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Prentice Place: Harlow Council update after criticism over delays to £3 million scheme

News / Tue 20th Nov 2018 at 06:29pm

Prentice Place regeneration project

PROGRESS is being made and so far the contractor – Vinci Facilities – have completed the following works as part of the regeneration project:

Stripped out all of the residential units.
Progressed works to change 2 x 1 bedroom flats into 1 x 2 bedroom maisonette.
Installed windows to the rear of the building.
Completed 1st fixing of the electrical and plumbing on the residential units.
Constructed rear garage/store units. Roof to be completed next.
Installed drainage works to the rear of the development.
Completed brickwork to the rear wall.
Scaffold to the front of the building has been erected in preparation to install new windows and the roof.
Rear of site is being prepared for the new road to be laid.
Retaining wall is complete.
Work on main roof to start early January.

A Harlow Council spokesperson said: “The contractor is working well with the retailers and surrounding neighbours and all are being kept updated. We are in regular contact with the contractor, retailers and residents living in the area.

Although progress is being made unfortunately the completion of the project has been put back by four to six months due to the following factors outside of our control:

Ground conditions to the rear of the site were not as expected following the initial surveys which led to a complete re-design and sequencing of the work.

The need for a retaining wall to the south of the rear car park required redesigning due to the depth of the foundations and nearby trees.

The main sub-contractor responsible for all the groundworks, brick work and drainage going out of business resulting in Vinci requiring to re-tender the works.

A delay in receiving the ‘technical approval’ from Essex County Council for the adopted areas.
Contractor unable to start groundworks to the front of Prentice Place until the rear groundworks have been completed.

“It is not uncommon for projects like this to be delayed due to outside factors. The contractor has made progress in other areas to try and keep the program on track and where possible claw back some time We are confident that more progress will be made over the coming months into the new year. Once completed the £3m project will transform the small neighbourhood shopping centre with:

· New pitched roofs on all residential blocks.

· New windows throughout.

· Complete refurbishment of the inside and outside of 15 homes which will include Council housing.

· Creating a new car parking area.

· Transforming the public spaces at the front and back of the centre.

· New ramps and entrance doors to all shops.

· New storage facilities at the rear of shops to tidy up the area.

At the back of the centre existing garages will be removed along with unused bin stores to open up walkways through the new development. This will give a sense of openness and safety for residents, retailers and customers. Harlow College design students have also come up with ideas for new artwork that can brighten up the back of the centre.

The scheme has been registered with Secure By Design which sets standards for how developments can be secure and design out crime. It is hoped that the scheme will achieve a gold award and to help with this all new lighting will be LED to allow for CCTV to easily pick up clear pictures.

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