Letter to the Editor: Now is the perfect time to stop building on our Green Belt

Politics / Sun 24th Dec 2023 at 10:31am

EARLIER this week the Government published the much-delayed Policy Framework which will give Councils power to reduce the number of homes they must allow to be built if development will significantly alter the character of their area or damage the Green Belt, as well as exempt them from building houses on prime agricultural land.

In addition, it removes the requirement for Local Housing Needs Assessments and allows Councils to build as few homes as they wish.

In anticipation of these changes sixty Councils have already paused or withdrawn their Local Development Plans as they will no longer be held to targets set by the standard method.

So, what does this mean for the future of the Harlow and Gilston Town, which as things stand will see hundreds of acres of Green Belt land destroyed, the removal of many commercial greenhouses to the west of the town and the destruction of many green spaces within the Harlow boundary?

Will Councillors at Harlow DC, East Herts DC and Epping Forest DC say enough is enough and follow the lead of councillors at sixty other Council’s and withdraw their plans?

News from Epping last Thursday that even the Council’s own in-house building company cannot meet the Councils affordable housing targets due to the rapid increase in the cost to build homes must surely add weight to the demand to stop building on Green Belt land.

In the meantime developers are crying crocodile tears about this framework, whilst sitting on many brown field sites which have lain derelict for many years. 


Nicholas Taylor

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8 Comments for Letter to the Editor: Now is the perfect time to stop building on our Green Belt:

2023-12-24 11:35:14

I doubt very much that Harlow councillors care about our green belt. It is a proven fact that beautiful open natural green spaces and wildlife is very much needed for peoplesmental health and well being and these in authority need to listen to the people of Harlow. There is nothing good to come from all this building and more building of homes we are at bursting and breaking point in Harlow and the town will soon be totaly overwhelmed. Open your eyes and ears Dan Swords and the likes.

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-24 20:12:32

Me.. I absolutely agree with you.

John Devoti
2023-12-25 10:57:46

When will the people who are elected going to listen to their electorate Every time a green field site that is built on its gone forever, with climate change we will need that farmland for future generations It never ceases to amaze me that those in office keep making the same mistakes Instead of adding small amount of housing to every settlement they rip up pristine farm land, then have to put in all the necessary infrastructure, roads, schools, shops etc The only reason I can see is to make the developers rich by cramming all the development into the south east Anyone who doubts the above just look at the death trap that is called the M25 with out a hard shoulder and tell us if you need to build more motorways???????

2023-12-25 12:27:21

@Me, I agree with you. Many of our housing problems stem from the constant dumping of London families onto Harlow Council. This HAS to stop. WE can't house our own people that have been born in Harlow and are third and fourth generations of the Town. Just like the Illegals that make it through our Borders, send them back. How are London Councils able to send hundreds of people to Harlow and WHY are we accepting them. I am not going to join the bashing of Dan Swords as I watched the video where he was being interviewed and this is something that he has inherited from previous governments. He said he is doing everything in his power to stop this from happening and to put HARLOW families into Harlow Council properties.

David Forman
2023-12-25 14:52:34

What makes land expensive to build on? The Conservative's overturned the 1945 Labour government land compensation legislation in 1961. This precipitated a rapid increase in high-rise developments and the reduction of garden size in new homes. The costs of land have escalated and placed a premium on social housing. Fix the root cause.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-12-26 11:01:46

AuntyBoo, but it is mainly Dan's Parties policies which has caused the housing crisis. Lack of truly affordable housing, the decimation of council housing stock numbers, allowing offices to be converted to flats, legislation skewed towards developers being able to build fewer affordable housing, uncontrolled immigration, allowing foreign investors to buy up housing and leaving them empty, the proliferation of second homes, it goes on and on. Whilst people still vote the same, the same will carry on. The whole housing market needs a reset. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of the Harlow Alliance Party

2023-12-29 13:35:20

So come on you politicians hiding behind the print! where are you going to house all the people on the waiting lists and the many thousands and thousands that are coming to our country! without building!!!!!! it clearly is a no win situation! politics in this country has failed whether its Labour who started the influx or the conservatives who just lie through their back teeth and to be honest there is no other party who could deliver a resolve so I suggest you put up and shut up! as its all about progress im afraid so cut the jealousy out and just get on with sorting the issue of homes out I just bet you cant!!! as I have not seen 1 sensible solution!

2023-12-31 11:56:13

Aunty Boo i am in agreement with you and i understand what you are saying but i personaly do not believe anything that any of these councillors say and in my opinion i dont think they care about us Harlow residents at all,well the residents who live in the original Harlow New Town Estates,there is total neglect everywhere and all Dan Swords goes on about is restoring pride in our town and by that he means that all he cares about is building more and more new homes. What a disgrace.

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