Harrow council’s ambitious plans for over 1,500 homes to be built on three underused sites moved a step closer with the news of a joint development venture with Wates Residential.
At least 40 per cent of the new homes are to be shared ownership or affordable housing and will be built on council-owned land in Wealdstone.
Harrow council leader Cllr Graham Henson said: “Our work with Wates will benefit countless local people and improve the lives of generations to come. As we begin to emerge from the devastating pandemic, I want this to signal the start of our renewal.”
The ten-year initiative will include a new civic centre, commercial space as well as green public spaces at Poets Corner, Peel Road and Byron Quarter. Local residents will be consulted extensively on the proposals with the plans to come forward later this year on phase one of the Byron Corner.
Wates Residential executive managing director Helen Bunch said: “The regeneration goes beyond the building infrastructure, and as part of the partnership with Harrow, we are committed to supporting the local community by providing apprenticeships, new jobs, spend in the local community and early careers support for the local schools and colleges.”
New jobs and apprenticeships to be generated
Wates Residential plans to create more than 300 jobs for local people and 180 apprenticeships in Wealdstone – the former home of the Kodak Harrow plant which closed in 2016. The housebuilder also said it was investing in local companies and environmental initiatives including a tree-planting project.
Wates was identified as a preferred bidder to form a development partnership with the council back in September last year.
The council’s equity is made up in part by the value of the three development sites it owns plus a top up to match Wates’s investment, which will be found from borrowing. The long-term business case is projected to return £120m.
Property finance brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said that property development finance lenders were keen to offer construction loans for mixed-use schemes in locations with good tube and rail connections.