Deer Park and Pollards Hatch public meeting held on 9 March.

Despite the blustery conditions, nearly 70 residents turned up at todays meeting to hear the latest information about Harlow Council’s Local Plan and the effect this will have on the land behind Deer Park and in and around Pollard Hatch shops.

The Harlow Alliance Party have been invited to appear at the Hearings which are taking place before a government appointed inspector on 28 March and 3 April where we will be speaking in support of our written objections to the Plan, in particular the inclusion of 8 sites around the town identified as places where house building will take place. Information was also provided about Epping Forest’s Local Plan which will see thousands of homes built on Harlow’s borders.

A positive way forward using a law called “The Community Right to Bid, Assets of Community Value” (ACV) which came into effect in 2011 was proposed by party leader Nicholas Taylor and this was supported by most of those attending the meeting.

This law would, in the event that the Council wishes to sell the land, pause the sale process for up to 6 months during which time the community could raise the finance to purchase it for community ownership forever. It does not give a first right of refusal and the council could sell to whoever it chooses to, but HAP feels that in view of the local objections to the house building proposals the Council would be placed under extreme pressure not to save these open play areas for generations to come.

HAP undertook to keep residents informed of progress in this matter.