A high street landmark will be made three storeys taller to accommodate dozens of new flats.

Harrow Council’s planning committee approved proposals for Premier House, in High Street, Wealdstone, at a meeting last night (Wednesday, February 17).

Developer Akelius UK Thirteen had applied to replace the banqueting suite and vacant offices at the site with 39 new homes.

None of the flats will be affordable – planning officers said this would have affected viability – though the firm said six properties will be offered under “discounted rent”.

Three more floors will be added to the building, taking it to seven storeys in total.

No changes to the ground floor café and library have been proposed, while developers intend to provide “new, flexible workspace” at the building alongside new windows, cladding and shopfronts.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton (Con, Stanmore Park), Harrow Conservatives’ spokesman on planning, expressed concerns about the scheme, which she views as a consequence of plans to move the borough’s civic centre to Wealdstone.

“I can’t say I’m happy about this – it’s not the best thing that I’ve seen,” she said.

“But it is what it is, all the concerns we might have had around cladding [have been] amply answered and, in the context of the area, we can’t refuse it.”

Council officers described the design of the extension as “appropriate” and suggested it would be “a more attractive building that will enhance the area”.

They added it will be a car-free development, except for four disabled bays, while new residents will be banned from applying for permits in nearby controlled parking zones.

The three Conservative members of the committee, Cllr Ashton, Cllr Anjana Patel (Belmont), and Cllr Christopher Baxter (Headstone North), abstained in the vote, while the four Labour councillors, Cllr Simon Brown (Headstone South), Cllr Ajay Maru (Kenton West), Cllr Christine Robson (West Harrow) and committee chairman Cllr Ghazanfar Ali (Greenhill) approved the plans.