Plans for digital clock as part of Adams House extension on market square in Harlow

Planning / Tue 7th Feb 2023 at 07:14am

PLANS for a digital clock to be placed above Harlow’s historic clock on the Market Square have been submitted to Harlow Council.

The clock is part of a one storey extension above the existing second floor of the building to accommodate eight new flats. at Adams House in the East Gate.

The application has been submitted by ABC Harlow Limited. A private company based in London.

The application states: “The design of the proposed third floor addition to Adams House follows each one of these heritage principles, and while contemporary in nature is also in the spirit of Gibberd’s original design. The bay divisions, fenestration details and cladding all complement, but do not replicate, aspects of the original design. In three of the bays, balconies will provide a syncopated rhythm. As now, the northern corner bay will be clad with tiles, this time be adorned with a digital clock.

The increase in scale is less than that previously proposed (and found broadly acceptable by officers at pre-application stage), and should be seen in the context of the increasing scale approved or proposed for adjoining and nearby sites.

With the approved additional storey on Market House, the relative scale of the two buildings in relation to the form of the square, with the taller building on the long side (as intended by Gibberd, see quote in para. 2.5 above) will be perpetuated. Redevelopment to a larger scale was anticipated by Gibberd (see para. 2.9 above), who also considered ‘The Market Square is too open and draughty.

Without the road, it would have been at least 40 feet narrower and it could have been closed on all four sides, the east and the west accessing being bridged over’.6 The road has gone but the width remains, meaning that the large public space is fully capable of accommodating the additional scale. Similarly, Ralph Brown’s powerful sculpture in the square will be able to ‘hold its own’ and not

be overpowered by the scale of the addition. The setting of both the sculpture and Adams House will also be enhanced by current plans to transform the former Market Square into a ‘garden square’ and leisure and hospitality hub.
4.7 The design is therefore carefully considered and sympathetic, and as such would not result in significant harm either to the non-designated heritage asset or to the setting of the Grade II-listed sculpture. As Adams House is a non-designated heritage asset, there is no requirement to weigh any harm against the public benefits of the scheme. Nevertheless, the required balanced judgement should take account of the fact that the sympathetic renovation and enlargement of the building to provide new town centre living accommodation will bring added life to the town centre, and will provide a suitable backdrop to the new incarnation of the former Market Square as a lively garden square and social hub.

Full details of the planning application can be seen on Harlow Council’s website. Go to HW/FUL/22/00448

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19 Comments for Plans for digital clock as part of Adams House extension on market square in Harlow:

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-07 08:50:06

Do you not think, this money could be better spent elsewhere.??? Or do you intend to eventually move the ironic cloak we have all ready, one that we all grow up with, the one that we met our frends under, the one that most people relate to.. If this is a slow removal of our cloak, then I think you should put this to residents. It seems like you want to remove every thing that has the slightest bit of history to it.. this is a slow replacement of our cloak. Just say it. Hands of our look, spend this money on something useful.

Bruce Downey
2023-02-07 09:50:02


2023-02-07 10:06:56

"Syncopated balconies " what this a new rock band: what a load of baloney of developer speak! Dictionary "music or a rhythm characterized by displaced beats or accents so that the strong beats are weak and vice versa." As for the clock, never have seen a large dital clock that looks good except on a kitchen appliance. Probably cheaper option. If anyone wants to echo the spirit of the market Square then the current clock does it perfectly. Any architect worth their salt would know the buildings at the time were basically built with whatever was available because of a tremendous short of materials, had there been an abundance of oak or brick then it's safe bet the town centre would look very different rather than the many frankly disappointing town centres that were built in the post war period. Rebuilding of town centre could be an opportunity for change perhaps to reflect the character of Essex villages or come up with some new eco friendly and aesthetic designs rather than glass, concrete and steel, all of which are very high CO2 emission materials.

2023-02-07 10:33:44

This is a joke, right?

2023-02-07 11:04:36

They need a digital clock for all the people who cannot tell the time with a traditional clock. More importantly how will we know which clocks is telling the correct time, the original is not known for its accuracy.

2023-02-07 11:09:23

Thought I should add. I think Kim got lucky with the spell checker, I can think some worse mis spells of clock.

Luke Burton
2023-02-07 13:05:34

Sounds ridiculous. In any case, every building in and around Market Square should be demolished. The area is utterly disgusting and an extension isn't going to make it any better.

Bobby Bobbler
2023-02-07 13:35:31

"You know what'd nicely finish off this new building, right above that existing clock? Another clock..." Easiest thing in the world to spend Other People's Money.

2023-02-07 14:45:42

Another story.... ALL TALK no ACTION

2023-02-07 14:46:25

Is the digital clock to help the drunks and smackheads that hang about the square to tell the time !

2023-02-07 18:53:59

Seriously!!!! Leave the clock as it is! Taking every last little bit of the past of Harlow away. Plus a waste of money replacing it. More important things to spend the money on!

2023-02-07 19:38:34

I hope this gets blocked in every avenue. It's iconic to the town. I mean, it's actually used on this website, to name one case. Changing it for a digital clock is not a way to show "progress", it's a step back and, if someone isn't able to tell the time using a good old fashioned 12 hour analogue clock then perhaps they should go back to school.

neil Boat
2023-02-07 21:17:57

Noooooo..shaking head....nothing is sacred!!!

2023-02-07 21:23:20

This planning application must be turned down..And we should run those developers out of town...set up a Paris Commune..build a Guillotine..nuf is enough.. now it's personal..

Peter Bäckström
2023-02-08 08:45:52

The Square is of course a Gibberd work, but the wonderful white & blue clock is work of G’s colleague, and later partner, John Graham, my uncle. It is such a beautiful work of a great artist and architect. I can hear my dear uncle John say: ”Oh no…but why?…”

2023-02-08 10:57:28

Arguably the existing clock is the most iconic thing about the town centre, and is a unique and distinct asset that should be protected regardless of listed status; can't think of many towns with a clock in the same mould, on that tiled background. I can understand the logic behind adding the digital clock, but it is exceeding lazy design and smacks of being a 5 minute after-thought. The best course of action is to just omit it altogether but keep the tile pattern running up. On that note the owners should be made to match the colours of the existing tiles perfectly to the new ones.

Shirley Cranswick
2023-02-08 13:03:10

I agree with all of you, OUR CLOCK should not be touched. As for the proposed digital clock, if you take a good look at the drawing above it appears that the digital clock will be above our original clock, so no need to do anything to our historic place. I just don't understand how we have raised a generation of people that cannot tell the time on a clock face! As for the proposed flats and all the Architect speak, it will provide THREE flats that will no doubt be private so hardly adding accommodation for the need of Harlow residents. Our beloved Market Square to be turned into a 'garden area' used primarily by the drunk and drug community that frequent the clock house pub. Anything planted will be vandalised and torn out by the local vandals. This whole thing stinks and I think it's about time that we started doing things for the town and not being led by 'Gibberds' plan.

2023-02-09 12:13:53

How about using this money to put more lamp posts in the park? A clock next to an existing clock just doesn't seem all that necessary...

Liv Juniper
2023-02-13 10:14:02

A truly amazing asset to the historic market square. I will eagerly be waiting to see this breathtaking development unfold.

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