Town Park homes plan controversy

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2017

A group of residents who maintain that plans for two detached homes with separate garages would swallow up precious green space right next to Harlow's Town Park recently escalated their opposition to the developer's proposals.


Having sent Harlow Council a petition with signatures and comments from over 1,000 objectors, the group ‘Protect Harlow’s Green Spaces and Trees’ instructed Attwaters Jameson Hill’s Salvatore Amico to take up its case. The group says the development in Park Lane would not only affect nearby residents and Town Park users.

The plan could also undermine the local Conservation Area and Green Wedge situated close to Harlow town centre. Allowing it could set a precedent, the group believes, for further encroachment onto the Town Park/Netteswell Cross Conservation Area and onto other much-needed open spaces in and around Harlow.

“The planning decision in this case is crucial to the quality of life in Harlow going forward,” Salvatore explains. “And the sheer number of signatories proves that objection is not pure nimbyism. There are various legal and planning reasons why I believe the plans should be rejected and I have set those out in a letter to Harlow Council planners.

“Such reasons are of course vital as regards the decision they face and some are very technical. The question at the end of the day, however, is whether the people of Harlow are content to see every bit of green space squeezed and eroded until the original vision of a thriving town with ample breathing space is killed off completely.

“My letter to Harlow Council points out that the new buildings would be visible from the Town Park. It adds that the planned removal of 14 established trees would accentuate the visual impact of the development. Many of the objectors would like to see Tree Preservation Orders put in place.

“Tree felling and other works would inevitably have an adverse effect on wildlife in the vicinity, with protected species present on the site itself. Access and road safety issues also arise, as the line of sight from the houses’ shared exit would be impaired; and this part of Park Lane with no pavement provides Town Park access for groups of children.

“I and my clients recognise the need for more housing in Harlow, but in this case a lot of people and wildlife would be affected by a conspicuous development expected to provide homes for just two families. I urged Harlow Council to turn down the application, especially after the concern expressed by the town’s wider population, and the applicant has subsequently withdrawn the application.”

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