Bid for extra floor on top of Market Square development in town centre

General / Tue 12th Apr 2022 pm30 02:49pm

A PLANNING application for an extra storey of flats in a proposed development in Market Square is set to be discussed this week.

The application is for:

Erection of fifth storey to provide eight new self-contained flats and alterations to facades together with external alterations.

The proposal would raise the existing roof height by 3m such that the building would have a maximum height of 15m. The additional floor would be set back from the main front elevation by 1.75m and in from the western elevation to align with the ground floor commercial uses side elevation. A rear deck access would provide access to all the flats.

The eight flats would be comprised of 1x 2-bed dwelling and 7 x 1-bed dwellings. It is proposed that the new storey would be provided in a light grey panelling.

It is proposed to provide balconies to each of the dwellings facing south (onto Market Square/Stone Cross Square).

Eight representations have been received raising objections on the following grounds on the scheme as originally submitted. These raise the following design comments:

  • The proposed materials would result in a poor quality development out of character with the existing building and buildings in the locality of Market Square
  • Market House is an iconic and historic building and Harlow is unique; the proposal would result in another generic urban centre
  • All the building façade needs is a clean and repair rather than cladding in aluminium panels
  • Aluminium and grey glass are totally unsuitable for an extension to this building
  • To ensure the proposed additional floor is not out of character, it should be set in by
    1.5m, maintaining the existing parapet line
  • There should be no changes to the existing fenestration patterning

The planning committee meets at 7.30pm on Wednesday April 13th at the council chambers in the Water Gardens.

The full application can be found below.


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20 Comments for Bid for extra floor on top of Market Square development in town centre:

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-13 08:05:04

There have been contributors to these pages who might have thrown doubt in readers minds about what I and the Harlow Alliance Party have been saying about the future of Harlow Town Centre. Cllr Swords said I was wrong, but here it is, the Planning Application to extend the height of Market Square, which already has Planning Permission to convert it in to flats. The Tory Masterplan agreed some 3 weeks ago envisages this area becoming some sort of hospitality hub, without giving a jot of information about how that would happen. Not sure how those living in these flats and the new block to be built behind Market House will feel about that. Numerous Planning Application have already passed through the Council for new flat blocks, as things stand many more will follow.

Dan Swords
2022-04-13 10:55:00

Dear Nich, I’m afraid you are wrong again. I’d be more than happy to do a hustings about the town centre and point out why you are wrong on just about everything you have ever said about the town centre, whenever this site may deem it necessary. For now, the people of Harlow will have their say on your views in just a few weeks time. I’ve corrected you many times and will continue to do so, as being spurious on speculative development is dangerous and damaging to the work we are doing to finally deliver town centre regeneration.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-13 12:35:24

Dan, despite my repeated requests you have still neither corrected me or provided any evidence to readers which shows why you can say I am wrong. Why wait for a hustings? You have endorsed a Master Plan which sets out a vision for the Town Centre which cost us Council Tax payers £93,000 to produce. The Planning Application before members tonight is just one of a number that have gone through the Committee system, which sets the tone for the future of the Town Centre. You seem to be taking a leaf out of Boris' book, if you say something long enough you hope people will believe you. The work in Market Square has not been completed despite well over a year and all we have seen so far is a few shrub boxes along Broadwalk. Have you taken a look at these recently, who is supposed to be looking after them? So I repeat, don't wait for a hustings ......... O and what about the announcement about the future of Occasia House that was supposed to be announced by your Party n March?

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-13 12:57:07

It seems that theses councils never learn by there mistakes. Dan swords, where's the infrastructure for town. Have you seen the traffic around town now. Placing people in town centres is not a good idea. What infrastructure are you putting in place.? I've noticed that you don't seem to have the correct answers, or you just don't answer. So I'm surprised that you have answered here. I asked you many questions that you don't seem to respond to. I'm sorry but I just don't believe what you say You said your building hundreds of council houses , 99 in fase 1. I asked how many in fase 2 an 3. No response. We pay you to sit there, listen to Harlow people.

Matthew 2
2022-04-13 17:09:43

Nicholas, I never denied there are plans to put more flats in the town centre. As I've stated previously I don't think you can have a large investment in leisure and cultural facilities without the larger population to make it viable. Let me re-cast doubt on you're statement 'the town centre will be devoid of leisure and cultural facilities' - Example 1: On the Strawberry Star development (adjacent to market square); plans are for the whole ground floor (3,000sqm of space) to be dedicated to leisure including new retail, cafes, resturants, community spaces and co-work spaces on top of new public realm. Don't take my word for it readers, visit this link: https://tinyurl.com/454z6b52 then read pages 77-79. Whilst you're there, I encourage you to read more of the document and make your own minds up. Example 2: On the Crown Gate Place site (next to Terminus House and Holiday Inn); majority of the ground floor dedicated to leisure again; new retail, cafe and gym. Link here readers: https://tinyurl.com/mrx6nhes - page 12. Example 3: Playhouse Square development - a 'arts and cultural plaza' new leisure and culture including a large plaza akin to Kings Cross at the front of the playhouse with new cafe, exhibition and workshop spaces. There's 3 examples without mentioning the plans for market square itself, the planned new bus station area, the new park opposite the Royal Mail depot and Leisure Zone itself. This is all publicly available information; either you know of all this and are deliberatly misleading readers, or you aren't aware of all this and are spreading incorrect information as Cllr Swords has suggested. By the way, where's the detailed information on building a larger theatre in town that I requested? Not heard a jot yet.

2022-04-13 17:29:32

At last years local Elections Conservatives leaflets come through the door stating you would stop the Development at Sumners. Can we have an update on that one. ?

2022-04-13 18:07:50

Noisy and loud bars and loads of late night revellers and more cramped rabbit hutches of flats and families in properties without gardens. High concentration of students in the area. Sounds like a recipe for disaster: trying to replicate the worst kind of developments we see in many towns, with lots of interventions from the police being necessary. Once a town reaches a critical size like Harlow then the old concept of a town centre for shopping and leisure, especially when the population there is massively increased, totally breaks down. Add to this increased volumes of traffic and congestion, made worse by a poor transport plan then Harlow residents will find the quality of life and the environment here will decline radically. Keep the Leisure and entertainment development away from residents. No one should have to live in hi rise flats in a garden town.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-13 18:57:37

So just who is Mathew 2, is that you Dan in disguise? If not, I don't remember being asked about a larger theatre by anyone else. Readers should be aware that even at this early stage, office conversions and new development will already see some 1400 flats in the Town Centre with an additional similar number shown in the Tories Master Plan. So lets look at the response that 'Mathew 2' has provided. Firstly, Strawberry Star is already behind the schedule they first set out, the site adjacent to the former Odeon has remained a wasteland since Gate House was demolished, their office windows look as though no-one has been in the sales office for a couple of years, the former Little Walk was demolished some seven years ago and rubbish has piled up many times since. Plans to bring leisure and new retail space on the ground floor of flat blocks up to 23 storeys in height adds little to what was already there, indeed the ground floor of Joseph Rank House may give an indication of how successful such proposals for a tower block may be. The proposal for the ground floor of of the new high rise block next to Terminus House is I believe wishful thinking, we may have to agree to disagree. It is the plan for the Playhouse Square, to create a an arts and cultural plaza which is of most concern. Without a much larger theatre, Harlow will never become a regional centre for the Arts. The Plaza will as things stand have a big flat block in front of it, 'hiding' what should be one of the most important entrances to the Harvey Centre. I understand the Taxi Rank is to be moved into College Square, making way for a paved area, which the weather dictates will be rarely used for outdoor activities ( Market Square for an example!). We have more than enough cafes in the town centre, your plans seem to rest on having far more. If you really think that a new bus station, new 'park' behind the Royal Mail Depot and not sure what on the Leisurezone site will bring more visitors to Harlow, well you really are living in a fairy wonderland. But lets not worry, apparently Harlow will be the best town in Britain, we will have the best Town Centre in Essex and the best cycle track in the world.

Dan Swords
2022-04-13 20:07:24

Dear Nich, Please don’t accuse me of yet more mistruths. The editor can check that I do not use alternative names. You are so wrong and clearly rattled that you are unaware as to what is going on. Spurious claims are very dangerous. You have no plan whatsoever, but put your views to the people of Harlow and they will decide. I look forward to the hustings.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-13 22:21:27

Dear Dan, your Party is full of mis-truths from the very top to the bottom as we have all found out in the last day or so. No-one else has ever asked me about the theatre except you so perhaps Mathew 2 is someone you have spoken about it to. I am certainly not rattled, I am not making spurious claims, on the future of Harlow and the Town Centre we have different views, unfortunately you and your Party are following the the footsteps of Labour, you think you know best. You have recently agreed to a new consultation policy, why not do a town wide full consultation exercise, take the Masterplan to resident associations, to Neighbourhood Watch groups, the towns U3A, and the many other groups around the town, not just use social media as the council is so keen to do now. I guess the reason you would not bother to do that is that despite 6000 objecting to the trashing of the Stort Valley, your Party still voted to do just that.

Dan Swords
2022-04-14 06:50:10

Dear Nich If you’d read the cabinet report that’s exactly the sort of consultation we will be carrying out in step 2/3. Again a complete misunderstanding on your part. I don’t know who Mathew 2 is nor do I speak to anyone about your hair-brained ideas. Again, I look forward to the hustings.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-14 08:47:13

Dear Dan, I fully understand what the report says. You will recall my questions at last Full Council on the subject of consultation, it is clear that despite having a Consultation Strategy in place, for the last year your Party has followed in the footsteps of the Labour administration by failing to follow most of that strategy, almost entirely relying on social media. Hence just 185 responses were received from eight consultation exercises. The report said more needed to be done on line, when in fact the exact opposite is needed, that is, presenting proposals to resident associations and the like. I look forward to the Council taking such steps and perhaps more importantly, providing feedback from these consultations.

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-14 09:16:46

Dan swords, there's no reason to be rude to people, I've noticed your attitude , if you don't like people questions and ideas, I expect your in wrong job, after all we pay you to sit there.

Tony Durcan
2022-04-14 09:51:48

Gentlemen please let’s stay civil in the discussion. The town centre plan isn’t new as the ideas and concept described is the same that has been discussed for the last 2 years. It was moving to this point regardless There is nothing new as we’re still waiting for the strategic partnership to be set up as agreed this time last year. We hope work will start around west gate,this was always going to have a mixture of housing and retail outlets. owners of market house want to build high and again will have mixed retail on the ground floor,they have always be very open about their ambition. The key points are the old occasio house that was bought by the council last year. This again will offer the option of housing as well as community facilities including a dedicated art and culture arena. The site around the hotel is an opportunity but the owners are still considering their options but likely to be homes on top of retail. The big ones are the old court building and the post office building.Both could unlock both sides of the town centre. The ambition hasn’t changed but it totally silly to think the ownership of the ambition has changed. This will only work with co operation and partnership not some party Political stunts and cheap name calling. The council is continuing the work we started and pleased this has been endorsed by the current administration. Thank you Enjoy the Easter break

Julie Taylor
2022-04-15 14:02:20

Dear Dan, Changing the subject to one of renewable energy and the climate crisis may I ask if there are plans for any solar panels for any if the new buildings? Now would be the time to incorporate them.

Jennifer Steadman
2022-04-15 14:09:59

Where are these residents supposed to park their vehicles or are you planning some kind of underground parking? Maybe you could turn market square into a giant car park? Its little use for anything else right now! The flats at Wych Elm 88 flats with 11 parking spaces??? Maybe you could provide each tenant with a bike FoC?

Dan Swords
2022-04-15 15:01:38

Dear Kim, We are building council houses, not housing association. Dear Nich, we have far more in common when it comes to consultation in the spirit you mention than we may believe. Dear Tony, You are wrong on the suggestions you make about the area. The points you make directly contradict the masterplan you supported at Cabinet last month. Dear Julie, Absolutely. In fact all of our council houses are set to be net zero developments with the kind of attributes you mention.

Julie Taylor
2022-04-15 15:54:04

Thank you Dan. I am really pleased to hear this. I didn’t mean the housing though. What I’d like to see is solar panels placed on the roofing of all warehouses, and any other leisure or commercial structures providing it is south facing of course.

Dan Swords
2022-04-16 12:12:30

Hi Julie, Yes exactly that too

Sean Lynch
2022-05-15 14:13:29

Let’s change subject to traffic , you’ve got new flats at Wych Elm , more proposed the town centre and all those blocks going up down by the station, how many cars is that going to bring in.

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