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Petition calls on East Herts Council to block Harlow North plans

A petition has been submitted to East Herts, calling on the district council to cancel plans for 10,000 new homes between Bishop's Stortford and Harlow.

The demand, signed by 223 people and submitted to the authority by organiser Charles Browne, calls for the development to be halted as part of a wider plea against 23,000 properties proposed to expand the Essex new town.

The Harlow North scheme has been agreed by East Herts and its neighbours, Epping Forest and Harlow district councils.

Gilston Park Estate (25503517)
Gilston Park Estate (25503517)

The Change.org petition states: "Most of the new housing is unlikely to be social housing. The argument for the expansion is that Britain needs to infinitely expand its economy (and so its workforce, which will need more housing) to be competitive in the world market; and to support an ageing population in retirement.

"However, Britain is the fifth richest country in the world and can surely afford to look after the people who created that wealth, in their old age.

"Britain only has enough land to produce 60% of the food we need, and needs to save its farmland from being built over. This drive to build on green farmland is happening all over the country and is being challenged wherever it is planned.

Visualisations of the Gilston Park estate. (25503520)
Visualisations of the Gilston Park estate. (25503520)

"Hopefully, our democratically elected councils and Government can be persuaded to cancel this initiative."

In East Herts, Places for People, one of the largest developers in the UK, wants to build 8,500 properties on the Gilston Park Estate in a series of six villages, with 40% affordable housing.

The scheme on the border with Harlow – close to High Wych, Hunsdon and Widford – includes two new crossings of the River Stort and is a central plank of the East Herts District Plan for growth to 2033. A seventh village, with 1,500 homes, is planned by City and Provincial Properties.

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