The development company looking to redevelop the part of Harlow town centre which it owns has now commenced a public consultation exercise about it’s proposals. The link to this consultation can be found at www.strawberrystarharlow.co.uk
Whilst there is not a lot of detail provided about the proposals it does at least give a chance for residents to have a say on the matter. The original proposal was to build some 500 homes on this site, but this has now been increased to about 900.
In addition to these proposals, other developers have or are likely to get Planning Permission for new homes to be built at Wych Elm, on Kitson Way car park, on part of Terminus Street car park, on a site opposite The Playhouse, the conversion of Market House and a new block to the rear of Market House, totalling some 500 new homes. The relocation of the hospital in some 5 years time will see about 500 homes built on the present site.
It is clear that using Brownfield sites is a much better way of providing new homes compared with building on the Green Belt and other green sites. However HAP is dissappointed to note that Harlow Council are willing to agree to the building of developments which do not meet it’s own target of 30% of the new homes being what is known as “affordable homes”, particularly ones for rent. A further concern is the lack of play space for children living in these new homes, developers should at the outset give a clear indication of where such space will be provided.
Whilst new homes are of course to be welcomed, at it’s heart the proposed redevelopment of the town centre must surely ensure that the outcome is an enhanced shopping and leisure experience compared to what there is now otherwise it’s decline as a “go to” shopping centre will continue.