Local Development Plan Emerging Strategy Consultation (read-only)

Ended on the 30th May 2014
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8. Example 3 – Passenger Transport Led

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Figure 8.1

Passenger Transport Led (Distribution of Growth)

Summary of Spatial Implications

8.1 The pattern of growth contained in the Passenger Transport Led approach focused new development in and around areas where opportunities for passenger transport uptake are higher. The majority of new development is located in the northern and eastern parts of Harlow in areas considered to have better access to Harlow Town and Harlow Mill railway stations. Growth in the town centre is also promoted as this is a key passenger transport and service hub.

8.2 Development and change is generally minimised in the south of Harlow where access to railway stations is poorest. Some selected areas within the town are identified along bus routes. If growth up to 15,000 new dwellings is required then further development to the north of Harlow would be needed.

Key Features of the Strategy

8.3 The focus for future investment and change would be to the east and to the north of the existing town through the creation of a series of new neighbourhoods. This option would also look at focusing further residential development in and around the town centre and to a lesser extent in other selected locations within Harlow which benefits from good passenger transport facilities.

8.4 The outcome of this option would be the development of Harlow up to its existing eastern boundary and to the north. The northern expansion could balance the eastern shift in the town’s centre of gravity arising from the eastern expansion. In addition, the development to the north will draw more movements into the town centre (depending on the nature and form of the development).

8.5 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 8.5

Passenger Transport Led (Internal Sites & Potential External Growth Locations)

8.6 This pattern of growth would involve approximately 7,800 dwellings being provided within Harlow District. This example would require Green Belt development within Harlow.

Figure 8.6

Distribution of Development in and around Harlow (Example 3)

8.7 To deliver the amount of development in accordance with this approach some planned growth within the adjoining district of East Hertfordshire District Council would be required. To deliver development in accordance with the principles set out in this Passenger Transport led approach the Council would need to work with East Hertfordshire District Council to take this forward. The locations included in this example are listed in Appendix 1.

How would this option be delivered?

8.8 The assessment has identified locations within and around Harlow that benefit from good access to passenger transport facilities. This includes land to the north and to a lesser extent, to the east of the town. This also includes the Harlow Town Centre.

8.9 Sites within Harlow could be delivered through area masterplans. The Town Centre would be the subject of an Area Action Plan with development elsewhere in the existing urban area being managed within the main Local Plan. Urban extensions to Harlow could be delivered through joint Area Action Plans (AAPs), working with East Hertfordshire District Council.

8.10 Development to the north of Harlow will require substantial infrastructure and highways improvements. Further work is needed to assess the nature of provision required and whether this can be delivered within the plan period.

Infrastructure Planning

8.11 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

8.12 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

  • Takes advantage of the proximity to Harlow Town and Harlow Mill railway stations in the north of the town.
  • Focuses the majority of new growth in creating large new community to the east of Harlow and to the North.
  • Facilitates the implementation of a new Junction (7a) to the M11.
  • Less pressure is placed on Junction 7 (once J7a is provided).
  • Minimises development in the existing urban area.
  • Minimises 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 may increase viability and provision of affordable housing across Harlow.


  • As yet unclear what specific infrastructure items are required to support development to the north of Harlow and whether this can be delivered. Further work is needed before a decision can be made on the appropriateness of growth in this location.
  • 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 congestion in Harlow arising from the development to the north of Harlow.

8.13 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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