A big change could be coming for motorists who travel between Harlow and East Hertfordshire under new plans.

Councillors will vote next week on plans to improve access into Harlow and the creation of a new Eastern Stort Crossing, which was first mentioned in 2018.

The work would include the widening of the existing crossing which connects A414 and Fifth Avenue, which could benefit those travelling from Hoddesdon and Hertford.

The creation of a new roundabout and infrastructure in River Way would support the planned new Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. Both proposals have been submitted by the same applicant Places for People Ltd.

Read more: ‘Nobody wants this crossing, it’s vandalism’ says angry protesters

The project would bring a total of 10,000 new homes to the area and has been supported by both Harlow and East Herts district councils and Hertfordshire County Council, but is yet to receive planning permission.

The infrastructure work crosses the boundary between counties and councils, meaning the developers will need approval from both local authorities before work can begin.

The creation of the Eastern roundabout would bring together three new roads. Two of the roads would result in a realignment of the current Eastwick Road between the Fifth Avenue roundabout and Pye Corner.

The third new road would travel between the new roundabout and River Way, through woodland and passing over the Stort Valley and River Stort Navigation.

Plans for new Stort Crossings into Harlow will be voted on next week credit: Places for People Clear for all LDRS partners

Plans for new Stort Crossings into Harlow will be voted on next week credit: Places for People Clear for all LDRS partners

Plans for the Stort crossing

That has raised concerns with campaigners wanting to protect green space in the area.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England said they were concerned at the “sprawling nature” of the concept, with the new infrastructure built on green belt land.

East Herts District Council has received 356 objections from residents on their planning website, alongside a petition that reached 5,360 signatures. One comment on the council’s portal was in favour of the proposals.

Residents’ concerns included worries about the scheme’s design, impact on the character of the landscape and wildlife, and that it could encourage more car usage.

Read more: MP tells River Stort crossing developers to 'go back to the drawing board'

There are also new bridges adjacent to Fifth Avenue proposed to support widening the highway along Fifth Avenue, which is referred to as the Central Stort Crossing. This will allow for connections to ‘Village 1’ in the Garden Town plans, which will include seven new villages in total.

A third application for planning permission in relation to repair works to Fiddlers’ Bridge will also be discussed.

Officers have recommended all three proposals are backed by councillors, saying that the benefits of the new infrastructure will outweigh the visual harm.

Councillors in East Herts will vote on the proposals on Tuesday, November 16, before councillors in Harlow vote on the following day.

The outline planning application for the housing development is expected to be heard in spring 2022.