A Public Enquiry was held by a Planning Inspector at the Latton Bush Centre on Tuesday 11 June. HAP and one Conservative Councillor attended the enquiry in the public gallery along with just 15 people, testament to the failure of Essex County Council’s e publicity in attracting residents to this important event. The Planning Inspector will we feel sure have noted this poor turnout.

The Harlow Alliance Party learnt that the new roads that feed into the new Junction 7a of the M11 from Harlow will not be able to cope with traffic from all the proposed new developments in and around Harlow and Gilston Garden Town unless 60% of residents, who now live or will occupy the new dwellings. use sustainable transport. If this percentage of change in transportation is not reached it is likely our roads will become gridlocked. So residents will be expected to abandon their cars and cycle, walk or use Rapid Transport Buses to avoid gridlock on our roads. The sustainable transport policy is an aspiration of Essex County Council whose officers put forward the case for such a scheme to the Planning Inspector

The new junction which it was suggested will be completed by 2022 was designed to ease congestion in Harlow as well as permit further planning consent for developments in the Enterprise Zone thus hopefully creating more jobs. It has secured funded for the construction of the junction from contributions by Highways England (£41.7M), South East Local Enterprise Partnership (£10.5M), with the remainder coming from Essex County Council and 106 agreements from planning applications to the Local Authorities.

The new and improved roads to be constructed are to accommodate traffic from the A414 in both directions and from proposed new developments, using a new road crossing the River Stort and railway into Riverway and then on to Edinburgh Way and Gilden Way which then feeds into the new M11 junction.

HAP is very disappointed that funding has not been found for a Northern By-Pass which many agree would be a much better option, serving motorists or lorries who are not looking to enter Harlow and Gilston Garden Town but to by-pass it to reach locations outside of the town.

The Planning Inspector will now put his findings in respect the Plan’s legality and viability to The Minister of Transport for final decision.