Strawberry Star welcome getting green light for 600 homes in town centre

News / Thu 27th Oct 2022 at 10:36am

THE company behind plans to build close to 800 homes in Harlow Town Centre have reacted with joy at being granted planning permission.

Overall, the Harlow Quarter scheme, by Strawberry Star, will create 741 new apartments, along with flexible ground floor retail space to attract new cafés and restaurants to the area – a brownfield site close to the Harvey Centre once occupied by the Little Walk shopping parade and the Gate House office building.

The latest scheme gives the green light to 578 apartments in a series of buildings, including two landmark buildings, following on from Strawberry Star’s earlier application for 163 new homes on part of the same site. The success of the latest application, which follows extensive consultations with both Harlow Council and Essex County Council to ensure the best possible design for the area, means that this under-utilised part of the town centre is set for a major regeneration, with the car-free housing development bringing new life to the heart of Harlow.

Harlow Quarter’s 741 new apartments will range from studios to three-bedroom family homes, and will sit alongside around 3,000 sq m of flexible commercial space and 6,250 sq m of improved public realm. Quality of life is at the heart of the development, with the vast majority of apartments benefiting from dual aspect views and having a balcony or terrace, as well as access to private roof gardens and courtyards. New walking and cycling routes will be developed, making car-free living convenient, with the town station and the 160-acre Harlow Town Park, with its gardens, meadows, outdoor gym, paddling pool and café, just a 15-minute stroll away.

Strawberry Star’s Harlow development has been designed by award-winning architects Flanagan Lawrence, and the latest application includes full details for the two taller blocks and outline details for the rest of the scheme. Planning officers praised the scheme: “The proposals would dramatically change and revitalise an underused and somewhat ‘run-down’ part of the town centre. General economic, environmental and visual regeneration changes are therefore very positive. The evolution of the proposals has resulted in a form of development that can contribute much to the overall regeneration of Harlow Town Centre.”

The two buildings that form the centrepiece of the 1.79 hectare site have been designed by the architect to fit in with Harlow’s history as the first of the 1950s new towns. One features a distinctive “harlequin” pattern of trapezoids, that give it a retro feel, calling to mind the first residential tower block in the country, The Lawn, built by Frederick Gibberd in Harlow and now a Grade II listed building.

Chairman of Strawberry Star, Santhosh Gowda, explained: “When Harlow New Town was built it was an exciting new way of living, and the town centre buzzed with life. But 70 years later, the heart had gone out of the centre as online shopping and working from home emptied the streets. Harlow Quarter will create a new buzz for a new generation – revitalising the centre of town with new homes, new businesses and a new style of urban living.”

Santhosh Gowda added: “We are very excited about these plans for Harlow Quarter which will have a significant contribution to the regeneration of the town centre. With plans underway by Harlow Council to create a new Arts and Cultural Quarter nearby, with two new public squares, Harlow really is a town that’s going places and we would recommend an early look at Harlow Quarter for both renters and homebuyers.”

Freya Turtle, Director of planning consultancy, Turley, who supported Strawberry Star with its latest application, said: “The approval is a fantastic result for Harlow town centre. The new high-quality dwellings and commercial spaces will inject activity and vitality, as well as delivering exceptional public realm and architecture to the heart of Harlow. Throughout the application process we were mindful of feedback from the Quality Review Panel and Harlow Council’s new Harlow Town Centre Masterplan Framework, and by listening to them and other stakeholders we were able to make key changes to the scheme. We look forward to continuing our work with Strawberry Star and Harlow Council to ensure the delivery of this project as soon as possible.”

For more information on Harlow Quarter, please contact Strawberry Star on [email protected]

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14 Comments for Strawberry Star welcome getting green light for 600 homes in town centre:

Kim Oconnor
2022-10-27 10:40:50

You learn nothing. Chuck enough money at something, and it will go a head. You learn absolutely nothing.

Mrs concerned
2022-10-27 12:17:44

How is the town going to cope with the already overstretched parking and nfrastructure?

2022-10-27 12:30:04

A lot of contradictory nonsense from the Strawberry Star chairman. As online shopping has spelled the demise of high streets up and down the country, how will it revitalise HTC? Working from home has never affected footfall in the town centre as it is not an industrial estate. It looks like a complete eyesore. I understand everyone has to live somewhere and has a budget to do so, but who wants to pay vastly inflated prices for identikit rabbit hutches in a concrete warren overrun with alcoholics and druggies from Terminus House and Redstone House?

2022-10-27 13:01:04

That will cut the waiting list for a home . !!!!!!

2022-10-27 14:44:03

Hope it won't be for council house!!!! We need more working people hire, not the one who just claims benefits and free house.

2022-10-27 15:10:43

Perhaps they will turn them over to Serco.

2022-10-27 15:13:30

Looks like a Parisian banlieue - But as it is pedestrianized I guess they won't be setting fire to cars in the streets

2022-10-27 15:14:33

Where are the jobs coming from for all the people that will live in these dwellings. I don’t see any job growth in the town Center anytime soon, and commuters will buy the flats being built by the train station. Any body choosing to live here will most likely need a car to get to their out of town job, and there is scant provision for parking in the plan, so no sale there either. I just hope Harlow council have done a full risk assessment of the project and have put protection in place, so if it fails before completion, they are not left with a half built site.

fed up of Harlow planners
2022-10-27 15:35:36

Are there not already enough flats around the town?, we need family homes that are affordable not these boxes that keep appearing everywhere, surely the monstrosity opposite Addison House is enough, where are the doctors/schools for all these additional people?, I moved here 25 years ago and loved it now I want to move away

View from Afar
2022-10-27 17:29:54

Does this mean people who live here will have to pay to park in the town centre car parks? Can’t see what/if any shopping facilities, more like cafes and restaurants looking at the pictures. Probably only commuters to London will be able to afford them, then use shops etc where they work and not help the economy of Harlow. To be honest I can’t see it ever happening

2022-10-27 20:08:45

I would like to point out that not everyone who lives in a council house gets it for free and claims benefit. I, like many people living in Harlow work, pay rent to the council and do not claim any benefits. Comments such as Michaels are just ignorant.

2022-10-27 22:11:13

How much of that is social housing?

Nicholas Taylor
2022-10-28 07:35:07

Lisa ...... none. Not even one 'affordable' home.

Kim Oconnor
2022-10-28 09:59:37

Shame on theses councils. No infrastructure None council Unaffordable to most More people. Roads carnt cope now. Hospital at breaking point. Doctors an nurses at breaking point. Schools over flowing. And the list goes on. Bit we will keep on building unaffordable housing because that's what lines our pockets. You conservatives are all about that.

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