HARROW could be missing out on millions of pounds of investment because of its reputation for rejecting planning applications.

Developers avoid the borough because Harrow Council does not “have any vision” and is renowned for refusing permission for building projects, claimed Councillor Keith Ferry at a meeting on Thursday to discuss a masterplan for the future of the area.

The planning committee chairman claimed developers told a conference he attended: "We don't want to come to Harrow and develop because you don't have any vision for what's happening there. We come along, we do a lot of work, go to the planning committee and the planning committee says 'No'.”

Cllr Ferry said Harrow needed to guarantee approval of specific types of projects to attract investment.

Many projects would fall into MP Bob Blackman's Harrow East constituency and the Tory politician said he thought the borough could be losing millions of pounds in missed opportunities.

He said: “There are relatively few sites in the borough where strategic developments can take place. It is millions of pounds and the town centre is crying out for investment.”

He defended the council's rejection of certain planning applications, including one by Dandara at the old post office site, in College Road, but acknowledged strategic development was needed.

Planners need to attract 2,500 new homes and 3,000 new jobs to the Harrow and Wealdstone Intensification Area, sprawled across the town centre, Station Road and Wealdstone.

Potential plans for the Intensification Area would focuses on maintaining the individual character of each of the three sections, while attracting largescale investment.

However Tory councillors claim the options on the table would generate costs for the council stretching into the millions which they say the authority cannot afford.

Councillor Susan Hall, leader of the Conservatives, said: “It's more honest to say 'this — if we had a magic wand — would be fantastic'.”

There will be a public consultation on the options being discussed in April.