Essex

Developer sought for Harlow town centre project

Developers are being invited to tender for a multi-million pound redevelopment of a town centre in Essex.

Harlow council calls its new project Stone Cross and hails it as the most significant redevelopment since the new town master plan was laid down in 1947.

A development partner is expected to be appointed by November and work is likely to start in 2013.

The scheme will create new open plan squares and a mix of shops, restaurants and a cinema.

Russell Perrin, from Harlow Council, said: "We have already had informal talks with major retailers and they recognise that Harlow is a town ripe for this sort of development.

"It will bring with it some visually striking new public areas, so absolutely builds on Harlow's heritage as an open and attractive place to work and shop."

Recruitment of a new commercial partner follows the decision by Australian property company Stockland to withdraw from the scheme last May because of turbulence in the property market.

Harlow Council now believes the property market is improving and there is a renewed appetite among developers for ambitious town centre schemes.

Developers are expected to go onto a shortlist in September this year with formal confirmation of the winner in late November or early December.

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