Harlow Town Centre Area Action Plan - Issues and Options Consultation

Ended on the 10th August 2018
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OPPORTUNITY AREAS


Overview

Section 6B sets out three spatial scenarios which articulate the emerging direction of travel for area-specific guidance in the AAP. These are linked to the three options set out in policy theme 1 in chapter 6A.

The AAP encourages a long-term vision for the Town Centre, and seeks to future-proof transformative interventions which would contribute to these aspirations. In that context, and as noted in chapter 6A, these scenarios should be interpreted as incremental phases rather than mutually exclusive, separate approaches. These phased scenarios build towards a high intervention scenario (see option 1.3).

The challenge for the AAP is to embed the long- term vision whilst allowing incremental growth and interventions in phases. In the short-term, the policy would encourage sensitive management of proposals, promoting early investment and shaping development which could unlock, rather than preclude a longer- term vision.


Opportunity areas - approximate boundaries (additional opportunity sites might be defined through the process).


BASELINE SCENARIO

Commentary

As set out in option 1.1, this baseline scenario envisages no major interventions over and above the existing pipeline of development proposals in the Town Centre including the Harvey Centre works (a cinema and reconfiguration of the former Marks and Spencer unit) and committed residential investments such as Terminus House and the Circle Housing site. These sites are illustrated in the adjacent drawing.

These interventions are a positive response to current market conditions but do not represent a comprehensive set of proposals which would address some of the more significant structural issues.

The table below shows how the options set out in chapter 6A relate to the opportunity areas.


Opportunity area

Commentary - potential uses / approach

Key themes / options in 6A


1. Wych Elm & Sainsbury's

D

Circle Housing scheme

Residential development

9.1


4. Town Centre East

D

Terminus House

Office to residential conversion

9.1

D

Redstone House

Office to residential conversion

9.1


5. Retail Core

D

Addington scheme

Interior refurbishment of retail

6.1, 7.2

D

Former Marks and Spencer

Interior refurbishment of retail

6.1, 7.2

D = Development

P = Public realm



MEDIUM INTERVENTION SCENARIO


Commentary

Option 1.2 identifies opportunities to regenerate the Market Area and substantially enhance the environmental quality of the Town Centre, focusing on the Broad Walk between the Market area and the Water Gardens to the south.

  • New development is proposed for the post office site and the sites along the south side of Fourth Avenue, including the car park and the petrol station, to provide town centre homes and to accommodate commercial space (retail/office) to respond to longer term demand. These would present an active front to Fourth Avenue, providing a 'front door' to the town centre on approach from the station.
  • A green open space is proposed, making use of the mature trees from the car park which was in Gibberd's original plan
  • Replacement of the multi-storey car park on the east edge of the town centre with new development can front Velizy Avenue and change the character of the road. The bus station can be reconfigured with on-street bus stops and better links can be provided between Velizy Avenue and Broad Walk. This could be new homes, with options for commercial space.
  • New development is proposed to replace Occasio House and wrap the southern end of the Harvey Centre. This can provide a 'front door' to the town from the west and a far better setting for St Paul's Church.

The table below shows how the options set out in chapter 6A relate to the opportunity areas (these are in addition to the development opportunities and public realm improvements proposed in the baseline scenario).



Opportunity area

Commentary - potential uses / approach

Key themes / options in 6A


2. Town Centre North

D

Post office

Ground floor retail, upper residential, fronting new green space

2.1, 4.1, 7.2, 8.2, 11.2, 11.3

D

Car park

Residential blocks fronting space and boulevard

7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 9.3, 11.2, 11.3, 11.5

D

Kitson way

Residential to replace petrol station / car park

7.2, 9.2, 11.2

D

Former cinema

Interior refurbishments for cultural use

6.4, 7.2, 7.3, 8.2, 10.1

P

Public green space

Retention of mature trees and direct pedestrian link

2.2, 3.1, 9.3, 11.5


4. Town Centre East

D

Multi-storey car park

Mixed use blocks with reprovision of some parking

7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.2, 9.2, 11.3

D

Boots/New Look

Office to residential conversion, improvements to retail frontage

6.2, 7.2, 9.1

P

Bus station

Improved public realm - reconsider layout to minimise impact

2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 8.1, 11.5


5. Retail Core

D

Library

Replacement with library/retail/residential uses

2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 7.2, 8.2, 9.2,

P

Broad Walk

Improved public realm

3.1, 6.2, 11.5


1

Town Centre boundary Interior refurbishments Mixed use blocks Improved public realm New green space

HIGH INTERVENTION SCENARIO


Overview

Alongside medium and longer-term opportunities to bring forward other sites for Town Centre uses and residential growth, this scenario would establish a critical mass to consolidate the performance of the Town Centre within and beyond the plan period in combination with wider proposals for the strategic growth of Harlow.

  • New development is proposed for the post office site and the sites along the south side of Fourth Avenue, including the car park and the petrol station, to provide town centre homes and to accommodate commercial space (retail/office) to respond to longer term demand. These would present an active front to Fourth Avenue, providing a 'front door' to the town centre on approach from the station.
  • A green open space is proposed, making use of the mature trees from the car park which was in Gibberd's original plan.
  • Development to the north of Fourth Avenue is proposed, to front the street and give it a boulevard character. This can provide new homes and possibly commercial space at ground floor. The levels could be used here to provide a podium block with undercroft parking. Large footprint commercial space could allow for the supermarket to be reprovided with a footprint that more closely matches supermarket business models (smaller than the existing unit).
  • Replacement of the multi-storey car park on the east edge of the town centre with new development can front Velizy Avenue and change the character of the road. The bus station can be reconfigured with on-street bus stops and better links can be provided between Velizy Avenue and Broad Walk. This could be new homes, with options for commercial space.
  • New development is proposed to replace Occasio House and wrap the southern end of the Harvey Centre. This can provide a 'front door' to the town from the west and a far better setting for St Paul's Church.

The table below shows how the options set out in chapter 6A relate to the opportunity areas (these are in addition to the development opportunities and public realm improvements proposed in the medium intervention scenario).



Opportunity area

Commentary - potential uses / approach

Key themes / options in 6A


1. Wych Elm & Sainsbury's

D

Wych Elm car park area

Mixed use blocks, with reprovision of some uses

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.3, 8.2, 9.2

D

Bus Depot / fire station area

Mixed use blocks, with reprovision of some uses

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3, 8.2, 9.2

D

Sainsburys area

Mixed use blocks

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 8.2, 9.2, 10.2

P

Fourth Avenue

Boluevard

2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 3.1

P

North of Fourth Avenue

New green space

2.2, 3.1


2. Town Centre North

D

Multi-storey car park

Mixed use blocks with some parking reprovision

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.3, 8.2, 9.2

P

Fourth Avenue

Boluevard

2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 3.1

P

General area

Improved public realm / trees / greening

2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 3.1


5. Retail Core

D

College Gate car park edge

Mixed use blocks with active frontages

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.3, 9.2


6. Public Sector

D

Police Station/Courts

Mixed use blocks with reprovision of some uses

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3, 8.2, 9.2


7. Town Centre West

D

Occasio House

Residential blocks

2.1, 4.1, 6.2, 7.3, 8.2, 9.2


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