At a meeting of Harrow Council’s Major Developments Panel earlier this month, we were given presentations on several of the Labour administration’s plans for the borough. To say we were alarmed is an understatement.
Much has been written about the 19-storey slab of a building that is to be built at 51 College Road, but incredibly this is just the start of Labour’s plans for high-rise Harrow. Two towers of 14 and 16 storeys will soar over the entrance to Wealdstone, quite literally sticking two fingers up to the idea of architecture being appropriate to its surroundings. It’s bad enough Labour are taking away most of Wealdstone’s parking and knocking down community assets to build their new Civic Centre – now the area will endure long shadows cast by these concrete sundials.
The former Gayton Road library site will play host to a jungle of bulky buildings of varying heights – up to 10 storeys and perhaps even higher – causing real concern for local residents. What’s more, this whole scheme is based on a complicated funding arrangement between the developers and the Council – putting the whole development and huge sums of taxpayers’ money at the mercy of the property market.
Labour have called the regeneration of Harrow a ‘once in a generation opportunity’, and on this point we don’t disagree with them. Unfortunately, this opportunity is being squandered by Labour’s lack of vision and their unimaginative obsession with concrete skyscrapers; which will loom over Harrow like gravestones to architectural good taste for generations to come.
Cllr. Stephen Greek (Conservative Planning Spokesman)
Cllr. Susan Hall (Conservative Group Leader)
Cllr. Barry Macleod-Cullinane (Conservative Group Deputy Leader)