Harlow Conservative councillors claim to secure Latton Priory health facility but raise wider concerns

General / Wed 7th Jun 2023 at 11:05am

HARLOW Councillors grilled representatives from the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) yesterday (6 June) on the proposed Latton Priory development, welcoming progress on key issues including a promise for a new healthcare facility. However, they raised wider concerns about the scheme and pushed for more detail.

Harlow and Gilston was designated as a Garden Town in 2017 and is expected to be made up of several new residential developments around Harlow, including the town itself. HGGT is a partnership of the local authorities involved in the project.

Latton Priory is one of the proposed developments, to be located in Epping Forest neighbouring Harlow’s southern border. A consultation on its Strategic Masterplan Framework was held in December 2022.

At a briefing for local ward Councillors about the project, HGGT confirmed a number of changes have been made to the Framework following representations made by Harlow’s Conservative Councillors in the consultation stage. 

These include new healthcare provision in the centre of Latton Priory, in addition to new schools and sports facilities. 

Sustainable drainage system wetlands between Latton Priory and Harlow have also been added, in a bid to improve drainage and limit any additional pressure on existing infrastructure.

Additional tree screening south of Corner Meadow has also been added to the Masterplan, at the request of residents.

However, the meeting also heard repeated concerns about the pressure new housing would have on Harlow’s already congested road network, questions about plans for a Sustainable Transport Corridor that would run through a green wedge, and an appeal for better consultation with Harlow Council. 

It remains unclear how many properties Latton Priory will have, with at least 1,050 new houses but potentially up to 1,500 new houses.

Staple Tye ward Councillor Alastair Gunn commented, “I’m pleased HGGT and the developers have listened to Harlow residents’ concerns and included healthcare facilities in the plan for Latton Priory. With the recent great news about Harlow’s new hospital, there’s an opportunity to improve community health services in the south of the town too. 

“It remains to be seen what this provision will be, however. I’ve pushed for clearer information and stressed that Harlow needs improved health facilities even without any additional properties.”

Sumners and Kingsmoor Councillor, Nick Churchill added, “The meeting showed that much more thinking is needed on the extra congestion another 2,000 car journeys per day would have on Harlow’s already crowded roads. There’s a real risk of gridlock on Southern Way, Commonside Road and Paringdon Road. 

“Whilst there are proposals on new bus routes which I welcome, HGGT must be far more realistic about the impact Latton Priory would have on our roads and present better plans if they are to secure support from Harlow’s residents and their representatives.”

Cllr Gunn concluded, “Harlow Conservatives have consistently opposed development to the south and west of Harlow and that includes Latton Priory. However, at this stage politicians should be honest with residents that decisions taken several years ago means the scheme is likely to proceed.

“The focus now must be on pushing for the things Harlow needs – better bus services, additional healthcare and quality schools – that Latton Priory could deliver. There’s real progress on that front. 

“However, huge problems remain that need to be called out, especially on transport. I’ll continue to work with fellow Conservative Councillors and HGGT to improve the Latton Priory proposal on behalf of Staple Tye residents.”

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10 Comments for Harlow Conservative councillors claim to secure Latton Priory health facility but raise wider concerns:

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-07 22:03:38

I think you have more against this destruction, then for. Frends of Latton lsland, 6,000 signatures, Aliance, 1,000. Lots of groups, stop Harlow north. And that's just Harlow, thats with out surrounding villages. More against. So you have not secured support from residents. The last consultation we were told that all infrastructure would be built after all unaffordable housing estates were built, can you imagine the pressure on Harlow, we carnt get to see a dentist or doctor now, I carnt imagine what it will be like on our all ready crumbling service s. But one thing I do know, blocking in all Harlow s boarders with theses housing estates that not many of us can afford is going to be disastrous. Not to mention the impact on our green belt wildlife. It will be a flooding waiting to happen. But your go a head any way.

2023-06-07 23:10:51

Ha. Ha ha...I give up..let down by Labour...given false promises by The Conservatives...this town is truly ducked...And I used to be so proud of this town.. we should change the town's name to Bye pass...cos that's what we have become...

David Forman
2023-06-08 09:02:11

Developers will use Viability Assessments, introduced in 2012 via the National Planning Policy Framework, to avoid providing healthcare facilities. The NPPF says: "Planning conditions should be kept to a minimum and only imposed where they are necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects." In layman's terms this means dont give the developers too much grief. See paragraphs 56 to 58 regarding planning conditions and Viability at https ://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-planning-policy-framework/4-decision-making

David Vincent
2023-06-08 09:15:17

Communities suffer from excess property development is because landowners/developers get all the gain when land gets planning permission. The Conservatives scrapped rights local authorities had to the planning gain land value with their Land Compensation Act 1961. Under Attlee's 1945 Labour government 100 percent of the uplift in land value went to local authorities, but under the Conservatives it is ZERO. See article https://www.youngmoneyblog.co.uk/home-truths-book-review-housing/

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-08 10:39:12


Nicholas Taylor
2023-06-08 11:09:36

More crocodile tears from the Tories in Harlow. Just to get the facts right, the Tories did not raise any objections to the Local Plan of EFDC with the Planning Officer back in 2019 and also made no representations to the Planning Inspector tasked with looking at the Harlow Local Plan in the same year. Cllr Gunn is wrong to say that the decision to proceed was made many years ago, the decision was taken by the Tories at Epping DC on 6 March 2023, just three months ago. In the recent elections Tory candidates claimed that only a vote for them could stop the development to the South West of Harlow, another lie. When people get the facts of an issue it is no wonder so many people no longer trust politicians.

2023-06-08 11:21:10

The very simple solution to the traffic problem is to very much restrict car access from the Latton development into Harlow and not destroy yet another green wedge. More roads always means more traffic. Save the cost and instead install a new walking cycle, scooter and disabled buggie track using existing tracks and changing roads into car access only with walking, cycling through priority. Add a dedicated free bus route through existing roads with park and ride at J7, J7a, Hsrlow railways stations and then the congestion issues are solved. Same applies to the highly damaging Eastern Crossing. See Facebook Dutch Cycling Embassy and strategies being used to eliminate car congestion and the German city that's had free public transport for more than 3 years. UK Councils and Government simply don't have a clue or the intelligence to really tackle pollution. ULEZ type solutions are not the answer because people who can't afford alternatives are punished (this generates opposition) rather if given incentives and lower cost attractive alternatives people would naturally not use their cars.

2023-06-08 13:20:02

Thank you to YOUR HARLOW for informing residents in a better way than any political party has.

Guy Flegman
2023-06-08 14:43:46

Even the government has realised that they should be building new towns in new locations instead of attaching estates to existing towns as the existing towns do not have the infrastructure to support the expansion. These developments were dreamt up years ago, but know the thinking has changes, should we not abandon them and look to more modern solutions. Of course this will not happen as the councils and developers are too far down the road and have vested interests ( not to mention conflicts of interest) in continuing regardless of how bad the outcome may be.

Steve Crewe
2023-06-10 08:11:27

Nick Churchill think's 😂. That's a joke. According to him,I sent him a private threatening message, and he showed it to the police. He didn't think about the how he would prove a lie 🤥. Still waiting for evidence, costing £10,000s to Harlow Council and Harlow police. Now I want the police to take me to court,as I rejected the verbal police warning. Or an apology from him and a refund.

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