PUBLIC Health England (PHE) is developing its new public health science campus and headquarters to Harlow. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with a phased occupation starting in 2021.
On December 13, Harlow Council’s Development Management Committee decided to approve the planning permission for the campus, formerly a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) site. The Council and PHE are now finalising a Section 106 Legal Agreement.
The campus will become a national centre for PHE’s research, training and administrative functions. This relocation will include: current facilities at Porton in Wiltshire, Colindale in North London and its Central London headquarters. They will also bring together experts in cancer, mental health, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, diabetes, dementia, infectious diseases, environmental hazards and climate change.
Harlow PHE, as it will be known, will provide a major boost to the local economy with 2,750 staff to be based at the currently vacant site by 2024. The campus hopes many will be recruited, as it will introduce thousands of construction-related jobs.
PHE will pursue academic and commercial partnerships and work closely with local schools and colleges to offer work experience and apprenticeships. The plans include a visitor area where school groups and the local community would meet PHE scientists, attend talks, workshops and learn about public health, science and research.
The planning application includes a Travel and Visitor Plan, which outlines car-parking provision and sets out sustainable travel and transport plans for the site. This will incorporate shuttle buses to and from Harlow Town railway station as well as car-share and cycle-to-work schemes.
Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: ‘This decision signals a key moment in building Harlow’s tomorrow. PHE’s move is part of the regeneration of Harlow – making it a better place to live, work and visit. This development and investment in our town, and the investment, which will follow, will play a major part in Harlow’s bright future. New jobs and opportunities for local people and local businesses will be created and Harlow will be placed on the world map.
‘Once again Harlow will lead the way as the place for protecting and improving lives. This development directly benefits the town and the businesses and people already living here.
‘Together we are committed to ensuring that local people and local businesses take the opportunities the public health science campus will bring to Harlow.’
The outline planning application had widespread support from a variety of local organisations. They see this development as vital to Harlow’s continued regeneration alongside building a reputation as a great place to do business.