HAP Public Meeting – February 9th

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The second HAP public meeting was held at the Paringdon Club on Southern Way. It was well attended by over 140 people and generated much discussion. Party leader Nicholas Taylor illustrated to the audience the lack of public consultation by highlighting the housing plans being put in place by Harlow and Epping Forest Councils. To many people this was the first time they had been aware of new housing literally across the road from them!

For those who were unable to attend we have displayed below the images that were used during the meeting.

Residents wanting to sign the online petition that is referred to can do so here.  Or if you want to voice your thoughts then you can contact us here

Coming to a field near you!

Plans by Harlow District Council and Epping Forest District Council to allow the building of thousands of new homes on the south and south western boundaries of Harlow and within the town have been passed to Inspectors appointed by the Government. They are due to commence public hearings later this month and a final decision on these plans will be made later in the year.

EFDC Local Plan - Water Lane north
EFDC plans for Water Lane (north)
EFDC Local Plan - Water Lane south

EFDC plans for Water Lane (south)
EFDC Local Plan - Latton Priory

EFDC plans for Latton Priory

THE HARLOW ALLIANCE PARTY ARE THE ONLY PARTY WHO HAVE OBJECTED TO THESE PLANS.

In view of the failure by these two Councils to inform residents in Harlow of these plans, The Harlow Alliance Party are holding a public meeting. Come along and find out what is going on.

PARINGDON CLUB SOUTHERN WAY
SATURDAY 9TH FEBRUARY AT 11:00 AM

Public meeting at Parndon Wood Nature reserve

On 26 January members of HAP met with residents living near the Nature reserve, adjacent to the Fennels, which is earmarked for the building of 23 homes in Harlow Council’s Local Plan. It is clear that many residents are unhappy that their Councillors and Harlow Council itself have not consulted them when preparing this plan and they voiced their concerns about the loss of this green space to the Party Leader Nicholas Taylor and Deputy Leader Alan Leverett.


Residents were able to point out a number of issues they would have advised the Council of had they been consulted. What is clear is that despite the recent flood prevention work undertaken nearby, this has not been effective and the land, which is on the flood plain is still saturated.


Residents have since provided HAP with further information and an update on the action taken by HAP will appear on this website in the near future.

Parndon Wood Nature reserve… Fennels public meeting

On 13 September last year Harlow Council agreed it’s Local Plan, which sets out where new homes in the town will be built during the next 13 years or so.

21 sites were identified of which 8 were ones that the Harlow Alliance Party felt should remain open recreational and play spaces. All of these were designed at the time the town was conceived to provide space in between estates so that residents particularly children are close to the properties.

Despite the petition given to Harlow Council organised by The Harlow Alliance Party, signed by over 380 residents across the town, all 21 sites identified including Fennells were included in the plan.

A public meeting is to be held by The Harlow Alliance Party to explain what this means for the future of the site and what action could be taken to try and stop building from taking place.

The meeting will be held on the site on Saturday 26th January at 10.00am.

It is vital that residents continue to show their opposition to these plans and we hope that you will be able to attend the meeting despite the time of year and possible bad weather. We do not anticipate a long meeting!

For more information contact HAP on 07415 806925

Harlow District Council’s Local Plan …… Update

In a letter dated 9th January the Harlow Alliance Party have been advised that David Reed Bsc DipTP DMS MRTPI has been appointed the Independent Inspector charged with looking at Harlow Council’s proposed Local Plan.


The Hearings are due to start on Tuesday 26 March and will take place for just 5 or 6 days, finishing on 4 April. In the meantime more information will be put on Harlow Council’s Examination website.


Readers will be aware that HAP have been campaigning against the building of houses on a number of green/play spaces across the town and last autumn presented a formal objection to the Plan, which included a petition with over 380 signatories.


We will continue this fight in the coming weeks, so watch this space.

Closure of libraries in Harlow

Essex County Council have begun to consult with residents across the county following the announcement that many of their libraries are likely to be closed in order to save some £3 million.

It is clear that in the last few years there has been a massive drop in the number of residents using the library service as a whole and that this decline is more pronounced in some locations compared with others. As a result, many libraries are set to close, whilst others may remain open but only if volunteer staff can be found to keep costs down.

The simple fact is, that even if 1) Essex County Council were to receive an increase in Government funding, 2) if a Labour Government were to come to power or 3) if council tax was increased, would the library service, in view of the decline in use, be given any sort of priority for extra funding over say schools or social care budgets?

As usual, the local Labour Party are saying “they will fight these proposals”, have organised a petition and have held a demonstration outside one of Harlow’s libraries. However they have no practical solution to stopping these closures.

To maintain a library service, buildings need to become multi use and as a result the costs to maintain services can be shared by other agencies and groups. The library at Staple Tye is already being used by 6 groups from Harlow’s U3A who pay a small sum to do so and this type of arrangement needs to be expanded.

The Harlow Alliance Party have campaigned since it’s launch to see some of Harlow Council’s services being made available at the towns Neighbourhood Centres such as Bush Fair and The Stow. We want to see the Council take a leaf out of the Council at Dunmow, where it has a Housing Officer working at the library, sharing the costs and thus keeping a library service in the town.

The threatened closure of libraries in our town provides an ideal opportunity for Harlow Council to take the bold step and start to provide services more locally and ensure that all libraries in the town remain open.

Update on Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan

Inspector Louise Phillips MA MSc MRTPI has been appointed to carry out the independent examination of Epping Forest District Councils’s (EFDC) Local Plan. The hearings are due to start on 12 February 2019.

The Inspector will be holding the hearings at The Civic Offices in Epping on the following dates:

12 February for 3 days

26 February for 2 days

21 March for 3 days

27 March for 2 days

16 May for 3 days

23 May for 2 days.

The Harlow Alliance Party (HAP) was the only Political Party in Harlow who raised objections to this Plan, which if given the go ahead as planned will see thousands of homes built on the boundaries of Harlow. Nearly 1000 comments were made about the plan and it is expected that like HAP many individuals and organisations will want to speak to the Inspector about their concerns.

House building on play and open spaces … update

The report on Harlow Council’s Local Plan which sets out proposals for future house building in the town during the next 13 years was agreed at it’s Cabinet meeting on 13 September.

The report, which with additional documents, ran to hundreds of pages, sets out where homes will be built in Harlow. Whilst HAP acknowledges that new homes need to be built, it objects to these being built on play areas and open spaces between estates. The report failed to mention that 383 residents had signed petitions demanding that 8 sites be removed from the plan The report just mentioned 3 sites, namely Fennells, Jocelyns and South of Clifton Hatch. The error was partially corrected verbally on the night. Most of the comments made by residents who responded to the consultation had objections to some elements of the Plan

In any event, despite the objections recieved and the concerns raised at the meeting about the lack of consultation carried out by the Council and the need for building at Jocelyns, the plan was agreed.

The Local Plan will be sent to the governments Inspector later this year where HAP will continue it’s objections to building homes at;

Jocelyns, St Andrews Meadow, Fennells, Deer Park, Pollard Hatch, South of Clifton Hatch and Hawthorns.

Bushey Croft Playing Field Update

Plans to build 16 houses on this site were agreed by Harlow Council at this evenings (August 22nd) meeting of The Development Management Committee.

Residents and their children living around this area and from other similar sites where house building may take place in the future came together before the meeting to demonstrate their opposition to the proposals. A resident living adjacent to the site, Nicholas Taylor the Leader of The Harlow Alliance Party and John Curry from the Harlow Civic Society all spoke against the proposal. They were then followed by Labour Councillor for Bush Fair, Eugenie Harvey and the Councils Agent who spoke in favour of the scheme. Both Labour and Conservative Councillors agreed to accept the Officers proposal to build 16 houses on this site, dismissing the views of the 170 residents who signed a petition objecting to the proposal and the valid points made on the night.

It was made clear by the Labour Councillors who spoke at the meeting that building homes on recreational areas are considered more important than retaining them as open spaces. The Conservative Councillors voted in favour of the proposals as well. It seems clear that when the Council submits Planning Applications for other such sites in the future, as long as they don’t fall foul of planning obligations then Planning Permission will be given.

The Harlow Alliance Party acknowledges the need for more homes to be built in Harlow and believes that Harlow Council should be building bungalows which would help reduce the imbalance between the types of homes needed to those that are available.  We also be believe that these homes should be at Council rent levels and not so called affordable housing rent levels and not on recreational sites.

Market Square refurbishment

Harlow Council are currently holding a consultation exercise on plans to redevelop the Town Centre.  Members of the public are being invited to a series of exhibitions being held across the town in the hope that some sort of consensus of opinion can found. (Click here for more information).

The Harlow Alliance Party (HAP) have been very pleased to note that Harlow Council are now trying to engage with residents and we hope that many will take the opportunity to do so.  However, HAP is greatly concerned that in the meantime Harlow Council’s Regeneration Members have invested the huge sum of £276,007 to refurbish Market Square.  HAP feel that this work is unlikely to revitalise the area or increase footfall and is just a total waste of public money.

HAP feel sure that the introduction of table tennis tables, resurfacing paved areas with chess areas and canopies will not make people use this area any more than they do now and will not attract the right type of activity for residents that are occupying nearby converted offices.

It is scandalous that the Council did not consider holding off any investment until the findings of their consultations were discussed by the Council so that everyone’s views including residents and businesses could be taken into account.

HAP hopes that Harlow Council listens to those businesses and members of the public who take the trouble to respond to the consultation now being undertaken.

HAP believe any plan should enhance the shopping experience in the Town Centre and includes roofing all or part of Broadwalk, the creation of an indoor market and an entertainment and event space and drop off points for shoppers, all of which would increase footfall to the northern end of the Town Centre during the day and in the evenings.

If you have an opinion on this then let us know at contactus@harlowallianceparty.org

Or telephone us on 07415 806925