More than 1,200 new homes are set to transform Harrow after the latest plans were given the green light. Three sites in Harrow will be redeveloped as part of the scheme, including the former Civic Centre and abandoned driving school, which will also provide a new park and business opportunities.
Harrow Council’s Cabinet approved the development of council-owned land at a recent meeting (January 24). A joint venture alongside property developers Wates, the project aims to deliver affordable homes, alongside green and public spaces.
The council’s old headquarters, the Civic Centre on Station Road, and the old driving school, which has been empty for more than 20 years, are two of the sites chosen for redevelopment. Once complete, 1,249 new homes will be delivered across both sites.
The former Civic Centre location, set to be named Poets Corner, will comprise 1,100 homes – 15 per cent of which are earmarked as affordable – and be spread out across three development phases. The first phase will deliver 532 ‘build to rent’ properties, six per cent of which will be affordable. When complete, Poets Corner will also have a large public square, a new park, and 14,000 square feet of commercial space.
The old driving school, to be named Byron Quarter, will provide 149 new homes – 27 per cent of which are affordable. Following discussions with residents, the low-rise housing will see its height reduced and the number of family-sized homes will be increased by 61.
The third site is the second phase of the redevelopment of Grange Farm, Harrow’s largest social housing estate; 89 homes were built last year as part of ‘Phase 1’. The new proposals are set to come before the planning committee within the next 12 months. All three projects will go out for public consultation later this year.
The council claims the projects will contribute to an ‘era of growth and development’ and help foster a ‘vibrant and inclusive’ community in the borough. Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Cllr Marilyn Ashton, called the plans ‘ambitious’ and will deliver homes where people actually want to live.
Cllr Ashton said: “We have faced challenges to make these plans financially secure whilst reducing height and density where possible. We will keep tall buildings only where they already exist. As we bring forward the plans for each of the sites we will engage with our residents. I am confident that local people will see that we have listened to their feedback.”
Harrow’s regeneration plans have been disrupted by the global spike in inflation and regulatory building safety changes. The council claims its programme is ‘back on track’ and it is ‘looking forward to the next stage of the development’.
Harrow Council leader, Cllr Paul Osborn, said: “We want Harrow to be a place where people are happy to start their families and businesses and feel pride in where they live. These regeneration plans will deliver attractive, high-quality homes. They will make a difference to communities, businesses, residents and families both now and in the future.”
Regional Managing Director for Wates Residential, Nick Williams, said: “We’re delighted that the London Borough of Harrow has adopted the updated Business Plans, demonstrating the strength of our partnership approach to housing delivery. In response to industry challenges, these updated proposals will provide for safer and more sustainable homes and places.”
He added: “We’re excited to develop these proposals in consultation with the local community, with the first of the new homes anticipated to be starting on site next year”.