The biggest problem with Harlow town centre, is the fact that the majority of properties are privately owned. The council cannot deliver a cohesive regeneration of the town centre with so many private owners.
Many of these privately owned buildings, all do their own thing – no common goal. This has resulted in a higher than average count in certain types of establishment; coffee shops, hairdressers and gyms mainly – as of 1st February 2020, the town centre’s FIFTH gym has been put in for planning approval. All 5 of these gyms are within a 10 minute walk of each other.
I would suggest spending the £25 million on buying up the properties around the town centre, by CPO if necessary, to enable the council to develop a comprehensive plan to dramatically regenerate our un-inspiring town centre.
A subsequent benefit; the council are notoriously cash-strapped as it is, owning the buildings would also create new income streams for the council to re-invest in the town.
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