Harlow Council approve plans for close to 600 homes in town centre
Lifestyle / Thu 27th Oct 2022 at 10:07am
HARLOW Council has approved plans for the £46m major redevelopment of buildings and land in Harlow town centre.
Plans submitted by the Strawberry Star Group which were approved last night (26 October 2022) by the Development Management Committee will see the redevelopment of derelict land and existing buildings near the Harvey Centre, opposite Market Square and on Broad Walk, East Gate and West Gate.
The redevelopment will deliver:
The redevelopment will bring in around £38m to Harlow’s local economy during the construction period.
The council and Strawberry Star have worked closely to revise and improve the plans. The original plans in 2021 were for 837 homes up to 27 storeys . The approved plans are for 578 homes with the height of the two towers reduced to 16 storeys.
Councillor Dan Swords, Deputy Leader of Harlow Council, has welcomed the approval of the plans which he said are a major boost to confidence in Harlow town centre and its regeneration. He said:
“This is a fantastic day for Harlow and the future of our town centre. Through the production of our Town Centre Masterplan earlier this year and our work in making developments such as this possible, major investment is now coming into our town centre to transform what has been so sadly neglected, into a thriving high-quality heart of the town.
“We are getting on with regenerating Harlow town centre and this includes securing massive private investment from major land and building owners which will also boost the local economy. We have worked closely with Strawberry Star to improve and refine the final plans so that they fit in with the council ambitions for the town centre. The result is the most significant regeneration opportunity in Harlow town centre for a generation. Not only will we see new high-quality homes and massive improvements to public open space, but it will also bring with it almost £50million of investment in one of the neglected parts of our town centre. And this is just the start, alongside our other town centre initiatives, this will be the catalyst for exciting improvements in the years ahead.
“This is a huge investment which gives confidence to the market that Harlow and the town centre are places worth investing in. This is an exciting time for our town centre and the plans for the regeneration of the whole town centre are all starting to come together with the council and the private sector investing in our town.”
Film of the application is below.
You learn nothing.
Safe to say it won’t look as good as the artwork.
Does this mean that the eyesore of the old Odeon Cinema will at last be removed?
What I know of Harlow council is that they listened to the binmen stories, who I know didn't do pick-ups and then HTS re-dumped that waste on my living room and so to solve the so-called dumping, them not picking up/enough. The council decided to rip up the once communal garden outside my living room and turn it into the block's dump site. Giving me 2 dump sites, There were many email and complaints by me, and a petition by others, but with binmen googles on the council went ahead and trashed my only view at Mercers, now at the concrete stage. So to me the council is unelectable, unaccountable and a rough dictatorship doing the binmen's bidding and blighting the town with tiny box homes and bin sheds, because the council is a trash firm first and a homes firm last. There is no democracy when it comes to the Harlow council, they're all faceless and in hiding and no are ever held to account for their disastrous actions, they dump on the town massive. My home is now a full on eye sore trash sight. The council doesn't give one jot about folk, their ailments and the normal peaceful lives they're trying to lead, just how bad they can claim people are in order to carry on with their wanton malicious hate on rate payers.
Apart from the stupidities of building hi rise rabbit hutches for commuters in a low rise town, making the town centre more congested and not building more social family housing with gardens for the 5000 on the housing waiting list these buildings look absolutely dreadful. A ten year old could have done better. We'll probably find one of the inner London Boroughs will buy them up and dump families there, much cheaper for them than to build or find solutions. Retail has already failed in the town centre and wow, 83 trees (small saplings or whips not mature trees ) how green can you get! Other issues, do these come with a new school, doctors surgery, play facilities, green wedges, cycle tracks, free bus service, parking probably not, just overload existing infrastructure.
100% agree novoman, summed up perfectly
This proposed development will be completely detached from what is now the only decent retail area in the Town Centre at the Water Gardens. What about the mess that will be left in the middle?. After spending 26 Hours in A&E at PAH with my wife last Thursday/Friday I agree with Novoman that before this proposal and especially the HGGT developments begin, Harlow needs new infrastructure. Especially a NEW bigger Hospital before a brick is laid for new hosuing. Princess Alexander Hospital simply cannot cope with its current catchment area population.
My parents and grandparents moved to Harlow 75 years ago from London to get a better life, and it was a better life. I was born in Harlow and my children were born and raised in Harlow, but my children have moved to London for a better life, and it is a better life for them. This tells you all you need to know about the destruction, sorry development of this town!
Its all about the money..
Theman: exactly many of our brightest go to uni or College and don't come back, those that do soon move to London finding it too dangerous to here. Harlow has been dying a death by many cuts whilst building to become a dormitory commuter town and a dumping ground for London.
This is fantastic news for Harlow, despite the comments here. This is real investment in Harlow, and will start the regeneration of a part of the town center neglected for some time. It will bring new people into the town center to live, to shop and to eat. It will add to the momentum of HGGT, providing a focus to the town. It is just the start!
Investment is good, but wait until the miscreants of Harlow descend upon the redeveloped area and turn it into yet another ghetto. You'll need to have police officers guarding all entrances and exits.
Readers will note that Michael has not responded to a readers recent question about what benefits the HGGT development will bring to those of us who already live here. He says that this is fantastic news for Harlow and clearly dismisses those of us who disagree with him. He goes on to say that this is a real investment, but what it actually is, is a company spending millions of pounds building on this part of the town and then selling flats and other space, making themselves millions of pounds profit. Until the Council put real housing need before profit I am afraid nothing will change. Finally, I would not mind betting a pound that now permission has been given, Strawberry Star sell the site to another 'investor'.
Goodness me!, the negativity is off the scale. All these doom monger’s give it a rest. Something has to be done. We can’t let this slow sad demise/terminal decline of our 1950’s town centre go on infinitely. It belongs to another era, and I for one loved it. Growing up Harlow during the late 60’s 70’s and 80’s shopping at the HIgh was a real pleasure. But that time has long gone, society and people’s attitudes have changed so much. Realistically what do you think should happen?, (not some fantasy project). Please don’t just sit there carping on your keyboard. Get yourself elected and have a voice and stop berating the person’s that are trying to make a difference and faced with monumental challengers and your ill will.
You can make more difference to lives of others by building a business that employs local people and uses local suppliers and sells products and services to other countries. This is how you grow and improve society. Everyone gets better off together. It’s the simplest plan in the world with over a thousand year track record. Politics are for ego maniacs who just want to make simple things more complicated than they need to be, by using diversion tactics. They just want everyone everyone else to feel their power. At least that has been my experience. And yes I have made a difference more than a lot of politicians, and there is whole army of people like me out there who do the same and will never look for credit or thanks for their actions.y
Frederick Gibards plan for West Gate was for it to be an arts center for Harlow, now under a Tory administration we will have an over priced ghetto which will never be a benefit to the town. I would like to know if any members of the council have personally benefited or will benefit from such a poorly conceived development, the next phase of which will be at Wych Elm.
With over 5000 people on the housing needs register my first question would be how many of these properties will given to the council for social housing? Not rip off housing associations but actual council properties? Second question is with nearly 600 properties planned, meaning at least 1000 new residents living here, are there any plans to build a new doctors surgery? And obviously this 1000+ people will all need a dentist, did you know there there are currently NO dentists accepting new NHS patients? Then there will be children that need to go to school, my son had to miss his reception year at school as there were NO spaces for him! My point is that the council need to make sure that big building projects like this benefit EVERYONE you need to provide services for the residents that already exist here before inviting 1000s more people to live here..
Regeneration of the town centre is long overdue and is welcomed by me and others. However, would the developers please tell us in 2011 how much profit they made on this project. Currently, according to the Council's report pack, the viability of the project is uncertain which apparently justifies zero affordable housing. It would be nice to know how many more Porsche cars are on the road in 2011 courtesy of this development.
Paul .. the answer is none. None of them are what is called 'affordable' housing which includes council homes.
Dear oh dear Michael Hardware. You said it despite what people say. Trouble is you see the negativity, you see the problem s, but as usual do nothing. Public opions mean nothing today. You keep placing people in town centres, you will keep getting Trouble. You keep building unaffordable housing estates. The waiting list for Harlow, which is over 5OOO, will grow longer. You keep building with no infrastructure, your problems and ours will only get worse. It's you that needs to see the bigger picture. We have all lived here all our life's, we see the changes happening. And it's not for the needs of Harlow. It's for lining pocket of developers and you councils. No thought of people living here.
THIS IS GOOD NEWS IF IT HAPPENS. THE AREA IS SO DEPRESSING ITS UNREAL. WILL BE NICE TO HAVE SOME CHANGE. NOW THEY COULD ALSO START BY BUILDING SOME CROSSINGS AND TRAFFIC LIGHTS AROUND THIS MAD TOWN FOR WALKERS. I MOVED HERE RECENTLY AND HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY CARS IN ALL MY LIFE. SO MUCH FOR POVERTY SOCIAL TENNANTS AND COST OF LIVING CRISIS. THEY ALL HAVE THE BIGGEST CARS GOING. DRIVING JUST TO GO 5 MINUTES DOWN THE ROAD. THEN AGAIN WHO WOULD BLAME THEM WHEN THEY HAVE MADE THIS TOWN LITTERALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR WALKERS. LITERALLY ITS A LOTTERY IF YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CROSS A ROAD IN 5 MINUTES. AND OF COURSE ALL THE CHAVS NEED TO SHOW HOW HARD THEY ARE BY SPEEDING AND FORCING THIER WAY. SOME COST OF LIVING CRISIS THIS IS. I MEAN IF THINGS WERE SO BAD SURELY PEOPLE WOULD START TO WALK FROM TIME TO TIME? JUST A THOUGHT.
People have to work dave. We are over populated. That's why they carnt keep building with no infrastructure. And as for traffic lights, there's more now than there's ever been. Depends where your walking isn't it. Have you seen the build up of traffic by gym, by placing them traffic lights there. If they won't to get that fit, why carnt they use underpass. Just because you see lots of traffic doesn't mean people are not. struggling.
Who owns all that land.
My previous comment should have referred to the year 2031. The council officers' report states that building on this development will continue until Quarter 1 of 2030. Given that the last Block to be completed is Block A, which the Ghadami family have an interest in, the likely legal dispute will add at least a year to the project. See page 7 of the report pack for phasing of the project.
Anyone who can afford to buy Gilston estate homes hggt won't shop in Harlow, they'll go to Stortford, Bluewater or similar. One of the main selling points revealed in the Neighbourhood Plan which was part of the Planning application was that Hggt development will be nothing like "urbanised" urban working class Harlow!!! N Polaine director of hggt's main point when talking to Harlow Civic Society was that residents would pop in their cars and drive through Harlow to the underground (Epping). Town centres have failed because they cause congestion and the shopping experience in Harlow with the very 50s dated brutalist and post war shortage architecture isnt a pleasant experience.
This development was agreed when I was on the property development committee, back in 2017. Due to this development going ahead, I think once the hospital has bern relocated, the current hospital site should be made into a new shopping city or a amusement park and not more residential properties because it is no good, keep building all these residential properties or converting office block into flats here in Harlow If we don't have right infasturcture, leisure facilities or playing areas here in Harlow.
Why do we not learn from past mistakes? Harlow was (almost) perfect when first built with a brilliant market which the Council slowly obliterated over time. Church Langley Way is perfect with its wide green border together with small gardens but the area has poor parking facilities for modern homes, so the 'authorities'' just don't learn. But buildings with 16 levels and no gardens, what will happen with the children? And where will they park their cars? Yes, we certainly need the extra schools and so many other services early on - not 'follow on'. The majority of politicians are always keen on boasting, but we "the people" need to see through for better long term solutions for the good of all - not merely developers.
Dave you say the change will be good and that the area is depressing but you then say that you moved here recently, by that i take it that you moved to harlow recently? Believe me the change will be a nightmare and harlow was once a lovely place to live. I was born in harlow 50+ years ago and what a fantastic town it was. All we hear about is peoples mental health, well i am sure people wouldve benefited from the large indoor pool, ski slope, large running tracks and many more open spaces and lovely greenfields that we once had. We had a big thriving market and so much more. Now it is just a town with more and more ugly concrete blocks ,sorry buildings going up to house people from everywhere outside harlow. We are so over populated here its gone way to far. Nothing has changed for the better, we are living on top of eachother and have no privacy anymore. There will be no green spaces left in harlow anymore, its shocking. The developers are laughing their heads off.
I would prefer to see more social housing being built for local people. But it is profit, profit, profit.
Might our Councillors read these comments and take note? Harlow was designed to be perfect by an architect light years ahead of his time, the town was built to fit the landscape and with features such as local shopping hatches with community centres, doctors surgeries and green wedges and space, housing low rise with gardens and transport with a network of cycling tracks, added to these features we had affordable excellent at time sports facilities. In short the 10 minute mini centres that are all the rage with the cutting edge architects and enlightened town planners today. Housing was mostly social housing and there was plenty of employment and many social and sports clubs and a philosophy that Harlow meant "new town , , , new house new job, new baby". Cars weren't encouraged because most people walked, cycled or used good public transport, something that's need more now than ever. The idea that Sir Frederick Gibberd had was that the architecture and infrastructure would shape the society, it succeeded brilliantly for about 40 years until our two main political parties and Cllrs started on policies that undermined, deconstructed and sold the master plan for 30 pieces of silver and Essex CC built the M11 on the wrong side of town. Together the two main parties are pressing hard on the self destruct button. Labour when in power, having been duped and sold a pig in a poke by hggt and now the Tories putting profits of their sponsors, private property developers, above the needs of the population: not surprising when the conservative mindset elected "let's make the rich richer" Liz Truss. As even Robert Halfon said about the Eastern Raised Road Crossing that'll destroy the ecology of our Stort River Valley "The Council need to go back to the drawing board " , Sir Fred's drawing board and apply these ideas. However, while government snouts are in the trough it's difficult for them to see beyond the ends of their wallets.
No more homes until we get a hospital that can cope.