Controversial plans for new housing off Churchgate Street set to go before planning committee

News / Sun 3rd Dec 2023 at 08:52am

PLANS for affordable housing in Old Harlow are set to go before the Harlow Council planning committee.

The application seeks full planning permission for the erection of 38 dwellings with associated works including access, parking and cycle infrastructure, landscaping, public art and public open spaces at land to the south of Moor Hall Road.

The proposals seek to bring forward a small and physically self-contained part of the allocation at Land East of Harlow, which has been allocated since the Local Plan was adopted in 2020 but has not been delivered to date.

The application states: “The scheme will provide market and affordable dwellings which will assist Harlow Council with the much needed delivery of affordable housing across the area. It will include ten homes for affordable rent, two for shared ownership and three First Homes; provision of informal and formal open space including children’s play space; pedestrian / cycle connections to the south via Elmridge; provision of visitor car parking; and enhanced landscaping which builds on existing key features.

The scheme is compliant with national and local planning requirements. Dwelling sizes meet the Nationally Described Space Standards and the requirements of Approved Document Part M(4)2 as a minimum, and are at least dual aspect to allow for good daylight and natural ventilation.

The scheme will also provide a substantial financial contribution towards the delivery of infrastructure within the wider masterplan area.

The benefits of the scheme outweigh any harm and the application is therefore recommended for approval.

Application Site and Surroundings

The site is a rectangular parcel of open grassland measuring approximately 1.795 ha in area, situated south of Moor Hall Road and approximately three miles northeast of Harlow town centre. The site is predominantly flat and featureless, though bounded to the north, east, and south by dense treelines and hedgerow.

The site abuts the rear gardens of existing dwellinghouses to the west, a private road off Elmbridge to the southwest, agricultural fields to the southeast and east, and across Moor Hall Road, further grassland to the north.

The site has no previous planning history and retains a current use for agricultural purposes.

An existing and formal access to the site is positioned to the northwest off Moor Hall Road, via a gate, and at present this is used intermittently by agricultural vehicles.

A public footpath (no. 17) runs along the southern boundary of the site, providing access to residential areas of east Harlow, linking to open spaces, local services, and educational facilities including Churchgate CoE Primary School to the southwest.

“A Grade II Listed Building, High House, is located a short distance to the west of the site, though the site is neither within nor adjacent to a Conservation Area. There are two other listed buildings within close proximity of the site; Tudor Cottage and Pump 20 Metres South of Mayfield Farmhouse. Within the dense treeline along the site’s northern boundary is a cluster of Protected Trees”.



  1. Summary of Representations ReceivedThe full comments can be found on the public access system. Material planning matters:
    •   Development will increase traffic and the road infrastructure is not suitable, with specific reference to the Gilden Way roundabout.
    •   Existing flooding in the local area which causes issues and will not be improved.
    •   Loss of wildlife
    •   Will be overlooked by new houses resulting in loss of privacy
    •   Including yellow lines on Moor Hall Road is not practical as local residents do not have any alternative parking options.
    •   Development does not provide adequate parking.
    •   Design of the new homes does not fit with the character and appearance of theChurchgate area. In particular, the high-pitched roofs are overbearing andunnecessary.
    •   Development will have an environmental impact.Non material planning matters:
    •  Do not want the houses.

The application is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday December 6th at Harlow Council.

More details below.


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8 Comments for Controversial plans for new housing off Churchgate Street set to go before planning committee:

2023-12-03 09:19:13

Please come and sit in the traffic every morning before you potentially add another 80 cars to that.

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-03 10:28:40

You councils will not be happy till you completely ruin everything. Stop the lying, theses lands are not flat, they slope down into the village.. This village has flood issues all ready... Where's the water going to go.? I all so suggest you all go down to this village at peak times, where traffic is bedlam all ready. Are you providing another school???. 10 affordable homes, which will probably halfed again, by the time developer's get there hands on them... councils I put it to you, who you trying to kid, with your consultation for this, your consultation s for that, when your do exactly what you want to do, as all ways despite public opinions... your all flood this town,all of you,surrounding it in concrete that benefit s, only those that can afford theses monstrosity s.

2023-12-03 12:35:40

I also find it disgraceful how the council, planners and developers go about their business; it's literally about money and they lie to get what they want, the council is lazy too and will eventually agree to anything, no matter how much residents oppose plans. Take for example a plot of land close to where I live. This plot was used as a carpark for several years, residents and myself regularly used it. Along come the planners and developers who want to build homes here; little to no research was carried out, because apparently this is unused land and is NOT a carpark... conveniently a short time before, signage denoting it IS a carpark, were taken down. My wife's car was actually photographed in one of the planning photos we were shown...not a carpark used by residents they say? Letters were sent inviting residents to show if for or against plans, I understand most residents were against plans, but the final number information was never released. Plans still went ahead anyway and we're now in a situation where residents are unable to park! Christmas is going to be very interesting with families visiting... Traffic gridlock is another factor of these overdeveloped spaces.

2023-12-03 12:52:39

Can anyone in the last couple of years remember a time when the social housing promised on the planning application, has actually built the exact same amount of social housing when the development has finished? Why not simply caveat any planning application, build the social houses and promised services first or we stop the development, even if you're half way through it.

Steve Harknett
2023-12-03 14:49:06

They always wanted to assimilate Old Harlow into the thing called Harlow. Since I was a kid they chipped away at it first with the Jocelyns then building private homes at the bottom of Priory avenue. The real destruction was Gilden Park changing the landscape and beauty of the area forever and so it goes on. The building of Newhall on green spaces subsuming the glorious ancient spaces. Soon it will be one expanding set of lego buildings that aren't even affordable housing.

Peter Henegan
2023-12-03 17:21:16

Some interesting comments with very valid points. Before we build on green spaces why don't we actually develop the sites where demolition has already occurred, sites such as The Stow, The Square and much of the town centre. And if, as a tory councillor said to me a few months back, the developers do not have the money the govt should do something useful and compulsorily acquire the sites so we can get building.

2023-12-03 18:11:30

The planners and developers won't be happy until we have a concrete jungle from London to way past Cambridge. There is no way that this development will help those waiting for affordable homes. God help the people that live that live downhill from this site as developing it will create more flooding.

2023-12-03 20:04:17

Define 'affordable' homes. The question stumps councillors all around the country. It is used in every planning application to appease Council planning depts. Which they believe appeases the local population. They are not affordable, but 50/50 rent and purchase. If they were affordable every wealthy person will more than one, to rent out. Its used by councils as PR only. If you live adjacent or nearby, watch the planning application like a hawk. Developers will always re-submit an amended application with MORE houses, than the original application. The first application is always to test the public reaction. If its hostile, keep to the original application, if its weak, slam in another few houses.

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