Protecting Harrow’s heritage: Approval for Local Area of Special Character designation

Areas of Harrow with high quality townscape, architecture and landscape will have the ability to be protected by a Local Area of Special Character designation.

  • Adoption follows consultation with local and national conservation groups earlier this year.
  • Increased protection to maintain unique historical local character of areas or neighbourhoods within Harrow 

Cabinet Members tonight agreed to adopt a Local Area of Special Character (LASC) designation for Harrow – part of the council’s commitment to protect the borough from inappropriate development and restore pride in Harrow.

LASC’s are a local planning policy designation and will be aimed at areas in Harrow that possess sufficient architectural, townscape and environmental quality to make them of considerable local value to the borough.

The council’s planning policies will seek to protect the character of these areas, and to resist inappropriate development, ensuring development that is in keeping with the character of the local area and not detrimental to it.

The level of protection is different to that of a Conservation Area where permitted development rights are restricted. Permitted development rights allow a property owner to make certain changes to a building without planning permission.

In a LASC permitted development rights are not affected. However, it would need to be shown that any environmental change requiring permission protects the character of the LASC.

Deputy Leader for the London Borough of Harrow and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Councillor Marilyn Ashton, said:

“Some parts of Harrow have really striking townscape, architecture and landscaping. They add to Harrow’s local heritage but may not be of conservation area quality.”

“The LASC designation of an area will ensure we can protect against development which is inappropriate and out of character, maintaining the unique historical local character of areas or neighbourhoods within Harrow which residents cherish and value.”

Suggestions of areas for LASC designation are welcomed and will be assessed in the future with the findings and recommendations brought forward to the council’s Planning Policy Advisory Panel.

VIew the LASC Cabinet report

Published: 15th September 2023