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Chapter 12
REGENERATING THE TOWN CENTRE AND SHOPPING
 
12.1 Objectives
   
  1. To sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre, so as to ensure its continuation as a Sub-Regional Centre, and to maximise opportunities resulting for Harlow’s designation as a Priority Area for Economic Regeneration (PAER).
  2. To support and promote the regeneration of the town centre, both physically and environmentally, by working in partnership with property owners, the community, private sector, and infrastructure agencies to revitalise the urban area.
  3. To promote a diversity and quality of uses in the town centre, including retailing, employment, leisure, entertainment and culture.
  4. To assess the location of new retail developments in a sequential manner, favouring town centre sites in the first instance.
  5. To retain and encourage residential development in the town centre.
  6. To manage road traffic and improve access to the town centre and neighbourhood centres, whilst insuring that due weight is given to improving facilities for public transport, cycling, pedestrians, and those with special needs.
  7. To sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of the neighbourhood centres and hatches and ensure their position in Harlow’s shopping hierarchy.
  8. To identify new opportunities for retail and related uses in the town centre, neighbourhood centres, hatches and new residential development areas.
 
12.2 Retailing and the Local Plan
   
12.2.1 Harlow has been recognised as a Sub-Regional shopping centre in the Structure Plan. Harlow was designed with a hierarchy of centres namely the town centre, neighbourhood centres and hatches. However, it is clear when looking around the town that the majority of the retail areas are looking dated and run down. This not only applies to the hatches and neighbourhood centres, but to the town centre itself. A number of significant retail developments took place in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. This includes the retail warehouse parks along Edinburgh Way; large food stores such as Sainsburys and Tesco; a new neighbourhood centre to provide local shops and facilities for residents at Church Langley; and Staple Tye neighbourhood centre was redeveloped.
12.2.2 Significant retail developments in the catchment area of Harlow have caused leakage of trade. These developments include Lakeside Regional Shopping Centre at Thurrock and the Brookfield Centre in Cheshunt. There has also been internal pressure from Harlow’s own retail warehouse parks, which have drawn shoppers away from not only the town centre, but also the neighbourhoods.
12.2.3 It should be noted that some policies in this chapter relate to the town wide area whilst others relate to a specific centre or site.
 
12.3 The Sequential Approach
   
12.3.1 Government guidance focuses development in town centres, which are more easily accessible, and enhances their multi-functional role.
12.3.2 Proposals for retail development and other large attractors of people such as commercial, entertainment, leisure, and public offices should be determined using the sequential approach to their siting. This will ensure that sites in the town centre are looked at in the first instance, followed by edge of centre, then neighbourhoods and hatches. Out of centre locations will only be looked at as a last resort. Development must be appropriate to the function, size and character of the centre.
12.3.3 Proposals which are on the edge of town or out of centre locations which are not in accordance with development plans are required to demonstrate a need for additional facilities and that a sequential approach has been applied. The Ministerial Policy Statement (February 1999) indicated that need should not be regarded as being fulfilled simply by showing there is capacity or demand for the proposed development.
 
 
RTCS1 Proposals for retail and other developments which attract large numbers of people, will be determined on a sequential basis by applying the descending order of preference. The need and capacity for development and how well the site is serviced by public transport and by means other than the car will be taken into account in deciding whether it should be accommodated at successively lower levels in the hierarchy:
  1. Town centre;
  2. Edge-of-the-town centre;
  3. Neighbourhood Centre;
  4. Hatches
  If development cannot be accommodated on sites in town centre, edge of centre locations, neighbourhood centres or hatches and there is a demonstrable need for it, out of centre sites elsewhere within the urban area may be considered, provided they are accessible by a choice of means of transport.
  Within areas of large scale new housing development, appropriate provision will be made for local shopping and associated services provided this does not undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre, or any nearby neighbourhood centre or hatch.
  Development must be appropriate to the function, size and character of the centre concerned.
 
12.4 Vitality and Viability
   
12.4.1 The hierarchy of Harlow’s shopping centres has been undermined over the last decade. The vitality and viability of the centres has been threatened both externally, from places such as Lakeside and Brookfield Centre and from retail parks within Harlow.
12.4.2 All shopping centres and hatches in Harlow currently have some form of restriction on change of use from retail to non-retail.
12.4.3 One way to improve a shopping centre is to ensure a diversity of uses, however, the mix of retail and non-retail must be suitable for that particular location.
12.4.4 Easy access for all to the shopping centre in Harlow is essential to their success. New retail development should have easy access by all transport modes as part of the sequential test.
 
 
RTCS2 Retail development proposals should:
  1. Not individually, or cumulatively with other recent and committed development, materially affect the vitality and viability of the existing town centre, neighbourhood centres or hatches;
  2. Be accessible by a choice of means of transport;
  3. Not give rise to unacceptable problems of access, road safety or traffic congestion;
  4. Provide appropriate car parking and servicing facilities together with facilities for non-car users;
  5. Promote high standards of design and not cause unreasonable loss of amenity to adjoining land uses.
 
12.5 Town Centre and Regeneration
   
12.5.1 The town centre should provide a significant stimulus for the Priority Area for Economic Regeneration (PAER) by providing employment and through urban regeneration.
12.5.2 Harlow town centre accommodates a wide variety of uses and facilities such as retail, food and drink, leisure and entertainment, civic uses, offices and residential. Major land uses located close to the town centre include the college, hospital, sports centre, Sainsbury and residential. The town centre would benefit from improved pedestrian linkages to these sites and to the train station.
12.5.3 Easy access for all to and within the town centre in Harlow is essential to its success. Improving access to the train station, ensuring adequate facilities for cyclists, buses, taxis, pedestrians and adequate parking provision is key. The introduction of night bus services would assist in developing the evening economy.
12.5.4 Harlow town centre has been successful at the value end of the retail market but, it needs to broaden its retail offer towards the middle and upper end of the market. Harlow is well served in terms of convenience goods retailers and the focus should be towards improving the non-food retail offer. To increase the choice and variety of the retail offer requires an increase in the amount and quality of comparison shops and the introduction of a department store would contribute towards this objective. The range of food and drink, and leisure and entertainment, also requires improvement particularly in terms of choice and quality. Harlow has an extensive catchment area which is potentially highly accessible.
12.5.5 New investment is needed to improve the quality and accessibility of the town centre offer, the quality and ambience of the town centre environment and public perception of the centre. It is also recognised that it is important to retain key facilities that are already present in the town centre. Particularly key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators. For example, Post Office, cinema, market, library, Playhouse, key anchor retailers and key anchor entertainment, leisure, food and drink operators such as M&S, BHS, Littlewoods, Boots, W H Smith, Wilkinsons, Tesco, Chicago Rock Café, Jumpin’ Jaks, First Bowl, Yates, Wetherspoons, and Bingo and key banks and building societies.
12.5.6 The issue of mixed use development is partly addressed elsewhere however, it is important to encourage mixed use development within the town centre. This can include residential accommodation and offices on upper floors.
12.5.7 It is proposed that the Town Centre Strategy be revised. This will be a key document in bringing together all issues and interests necessary to achieving a successful town centre and it should include relevant land use related matters identified in the Local Plan. The Town Centre Strategy, when adopted as supplementary planning guidance, will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
12.5.8 Currently a strategy for the Town Centre North is being commissioned in partnership with English Partnership and East of England Development Agency (EEDA). This will help to guide the future development in this area.
12.5.9 The council will aim to improve the environmental quality of the town centre in order to benefit those working, visiting or residing in the town centre. This would involve:
 
  • Creating gateway markers at key entrances to the town centre;
 
  • Introducing artwork and sculpture at key vistas and locations;
 
  • Introducing new tree planting and landscaping;
 
  • Improving existing or creating new public squares and spaces; canopies and covered pedestrian areas and walkways;
 
  • Introducing schemes that facilitate better movement of pedestrians within the town centre;
 
  • Upgrading the built environment;
 
  • Improving the physical linkages, particularly pedestrian, to edge of centre sites such as college, hospital, sports centre, Wych Elm, Sainsbury, residential areas and the train station by upgrading existing or creating new links;
 
  • Improving the servicing arrangements;
 
  • Improving the paving, surfacing, street furniture and signage.
Note: The list is not exhaustive and it is possible that other issues may be identified by the Council due to a change in circumstances or during detailed consideration of a town centre or edge of town centre issue.
 
 
RTCS3 Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will strengthen the role of the town centre by:
  1. Improving the range and quality of facilities including retailing, employment, leisure, entertainment and culture to encourage a vital and vibrant town centre environment throughout the day and in the evening;
  2. Increasing the diversity, quality and inclusive nature of employment opportunities, leisure, social, educational and cultural facilities, to meet the needs of the local population;
  3. Managing road traffic and improving access and road safety, while improving facilities for passenger transport users (particularly the completion of the bus station), pedestrians, cyclists and those with special needs, and providing car parking where appropriate;
  4. Enhancing the town centre’s character and appearance;
  5. Improving facilities for disabled people, elderly people and carers with babies and children;
  6. Providing mixed use development including residential or other suitable uses on vacant or underused upper floors;
  7. Retaining key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators.
 
 
RTCS4 Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will produce an improvement in the environmental quality of the town centre, or otherwise be of benefit to those working, visiting or residing within the centre.
 
12.6 Town Centre Sub Areas
   
12.6.1 Three broad sub areas have been identified in the town centre, Town Centre South (TCS), Town Centre Central (TCC) and Town Centre North (TCN).
12.6.2 Town Centre South was identified in the Adopted 1995 Local Plan for redevelopment. The Council has agreed to a scheme for Town Centre South which includes new civic offices, relocation and restoration of the water gardens, retail park, food store, retail units, car parking, health and fitness centre, restaurants, landscaping and ancillary works. There are other areas within the town centre that would benefit from new development and environmental improvement.
12.6.3 The Local Plan identifies two broad areas in the town centre namely Town Centre North (TCN) where entertainment, leisure, food, drink and residential uses are particularly encouraged and Town Centre Central (TCC) where improvements to the retail offer are emphasised. Securing suitable developments and improvement schemes in these areas together with the existing redevelopment at Town Centre South will be key to revitalising the town centre.
 
12.7 Town Centre North
   
12.7.1 Town Centre North (TCN) represents a substantial and strategic part of the town centre. The development of Town Centre South will shift the retail emphasis of the town centre southwards. TCN has been identified to play a key role in diversifying the town centre to develop entertainment, leisure, food, drink and residential uses to strengthen the evening economy. Recently operators such as Yates Wine Bar and J D Wetherspoons have moved into this area. It is considered that the development of a hotel and conference centre in TCN would make a valuable addition to the range and quality of facilities in the town centre and would act as a catalyst and anchor for other operators. There are many established leisure, entertainment, food and drink businesses in TCN, for example the cinema. It has been recognised that there are a number of facilities and operators in TCN that should be retained within the town centre because they contribute towards the range of offer, or act as anchors or catalysts to retain existing or attract new operators, for example, the cinema, post office, market, Yates and J D Wetherspoons. The relocation of the key facilities to an appropriate town centre site would be considered. The Council encourages the use of public transport however, adequate public car parking provision is important for a successful town centre. It is therefore considered that any loss of public car parking facilities would need to be minimised. An alternative site for the market should be considered in TCC and whether a reduction in the capacity is appropriate. If the Playhouse needs to relocate, then an appropriate location would be in TCN.
 
 
RTCS5 Planning permission will be granted for proposals in Town Centre North for the following types of developments:
  1. Entertainment and leisure uses;
  2. Food and drink uses (A3);
  3. Hotel and conference facilities;
  4. Health and fitness uses;
  5. Playhouse relocation (if required);
  6. Refurbishment/relocation of the market;
  7. Office uses (upper floors);
  8. Residential uses (upper floors);
  9. Shops (A1);
  provided that there would be no loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators. However, the relocation of the key facilities to an appropriate town centre site would be considered.
12.7.2 Currently the town centre is inwardly facing, presenting unattractive backs of properties, loading bays and car parks to those entering the town centre. This does not encourage people to enter the town centre or to advertise what is on offer. It has been identified that there is an opportunity to improve the visual identity of the northern boundary of the town centre and thereby the approach to the town centre from the north. New buildings in this area would be required to provide frontages to Fourth Avenue and Velizy Avenue. There is also the opportunity to develop a gateway marker for a key entrance to the town centre by locating a landmark building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Velizy Avenue. It is considered that this would be an appropriate site for the hotel and conference facilities.
 
 
RTCS6 The following sites have been identified in Town Centre North for redevelopment:
 
Ref. No Sites
RTCS6/1 Land south of Fourth Avenue and north of Kitson Way and Post Office Road. New buildings would be required to provide frontages to Fourth Avenue and Velizy Avenue. The location on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Velizy Avenue has been identified for a landmark building and would be preferred for a hotel and conference centre. Any loss of public parking spaces would need to be minimised.
RTCS6/2 Post Office and Adams House East. The post office is considered to be a key town centre facility which would need to be incorporated into a scheme or would require relocation to an appropriate town centre site.
RTCS6/3 Market Square and Northgate. The market is considered to be a key town centre facility which would need to be incorporated into a scheme, although possibly at a reduced capacity, or would require relocation to an appropriate town centre site.
 
12.8 Town Centre Central
   
12.8.1 Town Centre Central (TCC) represents a substantial and strategic part of the town centre. It contains the two primary shopping areas of the Harvey Centre and Broadwalk together with Little Walk, Cross Street, Terminus Street, Westgate, part of Westgate Square and Playhouse Square. TCC has been identified to play a key role in improving the town centre comparison retail offer in terms of quality and variety, to improve the quality and ambience of the town centre environment, and improve transport and accessibility.
12.8.2 It is considered that there are existing facilities that should be retained. These include key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing operators or attracting new operators. For example, Playhouse, library, church, M&S, BHS, Littlewoods, Boots, WH Smith, Wilkinsons, Chicago Rock Café, Jumpin’ Jaks, First Bowl and Bingo and key banks and building societies. Only relocation of these facilities to an appropriate site in the town centre would be considered.
 
 
RTCS7 A comprehensive improvement Master Plan is required for Town Centre Central which shall address all relevant issues for the area and should include the following:
  1. Improvement to the retail offer in terms of quality and increased comparison goods floorspace including a department store;
  2. Improvement to the quality and ambience of the town centre environment;
  3. Opportunities for redevelopment including Playhouse square area;
  4. Playhouse improvements or relocation to an appropriate Town Centre North site;
  5. Market relocation site from Town Centre North;
  6. Mixed uses by incorporating residential and offices on upper floors;
  7. Improved pedestrian linkages within this area and between this site and other town centre locations including Town Centre North and Town Centre South;
  8. Servicing arrangements;
  9. Improved signage for the town centre;
  10. Improved prominence and visual identity to Harvey Centre entrances;
  11. Environmental improvements including trees, landscaping, paving, surfacing, street furniture;
  12. Canopies and covered pedestrian walkways and areas;
  13. Artwork and sculptures at key vistas and locations;
  14. Public squares and spaces;
  15. Transport issues including bus, taxi, cycling, walking and public car parking.
  There should be no loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or facilities that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators, although relocation to an appropriate town centre site would be considered.
 
12.9 Playhouse Square Site
   
12.9.1 The Playhouse Square site has been identified as a location which has potential for redevelopment for a suitable town centre use. The site contains the Playhouse and the church which are considered to be key facilities which should be retained because they contribute to the range of offer in the town centre. It is considered that proposals should include improvements to the Playhouse and its extension for associated art facilities. If development proposals for the area would be detrimental to the viability of the Playhouse then the Playhouse must be relocated to a larger premises, providing greater range of facilities, to an appropriate site in Town Centre North. The relocation of the church to an appropriate town centre site may also be considered. The funding for relocation to be secured by means of agreement between the Council and prospective developers.
 
 
RTCS8 Planning permission will be granted for proposals for the development of the Playhouse Square site that incorporate the following:
  1. The proposal would be an appropriate town centre use;
  2. The proposal would result in improvements to and/or the extension of the existing Playhouse, or, if shown to be necessary, the relocation of the Playhouse to a larger facility on an appropriate Town Centre North site. The funding for relocation to be secured by means of an agreement between the Council and prospective developers.
  There should be no loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or facilities that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators, although relocation to an appropriate town centre site would be considered.
 
12.10 Magistrate’s Court Site
   
12.10.1 The existing magistrate’s court is no longer sufficient to meet current needs and a new magistrate’s court is required. The Council would like the magistrate’s court to remain in Harlow and would prefer the existing site to be redeveloped. However if it is necessary for the magistrate’s court to move then a sequential approach should be used to identify an alternative site. The existing magistrate’s court site should be redeveloped for office use. There is an opportunity to develop a gateway marker for a key entrance to the town centre by locating a landmark building on this site, at the corner of Velizy Avenue and Southgate.
 
 
RTCS9 The preferred sites for the new magistrate’s court are listed below in order of preference:
  1. Existing magistrate’s court site. Any new development on this site should be designed as a landmark building. If the new magistrate’s court is built at an alternative location, the old magistrate’s court site should be redeveloped for office use;
  2. Other suitable town centre location;
  3. Wych Elm south west;
  4. Wych Elm.
 
12.11 Primary and Secondary Frontages
   
12.11.1 The Council wishes to maintain the retail shopping core of the town centre. Proposals involving the change of use of shops (A1) in primary frontages will be considered according to the following policy. More flexibility has been introduced to the secondary frontages for uses that will compliment the shops and add to the range of the town centre offer. The Council will resist any changes of use that would result in the loss of a key facilities in the town centre. The primary and secondary frontages are identified on the Proposals Map and in the Retail Frontage, a supporting document to the Local Plan.
 
 
RTCS10 Within the town centre primary shopping frontages, changes of use from Class A1 (shop) to Classes A2 and A3 may be permitted subject to:
  1. No more than 15% of the primary frontage may be occupied by non-retail uses;
  2. The maximum number of adjoining A3 uses is 2 and no more than 2 units out of any 5 are to be in non-retail uses;
  3. The proposals being for uses appropriate to the town centre;
  4. The prominence of proposals within the frontage or street scene should not affect their predominately retail function and character;
  5. The proposals not being detrimental to the vitality and viability of the town centre;
  6. There being no loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators.
 
 
RTCS11 Within the town centre secondary frontages, changes of use to the following will be granted permission:
  Class A1 (shops);
  Class A2 (financial and professional services);
  Class A3 (food and drink);
  Class D1 (non-residential institutions);
  Class D2 (assembly and leisure);
  Sui Generis (amusement centres);
  provided that the use:
  1. does not result in the loss of the key facilities that contribute to the range of offer in the town centre or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators;
  2. does not have a detrimental visual impact on the area;
  3. does not cause unacceptable level of noise and
 
 
RTCS12 The Town Centre South development will be subject to the primary frontage change of use policy once trading commences.
 
12.12 Edge-of-Town Centre
   
12.12.1 The Wych Elm site is located to the north of the town centre. It is mostly in employment use. The main existing uses include Fire station, Bus depot, Ambulance station, Dairy Crest Depot, motor repairs and accessories, undertakers and multi-storey car park. The built environment is dated and some areas are in poor condition. This is a key location next to the town centre and it is considered that there is potential to extend town centre uses such as offices and civic uses in this area and residential. Also, if a suitable town centre site is not available for the magistrate’s court an edge of centre location at Wych Elm will be an acceptable alternative.
 
 
RTCS13 The following sites in Wych Elm have been identified for civic, office or residential uses:
 
Ref. No Sites
RTCS13/1 Wych Elm north west
RTCS13/2 Wych Elm south west
RTCS13/3 Bus Depot Site
 
12.13 Neighbourhood Centres and Hatches
   
12.13.1 The original neighbourhood centres were located in the middle of residential groupings within half a mile of most homes. They included shops, Post Office, bank, pub, restaurant, church, health and community centres and were designed to meet most weekly needs. Hatches would meet the day to day needs of the population and are located within a quarter of a mile of most homes. Habits have changed over the years due to factors such as the rise in car use and the development of out of centre large food stores. This has undermined the health of the neighbourhood centres and hatches to some extent.
12.13.2 It is still considered that the neighbourhood centres and hatches have an important role to play in providing local facilities for residents which can help reduce car travel and increase sustainability. The Local Plan seeks to improve the vitality and viability of the neighbourhood centres and hatches.
12.13.3 The following neighbourhood centres are identified on the Proposals Map:
 
  • Bush Fair
 
  • Church Langly
 
  • Old Harlow
 
  • Staple Tye
 
  • The Stow
  Note: the above may be subject to change.
12.13.4 The following hatches listed on the next page are identified on the Proposals Map:
 
  • Burgoyne
 
  • Cawley
 
  • Clifton
 
  • Colt
 
  • Coppice
 
  • Elm
 
  • Fishers
 
  • Katherines
 
  • Manor
 
  • Maunds
 
  • Mill
 
  • Pollards
 
  • Prentice Place
 
  • Pypers
 
  • Sherards
 
  • Slacksbury
 
  • Summers
 
  • Ward
  Note: the above may be subject to change.
12.13.5 It is also recognised that it is important to retain key facilities that are already present in the neighbourhood centres and hatches. Particularly those facilities that contribute to the range of offer and those that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators such as supermarket, general grocery store, chemist, newsagent, Post Office, pub, library, health centre and community centre.
 
 
RTCS14 Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will strengthen and maintain the role of the neighbourhood centres and hatches by:
  1. Improving the range and quality of facilities appropriate for the size of the centre and to meet the needs of the local population;
  2. Retaining and increasing residential accommodation above shops and on previously developed land where appropriate;
  3. Managing road traffic and improving facilities for passenger transport users, pedestrians, cyclists and those with special needs, and providing car parking where appropriate;
  4. Supporting the enhancement of the neighbourhood centres and hatches and ensuring new development is of a high design quality;
  5. Improving facilities for disabled people, elderly people and carers with babies and children;
  6. Retaining key facilities which contribute to the range of offer or act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators in the neighbourhood centre or hatch.
 
12.14 Change of Use in Neighbourhood Centres and Hatches
   
12.14.1 This policy seeks to ensure that key facilities and an adequate number of shops are retained in the neighbourhood centres and hatches. Where size allows, the policy seeks to encourage a variety of uses to complement the shops and extend the range of offer. However, it is considered that the existing provision of Class A3 (food and drink) uses in neighbourhood centres and hatches is adequate and that no further provision is required. The policy also seeks to retain key facilities that are already present. Frontage lengths of neighbourhood shops and hatches are in the Retail Frontages, a supporting document to the Local Plan.
 
 
RTCS15 Within the neighbourhood centres and hatches, the following uses will normally be permitted:
  Class A1 (shops);
  Class A2 (financial and professional services);
  Class D1 (non-residential institutions);
  Class D2 (assembly and leisure);
  Launderette;
  provided that:
  1. neighbourhoods and hatches with 5 or more original units retain a minimum of 40% of frontage length in Class A1 (shop) use;
  2. hatches with 4 or less original units and Church Langley neighbourhood centre (excluding Tesco) retain a minimum of 2 units in Class A1 (shop) use;
  3. the proposal would not result in the loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators in the neighbourhood centre or hatch.
  Note: Original unit refers to unit size as shown in the original design prior to units being joined or subdivided.
 
12.15 The Stow and Bush Fair Neighbourhood Centres
   
12.15.1 The Stow and Bush Fair neighbourhood centres are dated and have a poor quality environment. It is considered that there is need for improvement and the potential for partial or full redevelopment should be considered. Partial redevelopment, of The Stow and Bush Fair neighbourhood centres will be preferred to full redevelopment.
 
 
RTCS16 Proposals for the improvement and, if shown to be necessary, partial redevelopment of The Stow and/or Bush Fair neighbourhood centres will be favourably considered. All proposals must respect the existing character of the Centres, and their position in the architectural heritage of Harlow.
  Exceptionally, proposals for the full redevelopment of the Centres will be favourably considered.
  Proposals should not result in the loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators in the neighbourhood centre.
 
12.16 Hatches
   
12.16.1 The Urban Capacity Study has identified the potential for the redevelopment of suitable hatches for a mix of retail and residential uses. In some cases this may involve developing small areas of land adjoining the hatch.
 
 
RTCS17 Proposals for the improvement or redevelopment of hatches for mixed retail / business and residential uses will be favourably considered.
  Proposals should not result in the loss of key facilities that contribute to the range of offer or that act as anchors or catalysts which assist in retaining existing or attracting new operators in the hatch.
 
12.17 Newhall
   
12.17.1 Local shops and facilities will be required to meet the needs of the new residents at Newhall.
 
 
RTCS18 Shops and other appropriate facilities will be provided in suitable locations at Newhall to meet the needs of local residents.
  Appropriate facilities will include school(s), a community centre, a heath centre, public house(s), a library, church(s), and any other relevant facility identified in the Newhall Master Plan.
 
12.18 Retail Warehouse Parks
   
12.18.1 The retail warehouse parks have large units mostly accommodating retailers of non food bulky goods. They are located at out of centre sites along Edinburgh Way.
12.18.2 The policy seeks to resist proposals involving the change of use from shop (A1) to any other use, the subdivision of units or the sale of items other than DIY goods, furniture, floor coverings, leisure and garden products, motor accessories and electrical goods as specified in existing conditions and agreements.
 
 
RTCS19 Proposals for development within retail warehouse parks will not be permitted if they involve any of the following:
  1. The subdivision of units;
  2. The sale of items other than DIY goods, furniture, floor coverings, leisure and garden products, motor accessories and electrical goods;
  3. The change of use from Class A1 (shop) use to any other use.
  The above applies to the following retail warehouse parks identified on the Proposals Map:
 
Ref. No Sites
RTCS19/1 Queensgate Centre
RTCS19/2 The Oaks
RTCS19/3 Princes Gate
RTCS19/4 St James Centre
   
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