Naisha Polaine Appointed Director of Harlow & Gilston Garden Town 

OF Naisha Polaine (nee Blake, m84-86) has been named as the new Director for the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) development in Essex.

Naisha will be responsible for the major growth and regeneration project which will comprise of new and existing communities in and around Harlow. She will work closely alongside developers to ensure that 16,000 new homes are delivered in the Garden Town by 2033.

Naisha starts the role in April 2021 and will be joining the HGGT team from the Department of International Trade, where she served as a Senior Advisor having previously led Essex and Kent for Homes England. She was a Non-Executive Director for Cambridge University’s North West Cambridge Development Board and is currently a NED for Hill – an award-winning 5-star housebuilder in London and the south-east. She has also previously sat on the board of Harlow Enterprise Zone and helped secure investment for the Kao Data Campus that sits alongside Harlow Science Park.

Naisha explains, “Harlow & Gilston is one of the biggest and most active growth areas in southern England and I've been watching it unfold with interest. It is already a remarkable partnership between five local authorities and has the interests of its existing and future community right at its heart.” 

“Change can be challenging, but sustainable, well-planned economic growth can create opportunities for everyone and maybe it means your children and grandchildren can live and work locally and in a place they are proud to call home. We have to think about the next generation and give them the opportunities that we’ve been lucky to have in our lifetime.”

Naisha grew up in Essex and attended Felsted’s sixth form between 1984-86. During her time in Manor House, she was a Head Prefect, along with being a member of the school choir and squash team. Her love of urban geography began with the inspirational teaching of Mr Elwin while at Felsted and credits her passion for place-making to him.  

Read more about HGGT