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Letter to the Editor: Building on the border of Harlow: We should have been consulted

News / Mon 20th Feb 2023 at 01:21pm

The Planning Inspector tasked with looking at the Local Development Plan (LDP) proposals of Epping Forest DC (EFDC) has now completed his work and effectively signed off the document. This should come as no surprise because many other Plans from across the Country have been completed despite flying in the face of opposition from residents.

The Planning Inspector has completely ignored the fact that following the creation of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town in 2017 residents across the whole area should have been consulted in the same manner and at the same time. The three District Councils have worked closely together on many aspects of their Plan but in one important respect, that of consultation, they deliberately failed to do so, despite the effect the Plan will have on where residents live and work.

The Inspectors report notes at page 14 that much of the need for more homes is to take account of the increase in migration from London. The purpose of designating land as Green Belt was to stop urban sprawl. The EFDC LDP now strips this status from a huge swathe of land along three of Harlow’s borders in order to achieve the number of new homes required of it by Government, a number which has now effectively been dropped.

This matter is now in the hands of the 55 Councillors at EFDC who are due to vote on the matter early next month. The Harlow Alliance Party will continue to oppose this Plan. Back in October 2021 the Party wrote to the Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities and will do so once again, supported by over 850 residents who have signed it’s petition in opposition to the Plan. If you have not already done so you can join our opposition by signing the petition which can be found here. 

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-building-on-harlow-s-green-belt

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6 Comments for Letter to the Editor: Building on the border of Harlow: We should have been consulted:

Theman
2023-02-20 14:57:03

I am surprised that only 850 signed the petition. I think this just represents the level of apathy by the general public. They all seem willing to complain, but are not willing to get involved. If you do not get involved you cannot really complain about what you end up with. For the record i did sign the petition.

Save our Stort and Town
2023-02-20 18:42:18

Add to that the 6000 who have already submitted a petition to Harlow and East Herts Council and on the related transport issues, part of which is the Eastern Raised Road Crossing in the River Stort Valley Robert Halfon MP stood up and told hggt pfp and the three Councils to "go back to the drawing board "

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-20 20:16:17

Save our stort and town. You beat me to it. Theman,, add that to the 6,000 signatures that we handed in at Herts, by frends of Latton lsland. It would of been a lot more if was allowed to run, people still do not know what's going to happen down there, because every article theses councils put up, never ever mention the destruction of our river stort valley, by building a 4 lane road right through it. If you would like to back this, theman we have a protest at Herts in sainsbury Square, at 10 o cloak, February 28th, next Tuesday. It would be nice to meet you.

Michael Hardware
2023-02-20 21:59:24

Yes, although the three councils worked, and do work, together on the design and implementation of the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town, each council's local plan has been its own responsbility, although the policies and implementation are the same across all three local plans. The principal of development around Harlow was signed away by the previous Labour administration which agreed the HGGT deal in 2017 and then withdrew the objection to development south and west of Harlow. But neither of the main parties have been opposed to development north of Harlow. Harlow residents were able to participate in all the various consultations undertaken in both East Herts and Epping Forest, and will continue to be able to do so.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-20 22:51:38

Michael, you can kid some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Neither your Party or Harlow Council made any effort to advise residents in Harlow that they could comment on the Plans of neighbouring Councils. Whilst some residents were invited to meetings held by developers of land to the South and South West of Harlow some years ago, they were not kept informed about the Local Plan. It is a fact that residents living in Katherines were never advised of what EFDC intended to do in respect of land within just 30 feet from their back gardens. HAP's case to the Secretary of State is that the EFDC Plan is not sound because since 2017 when HGGT was formed these Councils have worked together but not when it came to consultation. You know as well as I do that Harlow Council took specific steps not to involve residents when producing it's own Plan, even to the extent of not writing to residents when land close to their home was set to be included for development. On your last point, EFDC do not accept questions at committee from anyone who does not live or work in their District. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of the Harlow Alliance Party

Neil Warner Bakee
2023-02-21 17:38:11

Cllr Hardware, you have still not owned up that you were a Paid consultant for Hgggt latton Priory whilst being both A Essex County Councillor and a Harlow councillor.. Your firm boasted as much on its website..that is why I was surprised that it was you that was chosen by the Council to object to this development. Furthermore.. Harlow council only in recent years purchasesd Mark Woods (?) on Latton Common from the Forestry Commission, in what ways is this nature reserve to be protected now this Housing development is planned against it's boundaries

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