A campaign group implored a council to reject proposals for an “ugly” multi-storey housing development near a park and allotment site.

An open letter from residents in West Harrow called on Harrow Council’s planning committee to refuse permission for a scheme at the site of a former religious meeting hall in The Ridgeway.

There are plans to provide 178 new homes – of which 40 per cent are deemed affordable – in blocks of up to seven storeys alongside a new health centre.

However, thousands of objectors have singed a petition criticising the scheme, while the application has received hundreds of negative comments on the council’s planning portal.

The letter notes that the proposed development is not in keeping with the local area and its size and scale will have a detrimental impact on neighbouring homes, the park, and the allotments.

It also suggests the level of car parking at the site – 72 spaces – is insufficient and that this will impact on the surrounding roads.

There is a dispute about the status of the site, with the developer describing it as brownfield but objectors said it is not officially registered as such.

And the group questioned the need to change the site from non-residential use, suggesting it could provide a dedicated NHS hub or a sheltered housing complex.

“There has been a relentless cycle of tower blocks and ill-conceived developments being pushed through the process without a thought for the local residents who suffer as a result,” the letter stated.

“Not only is there zero precedent in the area for the proposed size of this development, it is profoundly out of kilter with any of the low-rise street scene that exists and, quite frankly, looks ugly.

“West Harrow has worked so hard to make the park an enjoyable, friendly open space where families can find sanctuary from the urban life that has quickly evolved in Harrow.

“For these blocks of seven-storey flats to appear directly adjacent to the park and allotments will be a travesty.”

The campaigners noted the need for housing in the borough but said they could not fathom a development of this nature in this area, calling for a more “holistic” approach.

They also questioned the council’s planning process – they asked for a meeting with the planning committee to express their concerns, given the level of opposition, but this was deemed “not appropriate” since it is a live application.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, explained that residents can still meet with ward councillors to outline their concerns, and these members can make representations at planning meetings.

The Gospel Hall Trust, which seeks permission for the development, said it submitted its application following “extensive consultation with council officers and the community”.

It said: “The redevelopment will see more much needed homes built in Harrow, of which 40 per cent will be for affordable rent and low-cost shared ownership.

“A new pedestrian footpath will be provided to West Harrow Station and space is also being provided within the proposals for a new health facility or GP surgery.

“We firmly believe that a housing-led redevelopment is the right option for this site and as a brownfield site, surely it is better to build here than on the green belt.”

Those wishing to comment on the application can do so on the council’s planning portal, searching P/1492/20 – the deadline for this is Monday (July 20).