Civic Centre plans approved
Tue 6 October 2015, 12:50 pm
Harrow Council has approved plans to downsize its Civic Centre headquarters, freeing up its current base for redevelopment.
The planning committee unanimously approved proposals last week to build a 10,000sq m Civic Centre – a fifth of the size of the current building – on the site of the Peel House car park in Wealdstone.
The council said the multimillion pound proposals will be built at no cost to the taxpayer and will be the catalyst for a transformation in Wealdstone, injecting millions into the area to create jobs and opportunities.
Plans are in place to build 1,000 homes, 400 of which the council said will be affordable. They will form part of the “Build a better Harrow” scheme, for new schools, community centres, public spaces and opportunities for new businesses to be created.
Harrow's council leader, David Perry said: “Now the real work can start to build a better Harrow together, for today, and for future generations. Over the past few years the council has evolved and the Civic Centre is no longer suited to our needs. These plans will allow us to create a smaller and modern building for our staff, but will also release underused land to build 1,000 new homes.
“We are creating the places and the opportunities that our communities deserve: a thriving, modern and vibrant borough that makes Harrow a home to be proud of. We want all of our residents to help us with these plans and I have set up a residents panel, which met this week to help us design a new hub for the people of Harrow. I look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
Work on the project is expected to start by 2017 and the new building could be completed by 2019.
Council chief executive, Michael Lockwood said: “This decision is the catalyst for something really exciting for Harrow. After decades of underinvestment, this is the biggest regeneration programme for a generation. This project will genuinely build a better Harrow for residents. It is right that Wealdstone should be our destination – there is no place more fitting for us to see our future. Moving our office will inject millions into the Wealdstone economy, create new homes and jobs, and importantly boost local businesses and shops.
“Forty-five years ago, Harrow Council built the Civic Centre in a very different environment. Today, faced with cuts, we need to evolve and change. We have already become more agile as an organisation and this building will be a reflection of this change. The new Civic Centre will be delivered at no additional cost to the residents of Harrow.”
Approval of the plans followed the first meeting of the Harrow resident’s regeneration panel, which Perry set up, made up of volunteers from the borough with a variety of different expertise and experience. The panel will regularly meet with the most senior council members and officers.
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