Harrow Council to appoint director for regeneration project

An independent director will join two councillors on the board tasked with overseeing Harrow’s multi-million-pound regeneration programme.

Harrow Council’s cabinet agreed to appoint an outside person with “industry experience and expertise” to support the delivery of the project, which includes the building of a new civic centre.

According to the job specification, the successful applicant will be paid £12,000 a year, with the workload expected to average around two or three days a month.

It comes after the council announced a strategic development partnership with Wates Residential to develop three sites in the borough – Poets Corner, Peel Road, and Byron Quarter.

The £600 million scheme seeks to provide a new civic centre in Wealdstone, alongside 1,500 homes, commercial space, and a school.

Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, has been critical of the council’s plans to push ahead with the developments given the uncertainty facing the borough following the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has previously described the move as “the biggest mistake in a generation” and suggested it could leave the council facing serious financial problems in the future.

However, he accepted that, if the programme does proceed, the appointment of an outsider was the right thing to do.

“Obviously, I don’t agree with this process, but I do agree with the way we’re selecting an independent director and I welcome the cross-party engagement on this,” he said.

A complete business plan between Harrow Council and Wates is expected to be presented to cabinet in February next year, with the first homes scheduled to be built in 2022.

Harrow Times | Local News