West Katherines, Harlow.


Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon Homes, Martin Grant Homes


2100 dwellings

Local Authority

Epping Forest District Council



Key Project Information

  • We are involved in the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town on behalf of three national housebuilders.
  • Epping Forest District Council, Harlow Council and East Hertfordshire Council are working in partnership together with all stakeholders including landowners and promoters, to bring forward transformational growth in the form of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.  The Garden Town represents a major opportunity to accommodate around 16,000 homes between London and Cambridge.
  • Harlow and Gilston Garden Town comprises four new Garden Town Communities:
    East of Harlow;
    Latton Priory;
    Water Lane Area; and
  • We are promoting part of the Water Lane area (approx. 2,100 homes). We are providing planning advice and masterplanning.
  • This is an emerging allocation in the Epping Forest Local Plan.  The Garden Town form part of the Government’s programme with significant funding for the LPA’s involved to deliver this growth.

The objectives of this project were to provide a local plan allocation and planning permission for transformative residential development.

This was achieved by working closely with the client, the LPA, all stakeholders and adjacent landowners to achieve a comprehensive development which meets the Garden Town principles and is compliant with the emerging Local Plan.

West Harlow School Expansion
  • The Water Lane Garden Town will be a forward thinking 21st Century place.
  • The intention is to create an aspirational living environment that provides a strong sense of place with a variety of high-quality living patterns.
  • It will deliver new infrastructure that will provide residents with a range of transport choices that will help move Harlow towards a more sustainable future.
  • The Water Lane Area will deliver:
  • at least 2,100 homes;
    a local centre;
    a new primary school (2.5 hectares); and
    community and health facilities all supported by significant new strategic green infrastructure.


There is an opportunity to create a distinctive local identity for the Water Lane Area as a new garden community, including at its heart, attractive and functioning local centres and public realm. Its design will be underpinned by the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Vision combined with Sir Frederick Gibberd’s founding principles for the growth of Harlow.

There will be vibrant mixed-use communities at West Katherines and West Sumners that support a range of local employment types and premises, retail opportunities, recreational and community facilities within ‘walkable neighbourhoods’ that follow good urban design principles and include greater greenspaces and trees.

Economy and regeneration

At the heart of Water Lane Area, a Community Hub incorporating a new 2.5 ha primary school and early learning centre, sports pitches and play area supporting the existing facilities at Tyler’s Cross Farm Shop, Bonnie Oaks Garden Centre, The Black Swan public house, and other local facilities will be provided.

The site is close to the existing and future employment opportunities at Pinnacles and the Public Health England campus, with easy access by foot, cycle or public transport.

At the heart of the two neighbourhoods West Katherines and West Sumners, a new or replacement Local Centre or ‘Hatch’ providing complimentary uses will be provided.

Sustainable movement

The site will enable the provision of part of the east-west Sustainable Transport Corridor integrating footpaths, cycle ways and public transport connecting the Water Lane area to Harlow Town Centre.

There will be provision of new footpath routes through the Water Lane area connecting with the existing PROW and providing links beyond the Water Lane Area to Roydon Station.

Landscape and Green Infrastructure

Focused on the retained and enhanced woodland features, local wildlife sites, mature hedgerows and trees, there will be the creation of a new interconnected green infrastructure providing opportunities for exercise and play.

The Green Wedge Network created by Sir Frederick Gibberd along the Parndon Brook will be expanded.

SUDS infiltration and attenuation areas within the Water Lane Area will be provided to future proof the impacts of climate change including flood risk and water availability.


Placemaking and Homes

Welcoming and inclusive, the Water Lane area will provide healthy, safe and connected neighbourhoods at West Katherines, Tyler’s Cross and West Sumners.

Located adjacent to and partly within the Roydon and Nazeing Conservation Area and incorporating a number of Listed buildings, the Water Lane area development will respect the heritage of the area.

There will be a wide range of high quality, distinctive homes offered including affordable housing and a mix of tenures for all stages of life with higher density development primarily focused along the Strategic Transport Corridor and close to the local centres/hatches.

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