Ilford businesses praise Harrison Gibson developer for changing plans

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 October 2016 | UPDATED: 17:16 27 October 2016

Original plans for the Harrison Gibson redevelopment. Picture: AWW

Original plans for the Harrison Gibson redevelopment. Picture: AWW


Businesses have praised a developer after a planned high-street development was altered to take into account their concerns about crime and its impact on other local businesses.

Plans for the redevelopment of the former Harrison Gibson building in Ilford town centre include 323 homes, retail and restaurant space, as well as a dedicated area for local business start ups.

However, a number of businesses in the Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) were concerned about the initial designs.

They feared the design of the front of the main building would facilitate crime and homelessness by creating a number of blind spots it would be difficult for passersby to monitor, and were also concerned by plans for more takeaway outlets and another public gym in the town centre.

Taking into account these concerns, the project team from LRE Capital (LREC), who are developing the site, redesigned the front of the building to ensure it would not promote anti-social behaviour.

They also omitted a public gym from their final proposal and assured local business owners that the retail units would only be for quality restaurants, consisting of a mix of recognisable high street brands and independent outlets.

The developers also plan to redesign part of High Road and Havelock Street.

Ilford BID Manager Ben Collins was delighted by the spirit of co-operation on show throughout the finalising of the Harrison Gibson plans.

He said “These are exciting times for Ilford. The Harrison Gibson building is a landmark site in the heart of the town centre and this significant investment is a major endorsement of the potential it has.

“With Crossrail and public realm regeneration on the horizon I have never been more confident that Ilford town centre has a bright future.

“I would also like to thank the businesses, including the BID’s Committee who took the time to consider and give feedback on the proposals. It is both reassuring and satisfying that they were considered and acted on by the developer.”

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