adams
2023-02-17 16:22:32

With local elections coming up in May perhaps the leaders of the town's political parties can clearly say whether they support this expansion or not and their reasons for their position. In this way voters can express their views through the ballot box. It does seem to me that somehow this has slipped through the political process in Harlow , without proper consultation of Harlow residents. Unfortunately it seems that it is now out of Harlow's control. If it is going to go ahead, how are the Harlow politicians going to ensure Harlow levers the maximum advantage for the town?

Bobby Bobbler
2023-02-17 20:02:19

what is a sustainable traffic corridor? or an unsustainable one?! its like its been designed by a child, 4 new areas lets link them together in a straight line, dont worry about the post office/sainsburys roundabout becoming grid locked, what we need is a, everyone say it with me, Monorail!

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-18 11:12:53

The Harlow Alliance position on this matter has been outlined many times on yourharlow and I could provide a long list of why this is. Take just one when it comes to the Gilston development; There will be no new roads heading north from the development so all the traffic movements from the site will have to go on to the A414 in an already heavily congested area. Anyone wishing to travel north will have to go through High Wych and Sawbridgeworth and beyond or turn right to go to the A10 via the Amwell roundabout. Likewise, the Latton Priory development, there will only be two roads in or out, one of these via Rye Hill Road the other from an entrance not far from junction 7 of the M11. None of these developments take account of those nearby, hundreds of new homes in Ware, Sawbridgeworth etc, all adding to the number of commuters, traffic and strain on public services etc. Lets also not forget that nearly 3000 more homes are set to be built in Harlow than required by the Government. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of the Harlow Alliance Party.

2023-02-18 13:55:15

@Bobby Bobbler I've raised this numerous times, what is a sustainable corridor and still awaiting an answer. I'm interested how a high speed connection from the bus station to train station will operate at 5pm, given the 3 roundabouts in the way. Perhaps the sustainable part is these roads will be maintained to reduce wear and tear on vehicles, or all the many e cargo bikes deemed the solution for our European Dutch style new Harlow in the making.

James Leppard
2023-02-18 14:17:58

Nicholas. You are right to refer to major building at Ware, Sawbridgeworth and also there are some very large schemes in Bishop's Stortford, which together will add to infrastructure pressure.Surely the way to coordinate this is bring the HGGT area, Ware, Sawbridgeworth and Bishop’s Stortford and villages in between under a single Unitary Authority instead of the current fragmented tapestry of small district authorities. Such an enlarged authority would be able to have more coherent housing, planning and development regimes.

Demetrios Savvides
2023-02-18 15:52:17

Well I'm against this too, Harlow in the past 10years has been sold out to become a slum. Our MPs are corrupt and have allowed Harlow to be the centre of housing less favourable criminals into the town which has seen crime rates sore at our cost. Our post war town is beyond being revamp and is at a state beyond repair. Our roads the past 3 years are a joke, that has cost me alone a fortune in tyres. Suspension, alloy wheel etc. Our infrastructure is also at its ends as we are in a gridlock every damn morning and evening to be told that we are soon to pay a congestion charge to live here. Sirs I say NO, clearly there is a back payment of corruption in our office if this goes ahead. This is Joke I say

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-18 17:53:02

James, lets also not forget the huge quarry that is going to be dug between Stansted Abbots and Eastwick which will see thousands of lorries every month using the A414 to the A10. A lot of merit in what you say, however I suspect that many people living in the areas you mention would not like to be sucked into an expanded Harlow. A close look at a map though clearly shows where a new boundary line could have been drawn to take in the HGGT area which would not affect many existing residents, much of what is proposed is of course on open fields.

James Leppard
2023-02-18 21:17:13

Nicholas, if all these developments continue, we will all be ‘sucked’ into a mini conurbation. It will not be an ‘expanded Harlow’ but rather a logical grouping of closely linked towns.

James Leppard
2023-02-18 21:40:52

Nicholas Taylor, if you look at the post war New Towns around London, the majority have seen their borders expanded: Basildon and Billericay: HemelHempstead became part of The Borough of Dacorum that includes the towns of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring and Kings Langley. The two new towns of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield merged into a single authority and took in much surrounding rural areas. Bracknell became an expanded Bracknell Forest district, again incorporating surrounding smaller urban areas and villages. These have generally had far better outcomes than Harlow in socio-economic terms. Harlow has tended to stagnate. An expansion and transformation. Into a larger unitary authority is the logical route and the one that is likely to occur within the next 5 years.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-18 23:21:02

I think that is all wishful thinking James. Our two neighbouring authorities will never want to give up the lucrative income from all these developments around Harlow. Gilston is in Hertfordshire and EHDC is a huge district stretching as far away as Stevenage as is EFDC which stretches from Fyfield to Chigwell.. As I have said before an actual merger with either of these two authorities would be a disaster for the future of Harlow. Move the boundaries to include the whole of the HGGT area yes, any further no.

John Dunlop
2023-02-19 10:50:32

East Herts council released 7000 acres of land based on 40% of the homes being affordable. Now the developers say they wouldn’t make enough profit building 40% affordable and are only going to build 23% affordable homes. Where will our children be able to afford to live? Obviously not here.

2023-02-19 16:42:04

John Dunlop, perversely, one of the main factors that makes Affordable housing on any scale within a private development is the comparatively low cost of land in and close to Harlow. For example, Epping Forest Council requires that 40% of new developments of 11 or more residences are ‘affordable’; in Harlow, it is 30%, but frequently, it is not viable for the developer as is independently verified. Remember, Epping land prices and rents are higher so there is more scope to absorb the ‘Affordable’ element. Harlow house prices are still considerably lower than neighbouring areas and comparable New Towns established around the same time. This is not necessarily praiseworthy; it shows how Harlow has slipped behind its peers.

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