Essex

Harlow Gilden Way homes appeal backed by Eric Pickles

A council is to seek legal advice after plans for more than 1,000 new homes in Essex were approved by the Secretary of State.

Harlow Council did not decide on the plans for about 1,100 new homes in the town within the allowed time limit.

As a result, Barratt Strategic, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey appealed and a public inquiry was held.

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has upheld the appeal.

In a letter Mr Pickles said there was "a pressing need for housing in Harlow" and the development was "sustainable".

Outline planning permission for the building project has been given.

During the inquiry, the developers said the Gilden Way plot had previously been cited by the council as a location for house-building.

Edna Stevens, chairman of the Labour-run council's development management committee, said: "We share residents' disappointment that this decision has been made.

"Planning officers are reviewing the secretary of state's decision and the inspector's report and the council is seeking independent legal advice to see what our next steps could be."

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