LB Harrow has deferred a planning decision on Dandara’s plans for the former post office site in Harrow Town Centre.
Dandara want to put three towers on the site, containing 410 flats and some retail space. The delay, suggested by Chief Planning Officer Stephen Kelly, will allow committee members to take a group visit to some of the borough’s vantage points in order to consider the effect of the 19 storey towers on the skyline. Kelly thought it wise to see the long views and thoroughly assess the impact.
Committee chair Councillor Marilyn Ashton (Conservative) told the Harrow Observer: “It may be useful for us because – we know where the site is – but we’re not sure what impact it’s going to have and I think that with something as significant as this, it must be worth a month’s delay and a few hours on a Saturday morning, with professional advice, to stand there and look at the various vantage points so that we can satisfy ourselves.”
Planning officers had presented the committee with two recommendations. One was for approval and one for refusal on the grounds that, given that projects for other town centre sites had fallen through (think for example, of the uncertainty around the Harrow College scheme, which depends on LSC funds) and the planning brief for the area will have to be rewritten, granting permission to Dandara may be “premature”. Despite this, Harrow officials describe the report as “fairly positive”, but desiring of a “holistic solution for the Harrow on the Hill transport hubs” before allowing any single scheme close to the station to proceed.
Dandara supported the delay, saying it was important to be comprehensive, but also warned they were likely to appeal any refusal, as Parkridge have down the road at Neptune Point.