Developers explain why work has stopped at building of 163 homes in Harlow Town Centre

News / Fri 23rd Jun 2023 at 07:15am

BACK in November, we reported as the bulldozers moved in as part of plans for 163 new apartments in Harlow town centre being developed by Strawberry Star.

Demolition commenced on site to make way for the first Star Living building, which will bring an initial 163 new apartments to the area once occupied by the Little Walk shopping parade and the Gate House office building.

Exciting times.

But since then, it has gone a little bit quiet.

Plus there seems too be a lot of litter again at the back of Little Walk.

Back in November, we were told that work would begin in 2022 and be completed by 2030.

So we asked the developers, Strawberry Star, if all was still on track?

A spokesperson for Strawberry Star said:

“Thank you for reaching out regarding the construction project at Harlow. We appreciate your concern and would like to assure you that we are committed to commencing the project as soon as practically possible.

“However, it is important to acknowledge that the construction industry is currently facing significant challenges, resulting in delays across the country. We are working to mitigate these challenges and appreciate the patience and understanding of the local community during this time.

Regarding the accumulation of rubbish within the service yard area, we are actively addressing these issues. We have taken proactive steps, including increased waste collections, additional personnel for regular clean-ups and security checks, and upcoming installation of pay and display meters, CCTV cameras, and signage to prevent fly-tipping. We appreciate your patience and support as we work towards improving the area’s safety and cleanliness.

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22 Comments for Developers explain why work has stopped at building of 163 homes in Harlow Town Centre:

Luke Burton
2023-06-23 07:57:48

These flats will never be built. That land will become the new de-facto "Community Recycling Centre" or whatever twaddle they call a dump these days!

2023-06-23 08:18:58

"All fur coat" then.......? Or if you prefer "All mouth...." . Pick a plan that's not going to work and rely on Companies that can't deliver, a bit like the history of the council and government for the last however many years.

David Forman
2023-06-23 09:00:07

Developers are waiting for the importation of more foreign cheap building workers who don't give a monkeys about health & safety or trade unions. Plus, of course, they are waiting for borrowing costs to come down.

2023-06-23 09:17:11

What an excuse! Don't believe what they say.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-23 09:18:17

Developers have had the upper hand for far to long. .

Joan Cook
2023-06-23 09:23:05

Utter madness to build apartments in our Town Centre. Just build and build and build! There is no infrastructure! Impossible to get an doctors appointment, a hospital at breaking point, schools full! Planning is not just about the appearance of buildings but about community requirements. This is not happening.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-23 09:37:21

Joan, I agree with you... but wait till they build thousands upon thousands of unaffordable housing estates on our boarders.... they have all ready said in consultation that all infrastructure will be built after all houses are built.... can you imagine the pressure on Harlow s services.. The traffic is awful now.. not to mention the destruction to our environment..

Nicholas Taylor
2023-06-23 10:53:14

As with the former Square site, the redevelopment of Market House, the new building on the Kitson Way car park, the new building on Terminus Street car park and the new building behind Market House, developers sit on their asset waiting to either off load it to another company at a profit or wait for years until there is a demand for such homes and make the most profit from the site. With hundreds of flats (Wych Elm, the former Motorsales site and the former Pearson car park) coming on to the market shortly, I cannot see any of these other sites coming forward to be developed any time soon. Lets not forget that the Tory vision for our towns centre is one with at least a dozen tower blocks, the highest some 16 storeys high.

2023-06-23 11:16:59

In all fairness the building game really is struggling all up and down the country. Material prices have doubled in the past few years and in some cases tripled. Posting your racist filth about foreign labour isn't helping anyone nor is it true. However I do agree that the infrastructure of this town will struggle to cope with more unaffordable housing.

View from Afar
2023-06-23 12:43:14

If they’re stopping this development will they start this one? https://www.yourharlow.com/2022/10/27/strawberry-star-welcome-getting-green-light-for-600-homes-in-town-centre

2023-06-23 12:50:39

It started with the phrase “ thank you for reaching out…” and you know it’s going to be an excuse / corporate bull after that. Reading it again I believe there is as much chance of starting and then completion as finding the sun is made of green cheese….

2023-06-23 13:24:06

the sun is made of green cheese.... Ahha, I knew it.

2023-06-23 14:05:08

They sat that company up, and registered it abroad at the time they got the contract. (Check companies house!) I wonder if the up front payments have disappeared along with the develops!

2023-06-23 14:51:12

To be fair this whole debacle of changing office blocks into flats in a Town Centre and tearing down existing buildings to 'supposedly' build flats that will all be private, none for Council tenants, this was all started long before the Conservative party was voted in for Harlow. Yes, we all like to government bash and we have every reason to, but don't blame the current party in residence for this almighty cockup!

Andrew Link
2023-06-23 15:16:13

There we go.. harlow all TALK and no ACTION

2023-06-23 15:33:38

I UNDERSTOOD THAT MARKET HOUSE WAS BOUGHT BY AN ORTHODOX JEWISH COMPANY.It was bought 3 or 4 years ago i was told by the guy who had the news agent.So no wonder the develoment compay is now registered abroad that being the case it will change hands many times and the ownership willbe questionable.

2023-06-23 17:15:39

If there's one thing I think I can be confident in, it's that the site will never look like the 2nd picture at the top of the page.

2023-06-23 17:49:28

David Forman - There was someone on last night's Question Time who agrees with you https://www.tiktok.com/@torysc_mout/video/7247661020360051994

David Forman
2023-06-23 18:29:10

During the lovely EU freemarket jamboree and open borders, building labour rates were held down. Labourers and trades people were paying two lots of National Insurance having to work through umbrella companies. I know plumbers who were earning a pittance. Now the open door to Europe is shut wage rates in the building industry have improved. It just means the middle classes have to pay more for their extensions, hence why getting back into Europe is so attractive. Although, the Tories are planning more non-European migration to keep wages down as part of their tackle inflation crusade. https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/news/construction-wage-inflation-tops-6-per-cent-workforce-increases-16-08-2022/

Dec Han
2023-06-24 08:43:11

Callum racist filth what are you talking about??

2023-06-24 19:19:59

Basically what you are seeing is the same as land banking. The major building companies have brought thousands of acres of land but will not build because at the moment the market is slow and profits down. It’s all down to greed with there shareholders holding back. Any government can shout we will bring more houses if we were in parliament but they are all the same as I’m guessing they have shares with the building contractor..In other countries for one example Holland if the contractor decides that the profit margins are to low and don’t build the land is taken off them and given to someone who will. Corrupt England at it finest it will never change!!

2023-06-25 09:43:53

New housing often creates a need for more infrastructure – schools, GP surgeries and so on. These should be taken into account before planning permission is issued - questions answered should include; how many schools will be build and where, how many GP surgeries and on what land, show plans for interchanging roads .. without these being included in the initial plan, the regeneration is not very helpful to the occupants of a town on many levels. Let me share the below extract about developer contribution … “ There’s been no shortage of consultation and discussion about changes to developer contributions: * The Government proposed in September 2017 that Local Plans should state (amongst other things) the infrastructure needed to deliver the plan, expectations for how it would be funded, and the contributions developers would be expected to make. The NPPF 2018 now states that Local Plans should set out the expected contributions, which shouldn’t undermine the plan’s deliverability. * In another consultation in March 2018, the Government proposed to lift (in certain circumstances) the restriction on pooling Section 106 planning obligations. It also proposed that CIL rates should be based on existing land use value and raised the longer term possibility of determining developer contributions nationally and making them non-negotiable – the latter idea has not been taken forward “

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