Local Development Plan Emerging Strategy Consultation (read-only)
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6. Example 1 – Focused on Priority Regeneration Areas
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Summary of Spatial Implications
6.1 The pattern of growth suggested in the Priority Regeneration Areas example focuses new development in and around areas where local regeneration objectives can be delivered. Under this example the majority of development would be focused in the west and south of Harlow where the majority of priority regeneration areas have been identified. Growth to the north of Harlow would be introduced if 15,000 dwellings were required to further support the regeneration of the town centre.
Key Features of the Strategy
6.2 The strategy would direct substantial investment and change to the south and west of Harlow and would focus on improving the existing fabric of the town and creating a number of opportunity areas within Harlow.
6.3 The renaissance of the Town Centre (and adjoining areas) is central to the strategy. The Town Centre will be a key growth location and a major provider of employment, homes, services and facilities. This example also looks to focus additional development in and around Harlow’s neighbourhood centres and hatches to facilitate the regeneration of these locations. These centres would continue to provide key services and facilities but these would be upgraded through development to provide an appropriate level of provision for future residents.
6.4 Other initiatives include the redevelopment and renewal of existing brownfield sites and the use of selective greenfield sites considered to offer the potential to regenerate adjoining areas. This option would look to utilise some of the town’s existing employment land in Harlow as a mechanism of focusing investment and change into identified priority areas. Higher density development would be pursued in key locations across Harlow.
6.5 Substantial improvements would also be required to the existing local road network to support the level of development in the town, particularly Southern Way. Focused investment will also be required to existing infrastructure within the urban area, such as upgrades to existing schools and health centres.
The sites/areas identified for this option are shown below: (note: site numbers are references and relate to appendix 1 on page 71)
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6.6 This pattern of growth would deliver approximately 7,500 dwellings to be provided within Harlow, principally on previously developed land but with some development on existing Greenfield sites. This option would not require green belt release in Harlow.
Distribution of Development in and around Harlow (Example 1)
6.7 To deliver the full amount of development in accordance with this approach would require some planned growth within the Green Belt of adjoining districts of Epping Forest and East Hertfordshire District Councils. The locations included in this example are listed in Appendix 1.
How would this option be delivered?
6.8 The assessment has identified a number of locations within Harlow where focused development could deliver local regeneration priorities for the town. This includes locations to the south of Harlow together with growth concentrated around the town centre, neighbourhood centres and hatches. This option would also utilise a number of open spaces to support local regeneration
6.9 Place shaping renewal strategies7 would be established for a number of identified Opportunity Areas across Harlow, supported by area masterplans. The redevelopment of the town centre could be brought forward through an Area Action Plan. Urban extensions to Harlow could be delivered through joint Area Action Plans with adjoining authorities, as appropriate.
6.10 An update of the Stage 1 baseline Harlow Infrastructure Study is currently being undertaken. In addition to this an assessment of the infrastructure required by each example is being prepared to ensure it can be satisfactory accommodated within the plan period. This assessment incudes social, physical and green infrastructure. The assessments will be used to assess if the preferred pattern of growth for the Harlow Area can be delivered.
Implications for Core Priorities and Places
6.11 The Harlow Spatial Options Study (Stages 1-3) has assessed the implications that this option would have for both the Core Priorities and for different locations across Harlow.
Strengths and Benefits
- Helps to deliver local regeneration priorities across the town.
- Enhances the role of existing centres in Harlow (Town Centre, Neighbourhood Centre and Hatches) to ensure they remain viable in the long term.
- Provides growth in other identified priority areas around the town (particularly the south) to enhance these areas.
- Prepares place shaping and local improvement strategies to benefit existing communities.
- Directs development to where it is needed the most.
- Conforms strongly to the vision and core priorities of the Local Plan.
- Focusing growth within the existing built up area, if not managed correctly, could exacerbate congestion and pressure on existing services such as schools and health care.
- Requires significant passenger transportation investment along Southern Way which will take time to implement.
- Relies on a greater number of smaller sites which might impact viability of development and the delivery of affordable homes and other infrastructure requirements.
- Requires the development of some Green Wedges and exiting open spaces to implement the strategy.
- Would require careful phasing and implementation to ensure that development is delivered in a way that existing services can cope.
- Potential for increased recreational use at Harlow Woods SSSI and Latton Common (Local Wildlife Site).
- Involves the utilisation of some existing employment land which may impact existing occupiers.
6.12 Further assessment of this example can be found in the Strategic Environmental Assessment/Sustainability Appraisal which has been published alongside this document.
7 These refer to holistic interventions across a number of themes to improve key locations across Harlow.