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Kodak regeneration has potential to 'damage' Wealdstone, says Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas
A politician has warned that the regeneration of the Kodak site in Wealdstone will “damage” the area if it is badly planned.
Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas said that developers needed to work with Harrow Council and people living nearby to make sure the huge scheme, which was backed by the Government last week, benefitted the community rather than hurt it.
The £320million project will turn the barren land where factories once stood into 985 new homes, a primary school, a medical centre, shops and offices – with work due to start in early 2014.
But Mr Thomas told the Harrow Times : “The Kodak site has the potential to generate considerable investment in new family homes, new business opportunities and jobs.
“It also has the potential, if badly planned, to cause further congestion, damage local shopping areas and cause other problems.
“Working with local residents and the council, the developers need to continue to take seriously the concerns about the potential adverse impact in Wealdstone – the risk of parking problems, far slower journeys and the need for proper green spaces within the site.”
Developer Land Securities estimates the project, which also includes a community centre, student accommodation, and a retirement home, will create up to 1,500 jobs, and it will spend £10m on local infrastructure under planning agreements.
But the ten-year scheme faced opposition from The Campaign for a Better Harrow Environment at June’s planning meeting, which echoed Mr Thomas’ concerns about traffic and the building on playing fields at Zoom Leisure Centre.
Kodak’s manufacturing on the site is being scaled down due to the decline of the company but it is due to stay on the site for the foreseeable future.