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Council set to agree measures to protect the character of Harlow’s first neighbourhood

07 Sep Council set to agree measures to protect the character of Harlow’s first neighbourhood

Harlow Council is set to confirm the introduction of planning protections to preserve the unique character and features of Mark Hall North conservation area.
A report will be considered by Cabinet on Thursday 7 September, which if agreed will see an Article 4 Direction for the area come into force. This is currently scheduled for 28 October 2023. The direction was agreed in principle a year ago subject to 12 months’ notice and a consultation process.

When planning Mark Hall North, Sir Frederick Gibberd intended that each estate had distinctive styles designed by different architects, resulting in unique housing groups in each estate along with associated landscaping. The Article 4 Direction is important to allow the council to manage changes to housing in the area to ensure original designs, styles and features can be preserved as much as possible.

The direction means residents living in Mark Hall North would need the council’s permission before carrying out external alterations to their home, such as:
Rear extensions, windows and external painting
Roof alterations
Rear outbuildings
Gates, fences and walls.
The final Article 4 Direction has been altered following feedback from residents in the summer of 2022. This includes permission only being needed if the alterations are visible to others from a road, footpath or bridleway. Aerials, satellite dishes and solar panels have been removed from the final Article 4 Direction and do not require permission under the direction.
Mark Hall North was designated a conservation area in 1987 and the area’s boundary was modified last year.
Councillor Michael Hardware, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said:
“Mark Hall North is one of ten conservation areas in the town and was the first neighbourhood to completed as part of Harlow new town. Therefore, it contains several unique housing styles and layouts which were new and innovative at the time that we wish to protect in future. We have been talking to residents about the extra measures that we can take to protect the character and original features of Mark Hall North.
“These extra protections mean that residents in Mark Hall North will have to apply for planning permission to make certain changes to their home, although the protections will not be applied retrospectively. This is all part of our priority to restore pride in Harlow.

“I would like to thank residents who have contributed their views and comments during the consultations. Many of the comments raised have been listened to and have shaped the final Article 4 direction.”