New housing plans for Newhall must include community centre says planning committee
News / Fri 14th Apr 2023 at 07:12am
HARLOW Council’s planning committee got tough with planners when they made it plain that a community centre must be built as part of plans for new houses in Newhall.
Harlow Council approved two applications for 38 and 26 houses respectively at a development management committee meeting on Wednesday night.
But chair of the committee, cllr Mike Garnett was insistent on there being no more delays for a community centre.
He said: “It is time we used more stick than carrot”
Together the homes and planned new shops will form the “local centre,” which will be part of Newhall, a new neighbourhood in Harlow built on land originally part of Soper Farm.
According to a design and access statement, the two sites are underused and contain no plants or trees, rather soil from nearby developments under construction.
A section read: “Newhall Projects Ltd have set out, from the beginning, to develop in full, a high quality development. The resulting proposal was conceived on the basis of sound urban design principles and architectural approach to create a safe, secure and delightful development that fits comfortably within and compliments its Newhall setting.
“We have benefited from the constructive input and positive feedback of the public, council officers and consultees to design a scheme that we believe can deliver a highly appropriate, responsive development that makes a positive contribution to the wider community of Newhall.”
In addition to the homes, full planning permission was granted for 199 square metres of flexible commercial space and additional car parking, as part of the first application.
For the second, detailed permission was granted for the access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the homes, as well as car parking and infrastructure works.
The plans were first considered by the committee in December 2021. But since then, there have been more negotiations regarding the provision of affordable housing and the completion of community buildings. There was also a need to update the proposed link between the two parts of the local centre.
Six affordable homes will be provided as part of the first application, the report continues.
Economist Liam Halligan explained to Parliament in 2020 how the big housing developers use land banking and paying over the odds for land to exploit viability assessments introduced by the Coalition government in 2012 to avoid affordable housing obligations. The National Planning Policy Framework allowed developers a maximum viability (profit) of 20 per cent. Originally designed to help the building industry overcome the 2008 economic crisis, leading economists like Liam Halligan have called for viability assessments to be scrapped. See his evidence at https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/2743/pdf/
Needs a new doctors more than a community centre!
Needs a Drug rehab centre going by the amount of Mercedes and BMWs exchanging Wraps late at night!
NeilWB Interesting point I have seen a few of those as well. Tracy you are spot on it needs a Drs though it could be part of the community center
I hope if there is to be a "Community Centre" that it is for the Community as a whole
It was cllr Bob Davis seconded by cllr Simon Carter that moved an amendment to stop the developer to go on regardless without building the community centre that has been years in the waiting