Public consultation on how Harlow Town Centre should develop in future has started.
Harlow Council is creating an Area Action Plan, which will guide the future regeneration and redevelopment of Harlow Town Centre.
Over the last year the Council has been working with consultants and stakeholders to produce an Issues and Options report that represents the first stage of formal consultation for the plan. The report identifies the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the Town Centre and sets out different options for the plan to consider and explore.
Although the Council does not own most of the buildings in the town centre, the plan will guide how future planning applications are decided, how the centre develops in future and the regeneration activity that will take place.
To help create the plan the Council wants to know what residents, shoppers, businesses, land owners and organisations think is best for Harlow Town Centre.
The consultation runs until 10 August 2018. A series of consultation events and exhibitions will be taking place at various locations and include:
Consultation events (staffed):
- Wednesday 4 July 2018, 11am – 1pm - Harlow Civic Centre, The Water Gardens
- Thursday 5 July 2018, 1pm – 3pm - Tye Green Library
- Wednesday 11 July 2018 – Harlow College, 10:30am – 1pm
- Thursday 12 July 2018 – Staple Tye Library, 3pm – 5pm
- Saturday 14 July 2018, 11am – 3pm - Broad Walk, Harlow Town Centre (Part of the Heart for Harlow Charities Fair)
- Tuesday 17 July 2018 - Harlow Leisurezone 2pm – 4:30pm
- Friday 20 July 2018, 10:30am – 12:30pm - Church Langley Community Centre
- Friday 27 July 2018, 1pm – 3pm - Learning Centre, Harlow Town Park
- Tuesday 31 July 2018, 2pm – 4pm - Harlow Civic Centre, The Water Gardens
- 9 - 11 July 2018 - St John’s Arc, Old Harlow
- 19 - 21 July 2018 – The Museum of Harlow
Consultation and exhibition materials along with the Issues and Options report are available online and comments can be submitted at www.harlow.gov.uk/aap. Further events are planned and dates and venues for these will appear on the website.
Councillor Danny Purton, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:
“We are committed to helping to create a vibrant, sustainable and successful Town Centre and we’re demonstrating this commitment by developing a separate Area Action Plan. The plan will sit alongside the Local Development Plan as an important planning document and means we can focus attention on the development and investment opportunities that are unique to Harlow Town Centre. We want to see a transformation of the Town Centre as place not just for the benefit of our existing residents but looking towards the 2030s when the town's population will have grown significantly.
“It is important that through this stage of consultation we get the views of as many residents, businesses, landowners and stakeholders as possible to inform and help develop the plan.”
Councillor John Strachan, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said:
“Over the years there has been much debate about Harlow Town Centre and the need for regeneration. Undoubtedly it plays an important role as both a retail and leisure destination for Harlow and the surrounding areas but more increasingly as a place to live. By creating the Area Action Plan we can take control in establishing the Town Centre’s regeneration aspirations, guiding development and promoting the investment opportunities that exist.
“With so many developments in the pipeline including the Enterprise Zone, Public Health England’s National Science Hub and the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town, the town is seeing and benefiting from major investment and growth. This plan is key to ensuring that Harlow Town Centre is ready to meet these future opportunities and once again become a vibrant place in the heart of the community.”
All feedback and comments gathered as part of the consultation will help inform the development of the plan. It is hoped that the draft plan will be published and further consulted on early next year.
Once adopted the Harlow Town Centre Area Action Plan will replace existing policies relevant to the Town Centre as set out in the 2006 Harlow Local Plan.
The Council has published the final version of the Harlow Town Centre AAP Issues and Options Report (June 2018) for consultation. This stage is known as the Regulation 18 Preparation of a local plan (AAP). The consultation period runs from 21 June 2018 until 10 August 2018.
Copies of the Harlow Town Centre AAP Issues and Options Report (June 2018) together with the other supporting documents are available for inspection at www.harlow.gov.uk/planning-policy and at Harlow Council Civic Centre, Latton Bush Centre and Harlow libraries during normal opening times.