Town Centre Area Action Plan

The purpose of the Town Centre Area Action Plan (AAP) is to provide a planning framework to guide the development and regeneration of Harlow town centre

The AAP takes into account the key role the town centre plays in the Harlow area, and the need to increase its retail provision as a result of housing growth.

The aim of the plan is to create the conditions for a resilient, successful centre. 

Issues and Options

The Issues and Options report identifies 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 and August 2018 with an exhibition tour around the town to obtain feedback from members of the public and a wide range of stakeholders.

Regulation 19 AAP

A working draft of the Regulation 19 AAP was presented to Cabinet in February 2020. It was approved for publication subject to officers making further minor changes. The draft Regulation 19 AAP will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

The final Regulation 19 AAP has not been published, but for information on the status of this document and how applications for the town centre will be determined, you can read our AAP update note (pdf)

Town Centre Masterplan supplementary planning document

We are consulting on a draft Harlow Town Centre Masterplan SPD which sets out a vision for the town centre building upon the work of the AAP.

We have paused work on the AAP and decided to progress town centre specific guidance through a non-statutory masterplan SPD. The draft SPD provides guidance on:

  • movement in and around the town centre
  • urban design
  • public realm
  • appropriate land uses
  • tall buildings in the town centre

This is presented both through a set of overarching principles and through a series of drawings which lead to an indicative masterplan of how the town centre could be developed as well as more specific opportunity areas.