Harrow Conservatives have repeated their call for the current administration to rethink its regeneration policy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of the borough’s Conservative Group, urged Harrow Council to reassess its approach based on the uncertainty facing the country due to the outbreak.

The council is in the process of selecting a private sector partner to help deliver its multi-million-pound regeneration programme.

This covers three council-owned sites in Peel Road, Poets’ Corner and Byron Quarter and seeks to provide 1,500 new homes and a new civic centre in Wealdstone.

But Cllr Osborn suggested the process should be “paused for a few months” until the state of the property market and the wider way of working becomes clearer.

“This would be in the best interests of Harrow,” he said.

“This is a huge project that’s gone on for years. A few more months’ wait will not be as damaging as picking the wrong partner.”

He was supported by Cllr Marilyn Ashton, deputy leader of Harrow Conservatives, who called for a wider rethink of the entire programme.

She suggested it “isn’t too late to rethink these projects” and that now, given the disruption brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, would be a “sensible” time to do so.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said that, like many other sectors, the regeneration scheme had been delayed due to Covid-19.

He explained that meetings have restarted and discussions over the next steps will take place once the strategic partner has been selected.

And Cllr Keith Ferry, responsible for regeneration, planning and employment at Harrow Council, pointed out that the decision to use a partner was separate from any changes that will be made to the regeneration projects.

He said things hope to be “finalised” by the council’s cabinet meeting in September, by which point the council’s next course of action on regeneration will be clearer.