Letter to Editor: Let’s have our town centre as good as Chelmsford’s

Your Say / Tue 6th Feb 2024 at 10:17am

Dear Editor,

I have just been shopping to Chelmsford. What a lovely experience compared to Harlow.

Lots of varied shops and plenty of people spending their money.

There is a little market in the middle of the town as well.

I think our councillors who say they are going to make Harlow one of the best towns in England need to get their backsides to Chelmsford perhaps then we could have a reason to visit our town centre.

At the moment there is nothing there. Just a load of knocked down buildings that will never be built again and empty shops.

We need to regenerate our town as soon as possible and make shopping worthwhile there.


Lisa L

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17 Comments for Letter to Editor: Let’s have our town centre as good as Chelmsford’s:

2024-02-06 11:34:14

Harlow town centre the Council replaced a thriving market with giant flower pots, what more could you want? Currently it resembles a bomb site, once the cluster of 16 story hi rise rabbit hutch flats are built to house families displaced by London Borough's and the footfall shopping from the staff and visitors to PAH are gone to Epping, it'll have all the charm of living in a desolate wind tunnel.

2024-02-06 12:10:49

Harlow is a lost cause, councillors have destroyed it.

Bruce Downey
2024-02-06 12:22:12

Problem is they’re up-market, and we’re the opposite. We were promised levelling up still waiting..I am still optimistic good things are coming….eventually. as long as labour don’t get back in.. then it’s back to square one.

2024-02-06 12:52:11

Chelmsford is not that exciting. The market stalls are good, all food. It's all a façade really, the same old shops struggling. We now have The Range on the high street where Debenhams was, which is like B&M. Not really up market!

2024-02-06 15:49:26

Does the blame for the decline of shopping in Harlow lie with councillors or with shoppers who go online for everything, or who went to places like Brookfield and Lakeside. Councillors did I believe turn down the chance for M & S to open a food store at Queensgate. Harlow owns the Harvey centre, is there an opportunity to invite M & S back on very favourable terms (or is that not allowed or unfair on the likes of Primark). Sadly(?) the concept of the "High Street" seems to no longer apply. And, of course, the businesses that paid better salaries and had people going to the Town at lunch time like BP, Pitney Bowes, Pearson/Longmans and RHM are no longer here, or only in a much smaller capacity. We have local elections in 3 months time, perhaps this can be put at the top of the agenda. BUT people, if you are one of the 70odd% who do not vote in such elections, don't then moan

2024-02-06 17:11:59

Lisa L, our councillors had stated they will make Harlow the best town in Great Britain not England. We will have to go some way to being the best in the county first. If at all.

Mark Gough
2024-02-06 17:15:37

Harlow's biggest problem is we have been promised a massive rebuild three times and then the company doing it has either backed out or gone bust. Comparing us to Chelmsford which is about three times the size in the centre is pretty unfair. We also have three large centres outside the town centre with free parking that keep shoppers away from the main town centre. Things look to be getting better in the next couple of years though - so let's hope it all happens on time and on budget.

2024-02-06 17:15:50

Grew up in Harow what it was like in the a booming place from 1957 never went out of Harlow for shopping the town had it all and now its a dump town is for private flats ect not for shopping

2024-02-06 18:00:09

I've not been to the town centre for nearly 2yrs now, there's nothing there, so why would I go, I've lived in harlow 60yrs and seen it all go to pot, where's our market, food shops, butchers, greengrocers, bring them back, and let ppk have a choice.

Luke Burton
2024-02-06 19:11:40

Try sorting out the crime first. Anyone that dares to venture north of The Water Gardens during the dark evenings deserve a medal for bravery - especially around the old Odeon.

old harlow vigilante
2024-02-06 21:50:30

drop a bomb on town and start again

2024-02-07 14:16:13

What the town center needs is a bus service but no more refurbishment to bus station spend the money on reducing rents council tax to encourage shops to return to town center ,bus services would encourage shoppers back not everybody has a car .chelmsford has an indoor market and the rentis not to high I used visit other towns in the uk a few have some form of indoor markets .it's not just one thing I went round the town center last year and there was including the harvey center approx 50 empty retail units what a waste

2024-02-07 23:33:40

The nail on the head is parking we need free parking to get people back and shopping all we get is a counciler moaning about lost revenue (he knows who he is) now asda employees can only give parking voucher when you finish your shopping shame on the council. They need to think out off the box. if Harlow does get whot they promised will people be able to afford to come??? 😉🤔🙄

Tim Ward
2024-02-08 12:19:49

We need it to be a shopping centre not a place with so many flats it will just turn into a gang hang out drug dealers preying on all the people in flats no where for them to go apart from hanging out in the town , also where are all these people parking or are we to assume no one can drive in these flats

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-11 19:38:04

I would point out that the parking charges in Chelmsford are much higher than in Harlow. However it does not suffer from property developers sitting on their assets, leaving vacant buildings left to go to rack and ruin. The retail parks are one of the main reasons why Harlow Town Centre will never be the same as in the past, it needs to be transformed into a leisure destination with shops. The previous Labour and the current Tory administration have been hell bent on spending millions of pounds on regenerating the area around the Playhouse, which is actually one of the better entrances into the Town Centre particularly in the evening. They should have used these millions of pounds building a new much larger theatre, music venue and exhibition centre on the Market House and postal sorting office site, just yards from the bus terminus. This would have brought life to the north side of the Town Centre, a far greater footfall, provide a welcoming entrance to the centre and of course reduced anti-social behaviour.

Kim Oconnor
2024-02-12 10:08:24

What a grey uninviting place the Harlow town centre is.. But then if you weigh it up, what do you expect, supermarkets took away small businesses, building places like aldis, home bargains, etc, on out skirts of Harlow town centre draws people away from main centre.. you can't compare other towns to others, they are all different... I personally think to give small businesses a chance by lowing rents, and bring some character back to the town, I think if you asked people they would rather see , the butchers shop,etc etc , a regular week market.. truth be known people go out side to shop because our town centre is so dull,grey, with no character , and nothing really there as such. Even to sit and have a coffee, there's nothing to look at, least the coffee shop at water Gardens you could look over fields,, but no longer there.. its just dull. Sorry but even the levelling up councils speak of, characterless. Concrete boxs.

2024-02-16 09:17:04

Nicholas Taylor, What planet are you on. You say build close to the bus terminus. Why? Have you ever tried to use a bus. The 8 is part time , the 10 gone, and the 508 509 and 510 run and cancel when they like. Sort out a bus service that people can rely on and maybe more people will come to town

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