On the border: North Weald councillors worried about gridlock should housing plans go ahead

General / Wed 6th Dec 2023 at 08:14am

REPEATED concerns have been raised by North Weald Bassett Parish Council over the lack of road infrastructure measures included in the plans for the various housing developments either already being built or proposed for North Weald Bassett Parish.

Parish councillors are fearful of the additional traffic that will be created by the various developments proposed for North Weald, Thornwood and by the M11 roundabout at Hastingwood. 

Councillor Andy Tyler told Monday’s parish council meeting: “I like the Thornwood Park development (on the Rosario site on High Road, Thornwood) as a proposal but I have to object until Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council sit round this table and show some figures that it (with regards to traffic) is going to work.

“If we wake up tomorrow and they all (the various developments) are going to be built, this village isn’t going to move.

“This is going to affect not just all the people who live in the parish but Ongar and elsewhere.”

The parish council is pressing for the district council, county council and all the developers involved with the sites to meet together to discuss traffic issues and the combined impact the new developments will have on the road network.

Councillor Terry Blanks said: “North Weald is going to double in size in terms of housing and industrial use on the airfield.

“How are people going to move around? Even if the potholes are mended, the roads aren’t going to take any more traffic.”

Councillor Baden Clegg, highlighting that there would be nine entrances onto the B1393 in the 600 yards between Weald Hall Lane and Upland Road if all the developments go ahead, said: “It’s crazy, and they want to put a pedestrian refuge (along the High Road). 

“What they should do is put a pedestrian refuge and also build a mortuary because there will be more deaths on this road.”

Councillor Terry Blanks said: “North Weald Parish has been unfairly treated by the local (district) council (regarding the number of homes allocated to it in the Local Plan when compared to other parts of the district).

“When these bits and pieces of development start happening there will be uproar and I’m very conscious that it’s our responsibility to our residents to at least try and do something about it, and if we can’t do anything then to highlight that it isn’t our responsibility but someone elses.”

In addition to the Rosario site, being developed by Weston Homes, other sites in North Weald and Thornwood are earmarked for development – including the Latton Priory site near the M11 roundabout, several sites on High Road, Thornwood, and land off Vicarage Lane West and Church Lane, North Weald.

* The meeting was told that up to 1,340 homes are now proposed for the Latton Priory site when the original proposed number was a “minimum of 1,050 homes”.

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7 Comments for On the border: North Weald councillors worried about gridlock should housing plans go ahead:

Lisa Vann
2023-12-06 11:20:45

I have attended 2 proposed development meeting now for the Thornwood development and the Layton Priory development and attendees all raised the same issues along with NHS & School places needs , the planning and council reps really didn’t appear that interested just said it was in the plan but could not back that up !!! These developments shouldn’t be allowed until the infrastructure has been put in place first.

James Brown
2023-12-06 11:44:20

I also attended the 2 meetings Lisa referred to in her comments. Council reps were completely ambivalent in regard to the need for the proper infrastructure to be in place before completion of any of the proposed developments. Great emphasis was placed on the inevitable significant increase in traffic using the B1393 whuch is already constantly blighted by accidents, gridlock, etc. Also there was no mention at the Latton Priory development meeting of an increase of 290 homes on top of the original proposal outlined in the Local Plan. Thornwood will no longer be a village in the true sense.

James Brown
2023-12-06 12:37:26

I also attended the 2 recent meetings Lisa referred to in her post. The Council and Planning reps present on both occasions focused more on the fact that the proposed developments would go ahead as ratified in the Local Plan. They were completely unable to grasp, or chose to ignore, the need for adequate health, education and transport/traffic infrastructures to be in place and/or improved before completion of any of the developments in Thornwood, North Weald and Hastingwood. The B1393 can hardly cope with the current heavy traffic flow and when these new developments are completed it will simply become gridlocked, particularly when there are problems on the nearby M11 and A414.

2023-12-06 19:47:02

These developments need to be blocked. They'll not be happy until every inch of green space is paved over and the roads at standstill. We need an additional hospital already. We need schools that don't need to be demolished within years of being built. We need doctors and dental surgeries. The roads can't cope, harlow is almost at a standstill everyday. This is utter insanity. If there are so many jobs working from home then areas that aren't so densely populated should be targeted. Homes built up around industry, industry has changed.

2023-12-06 21:48:20

I am not surprised at the concerns expressed here. Over the years even North Weald Parish Council's representations on behalf of local communities in the Parish about the Local Plan and subsequent developments have largely been ignored. It is yet to be seen whether that will change as the detailed plans evolve. Holding your breath is not something to recommend.

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-07 09:19:00

And so they should be worried, let's see just how worried they are..... Bet still goes a head.

Eileen Mead
2023-12-08 07:59:03

I have to travel Ongar to Harlow for work the journey home at night is a complete nightmare. The roads are so congested there is not room for more traffic I start at the roundabout in Gilden way part of 7a junction of M11 it is a wonder there are not more accidents it is so busy. It is gridlocked if there is a motorway accident.

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