Harlow Council agrees to oppose growth to south and west of town and protect residents in the east

Published date

Harlow Council has agreed to oppose development around the south and west of Harlow as a result of concerns many residents have about the impact developments will have on the town and its existing infrastructure and services.

The decision follows Harlow councillors debating and unanimously agreeing a motion at its Full Council meeting on 16 September 2021). You can watch a video of the meeting on our YouTube site.  

The developments, which will be opposed are in Epping Forest and are the Sumners West, Katherines West and Latton Priory proposals. The opposition to these developments includes agreement that the council will not sell or lease any land or rights of way which it possesses that may assist in the development of Sumners West or any other developments to the south or west of Harlow.

The council will formally lodge its objection to the Epping Forest District Council Local Development Plan as part of its current consultation. Residents can find out more about the consultation here.

The council has also agreed to put in place a plan to reduce and limit the impact of development to the east of the town on Old Harlow and Churchgate Street residents. The council wants to safeguard the Old Harlow community from future over-development and recognise the importance of preserving the conservation area. It also wants to ensure that the residents’ concerns are used to inform future plans for the area.

The motion agreed by the council was proposed by Councillor Russell Perrin and seconded by Councillor Michael Hardware.

Councillor Russell Perrin, who is a councillor for the Sumners & Kingsmoor ward and cabinet portfolio holder for finance & governance, said:

“In agreeing this motion the new administration at Harlow Council has listened and responded to the concerns of many residents about the impact developments to the south and west of Harlow will have on the town and its infrastructure. These are more than just words. We now have a motion, which is council policy, and to support it we have a number of actions to help us do what we can to stop development to the south and west and support our residents in the east of Harlow. As part of this we will be formally objecting to those parts of Epping Forest’s Local Development Plan that affect Harlow’s boundaries to the south and west.

“We know there is a need for new housing and this is why we have reconfirmed the council’s support for new growth to be to the north of Harlow.”

The agreed motion in full is:

This Council recognises the huge concerns many residents have about the proposed developments around Harlow, including Sumners West, Katherines West, Latton Priory and to the east of Harlow. There are worries that these developments will overwhelm the existing town transport infrastructure, services and amenities.

In particular, these concerns surround transport links in west and south Harlow, the lack of capacity on Southern Way, Water Lane, Broadley Road and the B181 Epping Road, and the potential impact on local medical and education services.

The proposed strategic housing site to the  east of Harlow, and those developments already taking place on Gilden Way and the new M11 junction, will add additional impact upon the residents of Old Harlow who understandably continue to raise objections about the proposals for further new housing.

In support of the above, this Council resolves that it:

i) Remains against growth to the southern and western boundaries of the town, preferring any growth to be to the north (Gilston Villages) and east of Harlow.

ii) Will make any representations necessary to communicate that it does not support any development of Sumners West or any other developments to the south or west of Harlow.

iii) Will not sell or lease any land or rights of way which it possesses that may assist in the development of Sumners West or any other developments to the south or west of Harlow.

iv) Puts in place a plan to do everything possible to mitigate the impacts of the strategic housing site to the east of Harlow. To better recognise the potential impact on existing residents, particularly in Churchgate Street and the neighbouring parts of Old Harlow that will also be affected, by:

  • Conducting an additional strategic assessment of the proposed housing site to gain further clarity about its feasibility and publish a specific mitigation action plan to limit the severity of the impact of such potential housing growth;

 

  • Developing a separate agreement between this Council and Old Harlow residents to safeguard the community from future over-development, recognising the importance of preserving the Conservation Area; and

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  • Committing to additional consultation in line with the new community engagement strategy that will be developed by this Council, so that Old Harlow residents’ concerns can be used to inform future plans to mitigate the prospect of an east strategic housing site.

v) The Chief Executive in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Growth submits a formal objection to Epping Forest District Council Local Development Plan to the extent that it impacts upon points i – iv and sub clauses raised in this motion.