Local Development Plan Emerging Strategy Consultation (read-only)

Ended on the 30th May 2014
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10. Example 5 – Northern Bypass Led Option

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Figure 10.1

Northern Bypass Led (Distribution of Growth)

Summary of Spatial Implications

10.1 The Northern Bypass approach provides growth in accordance with the Passenger Transport led approach but incorporates additional development to the north of Harlow to help the case for a new northern bypass linking a new Junction 7a to the development. Overall, growth of 20,000 dwellings would be provided across the Harlow Area. This example would also utilise the areas with better access to passenger transport facilities. In addition to providing for Harlow’s development requirements this example assumes a portion of East Hertfordshire District’s growth taking the total amount of development in the Harlow area to 20,000 dwellings.

10.2 Under this example the majority of new development is located in the northern and eastern parts of Harlow through focusing new investment in the creation of substantial new neighbourhoods to the north and east of the existing town.

Key Features of the Strategy

10.3 The strategy shares many characteristics with the Passenger Transport Led approach with further development supported to the north of Harlow. The focus for future investment and change would be to the north of Harlow through the creation of a series of new neighbourhoods and villages with further development to the east and to the northeast of the town beyond Newhall, towards the M11. This option would focus further residential development in and around the Town Centre and a number of other selected locations within Harlow. However, growth within the urban area would be minimised in favour of providing development through sustainable urban extensions around Harlow.

10.4 The strategy would minimise internal renewal and regeneration other than in the Town Centre, Hatches and other selected areas. Lower densities would be provided on sites within Harlow given that urban renewal would be less of a priority in this option. Development would also be minimised in the south of the town. This option would have reduced impact on the town’s green wedges and open spaces and future employment development would be provided through urban extensions around Harlow.

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 10.4

Northern bypass Led (Internal Sites & Potential External Growth Locations)

10.5 This pattern of growth would involve approximately 7,800 dwellings being provided within Harlow. This example accommodates more development in Harlow in the Green Belt.

Figure 10.5

Distribution of Development in and around Harlow (Example 5)

10.6 This option includes 10,000 dwellings to the north of Harlow split equally between Harlow and East Hertfordshire District Councils’ needs and further development to the north east of Harlow in Epping Forest District. The Council would need to work with both East Hertfordshire District and Epping Forest District to implement this example. The locations included in this example are listed in Appendix 1.

How would this option be delivered?

10.7 The assessment has identified the locations that would help to support the provision of a new northern bypass to Harlow. Sites within Harlow could be delivered through area Masterplans. An urban extension to the north of Harlow could be delivered through joint Area Action Plans (AAPs), working with East Hertfordshire District Council.

10.8 Development to the East of Newhall in Harlow could be delivered through a masterplan prepared by Harlow Council whilst development beyond the district boundary could be prepared through a joint Area Action Plan with Epping Forest District Council.

Infrastructure Planning

10.9 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

10.10 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

  • Focuses the majority of new growth in creating large and self-contained neighbourhoods to the east and to the North of Harlow.
  • 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, potentially reducing congestion in the town.
  • 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.


  • Further work is needed to assess the necessary infrastructure required to support the development and whether this can be delivered within the plan period before a decision can be made on the appropriateness of this example.
  • Uncertain whether a complete northern bypass is feasible given technical and environmental challenges.
  • 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.
  • Would require working with two adjoining local authorities to implement development.

10.11 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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