Letter to the Editor: On the demolition of Sherards House

Planning / Wed 23rd Aug 2023 at 12:11pm

READERS may be bemused by the fact that so many residents have objected to the demolition of Sherards House at a time where there is clearly a need for more council homes to be built. Residents have seen this for what it is, over development of a site which with a little more imagination could have been put to better use.

Sherards House is about 100 years old and has been in Council ownership for several decades during which time it has in the most part been used to provide temporary accommodation. In more recent times the land around the house was used to provide seven prefabricated bungalows, but these were removed a few years ago. Since the building became un-occupied, the Council has failed to carry out any maintenance to it, it has been vandalised and at least two fires have been reported.

Harlow Council made it’s first Planning Application in early 2022. Over 50 objections were received in response to the Plan. This Plan was so badly designed a revised application had to be made in early 2023 and even then, many changes have had to be made to it. The main objections to the Plan agreed on 16 August can be summarised as follows:

The original Plan included land which the Council had failed to identify as a Public Right of Way. When it did become aware of this the site to be built on was moved Northwards, on land which was not in the Local Plan and is not designated for housing use.

Over development of the site. One of the consequences of this is that The Highways Authority do not want to see the occupants of fourteen houses entering and exiting the estate from Three Horseshoes Road. Because of this, a garage access road will be used to access eleven of the new houses. Following comments about the lack of a footpath, the proposal was revised to include two, but this means the road will be just three metres wide, so vehicles will not be able to pass in and out of the estate at the same time.

Several mature trees within the site are to be removed to make way for the development. New trees will be doted around the site, but many of these are close to the houses and will surely cause problems such as root damage and lack of daylight within houses.

Both Conservative and Labour Councillors supported this Planning Application, only Harlow Alliance supported resident with their objections. Far better to have converted the house into four flats and build seven bungalows for older residents, which in both the short and long term would have helped more people obtain a home from the Council’s Housing Register.

Nicholas Taylor

Harlow Alliance Party

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18 Comments for Letter to the Editor: On the demolition of Sherards House:

Kim Oconnor
2023-08-23 17:32:39

Absolutely agree.

Lydia Ellen Walton
2023-08-23 18:25:36

I thought Sherards House was a listed building, how can it just be demolished. A beautiful old property

M Evans
2023-08-23 18:30:01

That house has history, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Convert the existing building. Let’s keep the history instead of eroding it. Flats for local people of the town. It’s a beautiful house let’s keep it

2023-08-23 21:49:54

Given the farce of the Sir Frederick Gibberd School other recently built schools should Harlow really be demolishing something that has stood for about 100 years? Just saying.. the general public seem to have as much insight into structural planning as the council ( of whichever flavour)…

2023-08-23 22:07:41

Look at that beautiful 100 year old building and still standing. Clearly made so much better than the rubbish they build today. How on earth can anyone justify pulling this beautiful old house down? No no no!!!you have nearly destroyed harlow and what for? what has got better in Harlow? Nothing,not a single thing. Crime is so bad that i am actually starting to feel afraid to go out when it is dark and i was born here 50+ years ago and i have never ever felt afraid in my hometown,but i do now.

keeley stringer
2023-08-23 22:08:35

why demolish something that isn't broken ? especially to replace it with the rubbish buildings of today

2023-08-24 06:30:03

Knock it down asap this towns growing quicker than it ever has people coming in from different countries and areas need homes and this site will help those that have nothing English people are selfish and would rather see people on the street than knock down some old building

2023-08-24 06:30:28

Knock it down asap this towns growing quicker than it ever has people coming in from different countries and areas need homes and this site will help those that have nothing English people are selfish and would rather see people on the street than knock down some old building makes me angry

Nicholas Taylor
2023-08-24 06:49:13

Matt, you seem to miss the point that converting the house and building bungalows for older residents will in both the short and long term provide more homes for those on the Council's Housing Register. As for English people being selfish, I will leave that for someone else to comment.

2023-08-24 07:27:49

How can you say there is a shortage of Council Houses when anything existing is knocked down and new buildings built? I'm not saying there is a shortage of homes, there is for Harlow residents but the properties we have are being given out to everyone else other than Harlow residents

Kim Oconnor
2023-08-24 10:04:52

Matt, selfish...... tell that to the over 5,000 waiting on homes alone in Harlow.... tell that to the service men , that fought for this country...who I may add are on the streets, as are many others...... selfish, theses people have been waiting years to be housed, in a town they were brought up in....... tell that to them.... I say house our own first.. you obviously have no idea of this situation. This house is a hundred years old,, still standing, new builds won't last as long, I can assure you.... it could be used for better use....

2023-08-24 10:31:56

Matt you are a fool and naive.

P m e
2023-08-24 11:56:51

I lived there as a kid on ground floor back then the wash rooms toilet was on the first floor a draft used to make the bathroom door creek all night

2023-08-24 13:06:28

I am sure that MATT is just trying to wind us up and having a bit of a laugh,because his comment is so wrong that he has got to be having a wind up.

Not my King
2023-08-24 17:42:38

Re: As for English people being selfish, I will leave that for someone else to comment. Cheers Thanks. The 'English' house up my street is constantly flytipped (+8 months of dead xmas tree one year #Clowncil knew too) yet the church attending and not considered 'English' looking next door have never ever not even once flytipped our street. #Slum

2023-08-24 20:30:02

Can you explain in English please,a bit clearer,i am a bit puzzled by your comment Not my King.

Jennifer Steadman Harlow Green Party
2023-08-24 22:16:40

@P m e- I lived in Sherards house in the 80's. My room was downstairs in the back with french doors leading to the garden. The bathrooms were downstairs opposite my room. . The house was beautiful inside & very spacious. It is such a terrible, tragic shame that with the swipe of a pen, with no regard for public opinion & without any regard for any local historical interest, this house will be raised to the ground!! This area of town holds specific historical interest, infact parts of Gt Parndon were once owned by St Thomas Hospital. It puzzles me how once this house was grade listed & yet now it's no longer wanted, its listing has been removed? If the house was turned into flats and the grounds had several bungalows constructed, then a mini community for the elderly would be amazing & would free up several council homes currently occupied by a lone pensioner. I'm afraid I will shed a tear when the bulldozers move in and I fear I wont be the only one!

Jonathan Vogel
2023-08-25 19:21:58

I lived behind that house , I knew the family that lived there . I know the inside of that house well and 4 flats could easily be built within with land for several houses on the grounds, the council havent a clue.

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