The decline in Harlow’s shopping centre is well documented as are the attempts in the past to ‘regenerate’ it. The Harvey Centre is well over 30 years old now and whilst The Water Gardens helped the south side of the town centre, much of the rest has been allowed to decline. At the heart of the problem in moving forward is the fact that the shops and offices are owned by over 30 landlords with over 100 leaseholders whilst Harlow Council owns the public footpaths and open spaces around the buildings. The original design of the Town Centre meant that no homes were built in it’s immediate confines and therefore when the shops closed in the evening very few people had a need to go there.
In more recent years a cinema and a number of restaurants have opened and offices have been converted to flats. This has resulted in an increase in footfall within the Town Centre in the evening and this is set to continue as more new homes are constructed.
The Harlow Alliance Party will campaign to:
- Ensure that any regeneration of the Town Centre enhances the shopping experience of those using the centre.
- Ensure the regeneration of parts of the Town Centre are not to the detriment of other parts .
- Ensure that at least 30% of any new housing within the Town Centre is ‘affordable’ with at least 10% being owned by Harlow Council for social rent.
- See space made available to create an indoor market.
- Have Harlow Council carry out a feasibility study to roof over Broad Walk.
- Encourage Harlow Council to create a clear initiative to specifically designate space in the town centre to showcase the creativity and vision of Harlow’s present and future entrepreneurs.
- Provide a number of ‘drop off’ points for shoppers using the Town Centre.