Plans to preserve character of Mark Hall area to go before cabinet

News / Thu 7th Sep 2023 at 06:59am

HARLOW Council is set to confirm the introduction of planning protections to preserve the unique character and features of Mark Hall North conservation area. 

A report will be considered by Cabinet on Thursday 7 September, which if agreed will see an Article 4 Direction for the area come into force. This is currently scheduled for 28 October 2023. The direction was agreed in principle a year ago subject to 12 months’ notice and a consultation process.  

When planning Mark Hall North, Sir Frederick Gibberd intended that each estate had distinctive styles designed by different architects, resulting in unique housing groups in each estate along with associated landscaping. The Article 4 Direction is important to allow the council to manage changes to housing in the area to ensure original designs, styles and features can be preserved as much as possible.

The direction means residents living in Mark Hall North would need the council’s permission before carrying out external alterations to their home, such as:

  • Rear extensions, windows and external painting
  • Roof alterations
  • Porches
  • Rear outbuildings
  • Hardstandings
  • Chimneys
  • Gates, fences and walls.

The final Article 4 Direction has been altered following feedback from residents in the summer of 2022. This includes permission only being needed if the alterations are visible to others from a road, footpath or bridleway. Aerials, satellite dishes and solar panels have been removed from the final Article 4 Direction and do not require permission under the direction.  

Mark Hall North was designated a conservation area in 1987 and the area’s boundary was modified last year.  

Councillor Michael Hardware, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said:

Mark Hall North is one of ten conservation areas in the town and was the first neighbourhood to completed as part of Harlow new town. Therefore, it contains several unique housing styles and layouts which were new and innovative at the time that we wish to protect in future. We have been talking to residents about the extra measures that we can take to protect the character and original features of Mark Hall North. 

“These extra protections mean that residents in Mark Hall North will have to apply for planning permission to make certain changes to their home, although the protections will not be applied retrospectively. This is all part of our priority to restore pride in Harlow.   

“I would like to thank residents who have contributed their views and comments during the consultations. Many of the comments raised have been listened to and have shaped the final Article 4 direction.” 

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12 Comments for Plans to preserve character of Mark Hall area to go before cabinet:

2023-09-07 07:11:23

Mark Hall is one of the most attractive areas of Harlow so I fully support this. However, I am puzzled by the sentence re aerials etc. I thought all Harlow houses had covenants to prevent aerials although this has never been enforced that I can see

Kim Oconnor
2023-09-07 08:24:37

No alterations should be made, it's a perfectly nice place... I just carnt help thinking that, mark hall north, is just another part of your vanity project s.. There are many many unique housing styles right across Harlow, are they going to get the same priority.. Let's make it look nice, for Harlow north. A.

2023-09-07 10:05:22

Il never understand why we revere Sir Frederick Gibbard for designing some of the most boring and uninspiring concrete boxes around.

Colin Graham
2023-09-07 10:21:27

Well done Mark Hall. The same can't be said for sherard house a beautiful old housein the three horseshoe Road. It could have been turned into nice flats but no the greedy council decided to knock it down This area has a great deal of history going back to1600 so shouldn't we be given the same consideration.

Mr. David
2023-09-07 13:03:09

Don't live in or around mhm but have driven through it on numerous occasions, hats off to the residents, it's a shame other neighbourhoods can't follow suit.

Mr Mitchell
2023-09-07 14:07:01

Mark Hall North definitely one of the better new town areas. Don't mind a bit of individuality in regards to extending property as long as it's sensible. Parking is the issue though, so hope planning doesn't get in the way of providing much needed extra parking, should funding ever come that way (across the town also).

Peter Bailey
2023-09-07 15:36:29

You must be joking , Harlow needs a rethink it's a mess

2023-09-07 19:36:59

Harlow is ugliest town i entire UK,i think it needs renovation asap

Moan, moan, moan
2023-09-08 07:02:28

Peter Bailey, Max, Steven Walters.......Your home is what you make it! Complaining about something like this just shows what you lot are like. Take pride in your patch and hope it inspires your neighbours to do the same. You don't have to love Harlow by any means but taking a little bit of pride in where you live will go a long way. And if Harlow is that horrible Max I am sure you wouldn't be missed if you wanted to move away 😂

Kim Oconnor
2023-09-08 08:59:29

Moan ,moan, moan, most people do take pride in there council houses.... But there are an awful lot of things we carnt do..... I carnt get on a ladder and clear my guttering out..... I carnt mend broken curbs... I carnt get up high to clips wires hanging over my bedroom window .... We carnt replace toilet system...This list goes on.... there COUNCIL HOUSES AFTER ALL, WHAT DO WE PAY OUR TAXS FOR.... for them not to do sod all.... The reason they haven't gone bankrupt is because they don't do nought.

2023-09-09 10:06:29

Another level of unwanted bureaucracy, you won't be so pleased with this when you want to do work on your own property or sell your house. Not everybody wants to live on a 1950's council estate anymore. This should of been implemented decades ago when the right to buy came in, the horse has well and truly bolted on this project. Ironically destroying the Stort valley which borders this so called conservation area , double standards? Developers and councils can do whatever they want, but we won't even be able to have a different colour front door. Total joke and waste of money again. Kim, One thing the council can do well, is spell can't.

Kim Oconnor
2023-09-09 10:19:40

I'm not the world's best speller, but you can still read it, all said and done. P.Ford, but I agree with you.....this is a vanity project, for Harlow north...

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