Green light for more extra-care housing for Harrow’s older residents

Some of Harrow’s elderly residents will be getting much-needed high-quality extra care accommodation – after the redevelopment of Watkins House, in Woodlands Road, received planning permission.

Harrow Council is working with Harrow Churches Housing Association to transform the out-of-date site, expanding it over adjoining vacant land, improving and increasing the extra-care housing on the site. The new Watkins House will comprise purpose-built self-contained homes and communal facilities for people over 55.

Additionally, some wheelchair accessible rental homes will be made available, as well as homes for shared ownership, to get some of Harrow’s first-time buyers on the housing ladder and create a mixed community.

Cllr Phillip O’Dell, Harrow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We’re immensely proud of our homebuilding – and that means vitally important extra-care accommodation as well as temporary housing and new family homes for Harrow residents.

“This council believes in building a better Harrow for all our residents – and that includes vulnerable people and the people who have lived here all their lives, as well as those who are just starting out. The new Watkins House is going to be a wonderful facility and we’re delighted it’s going ahead with HCHA.”

Chris Holley, Harrow Churches Housing Association chief executive, said: “HCHA is delighted that planning consent has been granted to build the new extra care and shared ownership development on the site of Watkins House in the centre of Harrow.

"Our long-term commitment to partnering with Harrow Council to develop high quality homes for older people will provide additional choice and an alternative to residential care. The board and I look forward to seeing the scheme start on site early in the new year.”

Extensive consultation has been undertaken with Watkins House residents and their families. Current Watkins House residents will have the right of return to the new accommodation when it is complete.

Harrow Churches HA has provided homes for older people in Harrow for more than fifty years. Its developments are built for rent and have won multiple awards. It owns another extra-care facility nearby to Watkins House at Ewart House in Richards Close.