We encourage you to respond to the following consultations:

Harlow Council – Town Centre North development brief – deadline 5pm on 9 June 2023

Government – replacement for Environmental Impact Assessments – deadline 11.45pm 9th June.

Harlow Council – Heritage Nominations – Local List Update – deadline 5pm 23 June 2023.

For information on these consultations and how to respond – see sections below or click on links above.

Draft Town Centre North Development Brief

Harlow Council is consulting on the Draft Town Centre North Development Brief. A development brief informs developers and other interested parties of the constraints and opportunities presented by a specific site, and the type of development expected or encouraged by local planning policies.

In March 2022, the Council adopted a Masterplan document for the Town Centre which identified eight opportunity areas including Town Centre North. This area includes land and buildings between Velizy Avenue and the bus station to the east, Fourth Avenue to the north, Haydens Road to the west and the top of Broad Walk to the south. It includes several buildings and spaces, notably Market House, the Royal Mail Depot, Stone Cross (or Market) Square, The Rows, Adams House, and Joseph Rank House. It also includes the Strawberry Star scheme. 

The draft development brief sets out six objectives for the area; 1) Create an identity; 2) Improve the appearance; 3) Make better use of space; 4) Protect the area’s important architecture; 5) Improve legibility and movement for pedestrians and cyclists; and 6) significantly ‘green’ the area. The brief identifies several sites that have the potential for redevelopment to help achieve these objectives building on public realm projects identified in the Town Centre Masterplan Document.

Once adopted, the brief will become a material consideration in the determination of planning applications for the area and will inform relevant pre-application discussions. 

The draft development brief is presented as two separate papers and can be viewed online at the following links:

  1. Introduction and background paper (pdf) – this provides an overview of the area, a series of objectives and delivery strategy.
  2. Individual site briefs (pdf) – these detail specific design, layout and planning principles for buildings and land identified for development potential.

You can also view the development brief at Harlow Library and the Civic Centre during normal opening hours. 

Comments can be given by email to Myharlow@harlow.gov.uk or by writing to: Forward Planning Team, Harlow Council, The Water Gardens, CM20 1WG. 

The consultation closes at 5pm on 9 June 2023.


Government consultation on Environmental Outcomes Reports 

The government is holding a consultation on replacing Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) with new Environmental Outcomes reports (EORs). The deadline for responses is 11.45pm on 9th of June.

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) – and other organisations – are very concerned about this because EORs will not take into account the impact of plans and developments on human health, whereas EIAs and SEAs do. The TCPA have written a very short briefing about this, which you can view here: TCPA EOR Response

The topic is quite technical and the consultation makes the change to EORs sound like common sense, so it is easy to overlook the implications regarding appraising the health impact of development. 

You can respond online here: EOR Consultation

We would encourage you to also respond to this consultation if you possibly can.


Harlow Heritage Nominations: Local List Update

The Local List is a schedule of assets which contribute to Harlow’s historic environment. They include buildings as well as structures and places, like important statues, war memorials, churches, phone boxes and former banks.

As part of the process to update the Local List, Harlow Council has launched the Harlow Heritage Nominations period. They would like nominations of historically important buildings, spaces and other assets across Harlow, for possible inclusion on the Local List.

You can nominate an asset by completing the Nominations form on the Council’s website at www.harlow.gov.uk/listed-buildings The Nominations period closes at 5pm on Friday 23 June 2023.

The form requires you to provide details of the asset, including its location, use, type and details of why you think it has local heritage importance. You can nominate more than one asset per person (but please use one form for each asset). Only assets within the administrative boundary of the Harlow district can be nominated. The Council may also identify and nominate assets.

Nominations can still be submitted beyond the nominations period but may not be assessed for inclusion on the Local List until the next update takes place.

The Council will score all the nominated assets using a bespoke scoring matrix, publish the results and then produce a shortlist. There will then be public consultation to seek views on the shortlist of assets. Subject to responses received, the shortlist will be used to produce the updated Local List.

Further Information on the Local List and how updates to it will be made follows.


What are the benefits of the Local List?

If the Council receives a planning application relating to an asset on the List, its local heritage value is taken into account, together with other material planning considerations, when the application is determined. There is also a presumption against demolition or removal of assets on the List. The List offers, therefore, some protection for the assets identified, as well as recording and raising awareness about local heritage.

Does the Council already have a Local List?

Yes, but it only includes buildings and is due to be updated. It can be viewed at www.harlow.gov.uk/listed-buildings

How does the Local List differ from something being ‘Grade I or Grade II listed’?

Assets which are Grade I or II listed are nationally listed by Historic England and have greater protection. Assets on the Local List are ones which do not meet the strict criteria to be nationally listed. 

There are a number of nationally listed assets in Harlow and the search facility on the Historic England website at www.historicengland.org.uk/listing can be used to find them.

Assets which have been nationally listed by Historic England cannot be added to the Local List.

How will the nominated assets be scored?

In accordance with national guidance, the Council will use a scoring matrix which awards points for architectural, aesthetic, archaeological and historical, cultural & social interest. Not all the categories may be relevant for all the assets nominated. 

The matrix includes appropriate weighting to ensure that culturally and socially important assets are not penalised if they do not have great aesthetic or architectural interest. Full results of the scoring, including details of nominated assets which did not score highly enough to make the shortlist, will be published on the Council’s website.

Please note that the number of nominations an asset receives is not relevant because it is its heritage value, rather than popularity, which determines its suitability for inclusion on the Local List. 

What happens if I own an asset?

If you own an asset which you think has heritage value, you are free to nominate it yourself. Asset owners, where known, will be notified if their asset is nominated by someone else and if it subsequently makes it onto the shortlist.

Who else will be involved?

As well as details of the Local List Update being sent to contacts on our consultation database, and the process being advertised locally, the Council will particularly liaise with relevant organisations such as the Harlow Civic Society. Local schools will also be contacted to encourage students to participate.

How regularly will the Local List be updated?

The Council intends to update the Local List, using the process outlined above, every three or four years. However, if the Council receives a large number of nominations outside the nomination period, or if the Council deems it necessary to urgently include an asset on the List, an interim minor update to the List may be made. Minor updates would score nominated assets, and owners would be notified, in the ways described above.

Future updates could also include the possibility of assets being removed from the List. Removal is only likely to be necessary where irreparable damage has occurred which devalues the heritage value of an asset.


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