Harlow New Town: ‘Are you going my way?’

Municipal Dreams

Last week’s post looked at the origins of Harlow New Town and the architectural and planning ideals – sharply criticised by some – which inspired it.  It was, in every sense, a young town but it’s grown up since then.  This post explores what became of the high hopes.

showing_the_new_town_plans_1952_mid Frederick Gibberd ‘showing the New Town plans’, 1952

By 1954, the first of Harlow’s major neighbourhood areas – Mark Hall North – was largely complete and it boasted a population of 17,000.   The work on the town centre began – belatedly it might seem – the following year.  Within a further five years, as the Great Parndon and Passmores districts were built, around three-quarters of the New Town was complete and a further 35,000 had made it home.  Further construction followed more slowly – the 24,000th new home of the Harlow Development Corporation (HDC) was opened in Little Cattins, Sumners…

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