Planning policy dominated the agenda of the latest Cabinet meeting at Epping Forest District Council on 10 July.
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Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) is a partnership to support the development of new homes, businesses, health, education and recreational facilities across East Herts, Harlow and Epping Forest. Travel corridors to facilitate movement between the new garden town settlements and Harlow are designed to reduce reliance on cars, promoting public transport and active travel.
3 strategic development sites are located in the Epping Forest District at:
- Latton Prior
- Water Lane
- East of Harlow
Councillor Nigel Bedford introduced a series of HGGT reports for cabinet to consider.
The Latton Priory strategic masterplan framework will support the development of more than 1,000 homes, schools and green space. As a key reference document for developers bringing forward planning applications, the plan is designed to provide strategic direction. Detailed site proposals will be included within subsequent planning applications.
Having been through formal public consultation, councillors approved the framework.
East of Harlow
A second strategic Epping Forest site is located East of Harlow. Part of a larger cross border development area with Harlow, the East of Harlow site could accommodate up to 750 new homes. It is also earmarked for the development of the new Princess Alexandra Hospital development close to junction 7A of the M11. Councillor Bedford explained the aim to provide guidance for developers. Councillors approved the masterplanning guidance SPD (supplementary planning document) for consultation.
Effective stewardship of the new Harlow & Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) communities is critical to the success and delivery of the HGGT Vision. Planning for these stewardship arrangements will ensure that HGGT has a sustainable and thriving legacy long after the development phase has completed. In June 2022, the HGGT board recommended the preparation of stewardship guidance to positively influence stewardship proposals across the garden town. Councillors approved the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town stewardship charter for consultation.
Housing resident involvement strategy
Residents and tenants views really do count. Meaningful resident involvement is a key part of delivering sustainable communities and helping to improve the quality of life of residents. Councillors approved a report introduced by council leader Chris Whitbread on a new resident involvement strategy designed to give residents real influence in the development of existing communities.
As well as dedicated council staff, the council also committed to provide grants to recognised residents associations to help with their set up, running costs and subscriptions for video conferencing platforms. There will also be an annual budget to fund minor estate enhancements.
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