Planning Committee to decide on bid for new shop and offices in Potter Street as residents object

News / Fri 31st Mar 2023 at 11:40am

PLANS for a new shop and offices in Potter Street are up in front of the Harlow Council planning committee after a number of residents have objected.

The application seeks permission for various external works to the building, to alter existing openings, insert new openings including new front entrance doors and windows, demolish part of the single storey building on its south side, and lay out new parking to the rear of the building to provide 9 car parking spaces.

These works would facilitate use of the building by a retail unit, to occupy the rear single storey part of the building, and new offices, to occupy the front two storey part of the building.

The matter is on the agenda for the the planning committee meeting on Wednesday April 12th, 2023 at 7.30pm in the civic offices.

Among the objections are:

Residential amenity

Hundreds of people would be in and out of shop daily, huge increase in footfall and vehicles compared to previous use which was only office hours; concern at late night opening hours; constant unacceptable noise from vehicles and people, car doors slamming at all hours, rubbish collection vehicles, deliveries late night and early morning, air conditioning; no respite open 7 days a week early morning to late night; first floor window has been inserted and new lighting on side of building, neither shown on plans, and results in overlooking of 1 and 2 Millside and 9 Potter Street and light pollution into 1 and 2 Millside.

Light pollution from illuminated sign, shop windows, car headlights

No.1 Millside would have hundreds of people walking past house and garden, would destroy privacy; light shining directly into house and garden of nos. 1 and 2 Millside; would lights be installed on property and rear parking area;

Huge negative impact on adjacent residents quality of life and mental health. Character of area

Plot is between residential properties in residential area, development out of keeping in area with distinct village character; amounts to new mini shopping area in completely unsuitable location; housing would be more in keeping with local needs and area;

Parking and highways
16 car space inadequate for staff and visitors; more traffic and more pollution

New accessway to rear parking not wide enough for 2 cars to pass, only room for one way traffic, will lead to vehicles backing up in one direction or another, what if blocked by parked car or delivery lorry unloading;

Shoppers will park on road rather than use difficult parking;

Limited on-site space for deliveries, no dedicated delivery area, not enough space to turn on site for delivery vehicles; no room left for waste bins; will result in parking or reversing onto Potter Street;

On street parking will obstruct wheelchair users, mobility scooters, people with prams and visual impairment; will make it difficult for buses to pass; will obstruct visibility for drivers emerging from Millside and Oaklands Drive; will cause congestion at access worsening existing problems of cars backing up to Clock Tower roundabout;

No pedestrian walkway, conflict with cars will cause accidents; narrow access point will cause collisions with boundary wall;

This is effectively a new hatch without the necessary highways infrastructure.


No room left on site for waste bins; likely large amount of food waste would occur which would need frequent collection top prevent smell, especially in summer, rates; what are the waste collection arrangements; litter and rubbish will increase, litter bins and litter management needed.


Facility is not necessary – Prentice Place hatch and Tesco superstore are within walking distance and serve needs of area perfectly adequately; goes against Gibberd’s founding principles.

Future use

Concern at possible future uses including takeaway which would cause smell, rubbish noise, anti-social behaviour; any permission should be clear it does not include takeaway and any change of use from offices should have further application and further chance for neighbours to comment; concern there may be plans to add storeys.


Out of sight car park would attract anti-social behaviour; loss of mature trees on boundary which screen neighbours; concern litter will block drainage ditch and cause flooding; sewer crosses 2 Oaklands Drive and concern capacity will be exceeded; likely to be hazardous substances on the site; asbestos is being removed and is a danger which should be dealt with properly.

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6 Comments for Planning Committee to decide on bid for new shop and offices in Potter Street as residents object:

2023-03-31 15:58:24

Why do you always take my comments down?

Staff Reporter
2023-03-31 16:51:13

You are now being asked to provide your name.

Neil Francis Rickards
2023-04-01 08:29:05

This should NEVER be aloud in this or any residential area, some people just go ahead and dont comply with the law

Gary malony
2023-04-01 09:59:22

North Potter st wouldn't be moaning if it was south !! Be great for the aged and disabled that have trouble getting to extortionate overpriced prentice place shop !!

Wendy Morgan
2023-04-01 13:55:56

Are the current buildings listed in any way. Been light engineering unit for years and at least one building built from Essex board I think. No need for a retail unit there. I certainly wouldn't want a shop at the end of my garden.

James Norbury
2023-04-08 13:25:05

Potter street in need of shops accessible for all not just on shop parade. Need variety and competition for existing shops. Any improvements on potter street are good.

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