Harlow Council denies turning down offer to buy Burnt Mills development
News / Wed 20th Dec 2023 at 08:10am
HARLOW Council has denied turning down an offer to buy the Burnt Mills housing development that is now set to be acquired by Newham Council and house up to 600 of their homeless.
In the cabinet papers at Newham Council for a meeting held on December 5th, it is stated:
“As part of the agreed acquisition process, Harlow Council have been notified about the sale and given right of first refusal to acquire the block.
“Officers at Harlow Council have confirmed they would not be interested in acquiring this
“The Lead Member for Housing has also sent a notification letter to their
counterpart at Harlow Council”.
YH understands that the leader of Harlow Council, Dan Swords has written to the portfolio for housing at Newham, Cllr Shaban Mohammed and told him that the statement regarding Harlow Council turning down a “first refusal” offer for the development is “categorically untrue”.
We understand he has asked him to immediately and publicly correct this statement.
YH will be following this up.
Harlow Council’s response to the whole situation is detailed below
“We are extremely disappointed that Newham Council are pursuing this proposal and that other councils continue to place their residents in temporary housing outside of the areas they live. We are doing everything we legally can to tackle this issue head on and to stop Newham Council doing this.
To be clear, this development was brought forward by a private developer who intended to sell and rent the apartments on the private market, however we understand that the developer has decided to deal directly with Newham Council. This is a proposal that Harlow Council has absolutely no involvement in or approves of and we will rule nothing out to do everything possible to stop this going ahead.
“We share the frustration of residents about this potential news. No final deal has been agreed just yet as Newham’s Cabinet has only recently given approval to move forward with reaching a deal. These are high-quality apartments on a key gateway to our town and we will do everything possible to stop a London Council buying this for temporary accommodation.
“We believe that local housing should be for local residents and that’s why we’re overhauling our Housing Allocations Policy and why we brought in an Article 4 Directive to stop more office blocks and warehouse developments being converted and used by London Boroughs for temporary housing. Whilst this is a different scenario, we are clear that this should not be happening.”
If there are not laws to prevent this kind of madness from occurring then MP’s and wannabe MP’s should be campaigning to get necessary laws in place PDQ!!! It will not be a merry Christmas for those local people with serious housing needs.
Why was there no mention of this when Cllr Swords was extolling the virtues of Harlow’s Corporate Plan at the Harlow Council meeting only last week. Given that the Newham Cabinet meeting was on the 5th December why were Harlow Councillors not told about this?
Maybe the whole town should protest this one. Newham people being given priority over those already in the town. Disgusting.
Deal or no deal time Dan the leader. Get in and make an offer. Time to act for Harlow.
Councillor Swords should resign stating he doesn’t like the direction the leadership are taking. How many times have Harlow council said Harlow homes for Harlow families, will the rest of the developments they are championing go the same way?
Social cleansing at its best. Let other councils sort the problem out!
Harlow Homes should be for Harlow people only who were born here not every Tom Dick and Harry
What does the developer Hollybrook say about whether or not Harlow Council was offered first refusal?
Well done on your money making scheme regarding The BurntMill Housing Development Project more social outcasts welcomed with open arms into Dustbin Harlow. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you from Our Very Own Homeless People Thank You For Another Kick In Teeth!
There's not housing crisis it's actually a population crisis that has caused this. It's only going to get worse.
Totaly agree with you jerry.people here from absolutely everywhere now,it is an absolute disgrace.