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East Herts and Harlow councils postpone planning committee meetings looking at plans for bridges over River Stort for 10,000-home garden town

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East Herts Council has cancelled its development management committee meeting on Tuesday (Nov 16) to determine three controversial planning applications for access to 10,000 new homes.

Planning officers had recommended that members approve the proposals related to bridges over the River Stort for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT).

Harlow councillors were set to deliberate on the same schemes on Wednesday (Nov 17) as part of a parallel process.

Application site and district boundaries (53121575)
Application site and district boundaries (53121575)

However, consideration of all three applications has now been postponed because of “extensive representations being received very late in the afternoon on Monday, November 15”.

In a statement on Tuesday, East Herts Council said: “These raise legal considerations from interested parties relating to the applications due to be heard at these committees.

“The councils are required to give careful consideration to all representations received and will be taking time to consider the issues raised. East Herts will publish these representations on behalf of both councils on the East Herts online public access portal where they can be viewed in full.”

Harlow Garden Town vision (53121578)
Harlow Garden Town vision (53121578)

The East Herts meeting was due to start at 5.30pm. Both councils have received hundreds of objections about the plans, questioning their environmental impact and sustainability.

All three applications have been submitted by Places for People Ltd, which is also behind plans for 8,500 new homes in six villages known as Gilston Park Estate.

The first is for enhancements and widening of the existing Eastwick (A414)/Fifth Avenue crossing over the Stort Valley, known as the Central Stort Crossing (CSC), to link Harlow to new communities at Gilston.

The second details a new vehicular, pedestrian and cycle link to the east of the existing crossing – the Eastern Stort Crossing (ESC). The third application is for listed building consent for works to Fiddlers’ Brook Bridge.

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (53121572)
Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (53121572)

The Eastwick junction is in East Herts while the majority of the bridge structures lie within the Harlow administrative area.

A separate, outline planning application has been submitted for a seventh village of 1,500 homes on land now owned by Taylor Wimpey North Thames. Together they will make up the Gilston Garden Neighbourhood. Ultimately the HGGT will add 24,000 new homes across four new neighbourhoods.

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