Harlow Council applies for injunction to stop Gilden Park developers selling more houses

News / Mon 24th Jul 2023 at 05:19pm

HARLOW Council has now made an application for an injunction against the three housebuilders of Gilden Park for failing to uphold agreements to provide community facilities for its residents.

Injunction papers have been filed with the court. The council is currently waiting for the court to issue the application so that the consortium can be served with sealed documents relating to the injunction. 

Developers Persimmon, Barratt and Taylor Wimpey will now be subject to court action as they have failed to provide a sports pavilion and pitches, allotments, community centre and retail units as part of the conditions relating to the development (known as a Section 106 agreement). The consortium was asked in June to provide an enforceable programme stating that the community facilities would be provided in a timely manner. They failed to provide such an enforceable and realistic programme.

The injunction seeks to restrict any further occupation of the new houses that have been built until the developers’ outlined obligations are met or a suitable undertaking to provide the outstanding obligations is given to the court and the council.

Councillor Michael Hardware, portfolio holder for economic development, said:

“It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but we must stand up for those residents who have moved in to Gilden Park and currently have no local facilities within the development to enjoy. As I have said before they are missing out on being part of a community and this is down to developers not meeting the conditions of the Section 106 agreement.

“Between them, these three developers have built over 1,000 homes to create Gilden Park – it is unacceptable that these developers have not met their end of the bargain to add vital facilities into the mix, so far so we are seeking to prevent them from selling any further properties until they have met those obligations or at least committed to delivering them as quickly as reasonably possible.

“The residents of these homes will need these facilities to support the creation of this emerging new community and we will do everything we can to ensure that they have the opportunity to be part of a new community.”

The council is also working with Essex County Council to push forward plans for a school as the land has been supplied to them by developers.

The council has been in on-going discussions with the three developers and has met them on several occasions to resolve the issues without needing to resort to enforcement action. The council remains in active dialogue with the developers.

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24 Comments for Harlow Council applies for injunction to stop Gilden Park developers selling more houses:

2023-07-24 17:42:54

Actual leadership well done

2023-07-24 17:52:00

These developers dont care about anything other than building houses as quickly as they can and they get as many houses as possible onto a tiny plot. Lol. Idoubt this will be the first and last time that we hear about developers mugging people off.lol.

Tracey B
2023-07-24 18:14:59

“actual leadership”? What a joke. Gilden Way has been occupied for years. Michael Hardware’s words: over 1000 homes have been built. Harlow Council and Michael Hardware let the developers continue on regardless. Where are all the other local councillors that let this happen? Joel Charles, Mike Garnett, Sue Livings Absolute farce

2023-07-24 18:34:57

Will this actually force the developers to build the new school that was promised too?

Robert Furber
2023-07-24 18:49:11

As long as Harlow Council ‘see it through’ and don’t wimp out at the first “challenge” to the judges bench by the time undoubtably we’ll briefed Developer’s Barristers.

Francis Martin
2023-07-24 20:43:21

Absolute joke that they are taking action at this late stage. They were asked to do this years ago and did nothing!

Luke Burton
2023-07-24 21:03:53

I'm going to assume the housebuilders will settle outside of court with a cash payment in lieu of actually forking out the cash and material for these "community facilities" - and the council will just pocket the money instead.

Charlie B.
2023-07-24 22:32:12

I see no mention of Doctor's surgery, Hospital, School etc. which are the most important things for a new community. A council when giving planning should include this infrastructure before or at least at the same time as the properties are being built. At the moment these are for the foreseeable future. The council should understand that the facilities mentioned hospital, surgery etc in the areas surrounding this development are at over capacity and at breaking point. I feel for the staff etc at these facilities as it must be very difficult. I really don't understand how this could have been allowed to happen as a long with new dwellings there are new families. But above all it's not rocket science the council should have implemented this at the outset. Let's hope the council chases this up with haste and gets their finger out.

2023-07-24 22:50:24

It was the same Harlow Council which allowed all the 3 developers to build build build without ever stepping in and demanding they also build the infrastructure.....pity the only properties unsold are two blocks of social housing flats!!!

2023-07-25 01:06:26

Over a thousand houses? That combined with Newhall.. no wonder it is hard to get an appointment at Jenner House and all the docs there seemingly stressed when you do see them. What good are allotments, shops etc if can't look after your health? Need schools and medical facilities.

2023-07-25 05:14:22

Let's hope that the Local Authorities ensure there are fixed timescales to other community facilites, new roads etc. being supplied as part of planing aproval at other future developments. They could be tied to certain numbers of houses being sold.

2023-07-25 06:22:57

And in several years we will see the same action of the hggt development after Naisha Polaine running off to the next development full of promises glossy pictures and closed ears and eyes. Insisting on bus transport and electric bikes as the answer. Can the council confirm if the court file will be dropped if the developers will pay off the council this will be acceptable like other Taylor wimply estates with a donation for community projects?

Mick p
2023-07-25 07:33:51

No surprise .planning ĺaw changed section 106 years ago.this is happening 1000s times all over. I recently asked about town centre (hill developers) NO CONTRACT MADE ON COUNCIL HOMES BUILT.join defend council housing /homes for all FB.see you at pride .5th aug town pk.Harĺow and district trades union council

2023-07-25 08:15:37

😂🤣😂🤣 the only thing that interests property developers is MAXIMUM PROFITS unfortunately there are no profits for them in building shops, leaving green spaces ie goofball pitches oohh no you could fit 20 plus houses or a few hundred flats, property developers just like our government make promises, just tell the councils what they want to hear with some pretty drawings supplied then once planning permission is granted, just change to your drawings the council didn’t see and do what you want, the possibility of being taken to court has already been included in your calculations anyway so no problems, halfway through the court case make the council your undisclosed compensation/bung payment stating Harlow’s just up the road with plenty of facilities on offer job done.

Claire kingsmill
2023-07-25 08:30:46

Good for you Harlow Council developers greed is astounding and plain wrong

2023-07-25 09:09:36

I think you will find that the terms and approval for the Gilden Way development was approved in 2015 by the previous Labour administration. They clearly failed to enforce the commitments for the developers to provide the community facilities. Fortunately, this is now being addressed by the current administration.

Kim Oconnor
2023-07-25 09:33:26

What's this,,, you councils allowed the builds of all houses to be built first...we know because we were at consultation s...we heard this...you failed to commit to facilities.... who this surpost to impress...... NO SURPRISE S HERE.

2023-07-25 09:37:54

And those 1000 current residents already have a negative impact on our over saturated local GPs, schools and dental practices. It should be a priority to build more schools, gp surgery etc over recreation and shopping facilities, surely?

Kim Oconnor
2023-07-25 09:51:48

Leeta. We saw this coming, wait for the floods, when they build round our river stort valley.... wait for more houses to crack and get damp, as they are now,, theses lands were not ment to be built on....you carnt build thousands and thousands of new housing estate s with out facilities..... Theses councils know this......they knew this, it was said in consultation..that houses would be built first..... so who they trying to kid.... Mr Hardware???????

2023-07-25 12:05:37

And Essex county council will continue to approve more homes to built with a crumbling infrastructure ! Why build a new motor way link road when we are suppose not use cars ! Invest in local services or see Essex fall !!

2023-07-25 16:39:14

The council have not got a clue,the developers dont give a s#!t and we aregetting well and truly mugged off. Lush green fields will be a thing of the past in just a few years. There will also be no trees,no flowers and no wildlife,just ugly concrete buildings everywhere and people and cars. Nothing to look forward to then. Lol

2023-07-25 16:59:11

In reply to Chris's comment about HGGT. There may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. I don't usually have a lot of time for Michael Gove, but he announced that housing should be built within towns and City's instead of taking up all the lovely countryside. There is a small possibility that the HGGT development won't go ahead, which it shouldn't anyway, so if that bears fruit, we have something to thank Michael Gove for.

David Forman
2023-07-25 17:55:25

The answer is reform of the Land Compensation Act, which even former Tory Minister Sajid Javid was in favour of. Before 1961, the uplift in land value that accrued as a result of planning permission went to the state. This allowed local authorities to build community facilities and infrastructure. Economist Liam Halligan argues that the uplift in land value should be shared 50/50 between the land owner and local council. This way you won't have to rely on greedy developers. Wake up people, there is a solution.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
2023-07-28 11:07:47

Well done Harlow Council for applying for an injunction. So many other councils do not bother at such a late stage of any development programme. May I suggest when the Gilston garden village construction gets underway, you sort these issues out beforehand and make the developers sign an agreement to ensure houses and business developments/schools/drs surgeries get built at the same time. Allotments should be provided too. Looking at the aerial photograph of the Gilden Way development, it is an all-too depressing sight of houses packed in tightly, tiny gardens and barely any trees or green wedges dotted around the development. People need to breathe, they need gardens, green spaces, trees. You pay a premium for a brand new house, at least those who can afford to buy a house, give them a decent sized garden and plant a tree in each garden and enforce Tree Protection Orders on each tree. Ban the use of plastic grass whilst you’re at it! There are restrictive covenants on all new developments, please, please, ensure these are monitored and adhered to, especially the ones regarding felling of trees. If residents already have nice plantings and trees around an estate, they will hopefully take that initiative into their own gardens. Tragically, Gilden Way development is just another faceless housing estate, like so many bland and awful housing estates blighting every town in Britain. I long for the day developers put profit to one side and create something really beautiful.

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