Work starts on site to deliver Harlow Council’s housebuilding programme
Business / Wed 8th Nov 2023 at 01:07pm
WORK has started on the first of eleven schemes as part of Harlow Council’s housebuilding programme which will see 103 new council homes built for Harlow families.
As part of the council’s priority to rebuild our town, phase one of the programme is now underway, with work beginning at 11 sites before Christmas. Seven of schemes already have planning approval with more schemes going to Development Management Committee this year.
Phase 1 schemes, which includes a total of 11 sites, will provide a mixture of houses, apartments, and bungalows to meet the different housing needs of residents with sites at:
This week, work has started on the location of eight new, energy saving council homes at the first site, a disused garage area in Arkwrights. The three-bedroom homes are going to be put together using modern building methods and built off-site by Beattie Passive. They will feature high levels of insulation and solar panels for improved energy efficiency. All homes will also include allocated parking and electric vehicle charging points. The development will surround a central landscaped area, providing an improved link from Arkwrights to the existing community allotment gardens.
Work is now under way preparing the site in readiness for the homes to start being installed in spring, including preparing the site for utilities (water and electricity), as well as environmental and technical surveys. The project will be completed by autumn 2024. All homes will be allocated to Harlow families on Harlow’s Housing Needs Register.
Council Dan Swords, Leader of Harlow Council, and Councillor Michael Hardware, cabinet portfolio holder for economic development, visited the site on Monday as work got underway.
Councillor Dan Swords, leader of Harlow Council, said:
“We are delivering on our priority to rebuild our town and that includes with phase 1 of our Council House Building Programme. Before Christmas, we will be on site starting work on 103 new council homes for Harlow families and the work at Arkwrights represents the first of those schemes beginning.”
Councillor Michael Hardware, cabinet portfolio holder for economic development, added:
“This development will include electric vehicle charging points as well as energy saving measures to future-proof them for Harlow families on our Housing Needs Register. These vital features will help keep energy bills low for residents as we reduce our need for fossil fuels through renewable energy.
“The Arkwrights development isn’t just about building new council homes for Harlow families though; it is another area of our town being regenerated with this being a former disused garage block. The scheme includes a new landscaped area, providing better access for existing residents from Arkwrights to the existing community allotment gardens. We are regenerating neighbourhoods and restoring pride in our town, all with the aim of improving the lives of our residents.”
What are you going to do about the extra demand for parking when even the kerbside space for existing demand is no where near enough? I understand from looking at the plans, the houses will have driveways, but inveitably you'll have families with about 4 cars to the household because they have a work van and their children have cars of their own.
It is nice to see these homes beginning their construction phase. A sign that things are being delivered under the current Conservative administration, a pleasant change from the glacial pace under the last Labour administration prior to May 2021. the
How many will be council homes
Tony - they are all council homes. The article states quite clearly all 103 in phase 1 are council homes. That is why it is called the council house building programme.
Tomcat, it is law to have EV chargers on all new build properties.
So the former Potter Street Neighbourhood council office is to be five apartments next to a main road. No consultation with residents' of Potter Street by Cllr. Swords about the development as he suggested there would be. A disgrace.
Gary, the consultation has been running since 13 September. You can find full details here: https://planningonline.harlow.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage Or on the planning notices, or indeed on this site. You can respond to the consultation on the weblink, over the phone, in writing, via your councillors or in any other manner. I look forward to seeing your response to the council converting a disused building into 5 council flats and providing 38 new parking spaces as part of the development of the derelict land for the benefit of Potter Street residents.
How many of these desperately needed properties will still be Council owned in a few years ? and how many will find their way into the buy to let system?
Cllr. Swords is the consultation still active on this site or is it now over? I was unaware of any consultation with the residents of Potter Street: was there any? Perhaps you should visit the site with me and explain where the 38 car parking spaces will go next to a main road.
That is a good point john m thay should stay council houses
Why do I get the impression that because it is the Conservatives building these homes the non conservatives simply have to moan. Could Labour have built these homes whilst in power?
Hi Gary, the consultation is still live and you can see the plan for the new car park on the site map here which has been very strongly welcomed by all residents I have spoken too: https://planningonline.harlow.gov.uk/online-applications/files/34C3DBDA7942770BEB325AA5B2AC5A95/pdf/HW_FUL_23_00036-PROPOSED_CAR_PARKING_ARRANGEMENT_-_REVISED-808714.pdf Also you say you didn't know about the consultation, but on 28th September you commented on a story on this site about the consultation.
Cllr. Swords, how many Potter Street residents have you spoken to about this plan? Perhaps you can tell me what I said on 28th September on this site about the plan? Are you not prepared to meet me on site?
Dan, I admire your drive and get on with the projects in Harlow. It's very welcomed - thanks. I just hope you keep your rational eyes over the HGGT project to keep it for the benefit of the town and not let it take over and become the white elephant in the town. Ps. How many machines have you got around to drive when on the building sites? A frefreshing approach, it's a shame you have to be tied to one particular party as your heart is in it for the town.
Thanks, Chris - really is very much appreciated. Let's catch up soon.
It's very good news, let's hope they all stay council, 103 home s, that need car parking spaces. I know at water House Moor, (Elms Hatch) some residents are worried there's not enough parking, and all so worried that the large house being built at garage s, is going to block the light from ,first two house s.. could you look into this further please, Dan swords. As when a resident turned up for consultation on this matter , you never turned up at meeting
Very pleased to finally see we’re building something after nearly 2 years of none action. It’s a good balance of homes,flats and bungalows which should enable movement in the council stock. Several new areas have been included from the original Labour work plan. New homes are essential but we need to keep challenging the council as still too many homes are covered in plastic sheets instead of having roof repairs. Pleased that work had finally started.
Not my catchment area, but the link is dead. https://planningonline.harlow.gov.uk/online-applications/files/34C3DBDA7942770BEB325AA5B2AC5A95/pdf/HW_FUL_23_00036-PROPOSED_CAR_PARKING_ARRANGEMENT_-_REVISED-808714.pdf
Cllr. Swords, apparently the site you referred to is dead. Any idea why? What about the comments you say I made on the plan on the 28th September where are they? And no site meeting? Potter Street residents haven't been consulted have they? Is it style over substance again where Potter Street is concerned: I suspect so.
Get real these will be for the immigrants from other countries not Harlow people! How many council house tenants can afford a electric car to please tell me these car park spaces will be useless! What a waste agin of residents money
Terry you make a very ,very good point about how many can afford electric cars.... unless Mr swords knows the answer . Hence why I say hope they stay council...
what a bloody joke repair the existing repairs to housing before the new builds
Cant you make one or two of these properties into disable properties. These will be welcome for many people.
The planning consultation process is pretty obscure for most people. Some politicians prefer this. The first residents know about developments is when building starts. There needs to be letters notifying local residents, the whole ward and then public meetings, face to face. Consultation needs to take place to find out what residents want and need, plans need to be made through continuous consultation: instead politicians often just think they know best.
Kim O'Connor, your comment in reply to the post by Terry Kirby is not "a very, very good point.." In fact, it completely wrong, as Cllr Swords pointed out earlier. EV charge points are not optional. From June 2022, all new build homes and buildings in England became legally required to have electric car charging points, whether residential or commercial, as part of the Part S building regulations.
Gary Roberts, I don't mean to appear uncharitable, but why is it incumbent upon Cllr Swords to remind you of what you actually posted in September? As Leader of the Council, he does have other duties and calls upon his time. He has sent you all the relevant links relating to the project. It is really positive that this administration is building much needed council housing after almost a decade of Harlow Labour inertia.
The building site at Arkwrights which was a disused garagessite was being used for street parking. The council then decides to stop this and build new flats which will probably not be affordable housing. The roads are now full of parked cars and their response to this is to potentially put car parking on the only green space between Arkwrights and Whitewaits.This is a utter disgrace as they already had a solution but ignored that and now want to destroy a green space that's been here since Harlow New Town was born.
Potter St Community centre is a hive of activity and very noisy, and is attached to the neighbourhood office. Problem.. noise issue for residents. The car park proposed is a concrete monstrosity, and takes away a lot of trees and green space for the residents in nearby tower blocks.
Cllr. Leppard, firstly it was Cllr. Swords who told me I had made some remarks on the plan on this platform on the 28th September: I just asked him to tell me what I said then. Or perhaps you can, given the frequency of your posts on this platform. Further what consultation with Potter Street residents was undertaken by the council on the plans for the former council neighbourhood office? As for the links they appear to be dead. Finally, he apparently has time to visit other sites but not one with a concerned Potter Street resident: it says a lot doesn't it? Embarrassed he should be! However, perhaps you as a local councillor can tell me how many residents in Potter Street have told you they support the plan because I suspect they do not even know there are any plans. That office should be used for the purpose it was built: to house council staff to provide council services shouldn't it? That is a plan isn't it? Would you support it? Potter Street is not just a car parking resource it is a community needing vital services. Why don't you consult on that instead of destroying a building built to do so.
James Leppard, IT just proves to me how out of touch your government really is.. Your building Council houses correct, let's hope they remain (council ) Have you any idea how much Electric cars cost, if theses people are from waiting list, I would be very surprised if they could afford an electric car.... There for leaving theses electric points idle... this is what happens when people are dictated to... I'm just realising just how many will be idle. Even when it is made law.... There fore leaving the expense of theses charging points redundant..... Don't get me wrong I'm all for clean air, but I'm a realist. I say it as it is. THESES CARS WILL HAVE TO BE MADE AFFORDABLE... Because unlike most of you James Leppard I live in the real world..
I'm actually going to defend the council and government here and say it's good future planning by including electric charging points. If anything it ensures that at least there's going to be an electrical connection at the parking spaces even if the charging unit itself may become obsolete in a decade or so. I think this is the least of the town's problem.
Not a comment on the new project Just a sort the mess of Harlow out. The TOWN centre. lots of shops closed. The area needs repainting. & total disgrace The ROADS. The floating on the roads in this weather. Build a BIGGER HOSPITAL WERE YOU CAN Park . And not pay like Epping. Can not say HARLOW IS A NICE PLACE ANYMORE
Luke Burton makes a sound observation, which is relevant to Kim O'Connor's post. She claims electric vehicles (alongside every house in Harlow is unaffordable even though Harlow house prices are the lowest in the region and even among our New Town peer group councils). The point is that technology changes rapidly. Just look at how computers, mobile phones, etc have become much cheaper and more accessible. When Harlow was built, it was never contemplated that car ownership would reach current levels. We have to plan for the future and allow for change. Furthermore, the requirements to provide EV points are law; not at the discretion of individual councils.
Alderman Durcan. Reading your post makes me wonder if you have changed political parties as your comment says 'glad to see we're building something after nearly two years'. Then obviously go back to Labour's original work plan. That's all Labour really did, make plans and hire consultants that cost thousands upon thousands of pounds and nothing ever came to fruition did it.
Well done Dan Swords for building new Harlow Council housing stock. Now, if only there was a way to bypass the Right to Buy scheme on new stock built for a specific number of years to stop it all being gobbled up and Harlow residents are back where we started with dwindling affordable Council homes.
Not sure why everybody is objecting to future proofing these houses with EV chargers. Yes, EVs are expensive at the moment, but you can park a normal car in the space also... I'm pretty sure they have to have them regardless anyway... These houses can only surely be a positive in comparison to the previous slow progress.
AuntyBoo, the Housing and Regeneration arm of HTS Group (wholly owned by the council) was about being a landlord and buying and making a decent homes or building new homes and renting at social, affordable and commercial rents with the mix making it a viable solution, specifically for the council to allocate 2/3 of these properties to people on the waiting list that perhaps negated the right to buy rules but the council have chosen not to do this? I am sure that a councillor will confirm or not this position! Otherwise these new homes will invariably go into private ownership within a very short period of years under the right to buy at substantial discounted rates...
I need to ask if the Kim OConnor making comments above is the same Kim Oconnor that is a Green Party member hoping to become a councillor? If so I do not understand why she objects to new houses being built with EV points. Yes electric Vehicles are expensive now but they will become cheaper so of course all new builds should include EV charging points and no, they will not stand redundant, just unused for some time, meanwhile the drive attached to the new home will take one or more cars off the streets. In other words a win, win situation. Kim, please confirm if you are the Green Party member that I refer to or not. Thank you
Well done to the current administration, nice to see plenty of action and "getting on with the job" makes a nice change from the all talk no action seen by the previous party in charge
What about the new builds in purford green? Are they council of privately backhanded?
Tony wiseman . To answer your comment, if you had read my comment properly, you would know I'm not against electric cars, far from it... what I was saying is the 103 housed being built are for people waiting on homes, I would be very surprised if theses people could afford the expense of electric cars, therefore leaving the expenses of power points,standing idol. Theses cars need to come down in prices. Not being helped by the cost of living prices.. so yes I'm a green party member , with my own opions. It doesn't mean we don't want clean air we all want that, I'm just being practical.. of course it would be absolutely brilliant if we all drove electric, but until its made affordable I carnt see in reality if it would work for most of us that carnt afford. My opions, my thoughts, my truths.