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

Problem with trees on Harlow Council owned land?

It became clear whilst out canvassing before the local elections earlier this year that some residents had concerns about the lack of tree maintenance being carried out by Harlow Council in recent years. Residents complained that trees that had in the past been cut back and reduced in height were no longer receiving such attention, blocking out light and causing concerns about root damage to their homes.

All council’s have a duty to ensure that trees on their land are safe and to take action if a risk assessment deems that they should be removed.

The Harlow Alliance Party would be pleased to hear from you if you have experienced similar problems with Harlow Council.  Simply email us at contactus@harlowallianceparty.org or leave a message on 0741 580 6925


Harlow Council Local Plan – New Housing

As highlighted in a previous article the areas proposed by Harlow Council for house building can be found on page 53 of the draft of the Harlow Local Development Plan.  The complete plan (totalling 193 pages) can be found on the Harlow Council website by clicking through this image.

Link to Harlow Local Plan

For convenience the relevant table from the plan is documented below.  The Harlow Alliance Party has identified several areas within the proposal that we believe should be removed from the list and substituted with other sites which we have identified as more suitable for housing development.

1Princess Alexandra Hospital 650
2The Stow Service Bays 70
3Land east of Katherines Way, west of Deer Park69
4Lister House, Staple Tye Mews, Staple Tye Depot and 42
5South of Clifton Hatch 36
6Riddings Lane 35
7Kingsmoor Recreation Centre 35
8The Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tawneys Road 35
9Land east of 144-154 Fennells 23
10Pollard Hatch plus garages and adjacent land 20
11Land between Second Avenue and St. Andrews Meadow 16
12Coppice Hatch and garages 16
13Sherards House 15
14Elm Hatch and public house 13
15Playground west of 93 – 100 Jocelyns 12
16Fishers Hatch 10
17Slacksbury Hatch and associated garages 10
18Garage blocks adjacent to Nicholls Tower 10
19Stewards Farm 10
20Land between Barn Mead and Five Acres 10
21Pypers Hatch 10

Note that dwelling numbers are only indicative and sites will be subject to detailed planning to establish their final capacity.

Epping Forest Local Plan – More Details

Areas affected Within Harlow

For the benefit of Harlow residents the Harlow Alliance Party has annotated the maps of the proposed housing developments  published in the Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) local plan.  We have highlighted the areas within Harlow that border onto the proposed developments so that Harlow residents can more clearly see the impact.

If you live in Radburn Close, Corner Meadow, Hawthorns, Gibb Croft, Sibney Green, Spruce Hill, Berecroft or Rye Hill Road you will be bordering onto the proposed EFDC Latton Priory development.

If you live in Silvesters, Heighams, Red Willow, Little Cattins, Taylifers, Hull Grove, Archers or Savoy Wood you will be bordering onto the proposed EFDC Water Lane development.

Latton Priory Development

Latton Priory

Water Lane (North) Development

Water Lane North

Water Lane (South) Development

Water Lane South