Harlow Town Centre Area Action Plan

Harlow Town Centre Area Action Plan

Similar to many town and city centres across the UK, shifting economic trends have had, and continue to have a profound impact on the performance and prosperity of Harlow Town Centre. Although policies already exist which establish the primacy of the Town Centre and seek to protect and enhance its performance, the planning process has the potential to play a more proactive role in strengthening the vitality and viability of the Town Centre and enabling regeneration.

The preparation of a more specific set of planning policies presents an opportunity to create the conditions for a resilient, successful centre. The Area Action Plan (AAP), in combination with the Harlow Local Development Plan (and other guidance) will enable Harlow Council alongside wider stakeholder, landowner and developer partners to plan a positively, coordinated approach to growth. The AAP will provide a spatial planning framework to guide development and secure the regeneration of Harlow Town Centre for the period up to 2033. This will take into account the key role the Town Centre performs across the wider Harlow area, reinforced by the need to accommodate additional retail provision, arising from increased housing growth being brought forward.

The following diagram summarises the stages in preparation of the AAP:

Area Action Plan Timeline

Regulation 18, Issues and Options

Before we prepare the Area Action Plan Harlow Council has been working with urban practitioners Allies and Morrison to assess the issues and options to support town centre development and regeneration. The Issues and Options report represents the first stage of formal consultation on the AAP and builds on baseline analysis, emerging evidence base studies and early engagement to identify the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the Town Centre and sets out different options for the AAP to consider and explore.

Consultation on the Issues and Options report took place between June – August 2018 with an exhibition tour around the town to obtain feedback from members of the public and a wide range of stakeholders. Feedback received through the consultation will help inform the development of the AAP.

Next steps

With the Regulation 18 consultation on the Issues and Options Report now completed we will be working with our consultants (Allies & Morrison) and other key stakeholders to develop the draft AAP. It is anticipated that the draft AAP will be published and submitted to the Councils’ Cabinet in February 2019 and if approved consultation on the draft AAP will begin in May 2019.