Supplementary planning documents and guidance

Supplementary planning documents (SPDs) provide supporting advice and guidance to support policies contained in a Local Plan. SPDs are not part of the statutory development plan but are important in providing additional guidance for development plan policies. They can be site specific or thematic.

Consultation SPDs

Design Guide Addendum SPD

We have consulted on a draft of the Design Guide Addendum SPD.

We already have a Design Guide SPD (adopted 2011) which we use when examining design principles in new development and assessing planning applications.

Most of the content of the existing Design Guide is still relevant, but it does not include guidance on a range of subject matters in the recently-updated national planning policy and guidance. The addendum provides guidance on these matters and will accompany the existing Design Guide.

The addendum is made up of 5 sections:

  • tall buildings
  • privacy and overlooking
  • amenity space and gardens
  • updated householder guidance (the existing Design Guide SPD has a householder section, but this provides further guidance)
  • climate change

Once the addendum is adopted, it will become an SPD itself. It will be used to help determine planning applications, as well as inform pre-application discussions. It will be important that both the existing Design Guide SPD and the Design Guide Addendum SPD are read together.

The consultation ran from 22 July 2021 to 16.59pm on Sunday 17 October 2021.

You can download a copy of the new draft SPD: Design Guide Addendum SPD (pdf)

Affordable Housing and Specialist Housing SPD

We have consulted on a new Affordable Housing and Specialist Housing SPD.

This SPD aims to help implement specific housing policies in the Harlow Local Development Plan and help the council achieve the strategic housing objectives set out in the draft Harlow housing strategy 2021 to 2025.

It sets out information and guidance to developers and others that provide affordable housing, specialist housing for older people or those with disabilities, and self-build or custom build housing.

The consultation ran from 20 May 2021 to 11.59pm on 30 June 2021. 

You can download a copy of the new draft SPD: Affordable Housing and Specialist Housing Supplementary Planning Document (pdf)

Adopted SPDs

Affordable Housing SPD (Adopted March 2007)​

Open Spaces, Sport and Recreation SPD (Adopted June 2007)​

Harlow Design Guide (Adopted October 2011)

The Stow Neighbourhood Centre Design Framework SPD (Adopted July 2016)

In general terms, the Harlow Design Guide replaces the 1997 Essex Design Guide as Harlow Council’s adopted design guidance.

Applicants will however be required to consult with Essex County Council Highways on all highways matters.

In this regard, applicants should also have regard to the services and access chapter of the Essex Design Guide, which provides detailed highways design guidance, in addition to current best practice guidance, including Manual for Streets 1 and 2.

Guidance documents

We have also produced several guidance documents which support policies in the Local Plan and the determination of planning applications. The guidance documents are not part of the statutory development plan but are important in providing additional guidance for development plan policies.

Employment and skills contributions in new development (March 2021) (pdf) - this sets out Harlow Council’s approach to delivering employment and skills opportunities from planning applications. This will be delivered in respect of obligations or contributions for employment, skills and training, opportunities and apprenticeships or work experience schemes.

Use class order and town centre frontages (April 2021) (pdf) - this explains how policies in the Local Plan that refer to specific use classes should be applied in light of changes to the use class order. It also outlines the primary and secondary retail frontages for Harlow town centre as set out on a GIS Map.