Harlow Council hopes to adopt ambitious regeneration plans to create a high-end shopping, leisure, hospitality, arts and cultural centre that could be one of the best in the country.

The town centre masterplan, to be discussed at a council cabinet meeting on Thursday, will also include a night-time and residential economy and an excellent quality of environment and public spaces.

The scheme will go ahead in three stages, with the first as the agreement of a masterplan which will help to inform developers and guide planning decisions for the town centre.

The town centre planning framework is the first step of a new three-part plan to drive forward the regeneration and transformation of Harlow town centre.

Read more: Harlow: Masterplan divides town centre into separate hubs

Step two in autumn 2022 will be the creation of a brief to attract a development partner to work with the council.

The final step, in spring 2023, will be the procurement and engagement of a development partner to deliver an agreed town centre development programme.

The development of the final planning framework follows extensive public consultation on what residents want to see in a future town centre design. The document provides a strong planning framework to direct and shape how the town centre is regenerated by guiding planning applications that come forward to the council.

Cllr Dan Swords, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Approving the masterplan may seem like a small step, but it is a very significant first step in regenerating Harlow’s town centre in the way we want to. We have also set out the next two steps that we will take to completely regenerate the town centre. Our new three-step plan shows that we are absolutely committed to regenerating the town centre and also how it will be done.

"As we have laid out in our corporate strategy, we want the town centre to be thriving as one of the best places in the country to enjoy high-end retail, leisure, hospitality, arts and culture including a night-time and residential economy and an excellent quality of environment and public spaces.

"This masterplan will be step one of three to bring these plans to life and the council has a clear plan to deliver the town centre’s regeneration.”