Potter Street residents determined to fight on as council rejects plan to refurbish Osler House
Communities / Sun 11th Dec 2022 at 01:17pm
POTTER Street residents are determined to fight for a health hub after Harlow Council told them that the derelict former GP Surgery Osler House would be too expensive to refurbish.
Harlow Council bosses sat down with community leaders and explained to them their position.
In a letter seen by YH, the portfolio holder for regeneration, cllr Dan Swords told the group: “I am afraid to say that the Council will not be proceeding with the refurbishment of Osler House.
“The works required on the property and the cost of such works cannot be justified.
“That is why we will seek to find an alternative venue in Potter Street for your project that does
not require such levels of investment. I am confident that this can be done in short order.
“The Council has explored all avenues with regard to the refurbishment of Osler House building and
therefore, this decision is final.
“I appreciate that this is not the decision you wanted, but it is not possible for the Council to spend this
amount of money given the findings from this review. I hope that you will also be reassured that we
believe this will allow us to deliver the wellbeing hub faster and more effectively through the use of an
“We are committed to the regeneration of the Potter Street neighbourhood, which is why plans are
being developed for the former neighbourhood offices and the Council will take action to end the
blight of the former Osler House building on the area. These plans will be published shortly and
consulted on with the local community”.
YH understands that attention may now turn to the empty neighbourhood office just across the way but also the community centre that appears to be almost solely used by dance company Makin’ Steps
On Friday afternoon, YH spoke to the chair of Potter Street Residents Forum Colin Thorp and Harlow Common councillor, Mark Wilkinson (Lab).
They were joined on Prentice Place by members of the Potter Street community.
Could it be that cutting council tax and rising inflation has left the council without a pot to pee in? Maybe I'm being cynical, but I'll believe Dan Swords when the wellbeing hub is and running. Will Dan Swords say when that will be?
Too expensive to refurbish? Looks like no more "sculptures" will be purchased them .......... Yeah right !!
The leader of Harlow council told me back in February that the refurbishment work on the well-being hub in Potter Street [formerly Osler House] would be starting then. Sadly nothing has happened since except obfuscation and delay. Now it appears Osler House will be boarded up just like the former neighbourhood office. The residents' of Potter Street have been without any form of local medical assistance for the last four years and given the area has a high demographic of elderly and retired people the actions, or more to the point inaction', of the council is a disgrace. I told the leader of the council back in February that the residents felt they had been forgotten again. And after suggesting his leadership lacked authority I didn't realise that ten months later I was correct in my assessment. Indeed if he had acted then the well-being hub would now be up and running with some medical assistance attached and with other important services included. It is a disgrace that the council has not acted to assist this important resource being started and I hope the electorate will reflect that next year when prospective councillors' come calling!
Is this another building destined to be vacant for many years to come? Just who do the Council think will take on this building with such a huge amount of costly work to do before it can be occupied? Although over 20 years ago, the local Conservatives never wanted to see the rent offices as they were then known turned into Neighbourhood Offices. They were closed, since then these offices have often stood empty for many years and it is clear now that if the Potter Street one is being used as a site office (by whom?), it would not take much money to turn it in to a Community Hub. Such hubs are needed more than ever and should not be confined to Potter Street, how about one in the High Street in Old Harlow and up at Sumners?
Yet plenty of money to keep messing around with flower pots and now paving the non market Market Square and a non sustainable sustainable route from Gilston Estate development to the town centre, trashing the Stort Valley, building rabbit hutch hi rise blocks and bolstering the profits of property developers at least the Council should have extracted some 106 money to improve the quality of life here. Still waiting to see Cllr Swords to lay down in front of the bulldozers at Purford Green.
This council is disgusting, Do not give a damn about local Potter St. residents, We were told the doctors surgery was going to close and given two weeks to find another doctors surgery. I have been at Church Langley since and that is atrocious as a “service” Was promised more doctors never happened, completely let down again!
It’s totally disgusting how can this council treat people of Harlow like this. The repair work now is way way above what it was and the council new about the roof letting in the weather. But did nothing about it. This well being hub will make so much difference to the families and community’s around the town. Harlow council you couldn’t get much lower. Disgusting
I still intend to try and find a place for the Wellbeing Hub and to that end I have been looking at various options Many thanks to those who braved the cold on Friday to support the Hub
We have a wellbeing hub up at paringdon sports club, if anyone is struggling. We are also open as a warm hub 4 times a week. Angie Butterfly Effect WELLbeing