Six-storey development approved despite safety concerns

Plans for nine flats alongside new office space in a six-storey building were approved by Harrow Council, despite concerns around public safety.

Its planning committee gave the green light to a scheme near Anmer Lodge, in Coverdale Close, Stanmore, following a split vote.

It came despite concerns from neighbouring properties, as well as the Conservative councillors on the committee, who noted potential safety issues at the site.

They were also concerned about the size of the proposed building, which they argued will impact on the already limited daylight and sunlight in adjacent flats.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, Harrow Conservatives’ spokesman on planning, described the scheme as “inappropriate” and “unworkable” due to the dangers pedestrians would face accessing the site alongside vehicles.

“Occasionally you get a site that can’t be developed because it’s so awkward, and I think this could be one of those,” she said.

She explained there could be some potential for changes on the land, just not along the lines of these proposals.

A similar scheme at this location was put forward in February 2020 but was rejected on the grounds there would be access issues.

An appeal was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate later that year and objectors to the new scheme said not enough has changed to suggest it should now be approved.

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But Lotte Hirst, representing applicant Stanmore Property Developments, said consultation with Harrow Council planning officers – who recommended the committee grant permission – had led to a reduction in size of the development and improved access.

She added building on an “underutilised brownfield site” would “stimulate investment and increase footfall” in Stanmore.

The application was approved after the committee’s four Labour councillors went against the Conservative motion for refusal.

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