The regeneration of Harrow has taken a leap forward with new business plans that will deliver quality, affordable family-sized homes, with green and public spaces.
- The Council and Wates’ Residential Joint Venture partnership will transform three key council-owned sites.
Revamped plans will deliver more family housing, lower heights, and less dense developments sympathetic to their surroundings.
The week (24 January) marked a significant milestone in the regeneration of Harrow. The Cabinet approved new business plans to redevelop council-owned land in the heart of the borough.
The partnership between London Borough of Harrow and Wates will see an era of growth and community development in the borough’s Opportunity Area. The plans will transform the Council’s old headquarters at the Civic Centre on Station Road. This will be known as Poets Corner. They will also redevelop an old driving school left empty for the last twenty years, next to the Leisure Centre. This area will be known as Byron Quarter.
The Council also announced its plans to restart the redevelopment of Grange Farm (Phase 2). It’s Harrow’s largest social housing estate, located in South Harrow. There was also an update on the progress Milton Road. The build on the edge of the Poets Corner site is progressing well. It kickstarts the redevelopment of the wider site and delivers 100% affordable homes. Milton Road is due for completion at the end of the year.
The new proposals although at the earliest stage, have been crafted with community needs and environmental considerations in mind. These sites will contribute to the sustainable development of Harrow, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community within the heart of Harrow.
The partnership has focused on reducing the height and density of the previous designs. The plans will also deliver many more homes for families in the borough. The plans encompass a neighbourhood approach that will incorporate new green spaces and community facilities. Sustainable design elements will enhance the overall living, working and socialising experience for residents and businesses.
The plans to regenerate Harrow, like many others, had been disrupted by the global spike in inflation and regulatory building safety changes. The programme is however, now back on track and looking forward to the next stage of the development.
Leader of the London Borough of Harrow, 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.”
Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Cllr Marilyn Ashton said:
“Our regeneration plans for Harrow are ambitious. We have worked hard with our partner Wates Residential to develop these business plans. Together we will deliver much needed, new, and affordable homes with open and green spaces and public squares where Harrow people want to live.
“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 we have listened to their feedback.”
Nick Williams, Regional Managing Director, Wates Residential said:
“We’re delighted that 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. 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”.
The partnership between Harrow and Wates requires Business Plans to be updated each year. The new business plans offer changes to the last plans produced in November 2022:
Byron Quarter (Phase 1) – responds to residents’ comments on earlier designs. It has less height and more family-sized homes (61 more houses). It is better integrated with Byron Park and Belmont Trail. The proposed new low-rise housing development will consist of 149 new homes - with a current proposal of 27% affordable homes.
Poets Corner will create new homes and open spaces with a large public square and park in the heart of Harrow. The development will include an attractive and safe route to Harrow and Wealdstone station. It will also have 14,000 square feet of commercial space. The designs have less height and density than previous designs.
The proposed development has 1,100 homes. This includes 15% affordable homes. They are spread across all three phases of development. Phase 1 of the development will aim to deliver 532 new Build to Rent Homes, 6% of which will be affordable. Work continues to improve the number of affordable homes across the site. It aims to raise the number of affordable homes to 20% by getting more grant funding.
Grange Farm is Harrow’s largest social housing estate. The new proposals (Phase 2) will be brought to planning in the next 12 months.
Milton Road is under construction. It will have 36 new high-quality affordable homes. They will be finished by December 2024. The height was reduced from seven to six storeys. This improved its relationship with the neighbourhood and the Poets Corner development.
Work on the Peel Road Car Park in Wealdstone has been paused. This is to allow focus on the redevelopment of Byron Quarter and Poets Corner. The partnership will review the site later in the regeneration programme.
In 2022, the development of a Civic Centre in Wealdstone was paused in favour of a new Town Hall in Greenhill Way. The Council have now stopped their proposal for a new Town Hall at Greenhill Way. The Council will keep their offices at Forward Drive and Gayton Road.
The schemes will go out to public consultation later this year. Then, they will go through the planning process.