Emerging concepts

Harworth and Bircotes Town Centre Masterplan Ideas


This document provides and overview of the emerging concepts within the Harworth Masterplan. The emerging concepts are intended to introduce a positive vision for Harworth the looks boldly to the future and provides a step-change in terms of the offer of the Town Centre responding to growth and investment in the area.

1. The Green Heart of Harworth

Harworth has a close connection to nature because of natural succession and re-growth of habitats on land formerly associated with the mining industry and the presence of undeveloped areas close to the Town Centre. These areas include one Local Wildlife Site at Well Hill, to the north of Scrooby Road and linkages to other woodland habitats, including

Snipe Park Wood to the east. Elsewhere there are plantations and informal greenspaces close the Town Centre that would benefit from greater connectivity and linkages.

However, there are more opportunities within Harworth Town Centre to connect people to nature. As the Town Centre develops all opportunities should be taken to incorporate green infrastructure into new developments, such as green roofs and walls, street trees and water bodies that reduce summer temperatures, provide habitats, and increase biodiversity whilst transforming the image of Harworth.

Alongside this, the health and wellbeing aspects of the natural world can be realised through the creative management of the public realm and new green spaces to provide local food growing opportunities. With opportunities to link with education and training for green jobs in the area for a wide range of groups the Town Centre will become a health and wellbeing hub for the people of Harworth. With links to social prescribing and the emerging Integrated Care System the Town Centre will become part of the solution in terms of tackling long term conditions.

In terms of specific actions there are several improvements that can be made in terms of connectivity and green corridors linking to the wider countryside in and around Harworth (see bigger diagram) whilst existing assets such as West Hill would benefit from improved management, access, and the creation of a wider variety of habitats. Within the Town Centre opportunities should be taken to acquire sites to support social and community development related to local food production, education, and training. These sites should be chosen to provide the greatest access for all groups and wherever possible in central and visible locations.

2. Third Age Living

There is a significant demand for housing close the Town Centre for the over 55’s that provides a high-quality living environment with great access to shops and services. With an already permitted scheme on the site of the former North Border primary school there is an opportunity to creatively re-use the remaining buildings on site to provide additional housing and other supporting uses, such as community facilities and wellbeing services (see also the Green Heart of Harworth). Subject to consultation the site could also support assisted living and step-down care.

So the development does not become targeted at a single group the community facilities on site will be open to the public and could include spaces for exercise, meetings, clubs and societies.

3. The Future High Street

The future of the high street in Harworth will be based around the meeting of daily needs alongside leisure, food and drink and bespoke and specialist retail. At the heart of the community an improved public realm and making better use of the frontages the high street will become a new destination for residents and visitors. This will be achieved through:

  • Improving the privately owned land to the front of the shops that could be used for pavement cafés, additional retail space, display and relaxation.
  • Reducing the carriageway width for cars creating a slow speed one-way system.
  • Providing short-stay car parking bays outside key units.
  • Incorporating dedicated cycle lanes, bike parking and green routes to and from the Town Centre.
  • The provision of street trees and public realm improvements.

Alongside this the better use of upper floors and vacant sites will be encouraged for increased residential use in the Town Centre. Poor quality buildings will be replaced with new developments that retain active ground floor uses whilst accommodating mixed uses above. Over time, where buildings are replaced frontage development will be encouraged that will create a continuous frontage with a more urban town centre character.

To transform the offer of the Town Centre strategic acquisitions could facilitate the establishment of new businesses on the high street that could include:

  • Pop up retail, food and beverage.
  • A cycle hub and café (Harworth is an important place for cycling heritage as Tom Simpson was a famous member of the HDCC)
  • Business incubation and co-working space.
  • Live-work and creative studios.
  • Community food and craft products

To the rear of the high street there are several substantial plots that are currently underused. Additionally, the rear lane is poor quality and suffers from a lack of natural surveillance which makes these back land areas even less attractive and the focus of anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping. Through the managed improvement of this access and a design guide for new development improved connectivity and more activity will transform this part of the Town Centre.

4. Town Square

The centre of Harworth is currently dominated by the Town Hall Car Park and the Police Station. These uses could be accommodated elsewhere. The newly established Market Square would benefit from additional leisure uses, with a direct connection to the housing areas to the south and the re-invigorated high street to the north. This is a key opportunity to transform the image of the Town Centre.

The current Town Hall provides a range of services that could be better delivered in other locations and the current building struggles to accommodate these. The back-office function could be accommodated in the proposed development site adjacent (see Opportunity Harworth), community-based information and services could be co-located with the library which could also be relocated to improve the offer and meet the needs of the 21st Century.

If this site was to become available for development there is demand for a quality family orientated pub and restaurant, and possibly a hotel in the centre of Harworth. On market days there would be an additional attraction close by and on non-market days the square could accommodate a pavement café. With leisure facilities adjacent the town square will host events and specialist markets.

5. Opportunity Harworth

Bassetlaw District Council has a significant land holding close to the centre of Harworth. There is a latent demand for a number of uses that reflect the growth and expansion of Harworth including, soft play, business incubation and office space, housing, leisure and non-food retail.

The site will form an allocation in the Local Plan where greater certainty can be secured regarding the mix of uses and design of the site, alongside the mechanisms leading to the delivery of a successful scheme. The site will require significant levels of remediation and the mix of uses will need to facilitate a deliverable scheme.

The site will accommodate a significant amount of car parking for the Town Centre, partially replacing that lost adjacent to the Town Hall. There is the opportunity to also accommodate an improved library that reflects digital innovations and the co-location of community services. This would form the frontage to the site with the opportunity to also feature business incubation and start-up space to attract high quality jobs to Harworth, whilst also potentially meeting the need for new ways of working.

To the rear of the site leisure and retail uses that required a large footprint building can be accommodated with the space for residential development adjacent to the newly constructed housing on the former colliery site. Providing a direct connection to the Town Centre from the south and in a convenient and walkable location this site is key opportunity to transform the offer of Harworth Town Centre, complementary to the proposed regeneration of the existing buildings and spaces.

Last Updated on Wednesday, January 10, 2024