Harrow Council have named Wates Residential as the development partner for their regeneration programme worth an estimated £600 million.
Last night the Council’s cabinet approved the decision to select Wates as the development partner in the equally owned Harrow Strategic Development Partnership (HSDP).
The partnership is the largest investment and development opportunity Harrow has seen and will create an inviting, attractive and thriving Wealdstone high street that generates apprenticeships, training and wealth in the borough.
It will transform the landscape of Wealdstone, building 1,500 new homes, including a significant number of affordable homes, a new civic centre, shops, offices, and a school, as well as public and green spaces.
The partnership will work with hundreds of young people at schools and colleges across the borough. It will provide school curriculum support and help raise aspirations. The partnership will invest in employment, skills and training initiatives, and provide construction training for over 130 unemployed adults to help kick-start their careers; and deliver 220 apprenticeships.
Local businesses will also benefit – a spend close to £100m with Harrow businesses will help the local economy while a Pop-Up Business School session will support the growth of existing local businesses and start-ups.
Cllr Graham Henson, Leader of Harrow Council says, “During these difficult times it is important to have something to look forward to – our ambitious plans will give families an affordable place to call home, create jobs for local people, build a new Council HQ, and re-energise Wealdstone town centre.
“Through our partnership with Wates we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of our residents and boost the local economy. Now is the right time to redevelop these three sites and build a better Harrow for our residents and businesses”.
Wealdstone is the urban heart of the borough. It has great transport links, with trains into central London in under 15 minutes, good and outstanding primary and secondary schools and access to beautiful green spaces – the listed Headstone Manor and recreation ground 15 minutes’ walk from the high street – making it an attractive development opportunity.
The announcement comes 15 months after the north-west London local authority launched their search for a development partner. Cllr Keith Ferry, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Harrow Council said “When we launched our search last summer, we were looking for a partner with the experience, expertise and commitment to deliver these projects – and to share our aspirations for what we believe Wealdstone can become. We have found that in Wates.”
Kate Ives, Development Director for Wates Residential, said “Wates Residential is delighted to have been chosen as Harrow Council’s partner to help deliver its ambitious vision to Build a Better Harrow.
We look forward to working with the Council as we build more than 1,500 much-needed high-quality homes and a new civic centre at the heart of the local community.
“We believe that everyone deserves a great place to live and, as a fourth-generation family-owned business, we are committed to ensuring that our presence allows us to give something back to the places that we build in.
As part of our partnership with the Council, we will not only provide crucial additional housing, but also leave a positive legacy for the community through investment in skills, training, education and jobs to help local people thrive.”
The search for the private sector delivery partner was overseen by strategic real estate advisor Avison Young while international law firm, Pinsent Masons advised Harrow Council on the set up of the proposed partnership in the north-west London borough.
Cllr Henson said, “I would like to thank Avison Young and Pinsent Masons for their expertise, guidance and support through this process.”
Kim Grieveson, Director of Development Consultancy at Avison Young, said: “We are delighted to have worked alongside the Council to secure a development partner who shares in their vision for Harrow. It is so important in the current climate to see the public sector still fully committed to ambitious projects of this nature and this sends a strong message to the market. We look forward to these plans coming to fruition over the coming years.”
Housing partner at Pinsent Masons, Scot Morrison, said: “The Harrow Strategic Development Partnership is a transformational project not only from a development perspective (providing new homes, a new civic centre and commercial space) but also from community point of view with its potential to significantly boost employment, skills and training opportunities.
“We are proud to be able to bring the specialist skills we have in structuring these types of partnerships to enable us assist the Council in delivering such an exciting opportunity for the borough.”
The Harrow Strategic Development Partnership is due to start in February 2021 with the first homes built in 2022.
The decision taken at Cabinet on 10th September 2020 will be subject to the call-In procedures of the Local Government Act 2000.