Planning approved for 33 residential flats and mixed-use unit in Harlow Town Centre       

Residential development of 33 flats in Harlow

We are delighted to have secured planning permission for the regeneration of a brownfield site which will now become a stylish mixed-use development.  The proposed scheme received unanimous approval at Planning Committee, with the design already being credited with providing a landmark building for the area.

This exciting development seeks the demolition of a number of existing garages and a large A1 unit.  This is to be replaced with an 8-storey residential block of 33 flats; 30% of which are to be affordable housing; an improved flexible A1, A2, B1 use unit at ground floor level; the creation of a communal roof garden; and associated car parking.

Making a planning application for a residential development

It was great to be part of the project team on this development scheme, and to secure planning approval for this inspiring regeneration project. Prior to our involvement, the project seemed to be heading for refusal. The original application had been withdrawn following concerns raised by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). We were instructed to assist and, following a thorough review of the application and proposals, we presented a suitable planning strategy to move the project forwards.

We re-opened the lines of communication with the LPA through the pre-application process. Our meticulous preparation enabled a constructive meeting which provided a forum to discuss the proposed scheme and any concerns.  The feedback was instrumental in the evolution of the final application.

Our detailed planning statement in support of the application, set out the planning justifications for the scheme and how it accorded with an identified need, as well as local, national and emerging policy considerations. Our statement included:

  • Evidence of the need for this type of accommodation and how this scheme represented effective use of previously developed land in a demonstrably sustainable area;
  • Proposals for a flexible use of the A1 unit given market conditions, to ensure the vitality and viability of the town centre;
  • Evidence of how the proposed project would provide clear economic, social and environmental benefits, in accordance with the development plan as a whole;
  • Justifications for how this type of residential development would help support the vitality of town centres, in line with national policies;
  • Suitable S106 contributions, including 30% affordable housing and contributions towards public open space and the local library.

How a good planning strategy can lay the foundations for a positive outcome

We enjoyed proactive and effective communication with the LPA for the duration of this project. Out of the 115 consultees contacted, only one query was raised which we discussed with the case officer and were able to successfully mitigate through planning conditions.

Given the scale and scope of the works, following extensive engagement with the project team and LPA, we secured a positive recommendation from the case officer, with reasonable pre-commencement conditions.

The application was determined at Planning Committee, where we provided our client with a short speech to read out, to reinforce the benefits of the scheme.  We were absolutely delighted with the unanimous approval.

This development has been described as a catalyst for the regeneration of the area. And the design, which was brilliantly conceived by Enki Design has been credited with providing a landmark building, helping to improve the perception of the area.

We hugely enjoyed working with Enki on this project. And also thank Harlow Council for their energy and proactive engagement with us. We are delighted to have helped to secure approval for this most worthwhile scheme, which will regenerate a dilapidated central area and enable an underused brownfield site to provide architect designed living with 30% affordable housing.

Contact Plainview Planning with your planning enquiry

We have extensive experience in residential developments and regeneration projects.  If you want to understand the feasibility of development on your site, need a project review and planning strategy or need a dynamic and informed planning consultancy on your project then contact Alex via Alternatively call us on 01242 501003 to see how we can best assist you, providing the site address and a brief overview of your project.  You can also submit your site via our Landmark Page. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company and will only be used in relation to your enquiry.

IMAGE SOURCE: Enki Design (2019)