Businesses near a Tube station car park subject to redevelopment proposals are concerned the plans will “exacerbate” traffic and parking problems in the area.
A group of traders in Alexandra Avenue and Rayners Lane sent an open letter to Harrow Council outlining their objections to plans to build 128 new flats in blocks up to six storeys on Rayners Lane Station car park.
They mainly take issue with the loss of 169 parking spaces at the site that would occur as part of the scheme, with just 75 bays being retained.
This, they argue, will negatively impact their businesses since it reduces their customers’ nearby parking options.
“We need more customer parking not less,” the letter reads.
“There is no space to add more parking bays on the high street.
“We do not believe that Harrow residents will use public transport if they cannot park here; they will simply go elsewhere, and our trade will be harmed.”
The group also highlighted the “longstanding problem” of commuters using a nearby service road to park without charge, which impairs access to their shops.
It believes the 70 per cent reduction in parking spaces at the station will only increase competition in this road, which will make the situation worse.
The traders also believe the introduction of hundreds of new residents to the area will have a negative impact on traffic flow.
While the development has been put forward as car-free, they suggested it is “unrealistic” to think at least some of these new residents will not want to own cars and find nearby parking elsewhere.
In any case, they pointed out that “delivery drivers, quick-stop shoppers and those waiting to pick up commuters” will still visit the area and, with parking provision reduced, will lead to a “choke point” of traffic that will “keep many customers away for good”.
Representatives for the developer, Transport for London (TfL), said they welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with the traders and pointed out they have “engaged extensively” with the local community on this project.
Jonathan Cornelius, head of property development at TfL, said: “Our plans at Rayners Lane with [housing association] Catalyst will deliver 128 much-needed affordable homes with sustainable transport links into central London while retaining 75 parking spaces.
“It will also bring new green spaces to the area and provide new cycle parking spaces to further encourage active travel.
“We’ve engaged extensively with the public during the last year, including with the association.
“In March we offered a package of measures to help tackle the issues of illegal parking, including prominent signing, road markings and access gates. We remain confident that our plans will not lead to increased disruption for local traders.”
He added the suggestion of introducing parking enforcement in the service road, managed by either Harrow Council or TfL, would not be possible since it is privately-owned land.