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Harlow and Gilston Garden Town focus on quality of life

Published date

Improving residents’ quality of life and green infrastructure were on the agenda at the latest Harlow & Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) board meeting.

The meeting, which was held in the Civic Centre on Tuesday 7 February was attended by Councillor Russell Perrin, the Leader of Harlow Council, and Councillor Mike Hardware, portfolio holder for regeneration and strategic growth.

HGGT Board meetings are held monthly. With the HGGT partnership having demonstrated the very best of civic leadership since its inception in 2017, governance of the Garden Town was discussed at the meeting with the aim of strengthening these foundations even further ahead of delivery.

The partnership is committed to a joined-up approach that will make Harlow & Gilston a great place for existing and new residents and a go-to destination in the southeast.  

Recommendations from last summer’s Your Quality of Life survey were reviewed, with the partnership fully supporting opportunities to give local people across the community a voice in shaping future plans, be that online or in person.  

The survey found that 73% of people in Harlow felt a strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, beating the national average of 65% from the government’s Community Life Survey in 2021.

With the local area designated a Garden Town by government, green infrastructure was also discussed with a focus on how ecosystems and biodiversity contribute to healthy and thriving communities in Harlow & Gilston.

Councillor Russell Perrin, Leader of Harlow Council, said:

“The Garden Town is the next exciting evolution of Harlow’s journey and, by working closely with our partner councils, we are now taking meaningful steps toward the delivery of the project. Our priority is to ensure that Harlow and its residents directly benefit from the Garden Town, and that Harlow’s environment and residents’ quality of life is improved. Following on from the recent survey residents will continue to be given a voice to shape the plans for the Garden Town.”

Councillor Mike Hardware, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Strategic Growth, added:

“The Garden Town will be a gamechanger for Harlow’s regeneration. We are all committed to ensuring that Harlow’s infrastructure is improved, and that the Garden Town creates real opportunities for residents. We are working hard and closely with all five councils to bring housing, job and leisure opportunities to the area, aligning with our regeneration plans for Harlow town centre.”