Local Development Plan Emerging Strategy Consultation (read-only)

Ended on the 30th May 2014
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7. Example 2 – Environmental / Landscape Led

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Figure 7.1

Environmental / Landscape Led (Distribution of Growth)

Summary of Spatial Implications

7.1 The pattern of growth suggested in the Environmental / Landscape led approach focuses future development through the creation of new neighbourhoods in those areas considered to have less impact on the environmental and landscape criteria contained in the assessment. Under this example the majority of new development would be located to the east and north east of the town which is considered to have relatively less landscape significance (when assessed against other areas). Growth to the south west of Harlow is needed if 15,000 dwellings are required.

Key features of the strategy

7.2 The focus for future investment and change would be directed to the east of the existing town through the creation of a series of new neighbourhoods supported by development to the south. The outcome of this option would be the development of Harlow right up to its existing eastern boundary and beyond (to the north East) shifting the town further to the East.

7.3 The strategy would aim to deliver some renewal of the existing town but would minimise the degree of change within the existing town, retaining many of the existing features and principles. Densities would be generally be lower on sites in Harlow given the reduced focus on renewing the existing urban area. However, selected priority locations within Harlow (town centre and hatches) would see some development to regenerate these areas.

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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Figure 7.3

Environmental and Landscape Led (Internal Sites & Potential External Growth Locations)

7.4 This pattern of growth would involve approximately 8,000 dwellings to be provided within Harlow. This option would include the use of Green Belt land within Harlow.

Figure 7.4

Distribution of Development in and around Harlow (Example 2)

7.5 To deliver the full amount of development in accordance with this approach would require some planned growth within the Epping Forest District Council. The Council would need to work with Epping Forest District Council to accommodate both the lower and higher level of development. The locations included in this example are listed in Appendix 1.

How would this option be delivered?

7.6 Sites within Harlow could be delivered through area Masterplans. Urban extensions to Harlow could be delivered through joint Area Action Plans (AAPs), working with Epping Forest District Council. There would be a renewal strategy for land north of the town centre and some of the Hatches but otherwise development in the existing urban area would be managed within the main Local Plan.

Infrastructure Planning

7.7 An update of the Stage 1 baseline Harlow Infrastructure Study is currently being undertaken. This will include an assessment of the infrastructure required to ensure it can be satisfactory accommodated within the plan period. This assessment incudes social, physical and green infrastructure. The assessments will test emerging patterns of growth so that a preferred approach can be identified.

Implications for Core Priorities and Places

7.8 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

  • Would utilise areas of lower sensitivity to the east of the existing town.
  • Focuses the majority of new growth in creating large and self-contained to the east of Harlow.
  • Facilitates the implementation of a new Junction (7a) to the M11.
  • Reduces development in the existing urban area which may benefit congestion and disruption within the town.
  • Reduces the amount of Harlow open spaces required to accommodate new development.
  • Development to the east makes the most of planned highways improvements and sewerage capacity.
  • Focus on larger sites which may increase viability and provision of affordable housing across Harlow.


  • Substantial improvements would also be required to the existing local road network to support the level of development in the town, particularly Southern Way.
  • Will require significant passenger transport provision to link development with the town centre and other passenger transport hubs in Harlow.
  • Would require careful phasing and implementation to ensure that development is delivered in a way that existing services can cope.
  • Potential for increased informal recreational use at Harlow Woods SSSI and Latton Common (Local Wildlife Sites).
  • Development to the south and east of Harlow requires infrastructure improvements which will require time to implement.

7.9 Further assessment of this example can be found in the Strategic Environmental Assessment/Sustainability Appraisal which has been published alongside this document.

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