'This authority will once again become a premier house builder' - Council home building programme announced (From Harrow Times)
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Home building programme announced by Harrow Borough Council
A major project to build more than 500 new homes and redevelop a “forgotten” housing estate has been announced.
The new homes will be the first new council homes built in the borough in 23 years and are part of the Harrow Borough Council's 'homes for Harrow' programme.
The heart of the project is the demolition and redevelopment of the Grange Farm Estate on the border of South Harrow and Harrow-on-the-Hill with the replacement of 240 ageing homes with 430 new properties.
Proposals will go before the council cabinet next week and include the appointment of consultants to work up detailed plans for the estate's regeneration.
Cabinet member for housing Cllr Glen Hearnden said: “As a teenager, I used to ride my bike around the borough in 1990 though I had no idea I was peddling past building sites that would be the last place for a council house to be built.
“As lead councillor on housing I am truly shocked at the state of social housing this 23-year void has created.
“With all sectors of the housing market overheating, rents rising beyond the point of affordability and homelessness on the increase, we are reaching a critical point with housing supply.
“Harrow Council is taking action with some really exciting plans and developments in the pipeline.
“This authority will once again become a premier house builder and help to alleviate the pressures on hard-pressed residents.”
Proposals will also be submitted to cabinet for the possible redevelopment of council flats in Hazeldene Drive and Pinner Green, Pinner, Howards and Deacons Close taking the total new homes to nearly 550.
The project will be paid for with £8.5million from the housing revenue account, which is separate from the council’s general fund, and borrowing against the account.
Previous cabinet member for housing Conservative Cllr Barry Macleod-Cullinane said: "I'm so pleased for the residents of Grange Farm their estate be so comprehensively redeveloped, and that Harrow will be able to increase it's social housing stock.
“However, I'm hugely disappointed by Labour's audacity in claiming as their own plans they had nothing to do with.
“Labour's former housing portfolio holder thought the estate had 20 years left in it - these plans are the result of nine months of hard work by officers and our previous Conservative administration.
“So for the sake of Grange Farm's residents I sincerely hope they get their new homes, but I would caution that Labour made grand promises about building council homes back in 2010 - and didn't build a single one."