Infrastructure

Gilston Park Estate will see over £500m provided towards local social and transport infrastructure. Below you will find some of the frequent questions we’ve been asked on this topic.

  1. Will the proposals lead to increased congestion on local highway infrastructure and are you ignoring this argument?

    No, all our predictions about the impact on transport are evidence based. We have engaged in detailed discussions with Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils in respect of transport modelling for Gilston Area and the wider Harlow area. With the provision of appropriate mitigation, the transport network is expected to be able to accommodate forecast growth.

  2. Will the proposals lead to potential water shortages which could cause sewage problems?

    All promoters of the Gilston Area, as well as the Council, have undertaken recent engagement with Thames Water who, following the completion of recent capacity assessments, have concluded that the Rye Meads Sewerage Treatment Works can be upgraded to support forecast housing/employment growth.

  3. Will there be enough hospital beds - how will local services such as Princess Alexandra hospital cope?

    The Gilston Area development will provide sufficient local health services and facilities to meet the needs of the new resident population, whilst also benefiting the existing surrounding communities. We are aware that the NHS Trust are considering options for the relocation and/or expansion of the Princess Alexandra Hospital to meet forecast growth requirements.

  4. Who will be responsible for providing the necessary public services in the area?

    Places for People is working with a range of public service providers, including the NHS and emergency services to ensure that they have the physical capacity to provide services to existing and future residents.

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  5. Will you be putting highway infrastructure in place before you start building?

    Infrastructure delivery is a big investment and therefore requires careful phasing, so that physical infrastructure can be financed and delivered on site to support the delivery of the new homes and close working with the public sector agencies in terms of service delivery for the new and existing residents.

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  6. What is your position on the proposed new M11 Junction 7A?

    Places for People supports the initiative taken by Essex County Council to promote transport improvements that will assist in the economic development and regeneration of Harlow. Good transport links are important to enable Harlow to grow in terms of both jobs and homes.

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  7. What transport improvements will be made to access new jobs?

    The scheme includes significant investment in transport so that residents can easily reach jobs in Harlow and East Herts, including a new bridge over the River Stort, new bus routes and better access to Harlow Station. Places for People have committed to working with stakeholders to provide a northern access to Harlow station to better improve connectivity.

  8. Will the proposals lead to increased congestion on local highway infrastructure and are you ignoring this argument?

    No, all our predictions about the impact on transport are evidence based. We have engaged in detailed discussions with Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils in respect of transport modelling for Gilston Area and the wider Harlow area. With the provision of appropriate mitigation, the transport network is expected to be able to accommodate forecast growth.

  9. Will there be enough hospital beds - how will local services such as Princess Alexandra hospital cope?

    The Gilston Area development will provide sufficient local health services and facilities to meet the needs of the new resident population, whilst also benefiting the existing surrounding communities. We are aware that the NHS Trust are considering options for the relocation and/or expansion of the Princess Alexandra Hospital to meet forecast growth requirements.

  10. How will residents travel East from Terlings Park?

    Residents can travel east from Terlings Park, although it would require a minor diversion compared to today’s arrangements. Vehicles would need to turn left onto Eastwick Road (which will have significantly lower traffic flows as it will only provide access to Terlings Park and Burnt Mill Lane). Then at the new Village 1 east junction (in close proximity to Burnt Mill Lane) turn east and use the Eastern Crossing to head towards High Wych or to Temple Fields and other destinations. It represents a small change compared to the current arrangements, but we feel that the broader benefits of the changes (ie greater separation from the Eastern Stort Crossing, and an increase in the space we can use for planting) outweigh any dis-benefits.

  11. What is the justification for closing Gilston Lane?

    Our current proposal maintains access for all existing residents without encouraging through traffic and allowing ‘rat running’ along Gilston Lane. The exact details will be finalised at the Village Masterplanning or detailed planning application stage, and will be subject to ongoing monitoring to make sure they are effective.

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  12. Is the eastern crossing driven by the needs of your development or the aspiration of Essex County Council/Herts County Council for a cross county road across Hertfordshire to new M11 junction. How can you guarantee that the road will not attract cross County traffic through Pye Corner/Terlings Park?

    There is a lot of growth planned within the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town comprising the development in the Gilston Area and other developments around Harlow. As set out in the East Herts District Plan (October 2018), the Council will work with key stakeholders to deliver transport improvements to the crossings of the River Stort to support the significant housing and employment growth anticipated in the greater Harlow area and address the current pressures on the A414 corridor. While the overarching objective of the Gilston Park Estate proposals is to improve sustainable transport options, there will inevitably be a need for more highway infrastructure – in part to free up space for sustainable modes.

    The eastern crossing is one of those pieces of infrastructure and it is required for a number of reasons. It provides the additional crossing of the River Stort to take traffic away from the central crossing and free up capacity to provide a high-quality sustainable transport network between the site and Harlow town centre. This will benefit not only new residents, but also existing communities.

    At the same time, it provides a route from the site to junction 7a of the M11, the Enterprise Zone and east Harlow and provides relief to junctions along the western end of the A414 Edinburgh Way in Harlow. It will also act as a sustainable transport corridor as it will have a 5m wide walking and cycling link, and it includes enhanced connections to the canal towpath, facilitating leisure routes.

    The decision of any potential re-routing of the A414 is not a matter for PfP – this will be determined by Essex County Council/Herts County Council acting as the highway authorities.

  13. Will there be vehicular access to the station via Burnt Mill Lane?

    Many residents will be aware that Burnt Mill Lane was closed as a through road due to the bridge not being suitable for vehicles. There are no plans to change this arrangement and vehicular access to Harlow Town Station would remain as it is using Fifth Avenue and Station Approach. Our proposals will allow much greater capacity for bus, cycle and pedestrian travel along Fifth Avenue and to the station, and we will improve access for cyclists and pedestrians along Burnt Mill Lane – to the west of the stopping up point as well as to the east (connecting with Eastwick Road).

    In the future we plan to help facilitate a northern station access which would be accessible for pedestrians and cyclists from Burnt Mill Lane.

  14. 6. We assume that the sustainable bus strategy will be subsidised to get it working, how long will you do that for and what level of service will you provide?

    We are engaging the bus operators and have worked up a bus business plan with a series of triggers attached that will determine the level of service that will be delivered based on the number of homes completed.

    It is our intention that by the time 50 new homes have been built there will be a 15-minute frequency bus service between Village 1, Harlow Town train station and the town centre. As the number of new homes increases, the level of bus service will also increase.

    We will continue working with the Local Authorities to ensure they are content with the proposed level of bus subsidy to ensure an adequate level of service and help us meet our ambitious target of 60% of travel using sustainable modes.

  15. Where will the western access be? How will it fit in with Village 7 access and Church Lane junction off the A414?

    There is a proposed access point from Village 6 onto the A414 which has changed from a proposed roundabout to traffic signals which has been done partly to allow for greater priority to be given to buses. This junction is proposed to be located between the existing Church Lane (and proposed Village 7) junction and Eastwick Hall Lane.

    This access would be provided as part of the PfP proposals depending on two factors: firstly, whether it is needed as part of the potential additional employment/gypsies and travellers site in Village 6, and if not, only in the event that the Village 7 access further west (which uses the current junction between Church Lane and the A414), has not been provided at the time Village 6 is developed.

    The Village 7 access is very similar to the Village 6 one in that it would be signalised and again have bus priority. It is important to emphasise that Village 7 is being brought forward though a separate planning application made by Briggens Estate 1 Ltd as part of the Briggens Estate development.

  16. When do you anticipate the primary and secondary schools will be up and running?

    Planning for new schools and making sure they are in the right place at the right time is an important part of PfP’s proposals. We have spent a lot of time talking with Hertfordshire County Council as the local education authority about this. The commitment we made in our planning application back in May 2019 was that we would provide enough school places on site for every child from the new communities; and that we would make these spaces available as soon as possible. This commitment has not changed.

    In terms of primary education, we have agreed with Hertfordshire County Council that the first primary school places will be available early to support the first phases of development. The precise time for the opening of this school is currently being agreed.

    We are still in discussion with the County Council about when the secondary school provision opens. There are a number of things to consider, for instance, secondary school children might wish to stay at existing schools if it is still possible to travel there. It is also more of a challenge to open a secondary school at an early stage when the number of pupils is small. This can limit the curriculum the school is able to offer and may not be the best option for those children or for teachers. We are talking with the County Council and the Department for Education about how we progress with this and make sure the funding is in place so that school places are delivered as soon as possible to meet the needs of residents.

    We are also starting to think about more detailed plans for Village 1 which will have both secondary and primary education. Our early design work shows how the schools will be able to be delivered early and will become a central community asset as residents move in. This work is to be developed in the Village 1 Masterplan which will be prepared with the involvement of the community and other local stakeholders and submitted after the outline planning application has been determined.

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