Panel and audience from the Building Garden Communities Conference 2024

HGGT at Garden Communities Conference

The fourth annual Building Garden Communities Conference took place in London last week with the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town team joined by experts from across housebuilding, planning, community development, environment and technology.

Taking place at the Royal Institute of British Architects, HGGT were represented on the panel discussions throughout the day by Garden Town Director, Naisha Polaine, and the project’s Principal Economy Officer, Sam Terrell.

Hear from both Naisha and Sam via the video below.

Naisha was part of the Building Through Change discussion which was hosted by Jane Groom (London Communications Agency) and focussed on the economic, political, social, cultural and physical considerations when creating new communities.

Joining Naisha on the panel were Christine de Ferrars Green (Mills & Reeve), Olly Buck (Ptarmigan Land), Jeremy Potter (Chelmsford City Council) and Jackie Sadek (The UK Innovation Corridor).

“It’s really important to me that Harlow & Gilston is here and that we’re supporting such a great event as the garden community network is now well established across the UK,” commented Naisha.

And looking back on the panel discussion, Naisha said: “A big topic has been the supply of new homes as well as the cost of living crisis and the large inequalities that comes with that.

“Looking at delivery over multi tenures is very important to Harlow & Gilston Garden Town, if you build housing for sale, for rent and build to rent at the same time then you’re meeting the wider need as people are looking for different things from new development.

“Conference delegates are recognising that Harlow & Gilston Garden Town has made great strides in the last three years and we’re no longer a project talking about policy documents.

“We have a resolution for grant across 10,000 homes in Gilston and we anticipate a planning application for around 1000 homes in Latton Priory in the next few months.

“Homes are going to happen and they are coming to the local area soon.

“Alongside that is the regeneration of Harlow town centre and work has also begun on our new sustainable transport corridor which will prioritise active travel so Harlow & Gilston is on its way.”

The Garden Town’s Sam Terrell was part of the Data and AI in the Planning Process panel which featured Paul Meadows (Sensat), Stephanie Edwards (Urban Symbiotics) and Joe Tansey (Dept for Levelling Up).

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