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Robert Halfon pledges to take action against Burnt Mill development but points finger at Labour

News / Wed 20th Dec 2023 at 08:27am

THE MP for Harlow has pledged to take action over plans for a flagship regeneration project in Harlow being bought by Newham Council in order to house hundreds of their homeless.

Robert Halfon said: “”I will do everything I can to work with the Council and with Michael Gove and other local Government Ministers to try and stop this.

“This is a new private property and has nothing to do with permitted development properties or the council.

“Yet again it is Labour Councils who are buying or renting private Harlow properties for their own means instead of housing their own residents in their own borough.

“I hope Harlow Labour will tell their Labour friends at Newham Council that this is unacceptable and also ensure that this Labour Council does not give misleading information.  

“I look forward to Harlow Labour denouncing Labour Newham Council at the earliest opportunity.

“Time in time again, the previous Harlow Labour Council gave the green light for Labour Councils in London to send their residents to Harlow.

“Conservatives believe in Harlow homes for Harlow people and that is why we are totally overhauling the Council’s Policy on council housing to ensure that anyone who tries to access social housing in Harlow has to have lived in Harlow for potentially ten years or more with an even higher priority for those born in Harlow. 

It’s also why I fought to introduce the Article 4 Directive to stop office blocks and warehouses being converted into flats for Labour Councils in London to put their residents into – something the old Harlow Labour Council failed to do, opening the door to shocking accommodation, which they could have stopped.

“Thankfully Harlow’s Conservative-run Council has done this to stop these type of developments ever happening again, but the old Council should’ve stopped it from day one”.

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27 Comments for Robert Halfon pledges to take action against Burnt Mill development but points finger at Labour:

L A Bayliss
2023-12-20 08:53:16

How can Halfron blame Labour councils for trying to look after its residents on their housing lists. The Tory Harlow Council should be doing the same including the Burnt Mill development.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-12-20 09:19:38

This statement really hits the bottom of the barrel. It was his Party which introduced legislation which allowed office blocks to be converted in to flats, which saw thousands of families condemned to live in rabbit hatch sized homes. The simple fact is the huge increase in the UK population in recent years under his Parties watch has resulted in a third of a million households living in temporary accommodation because there are not enough TRULY affordable homes being built. As has been said elsewhere, this could be the sign of things to come, lets no forget that the local Tory vision for the future of Harlow Town Centre includes over a dozen high rise flat blocks, who knows now many will be snapped up by other Councils to house their homeless?

Harlow resident
2023-12-20 09:30:46

We need houses for Harlow people it’s always been a bone of contention in my view I lived in Harlow since 1954 my children were born here worked here and couldn’t get a house so had to move away now elderly don’t have anyone near to help as I get older the parties each blame each other but that’s what they do it’s like naughty children behaviour

Resident
2023-12-20 09:45:47

I don't think other councils are trying to look after their homeless by this kind if action. It's the exact opposite. It's palming their responsibility off onto Harlow.

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-20 10:28:09

Passing the buck..

Pedro
2023-12-20 11:39:22

Let's hope his action is more decisive than the move of UKHSA to the town or the supposed building of the New Hospital.

Mark Ingall
2023-12-20 12:22:27

You cant blame the homeless from Newham who are being moved here, most of them don't want to be moved away from friends, family and community. You shouldn't blame the local authorities (some run by Labour, some by Conservatives and at least one is run by the Lib Dems) who are moving the homeless here, they have a legal duty to find accommodation and a number of policies introduced since 2010 have made it impossible for them to house the homeless in their boroughs. And Harlow is not unique in being used like this, many towns surrounding London are in the same boat. So what is to blame? Its the completely broken housing market that has developed over the last thirteen years. And who is to blame for that? Its the incompetent Conservative government at national level who have focused on infighting, leadership battles and jockeying for position at the expense of the things that really matter, like the cost of living crisis, a fair wage for a days work, and decent homes.

Richard Adams
2023-12-20 12:23:13

Robert I don't see how you can say the old council should have stopped this from day 1, when you say right at the beginning "this has nothing to do with permitted development". It is a private development and they can rent or sell to who they like. The only thing you can do is to work to stop Councils from buying up properties in other Council areas to house their residents, and or change Government to require private developers to provide at least 50% social housing for local residents. In other words we need a complete rethink on how housing is provided in this country.

Hugo
2023-12-20 12:29:56

Why is this being framed as such a bad thing? If Labour have any sense, they will own this. We have a local council spending taxpayer's money on housing the homeless - this is exactly what they should be doing. What has our local council done? Spent taxpayer's money on buying the Harvey Centre, and other vanity projects like an arts and cultural quarter. And then crow about a few social housing projects where the Tory leader gets to cos-play at pretending to lay some concrete. The question is, why is our Tory local council not doing something similar to help the most vulnerable in society? Too busy not showing up to council meetings? Too busy with other vanity projects?

Alderman Durcan
2023-12-20 12:43:50

The solution is simple get his Tory chums to buy the building . The council becomes the land lord.

Guy Flegman
2023-12-20 12:44:23

Maybe they should look into newham councils finances and how they can afford this. From what I know the councils finances are terrible and I would be surprised if the developer gets paid. I also think that maybe the council should blacklist the developer and encourage other councils to do similar.

PaulRRR
2023-12-20 12:48:31

And if Labour get in it will get much worse.... They hate British working people who make a success of themselves... Most of their voters live of the backs of the working class....

Resident
2023-12-20 16:07:26

Hugo why is this being framed as a bad thing?? Are you living under a stone? There's 5000 on the waiting list for a home in Harlow. The services can't cope and it's massively unfair that other councils can off load their inconvenience onto Harlow . Harlow has become a dumping ground for all the people London and other areas don't want. These areas are becoming gentrified as if evidenced by the ridiculous cost of housing and instead of sourcing affordable housing locally they're dumping the people they don't want onto Harlow. This housing should be available for people who live in Harlow. We are inundated by the social cleansing of other areas. It's unsustainable and we are all the worse for it.

MikeO
2023-12-20 16:19:18

Amazing when its HIS Government that have allowed this to happen in the first place by introducing legislation that allows office blocks to be converted to flats. Its HIS Government that has seen a huge increase in the UK population in recent years. Its HIS Governments policies that have resulted in millions of people living in temporary accommodation because not enough affordable housing is being built. Once again, he is desperately trying to cover up HIS Governments many failures by blaming others! Pure hypocrisy!

Seamus
2023-12-20 18:03:06

I remember when our mp said he was going to do everything in his power in regards to SFG. I can now imagine the spiel at the next election. "I will be working hard to represent the people of Newham and Harlow"

Phil.M.Pipe
2023-12-20 21:40:47

This will bring down the price of crack in Harlow.

David
2023-12-20 22:25:47

Trouble is Rob, Newham and Greenwich were the boroughs in London with the highest number of new housing construction starts in 2022/2023. Red Ken when he was Mayor on London made sure that property developers ;pepperpotted’ social housing throughout new developments and made sure that they provided their fair share. When Boris Johnson became Mayor [remember the virtuous Boris Johnson? - You backed him to be Tory Leader], when he became Mayor of London, he let property developers fall short on their obligations to provide a percentage of social housing. He also allowed property developers to separate social housing tenants, making them enter their home via ‘Poor Doors’ and then he let property developers get away without providing any affordable housing on site as long as they gave a few bob to the council to provide affordable housing elsewhere - I guess Newham’s money comes from such handouts. Your government has allowed new developments to be marketed and overseas before British Citizens get a look in. Swathes of new home ‘Money Boxes’ lie empty in London - These flats are not being bought with 'hard work'. They are being bought by money laundered through offshore accounts. You have been in government for years and been too scared to stick your head above the parapet. You can’t blame this one on Labour Newham or the Conservative administration in Harlow - Both seem to be doing their hardest to provide new Council Homes. This one lies firmly at your door Rob, Maybe, when you look back at your time as MP for Harlow you’ll think that perhaps you should have wasted a little less of your time trying to stop Gay Marriage, saying that you were representing the views of you constituents - Maybe you should have really listened to what the good people of Harlow (and the villages) really think.

DAVID
2023-12-20 22:26:50

Trouble is Rob, Newham and Greenwich were the boroughs in London with the highest number of new housing construction starts in 2022/2023. Red Ken when he was Mayor on London made sure that property developers ;pepperpotted’ social housing throughout new developments and made sure that they provided their fair share. When Boris Johnson became Mayor [remember the virtuous Boris Johnson? - You backed him to be Tory Leader], when he became Mayor of London, he let property developers fall short on their obligations to provide a percentage of social housing. He also allowed property developers to separate social housing tenants, making them enter their home via ‘Poor Doors’ and then he let property developers get away without providing any affordable housing on site as long as they gave a few bob to the council to provide affordable housing elsewhere - I guess Newham’s money comes from such handouts.

DAVID
2023-12-20 22:37:54

Rob - Your government has allowed new developments to be marketed and overseas before British Citizens get a look in. Swathes of new home ‘Money Boxes’ lie empty in London - These flats are not being bought with 'hard work'. They are being bought by money laundered through offshore accounts. You have been in government for years and been too scared to stick your head above the parapet. You can’t blame this one on Labour Newham or the Conservative administration in Harlow - Both seem to be doing their hardest to provide new Council Homes. This one lies firmly at your door Rob, Maybe, when you look back at your time as MP for Harlow you’ll think that perhaps you should have wasted a little less of your time trying to stop Gay Marriage, saying that you were representing the views of you constituents - Maybe you should have really listened to what the good people of Harlow (and the villages) really think.

Homeless in Harlow
2023-12-20 23:21:37

I'm 64 years old and Harlow council refuse to help me find a place to live so I have to either live outside in the cold or sometimes at a friend's house why don't Harlow council purchase this and let me have one of them.

Jasper
2023-12-21 01:32:10

Homeless in Harlow. The council don't give a rats a### about you or others in the same position. They are moving the goalposts further and saying you need to be resident for 10 or more years to be considered for housing instead of 5. I live in a HMO and pay nearly £800 a month for 1 room. I have no chance of a home of my own

DEK HAN
2023-12-21 07:41:36

How can Robert Haflon blame Labour for this farcical property development issue of Newham Borough Council purchasing The Burnt Mill Development to House their Own Unwanted/Homeless Rejects when Harlow Council is a Tory Run Council???? Who must have known about the outcome/plans for this development all along just another sly Tory slap in the face for Harlow Residents.

Luke Burton
2023-12-21 09:35:38

Pledge action just like how he pledged action on getting the Health Security Agency into Harlow, pledged action on getting Harlow a new hospital, and pledged action to fix SFG College. All talk and no action from Hopeless Halfon.

GERRYB
2023-12-21 12:56:54

So who signed off the planning permission? Other private building applications within Harlow have been rejected due to no or too small a percentage of social housing within the plans. So what was different about this one?

Steve
2023-12-21 12:59:58

With both sides blaming each other,I think they both would have thought about it first.

Harlow resident
2023-12-21 15:31:45

He can talk about this but can't reply to my email after Caridon have issued me and my family with a Section 21 with no where to go.

View from Afar
2023-12-21 20:21:18

GerryB These are the relevant planning documents https://planningonline.harlow.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

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