A NEW levy by the London Mayor could shatter Harrow's chances of attracting development, officers say.

Boris Johnson wants to slap a new cost on companies planning to build in the capital to pay for Crossrail, a new train line running under the city centre between Maidenhead, in Berkshire, and Shenfield, in Essex.

Just three London councils stand to gain less from Crossrail than Harrow and officers say economic development in the borough “would be wiped out” if the fee went ahead.

The authority now wants to campaign against what is known as the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and claims to have the backing of other councils.

Councillor Keith Ferry, responsible for planning, said: “This means Harrow will be paying a lot of money but won't be getting any benefit out of it.

“If this goes through it will virtually wipe out any development in Harrow.”

He said if companies are forced to pay the £35 per square meter tariff for Crossrail they will seek to build developments in areas where they will benefit most from the transport network.

But of 32 London boroughs only Sutton, Merton and Waltham Forest stand to gain less from the project than Harrow, which is predicted to benefit to the tune of £16.2m a year by 2026, nine years after the planned opening.

This compares to £99.8m in Newham and £84.5m in Greenwhich.

Even in other areas of north west London Ealing is expected to rake in £56.9m, Hillingdon £58.5m, Brent £31.3m and Barnet £30.5m.

Cllr Ferry said: “We will be contributing to Crossrail which will benefit places like Ealing which will suck all the benefit away from Harrow, so we will actually be paying for our own demise.

“People will think if you are going to have to pay this sort of money then you will have to go and build a headquarters somewhere you can benefit from Crossrail.”

Mr Johnson's office is currently consulting on the plans. For information on how to take part click here