Harlow and Gilston was designated as a Garden Town by the Department for Homes, Communities and Local Government in January 2017 and will comprise new and existing communities in and around Harlow.

The new Garden Town will encompass all of existing Harlow and also create new development sites to the north, south, east and west.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will regenerate the Town and create new opportunities in the region: new jobs, homes, schools and other community and cultural facilities. 16,000 new homes will be delivered by 2033, with a further 7,000 planned for the Gilston area to be built from 2033 onwards.

As well as being a catalyst for economic growth, the Garden Town will also have sound environmental principles embedded in its design and delivery. Extensive green space has been included in the plans; a network of walking and cycling links will connect different communities within the Town and allow easy access to the wider countryside and Stort Valley. Our goal is that 60% of journeys originating in the new neighbourhoods and 50% of journeys originating in the Garden Town will be made by foot, bicycle or public transport. This will rely on a radically enhanced sustainable transport network, and new routes, supported by extensive community engagement to promote and encourage alternative transport solutions.

The Garden Town is supported by numerous delivery partners and numerous local stakeholders. The initiative itself is led by five Local Authorities:

  • East Herts District Council
  • Epping Forest District Council
  • Harlow District Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council

The Garden Town Board is made up elected Members nominated by the five Local Authorities and is led by an Independent Chair. The Board meets formally no fewer than six times a year and, as we transition from policy making to delivery phases, is leading on a strategic governance and delivery review.