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HomeNewsPlans for ten new tower blocks in Harrow sparks community debate

Plans for ten new tower blocks in Harrow sparks community debate

The Greenmead Place development proposal has sparked a debate within the Harrow community. With plans for ten new tower blocks up to 13 storeys high, over 500 homes, and a new Tesco store, the project promises both opportunities and challenges.

Here, we explore the potential positives and negatives surrounding the ‘Tesco Towers‘ development.

One of the most compelling arguments for the Greenmead Place development is its potential to address Harrow’s housing shortage. With 504 new homes planned, this project could significantly alleviate the pressure on the housing market.

The inclusion of 35% affordable housing, while short of the 40% target, still represents a substantial contribution to making housing more accessible to lower-income families.

The development promises more than just new homes. The new Tesco store, which will replace the existing one on Station Road, is set to offer enhanced facilities, including a customer café and additional jobs for the community.

The creation of a new pocket park and green spaces throughout the site also aims to provide much-needed recreational areas for residents, contributing to a better quality of life.

According to the Greenmead Place website, “There is an acute housing crisis in Harrow with many local people being unable to find a home they can afford in the area where they grew up.”

To address this, the Harrow and Wealdstone opportunity area has been established, covering 177 hectares, including the Tesco site, with the ambition “to deliver at least 5,000 new homes and 1,000 jobs in this area to help address the current shortage.”

The website highlights that this site “has the opportunity to greatly contribute towards that target, increasing the supply of much needed homes to house our growing population as well as reducing existing overcrowding.”

The developers emphasise that they have “taken great care to study the site carefully as well as the surrounding context and our immediate neighbours, to ensure we can deliver the benefits of a new neighbourhood without causing harm to those already here.”

Recently, Deputy Leader of Harrow Council, Cllr Marilyn Ashton noted the importance of adhering to the London Plan to ensure the adoption of Harrow’s Local Plan. She added, “It’s in the London Plan, which we must conform to because otherwise we won’t get our Local Plan adopted at all.

“We would have to put the development in the suburbs. This is what people have to understand.”

This strategic alignment can help Harrow secure necessary approvals and funding for future developments and infrastructure projects.

Plans for ten new tower blocks in Harrow sparks community debate Harrow Online
Tesco Car Park, Station Road, Harrow. Image: Google Maps

Residents opposing the Greenmead Place development have voiced their strong objections through the “Residents Say No to Tesco Towers and Notting Hill Genesis Development in Harrow” petition.

They argue that the proposed high-rise development, which includes a 15-storey building, is “overbearing and will dominate the surrounding homes of mainly two-storey houses and low-rise flats.”

The petition highlights concerns that “the development design totally ignores the surrounding community,” and points out the lack of infrastructure improvements, including “no additional GP surgeries, capacity at Northwick Park Hospital, improvement to public transport links, roads, water supply or sewage disposal.”

Residents also fear that the increased congestion and pollution from high-density housing on one of Harrow’s busiest roads will worsen traffic conditions, especially with “155 cars to a road where two schools are within a few metres.”

They also note that the development will result in a “20% reduction in the Tesco store size and 33% less parking spaces for Tesco customers,” which could lead to more congestion and fewer jobs in the area.

Criticism is also directed at the affordability claims, as the petition states, “NHG says ‘35%’ of the new accommodation will be ‘affordable’ but this includes shared ownership which is anything but affordable with prices in Harrow.”

The petition concludes that the development “does not benefit the community and would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the area,” urging Harrow Council to reject the application.

A spokesperson for NHG stated, “We have conducted several rounds of consultation and fully engaged with the local community to ensure their views were heard, which resulted in several changes, including a reduction in height and density, minimising the impact on neighbouring streets.”

The Greenmead Place development presents a dilemma for Harrow. While it promises to address housing shortages and bring economic benefits, the concerns about overdevelopment, infrastructure strain, environmental impact, and the consultation process cannot be overlooked.

The planning committee’s decision in the coming months will be pivotal in determining the future of this project and its impact on the Harrow community.

The debate continues, be sure to head on down to the Harrow Online Group on Facebook and let us know your thoughts.

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