Ambitious regeneration plans to turn Harlow into “small city” set to be put before council

General / Fri 3rd Sep 2021 at 08:36am

PLANS for a wide-scale regeneration of Harlow which could see it become “a small city” are set to be voted on by councillors next week reports a Local Democracy Reporter.

If implemented, the proposals would update Harlow’s infrastructure, as the current draft of the Town Plan predicts it could grow by 19,000 homes to a population of 130,000 over coming decades.

The consultation draft contains proposals for boundary changes to encompass Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, new transport links, such as investigating the feasibility of a tube station in Harlow, and regenerating the town centre.

The draft also claims Harlow will become “the health-science capital of Europe,” as the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) prepares to move its headquarters to the town and a new hospital and innovation park continue to be developed.

Harlow Council’s Cabinet will vote next Thursday (September 9) on whether to endorse the aspirations set out in the draft and then whether to authorise an eight-week public consultation period.

A section of the draft reads: “This ‘greater Harlow’ will have an additional 19,000 homes and the population will be close to 130,000; a small city.

“This is the opportunity to deliver the vital critical mass required to attract the infrastructure and facilities we have been seeking for some years.

“It is important, however, that we have the infrastructure, vital to sustainable development, provided at pace to avoid the town being overwhelmed.”

The “Harlow @ 100 Vision” is set forward in the draft, which aims to provide a “unified cohesive future vision” as it approaches its centenary.

As the town continues to grow in the medium term, the council is set to lobby for boundary changes to encompass Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

New buildings in the town centre would also be more sustainable, including features like green walls, roof-top gardens and small wind turbines.

The feasibility of extending the Central Line and London Transport zones to Harlow would be investigated and connectivity to Crossrail 2 would be examined.

A masterplan for the town centre is also being produced, with a series of “quarters” being proposed. For example, a cultural quarter around the Playhouse, a retail corridor running north from the Water Gardens to Sainsbury’s and an entertainment and hospitality quarter around the Market Square.

Existing leisure facilities like sports pitches and playing fields would be reviewed to make sure they are suitable for an increase in population. The council also hopes to provide a new theatre to attract touring West End shows and concerts.

The draft notes Harlow’s current recycling centre is not big enough for the potential growth, so suggests a new site should be found in partnership with Essex County Council.

Finally, the plan proposes better promotion of the town, “putting Harlow on the map” to attract further investment.

If approved by the Cabinet, a public consultation period will run from late September to November.

The Town Plan Panel would then consider comments made by residents and submit an updated version to the Cabinet in the new year.

For more details, go to:


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11 Comments for Ambitious regeneration plans to turn Harlow into “small city” set to be put before council:

2021-09-03 09:15:54

It would be nice to see more trees and places to sit in the town centre.

2021-09-03 09:16:50

I haven't seen the plans, though.

2021-09-03 10:36:16

The way consulting companies like those involved with Latton development, PFP and hggt work and the desire of the government, and Essex and Harlow Council to build homes and more and more roads regardless of the marked decrease in population, increase in congestion and serious catastrophic climate consequences, the more Harlow will cease to be a garden town as Sir Francis Gibberd envisaged. Development here in Harlow in recent years is making the town into a dormitory commuter town for those executives from London. These plans will make matters worse. 23000 homes already planned for hggt pfp developments wont meet the standards set by the Gibberd plan as housing density is increased and green spaces like Purford Green are in filled. It appears that in this expansion by hggt for instance, there's not one Council home being built. There appear to be links between private development companies and both Councils and government that don't appear to be healthy for residents and the environment. Overloading towns by this kind of expansion that just fills the pockets of speculative builders simply ruins them. It's happening everywhere, a speculative feeding frenzy that puts profits before people and the environment. Evidence: see Facebook Community Planning Alliance

Andy T
2021-09-03 11:20:01

How do we see this plan before they vote on it?? Or will it just happen to us?

2021-09-03 11:37:27

As with J7a) hggt pfp and Kathryns consultation will be poor and the consequences dire.

Steven snell
2021-09-03 12:31:04

Maybe they will just turn church Langley from a village to a town?

2021-09-03 13:06:12

Sort out the parking first

2021-09-03 15:03:56

No mention of including disability access, whether car parking or access routes/areas to help with day to day life and integration with able bodied people.

2021-09-03 15:21:32

We are in desperate need of more social housing for harlow. I won't hold my breathe though.

2021-09-04 03:08:03

When people talk about the countryside most of the time they are talking about farmers factories.

Mollie Clements.
2021-09-06 11:29:00

Sounds great to me.

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