Plans for a ten storey tower block in Wych Elm submitted to Harlow Council

News / Mon 3rd Apr 2023 at 12:14pm

A BID has been launched to build a ten-storey tower block of flats in place of an old MOT garage in Harlow reports the Local Democracy Reporter Scheme.

Martorana Properties has submitted a planning application to Harlow Council for 57 flats in Wych Elm, which was validated on March 28.

According to a design and access statement, an existing warehouse, currently used as an MOT garage, would be demolished to make way for the development.

A section read: “The proposal’s location at a corner of Wych Elm towards the town centre demonstrates that the location is appropriate for a tall building in relation to suitability and sensitivity in the existing context.”

If approved, there will also be space for shops in the development, as well as a communal area, car and bicycle parking spaces and bin storage. Six parking spaces and 60 bike spaces would be provided, according to the statement.

10 Wych Elm is the latest residential development to be considered in this area of Harlow, with others planned at the site of The Square, a former live music venue, and Ripped Gym, which was at the centre of a controversy during the coronavirus pandemic, when it stayed open despite lockdown rules. These developments are intended  to form four “corners” which would define the entrance to the area.

The statement says there is an opportunity to use public art, a “vital part” of Sir Frederick Gibberd’s original plan for Harlow, in the site to link the town centre with Rectory Wood. For example, a natural sculpture garden at the entrance to Wych Elm could be used to create a “green route” into the town.

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12 Comments for Plans for a ten storey tower block in Wych Elm submitted to Harlow Council:

Nicholas Taylor
2023-04-03 12:29:41

By creating a vision for what the Town Centre will look like in years to come, the Tory Council have opened the doors to developers putting in planning applications which will see many high rise blocks of flats built in the Town Centre, completely contrary to what most people would think of when they hear mention of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. Cramming in yet more people in our already highly densely populated town, indeed thousands more than required by Government of Harlow Council is nothing but sheer madness. The hospital is already overwhelmed, schools are at bursting point as are doctors surgeries and other public services.

Mike smith
2023-04-03 13:37:28

I totally agree Nicholas, 6 parking spaces for 57 flats really!!, soon you won't be able to get a hospital/gp appointment at all, why don't they knock down that horrible car park in the middle of Wych elm

Richard Adams
2023-04-03 15:34:10

Oh dear the floodgates are well and truly open now. If the Council gives planning permission for this development let's hope they can explain why 300 immigrants proposed to be housed in the new development on the site next door will overwhelm local services, but and additional 57 properties will not. Six parking places they are having a laugh. They are relying on the existing services eg bus/trains to move people about. Have you ever tried getting to the station or factory estates by bus? If they could get their public services sorted out, which includes local health provision, then perhaps, but otherwise it's pie in the sky. We all know what will happen. Residents of the development will have cars and will add to the already parking issues we have in the town. In the words of a famous Tory politician NO NO NO .

Kevin Bilton
2023-04-03 15:56:50

What happens to all the businesses and industry in Wych Elm when they have residential Neighbours?

Edward Vine
2023-04-03 18:06:09

The applicants manage to mention Sir Frederick's vision about art in an attempt to greenwash and distract from the fact they and it seems the Council are totally failing to follow 99.99 % of the rest of his principles.

Dan Long
2023-04-04 05:44:14

As long as they are for the number one priority of Harlow, who are the Harlow residents who have been on the housing waiting list for 10 years plus and not for more of illegal immigrants or more of the over spill of London. Harlow homes for Harlow residents.

David Forman
2023-04-04 05:55:18

Under the Attlee Labour government the excess value of agricultural land arising from planning permission was given to the State for infrastructure improvement and social housing. The Conservative government reversed this in 1961 with their Land Compensation Act so that land owners/developers grabbed all the excess value. The modern day land agents and major property developers buy up land and bank it, dribbling out homes for maximum profit. One of their tricks is to overbid on price for land so that they avoid affordable housing obligations under Section 106 agreements by using viability assessments introduced in 2012 by the Conservative led Coalition. Award winning economist Liam Halligan has given evidence to Parliament on this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/2743/pdf/&ved=2ahUKEwj51PuCxI_-AhXGg1wKHV4UDJoQFnoECAwQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3H6OJmJ40RMksKA6L8huaM

David Vincent
2023-04-04 06:02:07

Why are the Conservative Party so helpful in looking after the property developers' profits? Maybe it is because 20% of Tory donations come from property tycoons. The sector gave more than £60m to Boris Johnson’s party over ten years, new analysis by Transparency International shows: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/20-tory-donations-come-property-tycoons/

David Forman
2023-04-04 06:22:47

Sorry, I left a broken link in my previous comment. Economist Liam Halligan explains how Conservatives have stitched up planning system in favour of developers at: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/2743/pdf/

Nicholas Taylor
2023-04-04 08:32:00

Dan, these are not council homes, they will be occupied by whoever can afford them. The creation of a super fast bus link from the Town Centre to the train station may give a clue, most will be commuters to London, as will the residents of most of the flats being built near the station. They do nothing to help those in most housing need, those on our Council's waiting list. Despite the Tory boast of a council house building boom, two years since they took control of the Council there is little if any sign of a brick being laid. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of the Harlow Alliance Party.

Kim Oconnor
2023-04-04 09:53:06

Sir Frederick Gibberd s, plan.. 😂 😂 I could pick this to bits. But others have said it perfectly.

Mike smith
2023-04-04 12:35:17

I believe the penthouse suite at the top of the square development in Wych elm is 400k, definitely not in reach of average joe from harlow, 20 years time there will be tower blocks everywhere in Harlow and still there will be a massive housing list.

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