Unpopular Conservation Area Decision Set for Challenge

Harrow Council’s has been told to think again over removing scores of houses from a Harrow Weald Conservation Area, after the opposition Conservative Group called-in the decision. Last month, the Labour administration pushed through Cabinet a revised Supplementary Planning Document for Harrow Weald which, among other alterations, changed a boundary that had been in place since 2006. Over 300 residents protested the change through consultation responses and petitions, with only 4 in favour. The decision will now be looked at and challenged in more detail next Monday, at a special Call-In Sub-Committee meeting. If the call-in is upheld, Cabinet will formally have to reconsider its original decision.

Cllr. Stephen Greek, Conservative Planning spokesman and local Harrow Weald councillor said: “The Conservation Area has operated very well for nearly 10 years. It’s popular with residents, and gives them piece of mind about what can and cannot be built in their neighbourhood. Without anything approaching a good reason, Labour are now stripping this protection away and in so doing are ignoring the vast majority of residents. Local people have been left frustrated and angry by an administration which hasn’t just ignored their protests, but which has now refused to meet with them on multiple occasions.”

Cllr. Greek added: “As far as we can tell, the only basis for this decision is highly a one-sided and subjective analysis conducted on some of the properties, along with a completely unsubstantiated concern that keeping these properties in the Conservation Area somehow weakens it. We hope to use the call-in process to challenge these lazy assumptions, to put the case on behalf of local residents, and to give the Labour administration an opportunity to rethink their deeply unjust decision.”