High-rise apartments and unsightly developments could become the future for a tree-lined avenue if it is removed from a conservation area.
People in Bellfield Avenue and West Drive are fighting proposals from Harrow Council to remove their roads from the Harrow Weald conservation area, which provides protection against developers changing the character of the estate.
Originally, the conservation area was introduced for the protection of the Victorian Harrow Weald Park estate, including green belt land, workers cottages and former coachhouses and a mansion, which have now been demolished.
The two streets, which feature homes built almost 100 years ago, were added to the conservation area in 2006 under a Conservative administration to include the lower half of West Drive, as well as West Drive Gardens and Bellfield Avenue.
Edward Fuller, of West Drive, said: “At that time we were a bit concerned because over the years, large housing developments were being bought out across Harrow and turned into huge, three-story tower blocks.
“Our roads are worthy of conservation. It’s a unique area, surrounded by fields, with large individual plots on an open, tree-lined road.
“People who drive into the area comment on its beauty, and this is how we want it to stay.”
The council proposes removing homes in West Drive and Bellfield Avenue from protection, and households have until June 17 to give their views.
Faisal Kassam, of Bellfield Avenue, said: “When you look at some of the other conservation areas deemed more worthy than ours, you have to ask what their justification is for spending money on taking our homes out of a protection area that is already in place.”
People in the estate have joined together to ensure the roads are well-maintained and looked after, installing CCTV and setting up a security patrol.
Mr Kassam added: “I have been here for two and a half years, and that sense of community is the strongest in anywhere I have ever lived.”
Mr Fuller, whose grandfather worked as a carpenter on the old estate, added: “The biggest problem for us now is that the decision seems to have been made, and we feel that the consultation is a bit of a sham.
“But you can’t just sit back, you have to shout.”
A meeting against the proposals was attended by around 60 homeowners on Saturday, with Harrow East MP Bob Blackman also attending.
Councillor Stephen Greek, who attended the meeting, said: "As local councillors we are impressed to see the strong support from Harrow Weald residents for keeping their conservation area.
“The council should not be taking this protection away, and once lost we cannot easily get it back.”
A Harrow Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the strength of feeling in the community surrounding the Harrow Weald Conservation Areas and the current public consultation is an important part of the process.
"It is not true to say any decisions have already been taken over this area. This is not an exercise in counting numbers of responses, but officers will be looking carefully at the weight of the comments and making a decision based on these.
“As a council we need to look carefully at all sites across the borough to ensure those with genuine historical significance are protected for future generations. We are also planning to extend the consultation for a further five weeks to allow residents to comment further.”