Strawberry Star development in town centre set to go back before the planning committee

News / Mon 12th Feb 2024 at 10:24am

THE PLANNING application for hundreds of homes in the town centre is set to go back before the Harlow Council planning committee.

The Strawberry Star development is for: The redevelopment of land at Harvey Centre at West Gate, on Market Square, Broad Walk, West Gate.

The original application was to demolish the existing buildings and provide a comprehensive re-development of the site with a mixed-use development comprising up to 578 residential units, up to
3,000sqm (GEA) flexible retail / drinking establishment / leisure/community / commercial space.

Plus a communal residential amenity space, a new pedestrian boulevard, public realm improvements, car and cycle parking with associated plant and hard/soft landscaping.

It is set to go back before planning for the following reason:

The legal agreement has now been signed by both parties……It is considered that due to it being signed beyond the three months specified in the initial resolution, it is appropriate to refer the matter back to the Development Management Committee to re-affirm their position.

Readers may recall that demolition began back in November 2022. Since then, noting appears to have happened.

We asked for an update in June 2023 and we were told:

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.

So, the reason for the planning application may be quite a dry, bureaucratic one but this might be an opportunity for questions to be asked regarding the regeneration scheme and whether it will ever be realised.

Of course, such questions may not be relevant to the application but that shouldn’t prevent a member of the planning committee from asking such a question.

The meeting is set for Tuesday February 13th at 7.30pm.

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8 Comments for Strawberry Star development in town centre set to go back before the planning committee:

David Forman
2024-02-12 12:52:13

I do hope they register the Section 106 agreement with Land Registry and any mortgages pertaining to the development. Unfortunately, councils don't have the power to charge council tax on unbuilt units, something which economist Liam Halligan suggests in his book Home Truths. This book is well worth a read.

Guy Flegman
2024-02-12 13:19:35

I suspect that they demolished the building so they do not pay rates and are now land banking until market conditions turn in their favour

gary roberts
2024-02-12 13:33:36

I suspect this will be the first of many returns to the planning committee. Does anyone know how many spades in the ground have occurred in the 11 developments since that memorable day when Cllr. Swords proudly listed them on this site?

2024-02-12 18:21:42

Gary Roberts, what you are saying is not the big issue. The issue that everyone is scared about is Newham council dumping hundreds of so -called asylum seekers in our town. We already have Terminus House as a blight on our town. We don't want our town to be a dumping ground for London boroughs.

2024-02-12 20:22:36

It has been many more years than 2022 since Harlow Town Centre was demolished, all by yet another developer. The previous developer was allowed by a Labour-run council to block the pavements with its hoarding fencing, leaving around one foot 30cm at the junction of Kitson Road and West Gate. Anyone attempting to walk around the junction is forced to walk in the road and take their chances with the traffic. It is even worse for the residents of Rank House with children or pushchair or pram; they are automatically forced to walk in the road. Disabled parking on West Gate also faces the same problem; in the past, they could get out of traffic’s way by going onto the pavement, but now they are forced to unload their wheelchair into the path of traffic.

gary roberts
2024-02-13 07:10:16

Alex, do you know the answer to my question? The Newham council issue has been greatly discussed with again this council not knowing its backside from its elbow. Do you think Cllr. Swords knows the answer to my question? Or even Cllr. Leppard who told me regeneration of Potter Street is a large car park between two housing communities with another two next to it. Cllr. Seales wont know or care as it seems she is up for election in the Stewards ward in May as the Conservative leaflet delivered to the residents' of that area last week clearly stated. Loyalty eh!

2024-02-13 08:56:23

Waffle! Waffle! Waffle! Just get on with it.

2024-02-13 16:36:40

Hurry up and demolish from little walk that closed years ago to market, get rid of that garstly polish supermarket to another location and give Specsavers another decent position, as they are the only ones left and the end is so scruffy!!!!

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