Harlow and Gilston Garden Town: East Herts and Harlow councils to determine planning applications for river bridges
Controversial bridges over the River Stort to connect 10,000 new homes for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) are set to be approved by East Herts Council (EHC).
The authority's development management committee will determine three planning applications at a meeting on Tuesday November 16 as part of a parallel process with Harlow District Council.
Enhancements and widening of the existing Eastwick (A414)/Fifth Avenue crossing over the Stort Valley, known as the Central Stort Crossing (CSC), will link Harlow to new communities at Gilston.
There will also be 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.
The Eastwick junction is in East Herts while the majority of the bridge structures lie within the Harlow administrative area.
In January 2017 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government designated the Harlow and Gilston Area as a garden town.
All three applications under reconsideration this month 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.
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.
The Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group has submitted a raft of objections to the access plans, criticising the sustainability of the pedestrian, cycling and public transport provision.
Members said: "The scheme needs to be redesigned to be landscape-led with a comprehensive reliable pedestrian and cycling permeability."
In all, 108 objectors have recorded concerns on grounds including noise and air quality impacts and the effect on wildlife in and around the River Stort and areas of special scientific interest at Hunsdon Meads and Rye Meads.
They will get a chance to persuade the committee to reject the officers' recommendations for approval on November 16.
The meeting at EHC's offices in Wallfields, Hertford, will start at 5.30pm and be live-streamed on the council's website.
Residents and others who have previously commented on the plans will be able to register to speak. Seating in the public gallery will be prioritised for those participants.
There will be a six-minute total time limit for submissions. Register at https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/councillors-and-committees/public-speaking-development-management-meetings.
Harlow councillors will look at the applications on Wednesday November 17 from 7pm.