Core Strategy Issues and Options Consultation Document (Read-only)

Ended on the 28th January 2011
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4 The vision, themes and objectives


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4.1 Introduction

4.1.1 The key to developing an effective Core Strategy is setting out a clear vision for Harlow. This will help the development of core policies and a robust delivery strategy. It needs to address the critical issues affecting the area and set out the broad strategy for addressing these issues. The overarching strategic direction for Harlow is the regeneration of the town.

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4.1.2 This section outlines the Council’s initial planning framework for the Core Strategy. The draft planning framework for Harlow consists of the vision, the themes and objectives.

4.1.3 The draft planning framework has been constructed on the basis of the initial consultation and frontloading exercises which have already been undertaken. However, the current vision, themes and objectives will be adapted throughout the preparation of the plan to reflect the results of ongoing consultation as well as the findings from other technical work.

4.2 The vision

4.2.1 The Core Strategy will provide the spatial expression of the currently adopted Community Strategy Vision, which is set out below:

"A clean, safe, sustainable and healthy town with good educational prospects for its citizens, a variety of homes and jobs to meet local needs, and a range of sporting, leisure and cultural opportunities contributing to a higher quality of life."


4.2.2 This acknowledges the need to integrate planning and community strategies and highlights the importance of the LDF to delivering the objectives of other plans and strategies. The Community Strategy will be reviewed in 2011. The Core Strategy vision will also need to reflect the specific regeneration issues affecting the town. Some of these specific issues are set out in the Council’s adopted Harlow Regeneration and Social Inclusion Strategy (2010-2015) and the Council’s Corporate Plan which both take forward the Council’s top corporate priority of regenerating the town. The Regeneration and Social Inclusion strategy sets out the following vision.

"Harlow as the place to choose for a better way of life and a smarter place to do business:

  • a place of aspiration and a university town
  • a prime business location
  • a gateway to Europe
  • a cultural hub
  • a sub regional centre and retail destination"

4.2.3 The Council’s Corporate Plan sets out the following priorities:

  • Regenerating the town
  • Promoting enterprise
  • Promoting a clean, green, healthy and safe environment
  • Tackling housing need and improving housing choice
  • Developing good citizenship through promoting aspiration and enabling responsibility

4.2.4 Copies of the Community Strategy, the Corporate Plan and the Regeneration and Social Inclusion Strategy can be found on Harlow Council’s website or can be made available on request.

Question 5:

Do the visions and priorities set out in the Community Strategy, the Council’s Regeneration Strategy and the Council’s Corporate Plan provide the basis to develop the vision for Harlow’s Core Strategy?

Question 6:

If you disagree/strongly disagree, what do you think the vision for the Core Strategy should be based on?

To respond please use the separate Issues and Options consultation questionnaire

4.3 The strategic approach - putting the vision into practice

4.3.1 The next step is to develop the Core Strategy themes and objectives that will address the range of issues affecting Harlow and subsequently deliver the overarching vision for Harlow.

4.3.2 Although the Core Strategy will need to be responsive to Harlow’s wider role it is important that the approach developed recognises the sensitivities associated with development and change. This is particularly important given the coordination necessary between Harlow, East Herts and Epping Forest District Councils. It is important to develop a common policy approach for future development in the Harlow area. Ongoing consultation between the authorities will be important particularly as the policy approach is being finalised.

4.4 Identifying key themes

4.4.1 A key element in the preparation of the Core Strategy is identifying themes that reflect the broad range of issues affecting Harlow. This provides a more co-ordinated approach to the development of objectives, policies and proposals and ensures issues are effectively addressed. Five themes have been identified that provide the basis for the development of the spatial strategy policy options and are identified below.

  • Placeshaping - Enhancing the quality of the built and natural environment
  • Housing - Delivering housing at the right scale, of the right type and in the right location to meet the needs of the whole community
  • Prosperity - Securing economic growth and regeneration in order to improve employment and educational opportunities in the town and reflect its strategic role
  • Infrastructure -- Ensuring growth and regeneration is supported by appropriate levels of infrastructure provision
  • Lifestyles - Meeting the leisure, recreational and cultural requirements of the community in a sustainable manner

Question 7:

Do you think the Core Strategy Themes cover the range of planning issues in Harlow?

Question 8:

If you disagree/strongly disagree, what changes would you make to the Themes to ensure they address the range of planning issues in Harlow?

Please use the separate Issues and Options consultation questionnaire to respond to these questions

4.5 Strategic objectives to underpin themes

4.5.1 The strategic objectives are the goals to be met over the plan period in order to help deliver the vision. They will underpin the development of policies and proposals to deliver the vision for Harlow. The objectives have been developed to address the range of issues identified within Part 2 of the document.


4.5.2 Placeshaping


Enhancing the quality of the built and natural environment

Objective 1: Protecting, enhancing and promoting access to/use of the Green Infrastructure network (including Green Wedges, landscape and sites of nature conservation importance)

Objective 2:?? Creating accessible, safe and attractive public spaces

Objective 3: ?Delivering high quality urban design and architecture and protecting and enhancing buildings and places of heritage value

Objective 4: Promote growth in sustainable locations

Objective 5: Secure regeneration at key locations, such as the town centre and neighbourhood centres to improve environmental character and economic prosperity


4.5.3 Housing


Delivering housing at the right scale, of the right type and in the right location to meet the needs of the whole community

Objective 6: Identify sites in Harlow to meet local needs and aspirations

Objective 7: Meeting the housing needs of the community both now and in the future

Objective 8: Providing homes for a range of tenures

Objective 9: Providing a range of house types

Objective 10: Improve the quality of homes in the district

Objective 11: Regenerating existing neighbourhoods including priority estates


4.5.4 Prosperity


Securing economic growth and regeneration in order to improve employment and educational opportunities in the town and reflect its strategic role

Objective 12: Enhancing and reinforcing Harlow’s sub regional role and improving the town’s image

Objective 13: Meeting the employment needs of the town

Objective 14: Reinforcing Harlow’s reputation as a key centre for Research and Development

Objective 15: Enhancing and diversifying educational and skills training opportunities in the town

Objective 16: Encourage diversification and investment in the town’s employment base

Objective 17: Regenerating the town centre and reinforcing its retail role in the wider sub region

Objective 18: Protecting and enhancing neighbourhood centres and hatches


4.5.5 Lifestyles


Meeting the leisure, recreational and cultural requirements of the community in a sustainable manner

Objective 19: Protecting and enhancing sporting, leisure and recreation opportunities

Objective 20: Provide and enhance cultural opportunities in the town


4.5.6 Infrastructure


Ensuring growth and regeneration is supported by appropriate levels of infrastructure provision

Objective 21: Reduce need to travel by ensuring new development is located close to existing or new neighbourhood centres and good public transport networks

Objective 22: Improve transport links to secure good access to a range of community facilities, neighbourhood centres, employment areas and green spaces

Objective 23: Secure new and enhanced community infrastructure including educational facilities to meet the needs of existing and future residents

Objective 24: Enhance and promote the role of Harlow as a transport interchange along the M11

Objective 25: Work with key providers to ensure that the infrastructure requirements to serve new development can be met

Objective 26: Ensure new development is provided through a phased approach in order not to overload existing infrastructure capacity

4.5.7 At this stage in the preparation of the Core Strategy the Council is seeking views on the appropriateness of the strategic objectives to deliver the vision for Harlow. It is important that the strategic objectives provide the appropriate framework to deliver the overarching vision for Harlow.

Question 9:

Do the Strategic Objectives provide the necessary framework to deliver the regeneration of Harlow?

Question 10:

If you disagree/strongly disagree, what changes would you make to the Strategic Objectives?

Please use the separate Issues and Options consultation questionnaire to respond to these questions

4.6 Linking Community Strategy and Core Strategy themes

4.6.1 The following diagram illustrates the relationship between the strategic themes in the Community Strategy and those themes emerging in the development of the Core Strategy. This ensures that the objectives and policies developed through the Core Strategy have regard to the wider community aspirations set out in the Community Strategy and provides a mechanism to address these through the LDF.

Figure 4.1

4.7 Developing policies

4.7.1 This section sets out the Council’s initial view on the possible core policy areas that could be developed to help achieve the strategic objectives described above. The core policies will guide how development and change will be managed across the District. They will also be used to develop more detailed development management policies that will be used in the assessment of planning applications.

4.7.2 The policies were developed in response to national planning guidance and the identified local issues that have emerged from the consultation events and evidence base completed to date. This consultation provides the initial opportunity to comment on the proposed policy areas and inform the Council of any changes that should be considered throughout the preparation of the Core Strategy.

4.7.3 The following chart sets out the relationship between the vision, themes, objectives, policies and proposals in the Core Strategy.

Figure 4.2

4.7.4 The following tables show the themes and strategic objectives, together with potential core policy areas the council considers need to be developed in order shape future development in the district.

Theme Strategic Objective Policy area to be considered
Placeshaping
Enhancing the quality of the built and natural environment
1. Protecting, enhancing and promoting access to/use of the Green Infrastructure network (including Green Wedges, landscape and sites of nature conservation importance)
  • Designation of sites important for nature conservation purposes and biodiversity
  • Define the role and function of Green Wedges
  • Protection and enhancement of the setting of the River Stort and other significant landscape features
2. Creating accessible, safe and attractive public spaces
  • Creation and enhancement of footpath and cycleway links between green spaces, adjoining neighbourhoods and the countryside
  • Ensuring public spaces are safe and accessible for the community
  • Promotion of Secure By Design within new development
  • Promotion and integration of good quality public art within development and appropriate public spaces
  • Definition and protection of the network of green spaces in the district
  • Provision of new and enhancement of existing public spaces across the town
3. Delivering high quality urban design and architecture and protecting and enhancing buildings and places of heritage value
  • Protection and enhancement of listed buildings and Conservation Areas
  • Protection of Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Registered Parks and Gardens
  • Protection of the distinct architectural character and design of Harlow
  • Acknowledging the role of the design principles established by Gibberd in securing sustainable development
  • Encouraging and promoting best practice in the design of new buildings to include energy conservation measures, renewable energy technologies and the provision of lifetime homes
  • Use of appropriate materials in new buildings
  • Promotion of Sustainable Drainage Systems to alleviate flooding
  • Encourage crime prevention measures to be incorporated into the design of new development
4. Promote growth in sustainable locations
  • Promotion of the development of brownfield land at appropriate locations within the town
  • Establish criteria to guide development to the most sustainable locations
  • Definition of the extent of the Green BeltŸ Avoid development in areas identified at risk from flooding and support flood retention initiatives
  • Promotion of mixed use development in neighbourhood centres and, where appropriate, at hatches
5. Secure regeneration at key locations such as the town centres and neighbourhood centres to improve environmental character and economic prosperity
  • Promoting urban renewal measures to secure regeneration within the town
  • Promotion of the regeneration of the town centre, neighbourhood centres and priority estates
  • Provision of appropriate mechanisms to secure funding to assist regeneration
Housing
Delivering housing at the right scale, of the right type and in the right location to meet the needs of the whole community
6. Identify sites in Harlow to meet local needs and aspirations
  • Provision of housing to meet local needs and aspirations
  • Indication of location of growth
  • Ensuring infrastructure provision keeps pace with house completions
  • Where possible build on previously developed land first (sequential approach)
  • At appropriate locations regenerate existing residential areas to improve the quality and supply of housing
7. Meeting the housing needs of the community both now and in the future
  • Provision of affordable housing to meet Harlow’s needs now, and in the future reflecting the viability of sites
  • Provision for elderly and disabled people and other special needs housing
  • Provision of additional pitches for Gypsies and Travellers
8. Providing homes for a range of tenures
  • Addressing issues associated with dwellings in multiple occupation
  • Securing a mix of housing tenures to reflect Harlow’s current and future needs
9. Providing a range of house types
  • Ensuring new housing development provides a range of dwelling types to cater for all the community
  • Making the best use of land by developing minimum density requirements
10. Improve the quality of homes in the district
  • New development in existing areas to reflect the character of the area
  • Provision of Lifetime Homes
  • Ensure all homes are built in accordance with the “Building for Life “ criteria
  • Ensure all homes are built in accordance with the “Code for Sustainable Homes “ criteria
11. Regenerating existing neighbourhoods with a focus on priority estates
  • Identification of areas that are a priority for regeneration
  • Provision of a planning policy framework to support regeneration initiatives within the town
Prosperity
Securing economic growth and regeneration in order to improve employment and educational opportunities in the town to reflect its strategic role
12. Enhancing and reinforcing Harlow’s sub regional role and improving the town’s image
  • Develop and diversify the role of Harlow as a gateway to Europe and as a major location for employment, retail and leisure
  • Reinforce the role of the Town Centre as a major destination
  • Preparation of Area Action Plans and/or development briefs to reinforce the role and viability of neighbourhood centres· Promotion of mixed use development and higher densities within and around existing centres
  • Securing environmental improvements around neighbourhood centres including upgrades to the public realm
  • Restructuring the town centre to create permeability across town-centre and linkages with other centres
  • Improving the quality of employment space
  • Promoting enterprise and business start ups
13. Meeting the employment needs of the town
  • Promotion of Harlow as a strategic employment location
  • Identification of new employment areas to meet current and future needs
  • Retaining existing employment sites in their existing uses
  • Provision of a range of sites to meet employment needs
  • Enhancing transport linkages and other infrastructure to support business development
14. Reinforcing Harlow’s reputation as a key centre for Research and Development
  • Securing investment by strengthening and identifying opportunities for growth in the town
  • Facilitating research and development and growth at appropriate locations
15. Enhancing and diversifying educational and skills training opportunities in the town
  • Promotion of Harlow as a university town
  • Facilitate and support the expansion of existing and the provision of new educational facilities in the town
  • Recognising the links between the further education and emerging sectors to meet the future skill requirements of employers
16. Encourage diversification and investment in the towns employment base
  • Identification of locations within the existing town and urban extensions to attract new employment opportunities to the town
  • Promote mixed use development at appropriate locations
17. Regenerating the town centre and reinforcing its retail role in the wider sub region
  • Defining key retail areas within the town
  • Identify sites in the town centre to accommodate new retail development
  • Recognising the role other uses can play in reinforcing and adding vitality to the primary retail function of the town centre
18. Protecting and enhancing neighbourhood centres and hatches
  • Protecting and reinforcing primary, secondary and specialist retail areas in the town, neighbourhood centres and hatches
Lifestyles
Meeting the leisure, recreational and cultural requirements of the community in a sustainable manner
19. Protecting and enhancing sporting, leisure and recreation opportunities
  • Ensure adequate provision of facilities for formal and informal recreation in new and existing developments which are accessible
  • Provision of public spaces for events and other community uses
  • Protecting and enhancing allotment provision at appropriate locations
  • Create, protect and enhance green space provision in the town, in particular, improvements to the Town Park
  • Enhance the setting of and access to waterways and ponds in particular the River Stort
20. Provide and enhance cultural opportunities in the town
  • Provide a comprehensive range of social and recreational facilities for young people in new developments
  • Ensure new community facilities are flexibly designed to accommodate a broad range of activities and are accessible to all
  • Secure appropriate developer contributions for public art and entertainment provision in new developments
  • Secure the retention of cultural and entertainment facilities in the town, including a new theatre
Infrastructure
Ensuring growth and regeneration is supported by appropriate levels of infrastructure provision
21. Reduce need to travel by ensuring new development is located close to existing or new neighbourhood centres and good public transport networks
  • Consider the location of new development in a sequential manner
  • Addressing traffic congestion in the town
  • Make appropriate provision for car parking in development
  • Enhancing public transport provision to meet the needs of the community
22. Improve transport links to secure good access to a range of community facilities, neighbourhood centres, employment areas and green spaces
  • Improving bus, cycleway and footpath links in the town
  • Encourage provision of community facilities on good transport corridors
23. Secure new and enhanced community infrastructure including educational facilities to meet the needs of existing and future residents
  • Ensuring new development is supported by a range of infrastructure including education, health, social and other uses to meet community needs
  • Securing developer contributions for infrastructure provision
  • Ensure there is appropriate provision of primary care and public health facilities
  • Support the expansion of health facilities in existing health centres
24. Enhance and promote the role of Harlow as a transport interchange along the M11
  • Securing improvements to rail and bus capacity to meet existing and future needs
  • Refurbishment and/or redevelopment of the rail and bus stations
  • Ensuring strategic and other road capacity can meet future development requirements of the town
  • Enhancement of public transport and cycleway links to rail and bus stations
25. Work with key providers to ensure that the infrastructure requirements to serve new development can be met
  • Development of policies and initiatives to secure the provision of planned infrastructureŸ Promotion innovative transport measures such as Travel Plans
26. Ensure new development is provided through a phased approach in order not to overload existing infrastructure capacity
  • Development of phasing policiesŸ Delivery of mechanisms to secure provision
  • Encouraging partnership working to prioritise delivery and funding

4.7.5 The Council would like to hear views on the potential core policy areas outlined to date as well as any additional policy areas that have been missed. It is important that the Council develops policies that cover the range of issues affecting Harlow as these policies will be guide the future development across the District.

4.7.6 Once the Council has established what issues need to be addressed it will use future consultation opportunities to present more details on the alternative policy options available to address the range of issues that have been identified.

Question 11:

Do you think the policy areas identified cover the range of issues that are relevant to the regeneration of Harlow?

Question 12:

If you disagree/strongly disagree, what changes would you make to the policy areas?

To respond please use the separate Issues and Options consultation questionnaire

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
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