Future of Osler House in Potter Street set to be discussed at Harlow Council

News / Tue 28th Nov 2023 at 08:24am

THE FUTURE of the former Osler House surgery in Potter Street is set to be discussed at Harlow Council.

The surgery has sat unoccupied since it was closed in 2018.

Mind in West Essex have expressed a firm expression of interest in acquiring the property, their intention being to refurbish the building and use it as a centre for the promotion of health and wellbeing, with a focus on providing guidance and support to individuals and families suffering from mental health problems.

The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of Harlow Council’s cabinet on Thursday night.

Documentation is below.


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22 Comments for Future of Osler House in Potter Street set to be discussed at Harlow Council:

2023-11-28 08:55:20

Yesterday it was disclosed that there is a covenant on this building in the councils favour, yet here we have a proposal to sell the building to Mind, so it seems it's been rubber stamped already with a consultation in name only?

Alderman Durcan
2023-11-28 10:22:09

To be honest doing something with this building is better than doing nothing,which has been the case for 2 years. The council have a long association with this charity and may make a good buyer . We need some safe guards in place. Confident they will work with the local community none political leaders. Let’s hope this isn’t the usually Tory good news announcement and then nothing .

Cllr James Leppard
2023-11-28 12:43:44

Alderman Durcan, think we are all on the same page here. A lot of work has been undertaken to get to this stage, which should signify a very good outcome for all parties concerned.

gary roberts
2023-11-28 12:55:58

I wont be able to attend the meeting on Thursday. But reading the document and the highlighted "private treaty" means it will be sold below the market rate because Osler House is a liability for the council. But two years ago it wasn't? Potter Street residents' being shafted again!

James Leppard
2023-11-28 16:20:55

Gary Roberts, what would you estimate the market rate? Fully independent valuations were obtained.

Gary Roberts
2023-11-28 17:07:20

Cllr. Leppard the property sold for £200,000 in 2019. Apparently today it is valued as £236,530 in its derelict state. How much is the council selling it to MIND for? Will you tell me and the residents of Potter Street under your private treaty deal? I suspect not.

James Leppard
2023-11-28 17:50:04

What is the source of the current valuation. Is that a professional valuation or a guesstimate?

Gary Roberts
2023-11-28 18:28:48

Cllr Leppard answer the question: how much is the council selling Osler House to the MIND charity for? Time to end the BS and nonsense and tell the residents of Potter Street how much. You thought I wouldn't give you an answer didn't you?

James Leppard
2023-11-28 19:22:04

Without further clarification as to the source of your valuation, minds far less charitable than mine might well consider that your figure is BS, to quote your turn of phrase. All will be discussed in the public realm at Cabinet. You seem to be under some misguided illusion that Cabinet Agenda was determined by Mr Gary Roberts....it isn't.

2023-11-28 21:16:46

To think this was a Doctors surgery since the 1950s until the idiotic NHS decided to sell it to an American company who then decided to shut it down without telling anyone until the last minute. You couldn't make it up!

gary roberts
2023-11-29 05:58:25

Cllr. Leppard, you can't even answer a straight forward question from a constituent of yours: says a lot doesn't it? Mind you if I was to prepare a "Cabinet" agenda it would actually contain some worthwhile content that would benefit Potter Street and the whole town in general. It would demand answers from elected councillors' not play semantic games using smoke and mirrors. Start representing the best interests of your constituents' not your political party who it could be claimed caused many families into poverty and destitution.

2023-11-29 13:42:13

Jerry just to clarify although a Labour government brought the NHS into being GPS,dentists and opticians have only ever been contracted to the NHS. A Labour government under Tony Blair in 2003 allowed GP's to sell their practices to larger companies. In the case of Osler House two partners sold the practice onto an American company. The surgery was closed by the West Essex CCG at the end of April 2018 although the decision to close the surgery was made in November 2017 The building itself was built by the Nuffield Trust but later transferred to the Harlow Health Centre Trust who in 2019

2023-11-29 13:59:47

After Osler House closed at the end of April 2018 the Potter Street Health and Wellbeing Hub put forward a proposal to Harlow Council. In November 2019 the Council purchased the building from Harlow Health Centre Trust for the sum of £200,000 and the Council set aside the sum of £226,000 for repairs to the building. The Potter Street Health and Wellbeing Hub Trust were negotiating with the Council for a lease on the building which unfortunately came to an abrupt end where due to years of neglect was deemed to be beyond economical repair although the Trust was willing to pay for some of the cost and put some of the internal repairs into good order. I think it is correct that residents of Potter Street should question the sale price and also where the some of £226,000 for repairs will be reallocated or is this going to assist in the repair of the building? The original sale price of the building was £200,000 with in excess of £400,000 needed to repair the building I find it unlikely that Mind is going to purchase the building without some kind of support from the Council

Gary Roberts
2023-11-29 15:16:41

Mr. Thorpe will you be attending the cabinet meeting tomorrow? If so please could you email me details of the result as I am unable to attend.

James Leppard
2023-11-29 16:53:25

Instead of indulging in conjecture, I suggest you review the accounts to March 2022 filed with the Charities' Commission. These evidence strong liquidity and very adequate reserves, I expect will be further enhanced when they file their March 2023 accounts.

2023-11-29 22:39:50

James the Potter Street Health and Wellbeing Hub have a long history with Osler House going back to 2018. Yes I realise that Mind has adequate funding and are in a strong position financially and hopefully will make good use of the building for the community but it still begs the question of what will become of the £226,000 that was ring fenced for repairing Osler House

2023-11-29 23:06:54

Seems that Potter Street community needs to initiate a Freedom of Information request and consult with legal experts about the way the Council is behaving especially if Covenants are involved. Not a straight answer from Cllr Leppard, what is he trying to hide? Councillors need to remember they are supposed to represent the community not some party line. Come March 2024 all seats are up for election: time Cllrs started listening before we vote you out.

James Leppard
2023-11-30 08:05:30

All will be divulged tonight in the open forum of Cabinet. There are certain matters of protocol and decorum (concepts wholly alien to some), whereby it would wrong to divulge inform publicly that has not been advised to Cabinet. Not hiding anything!

2023-11-30 09:01:01

James the whole of local government is distinctly opaque especially with respect to Potter Street. There's too little consultation, no notice of the wishes or concerns raised by community and a strategy of arranging everything behind closed doors and not revealing anything until it's too late. eg at Cabinet. If a decision is to be made then the whole process needs to be totally transparent from day 1 and prior to that subject to a local referendum and construction of a Neighbourhood Plan with residents at the centre of the process. The situation in Harlow fell off the cliff when Neighbourhood Centres/ offices were closed. It's why there's such a small turnout at elections we simply don't trust you, the politicians, anymore.

gary roberts
2023-11-30 09:50:16

Nostradamus, exactly. The current politicians of the current administration in office hate being challenged and held to account. Those that do are [add your own expletive] but not the one used by the current Home Secretary, Mr. James Cleverly.

James Leppard
2023-11-30 09:54:36

The entire issue of Osler House has been a constant source of discussion with the Harlow Common Residents Association. We have worked closely with the Association and residents regarding the NISA store. All parties affected by the planned housing developments at the Neighbourhood office and Pytt Field have been contacted. We have made improvement with new benches at Larkswood (neglected for a decade). New posts were installed at the entrance to Chapel Fields garages for safety reasons, at the request of residents. We have secured allotments for the new community hub initiative and had clearing works undertaken by HTS. We have repeatedly pushed County Councillors to obtain extension of the 20 mph speed limit on Potter Street to the southern boundary. Please give specific examples of alleged neglect.

James Leppard
2023-11-30 10:24:15

I notice my last reply has not been published.

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