Plans to regenerate Broadwalk and Market Square given a major boost

Business / Thu 14th Sep 2023 at 08:20am

PLANS to regenerate the north end of Harlow Town Centre have been given a major boost with the approval of a development brief for the area. This is aimed at securing investment into Harlow from the private sector on top of significant investment Harlow Council is bringing forward via the Towns Fund through Broadwalk and Market Square.

The development brief, which was approved for adoption at Harlow’s Cabinet on Thursday 7 September, sets out several objectives for the north end of the town centre. It will guide redevelopment for the area around Stone Cross (Market) Square, Post Office Road and West Gate and help to secure investment into Harlow from the private sector.  

The purpose of the development brief is to inform potential developers and other interested parties of both the constraints and opportunities presented by each area concerned, and the types of development expected or encouraged by local planning policies. This will provide confidence for developers and will help to speed up the planning process. It will also be employed as a material consideration in determining any planning applications for the area along with other supporting documents. The council carried out consultation on the brief just before the summer with favourable comments received from landowners and organisations such as the Harlow Civic Society. 

The brief’s objectives are based on the principles of the Harlow Town Centre Masterplan, which was adopted in March 2022, and include:

  • Creating an identity – Addressing the current imbalance of shoppers and visitors and bringing the area ‘back to life’.
  • Improving its appearance – Enhancing the area with public realm amenities, planting, buildings, and tackling unattractive service area and blank frontages.
  • Making better use of space – Re-purposing existing land and transforming vacant and under-used spaces for other purposes, particularly in and around Stone Cross Square.
  • Protecting important architectural values – Ensuring that features and details of the area as buildings and spaces are redeveloped retain the area’s new town heritage.
  • Improving pathways for pedestrians and cyclists – Creating safe, accessible and pleasant gateway entrances, removing cars where possible from the area and promoting public and sustainable transport.
  • A significantly greener area – Building on existing green space features and creating opportunities for play spaces, community spaces, public art and other forms of green infrastructure.

Councillor Michael Hardware, cabinet portfolio holder for economic development, said:

“It is so important that we ensure that all areas of the town centre receive the right sort of development in line with our overall masterplan. As we are all aware the north of the town centre is in serious need of regeneration, but it needs to be the right type of regeneration to give the town centre as a whole the balance it is presently lacking. It is an area with a great deal of potential and a development brief for the area aims to capitalise on that potential. It will complement the other plans in place for the town centre for which more than £40 million of government funding has already been secured, such as the upgrades to Broadwalk and Market Square, the Playhouse Quarter and the upcoming bus station redevelopment.

“This is all about ensuring that we have all the right building blocks in place to rebuild our town, restore pride and secure investment into Harlow and that the standard of redevelopment in the town centre is consistent. A new, vibrant, safe and welcoming town centre where people of all ages want to spend their time is key to a better future for everyone in Harlow.”

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28 Comments for Plans to regenerate Broadwalk and Market Square given a major boost:

Kim Oconnor
2023-09-14 09:06:50

There s an awful lot of words here, but not actually telling you whats going there... You know the people want the week day market back, any movement on this.... Or is it just going to be unaffordable flats every where...

Jason Fryer
2023-09-14 09:48:26

Need to compulsory purchase all the land Mo owns to allow for development along with getting him to clean up the fly tipping site he has in the town park that used to be that family club

2023-09-14 09:58:53

Before anything, the authorities need to clean the town up of the drunks & drug addicts that sit around market square all day & night , what the council has done to this town is a disgrace, believe it or not harlow was once a nice town to live in , not now it is full of undesirables with no intentions of doing any good

Richard Richardson
2023-09-14 10:09:59

We used to have a thriving market in town until the council put up the tent do much it drove the trader's away. The the town centre went into decline the rest is history.

2023-09-14 10:10:28

Jason Fryer, his place isn't in the town park it's close but not in it, and shouldn't your ire be directed at the people fly tipping on his or who evers land it is.

2023-09-14 10:10:59

Jason Fryer, his place isn't in the town park it's close but not in it, and shouldn't your ire be directed at the people fly tipping on his or who evers land it is?

Not my King
2023-09-14 10:13:26

Just attend our civic centre to use their phone and remind them and HTS* of repairs overdue which included passing through Northbrooks and alas despite a misspelt (Hi teachers) 'No More Flytipping' warning sign added to wall, it remains ....(Yes you guessed it,) ... Flytipped. Oh dear. Agreed, We want the week day market back, please and thank you. Clearing that other mentioned flytipping site would be nice too. Good luck everyone. * Both now saying contact the other one first. HDC to HTS then HTS to HDC and the 19th May 2023 start of, is allowed to be active for nine months at least was the advice given. Risible.

Mr Leslie Smith
2023-09-14 10:19:56

Forget about regeneration in town center put the money in to making our housing estate's better. Our grass has been cut once in the last eighteen months, can't walk on the pavement bramble overgrown, Mr Leslie Smith, of finchmoor, you keep putting up council tax, but not doing your job

Ian McNaught
2023-09-14 11:28:10

I have lost count of how many times the town square has been redesigned and at great cost since the days of the open market. Is this another waste of time and money ? Great for the designer not for the town .

Nicholas Gunning
2023-09-14 14:35:23

Sadly, nothing has been produced for the fantastically ugly spaces created by the original plan. Slab faced, permanently temporary looking buildings with toilet tiling and coloured glass panels. Overpriced shopping units and market stalls, windswept Soviet style public squares and a series of third-rate 'artistic installations' have driven both shops, traders and customers to outlying towns like Bishop's Stortford. More of the same is not the answer. We need a democratic 'chamber of commerce' to decide on features people actually want, and the property speculators should do the business of laying the bricks etc. Perhaps they might also ask the big shop chains to say what features would make Harlow a desirable location.

2023-09-14 15:49:01

might be a silly question, but why cant we have farmers markets, around the world markets or even a christmas market in the space that used to home the markets years ago? Im not getting involved in politics its all flipping rubbish. Im just asking a genuine question.

Nogin the nog
2023-09-14 16:09:15

I think markets are a thing of the past pound land primark and those sort of shops has killed them off . That side of the town needs all pulling down

Nicholas Taylor
2023-09-14 16:31:22

Literally hundreds of thousands of pounds has already been spent on Market Square in the last two decades. Market House has planning permission to be converted to flats and Adams House will have another floor put on it. Just another Tory vanity project which will do nothing to increase foot fall.

Clayton Cowley
2023-09-14 16:34:47

The town centre is a mess, and then market square area is the worst part. It’s been like it for years, and all they’ve done is waste money trying to tart it up including stupid stuff like giant, useless plant pots. There’s always talk of regenerating the town centre, but all that actually happens is shops keep shutting and the whole place is slowly becoming more and more derelict. But wait, we now have great news, we can all get excited because of this ‘approval of a development brief for the area.’ What is this nonsense? They’re simply still talking about the stuff they’ve been promising for years.

2023-09-14 17:01:07

This should be cause for optimism but with so many "bomb" sites around the town who really believes politicians have the ability to get anything developed.

Jim O’Sullivan
2023-09-14 17:22:39

What’s happened to the Strawberry Fields development round the corner? They appear to have demolished everything and then done a runner?

2023-09-14 18:37:22

Here's an idea, Instead of plan's how about some actions for a change

Luke Burton
2023-09-14 21:53:39

The entire area needs demolishing with a total brutal crackdown on crime. I'll believe any positive changes when I see it.

2023-09-15 07:49:14

There will be no improvements until the council grow a backbone and compulsory purchase the empty eyesores

2023-09-15 11:04:55

The town was a place to visit when the market square was a market. People came for the market from all area's.

A Tigerman
2023-09-15 11:46:42

why regenerate a town centre that's over-run with balaclavas and machetes after 6pm? it's a ghost town. You cant polish a turd, all the major stores have left except for Poundland, Greggs, and Sports Direct. Welcome to Chavghanistan. BudgetStoreHeaven.

2023-09-15 12:24:27

What on earth does Town Centre have to offer any way? Harvey Centre rents are sky high, hence closed stores & charity shops. Demolitions are the best thing to happen to this part of the town & start again!! Harlow Council should grow a pair. Over paid jackasses springs to mind. Just get on with the work so 2nd & 3rd generation council tax paying residents can have their home town back. One to be proud of once again !!!!

2023-09-15 18:11:50

People of the town need to know that shopping is not coming back to The High in any meaningful way .If you look at the Town Centre Masterplan, it's basically to convert most of the area into accommodation. This is just a lot of waffle to say they're going to try and spruce up the few bits the council can actually affect to try and persuade developers with money to come on board and make the masterplan happen. It'd be nice to know what's happening with the Strawberry Star development. They've knocked down some stuff but not the main bit. I wonder if any of the retailers who will lose premises have a better timetable? It's all a bit slow-going.

John Childs
2023-09-16 07:25:42

I’m Sad to say after living in Harlow for 60 years the town centre used to have all the top shops a great market, now it has hardly any shops and what used to be the market is now home to drunks and drug users

Wendy Morley
2023-09-16 07:32:22

I was born in Harlow it was a lovely place to live so many activities for people to do. Now there is nothing to do here, they will never get back what was once a great place to live in the town has been ruined. A plant pot and some pathways are not going to change nothing ridiculous

2023-09-16 10:07:51

1/ Get rid of the low lifes and drunks that populate market square from early morning to evening. 2/ Get rid of their shops (off licence/corner shops-selling them cheap booze)! 3/ Demolish Block with Specsavers (from little walk to market sq) think now Lloyds moved only Specsavers and the huge polish store left. 4/ Compulsory buy the odeon land owned by that eastenders/Holby city chap!

40yrs Local
2023-09-17 05:29:45

The council should get the people involved with Chelmsford town. They made a significant turnaround and instead we have something similar to ukraine

Nicholas Taylor
2023-09-18 08:15:11

Putting in new paving and seating, planting trees and shrub beds does nothing to increase footfall as demonstrated in many towns across the country. Harlow Council has already wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money and intends to spend even more. What is needed are reasons why people visiting the Town Centre want and need to go to that part of the centre. Harlow Alliance have always believed that the Council should have bought Market House and the land around it and built as much larger theatre, an exhibition centre and live music venue on the site, which would increase footfall. As I have said before, as things stand, Market House is to be extended and converted to flats and Adams House extended upwards, neither will do anything to bring large numbers of people to visit that part of the town.

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