Harlow Council welcomes East Herts’ “historic” planning permission for Garden Town

News / Sun 5th Mar 2023 at 09:31am

HARLOW Council has welcomed the historic decision to grant planning permission for 8,500 homes to be built as part of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

Earlier this week, the application, submitted by Places for People, was brought before the East Herts Development Management Committee in the single largest application ever seen by the authority.

Approval means plans can now move forward for the creation of six of the seven villages that are planned for the Gilston area of the Garden Town.

The principles behind the application were established as part of the East Herts Local Plan, which was formally adopted in 2018.

The seventh village, which is set to be developed by Taylor Wimpey, is subject to a separate planning application for 1,500 homes and is still to be heard by East Herts. In total 10,000 homes will be built between now and 2050 and beyond.

Commenting on the successful application, Councillor Michael Hardware, cabinet portfolio holder for regeneration and strategic growth and Garden Town board member, said:

“This is a great day for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. We have seen history made with the largest application our neighbour and partner East Herts has ever heard being approved and can now look forward to seeing the Garden Town begin to take shape.

“It’s not just about the much-needed homes either – the approved application includes plans for six primary and two secondary schools, healthcare facilities, a leisure centre and sports facilities, and 29,000m2 employment space. This displays the Garden Town partnership’s commitment to providing our area with vital education and job opportunities, as well as new homes.

“In addition, the Garden Town development will have direct benefits to Harlow itself through financial contributions of around £271,000 for the Playhouse Square project and up to around £1.1 million for our local libraries, as well as major improvements to our cycle path network. These and many more benefits are made possible through the agreements we have in place with the developers.

“In total, Harlow is set to benefit from £90 million in investment for facilities and infrastructure as we integrate into the Garden Town.

“We do recognise there are concerns about impacts to the environment and local infrastructure. The development will come with significant areas of green space with community and country parks and there will be green ‘buffer zones’ separating the villages, and locally we are already progressing with improvements to the Harlow infrastructure, with works already under way on Fifth/Zelenskyy Avenue and the bus station/transport hub project set to start in the coming months. This will create a sustainable transport corridor connecting Harlow to the new villages.”

Councillor Russell Perrin, leader of Harlow Council, said:

“This point in time has been years in the making. As you would expect with a development of this size a huge amount of work from our officers and those at our partner councils (East Herts, Epping Forest, Essex and Hertfordshire County) has gone into creating a bold vision for the Garden Town to create a new community with Harlow at its heart. I want to thank everyone involved in getting us to this point.

“I am both proud and excited to be leading Harlow Council in working closely with our Garden Town partners to bring this ambitious project to fruition and look forward to seeing its full potential realised in the coming years.”

Naisha Pollaine, director of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, said:

“It’s a landmark moment for the five-council partners of Harlow and Gilston Garden Town and the most significant housing decision in the area since Sir Frederick Gibberd’s plans for Harlow were approved over 75 years ago.

“We will continue to put local people at the heart of our placemaking and work with them to create thriving communities, new job opportunities and much needed housing for existing residents and the generation that follows.

“With Harlow Council having secured the funding for Town Centre regeneration, the door of opportunity is now wide open for the local area in terms of transformative development, investment, commerce, employment, retail and leisure.

“It is vitally important that the growth of the Garden Town provides the right community and physical infrastructure for the residents already here in East Herts, Harlow and Epping Forest and those to come. 

“For this reason, the growth of Gilston includes the direct delivery of a range transport improvements, investment in skills development and funding to the value of around £90m for services and infrastructure enabled by the Places for People proposals.”

You can read the full list of the Heads of Terms, detailing the contributions to be made as part of the Garden Town development, athttp://democracy.eastherts.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=118&MId=4274&Ver=4&J=3 under Appendix C.

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34 Comments for Harlow Council welcomes East Herts’ “historic” planning permission for Garden Town:

Kim Oconnor
2023-03-05 10:34:31

Mr perrin, I was wondering where you have been for the last week, have you been laying low. All this infrastructure you speak of, meaning schools ,health care, ect ect ect, all this will not be built until the unaffordable housing estates are built, am I correct, which means putting more and more pressure on Harlow s, school s, health care, ect ect, am I correct.???? People of Harlow do realise that council tax from theses estates goes to Herts, that's correct is it not.??? And am I right in thinking that we will have 20,000 people from out side Harlow coming into Harlow, so there for they will be travelling out side of Harlow for there jobs. Hence why theses project s are built round stations. 20,000 or more cars arriving in Harlow. It will probably be more like 40, 000. A lot of pressure on a very small town, don't you think. We were promised 40% social housing, it's now 23%. Just be honest, there's a lot of things changed in theses plans. This is a monster build that has no benifts to Harlow, its residents or helping the appalling mess of people waiting on homes, because most of them wouldn't be able to afford them. This is a rade on our green belt pure and simple, destroying wildlife habitat s, our old tress , Ecosystem s You have all ready told us, you carnt save all wildlife. And the destruction of our river stort valley. You people talk of wellbeing, when your taking our last place of peace and harmony away from us. The very thing that makes us better. You all are destroying the environment, when you should be thinking of savings it. It's land grabs, greed and profit at its very best.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-03-05 11:09:45

These two Harlow Councillors should be representing Wards in East Herts not Harlow. Cllr Hardware's fourth paragraph says it all really, greenwashing over all the legitimate concerns raised at the recent planning meeting, explaining how wonderful it will be to live in one of the new villages, creating a new transport corridor so residents can catch a bus into town but no-where else. Cllr Perrin's fifth paragraph is also worth noting, is he talking about us residents in Harlow and if so, how does the his party intend to do that? As for placemaking, what on earth does that mean for those of us already living here? Our Councillors should be ashamed of themselves.

Kim Oconnor
2023-03-05 11:25:44

Spot on Nicholas. Shame on them all.

2023-03-05 11:31:33

I suppose it makes sense to build houses outside, but close enough to Harlow, so better off Harlow residents can move into them to make way for the low paid being forced out of Greater London by gentrification. Just wish they would say so instead of pretending good things are coming. Now the planning has been finished to such a high standard ,can I have my crayons back

2023-03-05 12:15:57

I am sure many aspiring Harlow residents will be looking to buy these houses just as they have in Newhall. Much of Harlow was built at the same time and is falling into desrepair at the same time. Given that many older estates have become very mixed between private and council, it makes full regeneration very complicated. On the whole the private owned homes are much better maintained as is apparent; people will invest in their own property. Naturally, moving to a new fully private development will be an attractive proposition for many. We have seen how much nicer Church Langley and Newhall are to most of the older estates. This is nothing more than natural evolution. We should welcome newcomers too. They will improve the demographics to support a vastly improved Town Centre leisure and retail offering.

Kim Oconnor
2023-03-05 12:46:11

You say many people will buy into them from Harlow, only if they can afford to Maureen. And only if there offered them Maureen. How long have we been waiting for a new hospital.??? And the reason s for the older estate s, falling in to disrepair is that theses councils have done no maintenance on them for years. Of course people like to own there own property s,, but we must not forget those in need ,and waiting for homes that can not afford to be in that position.. I do not believe, and will never believe in social cleansing, like you Maureen. We must never forget the residents the local people that live here, especially those that need the most help.

Iain Lindsay
2023-03-05 12:48:52

This HGGT completely misses the mark. Harlow, and the other New Towns were built completely as council housing. A lot of council properties did become private residences after Thatchers RTB scheme. This won't solve the lack of housing in Harlow as the majority of these properties will be private and unaffordable for most. There not even in Harlow. Its pointless talking about a travel corridor to the Town Center for shopping, when the Town Centre will become a concrete jungle full of unaffordable housing with no retail offer.

2023-03-05 14:15:41

Kim O’Connor anyone is able to buy the properties. There will be no restrictions. Those that are affordable will probably be offered to those on the East Herts housing list as it falls under their authority. That could change if the entire HGGT became a single authority. I have never mentioned social cleansing. That is what a number of unscrupulous London boroughs have done exiling their undesirables to places like Terminus House which is a disgrace and has resulted in increased crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour in our already destitute town centre. These people need to be sent back to their authorities as the regeneration programme begins.

2023-03-05 15:31:35

All this just illustrates how broken and corrupt the planning system and the Conservative Party are. How can we trust Councils who have key counsellors working for property developers who boast of "liberating" green belt land? Harlow. £271k for the Playhouse is not even the price of a third of the cost of one house of the 10,000. And as for libraries, if the Conservatives hadn't dismantled and closed so many of our libraries the £1.1 million being spread over the whole region, not Harlow. Natasha Polaine, a significant decision that reverses and betrays all of Sir Frederick's plan.

2023-03-05 15:39:33

Note £90 million "benefit" to Harlow is the price of the Eastern Crossing, a raised culverted road running down into the River Stort Valley that will destroy the ecology and environment (as pointed out by the Environment Agency) and increase the risk of flooding and sewage discharges into Harlow and cause gridlock congestion on the eastern side of the town. All "benefits" Harlow can do without.

2023-03-05 17:03:06

We are not Harlow, High Wych and the surrounding area has nothing in common with the low income ,drug ridden, benefit driven community that lives in Harlow. We are a village, if we are dumped in with Harlow it will be open to creeping development that will consume the village. We have needs that are particular to a rural life, we need regular public transport, improved street drainage and health services that are local. If dumped in Harlow they will take all our taxes and nothing will be spent on our village.

Kim Oconnor
2023-03-05 17:45:09

Excuse me George, don't put every body in the same box. We are a Town, we are no different from any other town, that has problems. But don't class every body the same.

2023-03-05 17:51:00

Just how this development got planning permission is beyond me. It does nothing for the resident's of Harlow. Another part of the green belt gone forever, a massive increase in traffic on our already gridlocked roads, a pie in the sky plan for a new transport hub. Do the planners really think people will ditch their cars and use public transport, given the abysmal service we have already. And again, no new hospital on the horizon. Just hope the powers that be remember what they have voted for when local election time comes round.

2023-03-05 18:13:22

Kim O’Connor, Harlow has the second highest crime rate in Essex. It has a massive drug problem. The town centre is disgusting, full of drunks and petty criminals around the Bus Station. It has really gone down over the years. People like George live in a pleasant, safe village with a strong community. They clearly feel they have nothing in common with Harlow and prefer not to be associated with it. They have much nicer towns like Sawbridgeworth, Stortford, Ware and Hertford nearby. They clearly neither want nor need Harlow. These villages should have as much say about HGGT as Harlow. They are directly in the firing line much more than Harlow.

Kim Oconnor
2023-03-05 20:22:51

I'm not saying Maureen they shouldn't have as much say am I. The village s are not being heard , the same as Harlow people are not being heard, over theses estates being built. And we the green party turned up for the meeting at Herts on Tuesday, we saw that the village s are not being heard, the same as Harlow and all the thousands of signatures against this monstrosity, are not being heard. Maureen you need to decide what side of the fence you sit, because at one hand your all for theses builds, and the next your defending the village s,. Let me tell you Maureen that's we the frends of Latton Island and the green party and the Aliance party, have been fighting theses Gilston project s for a long time. So don't tell me we are not on the side of the village s. What I was objecting to is putting every body in the same box. Harlow has its problems like any other town. But we are not all criminal s.

2023-03-05 21:39:07

Kim. I totally understand where you are coming from with your comments. But the population is getting larger , and they need somewhere to live. You seem intelligent, you tell us the best thing to do. As you obviously don't want nimby.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-03-06 08:56:56

Turkey, what worked in the 1940's is just as relevant now as then. Build a New Town. Don't keep bolting on new developments to existing ones which is what is happening to towns and villages across the whole of the South East of England and beyond, places where existing infrastructure cannot cope.

Kim Oconnor
2023-03-06 09:44:22

Nicholas, I wasn't going to mention this, but decided to. We went to meeting, but we wasn't allowed in, we had to go in a side room, and watch on the screen.

2023-03-06 10:05:11

I see the three unwise prophets of doom of Harlow are up early this morning. Why you three feel the need to churn out your opinion on every article on Your Harlow, ad infinitum, is beyond me. You do not speak for Harlow, you just speak for yourselves, three opinions out of 87,000. Thankfully, most of the population of Harlow are not as miserable as you.

Luke Burton
2023-03-06 10:14:45

George is spot on.

2023-03-06 10:31:42

The villages had a neighbourhod plan: written and dictated by the developers and an officer seconded from the Council. It's known officers are put under pressure by Cllrs to toe a party line, so we get the highly inaccurate target of 300,000 homes to be built every year imposed over common sense. The neighbourhood plan clearly said that the villagers didn't want anything to do with the urban rubbish Harlow. Fine, but hggt pfp just wants to dump on Harlow. One reason is to use J7a, this only because several years ago the residents of Sawbridgeworth blocked a new road to connect Harlow North (Gilston estate development) to the M11. The developers then duped Harlow Council and have run the greenwashing campaign simply to drive two routes through Harlow. The central crossing that'll take flood plain and the Eastern raised road culverted barrier crossing to run all the traffic into Harlow. Nicholas is exactly right: Herts and Epping/ Essex should have built two new ultra green towns. Better still built a new town in Norfolk, instead of the sometime promised demolishment of RAF and USAF airforce bases Lakenheath and Milden Hall used them instead of the third runway at Heathrow. Norfolk needs the employment opportunities that such a development will provide.

2023-03-06 10:38:04

George: then why did the villages vote for hggt pfp Gilston Estate development?? Towns reach a maximum load capacity, Harlow has already reached that point. The eventual aim is to grow by 132000 new homes with Epping and East Herts latching on like parasites to the town

2023-03-06 11:53:45

Nic that seems feasible.

2023-03-06 11:56:57

So Kim why were,nt you going to mention you was not allowed in a meeting. Was it embarrassing.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-03-06 13:39:08

TD, To respond to your response, lets not forget that 6000 people registered their objection to the proposal river crossings to allow the development of Green Belt land to the North of Harlow and nearly 1000 to the proposal to build on land to the South and West of Harlow. You could get those in favour of these developments into a phone box. Everybody condones the destruction of the environment in other countries, but when it comes to this country, money talks. Using the local newspaper to express our views to thousands of readers is the best way to get our message across, we do not have the resources to match nationwide political parties who spend thousands of pounds on countless leaflets etc leading up to elections

2023-03-06 14:34:39

I resent all people in Harlow being referred to as criminal…….some of us are victims of crime. The biggest one being this development. The planning has been dreadfull

Mr Grumpy
2023-03-06 14:53:41

Welcome to the London Borough of Harlow !!!

View from Afar
2023-03-06 15:26:27

It’s good that so many people comment on items such as this that make us aware of what’s going on in and around Harlow. Unfortunately not everyone reads YourHarlow, some may not have internet access etc. so when it comes time to vote they don’t know the full picture of what’s actually happening and vote as they always did.

Tony Edwards
2023-03-06 16:56:29

There is much too much uncertainty over the revenue funding for my liking We already have Health colleagues registering their anger at not being consulted about clinic proposals in Gilston. We also have doubt being cast over the proposed second entrance to the station and as yet we have no revenue funding for the sustainable Transport Links. HGGT have far more work to do to prove to Harlow residents that some good will eventually come out of these proposals.

2023-03-06 19:00:20

Harlow residents are not thought of at all so that is a blatant lie. Harlow has well and truly gone to pot. I was out yesterday in the town centre and what a mess, it is a filthy dirty town. The pavements are falling apart, there is rubbish absolutely everywhere, the car situation is so bad now that i have no words. The street lighting is a joke and i am sick of reading about more and more houses being built which is only going to make the whole situation much worse. So much of the beautiful green spaces are being lost and that is shocking. We read so much about peoples mental health, well surely having beautiful parks and fields and nature/ wildlife is a fantastic thing for people but instead we are just gettibg more and more ugly concrete structures/ homes and with that obviously comes many many more people and many many more cars. The hospital is on its knees and now there will be even more people using it.waiting times are a joke and i myself am waiting for a appointment and itsgoing to be another 6-8 weeks, a time length that could be to long for me to wait as i am unsure of the medical problem that i may ready have and that scares me. We are so over populated here that our quality of life has been severly affected and that is an insult. I wonder if any of these developers etc live on a housing estate in harlow? Its all about money. A once lovely town has been 100% ruined forever. Shameful.

2023-03-07 16:32:05

What an idiot you are jaycee. Do you know most of the people who have commented? Another one that thinks its clever.lol. we laugh at you.

2023-03-07 16:45:30

George and maureen your comments are insulting and does not make either of you look like decent people so get your heads out of your *****.

james nicholson
2023-03-07 22:46:40

The council may well have welcomed this new housing estate pretending to be a village, the only way they are going to be able to increase traffic capacity is by devastating a stunning river scene and the contractors will sell off the houses at a premium, there will be sod all benefit for the people of Harlow.

james nicholson
2023-03-07 22:50:43

George and Maureen here are vile people judging by their comments. Also, Harlow wants nothing to do with a bunch of NIMBY village cretins like yourselves

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