Harrow Council has given the green light for the regeneration of the Civic Centre site.
The council unanimously voted in favour of the proposals, paving the way for a new purpose built civic centre, and around 1,000 new homes, including 400 affordable homes.
The council hopes the civic centre will be funded by the homes, and that the plans will be the catalyst for a transformation in Wealdstone.
In addition to the homes, new schools, community centres, public spaces and employment space will be created.
Harrow Council leader, David Perry said: “I am delighted our proposals have been passed. Now the real work can start to building 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 under used 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 resident’s 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.”
Approval of the plans closely followed the first meeting of the Harrow resident’s regeneration panel. The panel is made up of volunteers from around the borough. It aims to challenge the council and engage the community.
The new Civic Centre would be built on the site of the Peel House car park in Wealdstone. At less than 10,000 square meters, the site is just a fifth of the size of the current Civic Centre. 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.
“45 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.”