Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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London Mayor’s proposal for Harrow & Wealdstone ‘Opportunity Area’

The Mayor of London has released draft alterations to London Plan on Wednesday 15 January for public consultation closing on 10 April. The London Plan alterations have been primarily aimed at addressing key issues of housing and employment with a substantial increase projected in capital’s population over the next 25 years. London Assembly’s Planning Committee will be meeting on 25th February to consider Mayor’s proposals with invited experts.

The draft alterations to the London Plan cover a wide ranging issues including housing targets, town centres, increasing cycling, energy & waste infrastructure, Tech City, noise pollution, sustainable development and creation of new ‘Opportunity Areas’ to accommodate London’s future growth. The alterations propose five new ‘Opportunity Areas’: Old Kent Road, Canada Water, Bromley Town Centre, Old oak Common and Harrow and Wealdstone. Opportunity Areas are meant to be the main locations for new development over 25 years. The new opportunity areas are proposed to create 11,000 new homes and 8,000 new jobs.    

Currently Harrow and Wealdstone area is designated in London Plan as ‘Intensification Area’ with an overall target of 1,500 new homes and 2,000 new jobs (which were revised in Harrow’s own ‘Area Action Plan’). The new designation of ‘Opportunity Area’ propose the target of 2,800 new homes and 3,000 new jobs in Harrow (town centre) and Wealdstone.      

The proposed changes will require close examination to ensure that Harrow and Wealdstone areas don’t end up with unacceptable, badly designed high-rise blocks littering the landscape and destroying the character of the area. If the Mayor is serious about regeneration of Harrow Town Centre he must urgently release funding for the enhanced public transport hub for improved facilities including step-free access for Harrow On the Hill Station and redevelopment of the current Bus Station. I’d be closely following the development, obtain views of Harrow’s residents about the proposed changes and lobbying the Mayor to ensure that Harrow gets its fare share of funding and Harrow’s Town Centre and areas of Wealdstone do not end up being characterless concrete jungle.

 

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24th January 2014