Social housing and new shops near an Essex town centre could be built at the site of a former medical centre after new plans have been launched.

The former Lister Medical Centre site in Perry Road, Harlow, could be redeveloped to build a four-storey block of 12 apartments, used for social housing.

According to a planning application validated by Harlow Council last week (May 31), there would also be space for new shops on the ground and first floors.

Read more: Epping Forest and Harlow's best and worst GP surgeries according to patients

A new piazza which would be shared by the future residents and shoppers is also being brought forward as part of the redevelopment, along with plans for car parking, according to a design and access statement.

A section reads: “It is considered that the scheme meets all of the relevant planning requirements to ensure that an exemplary, distinctive mixed-use scheme is delivered that will contribute to the character of the area, deliver much needed social housing and employment opportunities and provide a new accessible building and piazza that will create a desirable place to live and work.”

The apartments would have between one and three bedrooms, and two would be wheelchair accessible, the statement continues.

The site, which has been left vacant since Lister Medical Centre was demolished, is immediately west of Staple Tye shopping centre and south of the town centre.

The Lister Medical Centre site in April 2021. Photo: Google

The Lister Medical Centre site in April 2021. Photo: Google

Lister House Medical Centre is currently open at a new location north of the old site, in Abercrombie Way.

According to the statement, the site’s location is already accessible, with bus stops within a two minute walking distance and cyclist and pedestrian routes running next to the site.

There are also other parks and green spaces near the site, which are also accessible by foot or by bicycle.

Access by car is proposed to be in Perry Road.

According to its website, Harlow Council is planning to build hundreds of new council houses over the coming years, with the first phase of its programme consisting of 99 homes completed between 2022 and 2024. 

The council will likely decide on whether to approve the application later this year.