On the Border: North Weald Council “unbelievably frustrated” over plans for thousands of homes on Harlow’s border
News / Sat 20th Jan 2024 at 10:48am
NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is “unbelievably frustrated” over the planning process regarding the plans for more than 2,200 homes in the Parish which sees each development site handled in isolation by Epping Forest District Council.
In a Position Statement being delivered to every home in North Weald, Hastingwood and Thornwood Common, the parish council claims there are “clear gaping flaws in the planning system” which “allow for each development site to progress entirely separately to others in the local area, meaning developers are not required to talk to each other”.
The parish council is also “not confident” over the approach being taken regarding the “highly probable traffic impact” of the various developments on the local area.
The Position Statement highlights that with the adoption of the Epping Forest District Local Plan, the villages of North Weald, Thornwood Common and Hastingwood are set to see at least 2,286 new homes, along with the redevelopment of North Weald Airfield providing an additional ten hectares of employment space and a site from which Epping Forest District Council’s waste operation fleet (bin lorries and other associated vehicles) will operate from November.
Further new housing developments are also planned around Ongar, Epping and Harlow.
The Position Statement adds: “For over six years now the parish council, along with the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, have tried to raise public awareness of this development.
“We have been involved in the Local Plan process from the start (2011) and have been working with developers using the feedback received from you (the residents) following the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire, in the hope of trying to influence the development which is coming our way in terms of how it’s designed, heritage, open space, traffic and transport, respecting the village feel of our areas and respecting our current population.
“We (the parish council) have been through tens of thousands of pages of documents and proposals, looked at all the available evidence, represented our residents at every opportunity we can, expressing both concerns and in some cases support, sat through a lengthy Local Plan process and tried as much as possible to ensure we influence all development proposals.
The parish council understands the need for new homes and will continue to strive to work with both developers and the relevant local authorities, however the current position of the parish council is that it is not confident that the resultant traffic as a consequence of the proposed development both within and outside the parish has been considered as a whole, and no evidence has been provided to show that residents will not suffer because of them.
“As such, it is our intention to hold the relevant authorities to account, to facilitate a joint forum where developers, the local authorities and the parish council can get together, so that evidence can be presented to the parish council showing the traffic impact of this development, and what it means for our residents.
“Our parishioners should not suffer any detriment due to this growth, but should in fact benefit from these developments.”
The proposed developments in the Parish are:
Latton Priory – minimum 1,050 new homes
North Weald – minimum 1,050 new homes
Thornwood – 172 new homes
The waste depot site on North Weald Airfield along with ten hectares of employment land on the airfield.
And they think they have problems! Lets not forget that it is their Conservative Councillors at Epping Forest DC who voted through the Local Plan and despite changes to Government policy are not prepared to stand up and say enough is enough, we are not going to allow thousands of homes to be built on the Green Belt. As we all know, these homes are not being built for local people, most residents will not have local jobs and therefore will have to commute to work. The pressure on the M11 junction 7a will become enormous when thousands of homes are built nearby. If residents want to see change they must take the trouble to vote for change.
I feel these developments will be a disaster for local residents. Mainly due to disruption while in progress and ultimately place undue pressure on the road systems around these areas.resuling in gridlock traffic. Also a problem for drainage and sewerage capacity.
Apart from the long term disruption that local residents and businesses will undoubtedly suffer, there are no plans in place to enhance local facilities, not just roads, schools, GP's, Emergency services, support services. And then EFDC will no doubt remove the restrictions on the amount developer's have to invest in community projects or facilities and the affordable housing quota as they already have elsewhere.
Agree 100% with North Weald Council. Living in South Harlow, we will see the impact of all the new developments being planned. But Epping Forest Council along with the HGGT planners don't want to listen to people's objections. They have just gone ahead with their own agendas not caring one bit on building on the Green Belt. The impact on the roads will be catastrophic as Harlow itself is gridlocked most of the day as it is, and with no new hospital on the horizon the strain on local hospitals will be unthinkable. A disaster from start to finish.
We have the same problem in Bishop's Stortford, they are know saying that since 2007 they have been watching air pollution, they are concerned, but not that much, as they decided they would build more houses, and a distribution centre. Having attended an air pollution meeting there is no way now to combat this issue apart from maybe living walls. The infra structure is not there and cannot be as no room. They have also built on wet lands with the new school that has not been finished a staircase has collapsed. So beware.
North Weald. This is Harlow calling . Welcome to our world.
How can they let this happen.cant never get a doctors appointment roads to harlow gridlocked everyday. What is happening to this country. Money thats what it is. Greedy people
Without lots of new homes property prices and rents will stay sky high in the south east which means our kids and grandkids will never get on the property ladder.