by James Wood Fri 2 October 2015, 12:17 pm
The first issue of 3Fox International's BIG magazine, published in July and focused on the regeneration of the London Borough of Harrow, was launched last night to 84 delegates – made up mostly of developers and investors – at Premier Banqueting in Harrow and Wealdstone.
Build. Innovate. Grow. Harrow Council’s ambition for the borough which inspired the magazine’s title was a message reinforced by council leader, Councillor David Perry and divisional director for regeneration and planning, Paul Nichols, during the event.
Perry spoke about the importance of working with the private sector to realise the council’s development ambitions: “From my perspective as leader, I am extremely privileged to have such a great team around me. Hopefully we’ll work with you all to make our regeneration programme not just an ambition, but a reality.
“It is an incredibly ambitious programme. You’ll see from the statistics in the magazine that in the years to come we have £1.75 billion of investment coming both from public bodies and private investors.
“It is an exciting time and not just for us here at the council – I represent residents in all four corners of the borough and it’s an exciting time for them too.
“As many of you will be aware, we’re not just looking at building around 5,000 houses and creating 3,000 new jobs, but also seizing the opportunity to tackle some of the social issues. We’re in Wealdstone, which is quite a deprived part of the borough, and we’re looking to really invest here to make a positive change.”
Nichols spoke about the advantages of Harrow, which he said was a great place to invest: “We believe there are a lot of assets in the borough: we’re fantastically well-connected to central London, there’s great education and great open spaces. For London, we have affordable land and property. There’s really a lot going for it in development terms.
“The reason we’ve embarked on this relationship with 3Fox at this time is that we’re about to go through real transition in Harrow in terms of the scale and pace of development and regeneration.”
Recent developments in the borough include the confirmation of the Heart of Harrow housing zone, one of the areas of the capital which the Greater London Authority has designated for increased funding and the lifting of planning restrictions to speed up housebuilding.
Nichols spoke about the borough’s key schemes, including at the former Kodak site, where outline planning permission has just been received for 1800 homes, as well as plans to relocate the council’s civic centre, freeing up its current location for development.
Alan Edgar, production director at Berkeley St Edward, rounded off proceedings, speaking about the strong relationship the developer has built with the council in creating one of Harrow’s flagship schemes: Stanmore Place.
“We do see this as an area that’s worth investing in,” he said. “Harrow has all the ingredients for success. There are great connections to central London, but more importantly it has a council with an ambitious vision for the area. It’s a strong foundation that will create a positive backbone for further investment.”
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