Press release

PHE submits plans for world leading science campus

Plans for the new PHE site in Harlow are a step further forward after an outline planning application was submitted to Harlow District Council.

Public Health England's new site in Harlow.

Plans for a world leading science campus in Harlow are a step further forward after Public Health England (PHE) submitted a planning application to Harlow District Council following extensive consultation with stakeholders and the local community over the last 18 months.

Made up of more than 3,000 documents and nearly 300 drawings and images, the outline application sets out PHE’s vision for turning the former GlaxoSmithKline site at the Pinnacles Industrial Estate into a centre of excellence for public health research, improvement and protection.

This milestone follows PHE’s announcement in July that it had acquired the site.

If approved, the plans will see PHE co-locate most of its current facilities at Porton in Wiltshire, Colindale in north London and its central London headquarters to a single, state-of-the-art science campus. PHE Harlow will bring together experts in:

  • cancer
  • mental health
  • nutrition
  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • diabetes
  • dementia
  • infectious diseases
  • environmental hazards
  • climate change

The proposed development is expected to provide a major boost to the local economy with 2,750 staff to be based at the currently vacant site by 2024, with possible future expansion to 3,250. Thousands of construction-related jobs would be created during the development of the site, of which it is hoped a significant number would be recruited locally. Building work is expected to start in 2019 with phased occupation starting in 2021.

To help develop the next generation of scientists and meet its future recruitment needs, 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 large 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 also includes a Travel and Visitor Plan, which outlines car parking provision and sets out sustainable travel and transport plans for the site. These include shuttle buses to and from Harlow Town railway station as well as car-share and cycle-to-work schemes.

PHE is committed to making Harlow its home and to being a good neighbour. The planning application outlines PHE’s longer term commitments to Harlow, through investment in highways and public transport, early years childcare and contributing to Harlow’s important history of public art and sculpture.

Richard Gleave, Deputy Chief Executive, PHE said:

I am delighted that we have now submitted our plans for consideration, following extensive discussions with the local community, relevant authorities and other stakeholders. We want to make Harlow our home and we believe the science campus will bring long-term benefits for the area, as well as unique opportunities for public health research on a national and international scale.

To view the full application please visit www.bit.ly/PHEHarlow.

Background

  1. Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Follow us on Twitter: @PHE_uk and Facebook: www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland.

  2. PHE submitted an Outline Business Case to Government in July 2014. An interim decision was taken in September 2015 to move the majority of PHE functions from Porton to Harlow. In November 2015 the Government supported a further proposal to move PHE science facilities at Colindale to Harlow to create a single integrated campus. It has committed £400million capital investment for the project.

  3. It is hoped the public health science campus will be fully operational by 2024, with the first building work expected to start in 2019 and a phased occupation from 2021.

Michael Beard

Published 22 August 2017