THE future of the "heart of Harrow" for the next 15 years could be decided over the next 12 months and residents are being given their say.

Harrow Town Centre, Station Road and Wealdstone have been identified for possible development, with a target of 2,500 new homes and 3,000 new jobs, bringing in an estimated 5,000 new people.

But what shape the future takes is still to be determined with an initial consultation on four options for where building should be focused beginning today and ending on June 24.

Councillor Keith Ferry, responsible for planning, and economic development, said: “The key word for it is vision, because it's the people of Harrow's vision for the next 15 years.

“The council cannot afford to build any of this stuff so we have to rely on developers.”

This is the first phase in the production of a document which will tell developers what will be acceptable and what will be rejected in what was once known as an "intensification area" but has been rebranded as the "heart of Harrow" by Harrow Council.

But the authority will be bound by the blue print - if it gets this wrong, the result could be 15 years of clashes with residents over what projects should be approved, with its hands tied by the contents of this plan.

The first option includes developing all three areas, ignoring the different characters of each and bringing in more new homes and jobs than any of the other three.

The second focuses on the town centre, achieving housing targets through “tall, flatted developments”, and providing Wealdstone with new homes but few new jobs.

The third aims to keep the existing character of the three areas and focuses development in the town centre and Wealdstone with improvements to the road and street scene in Station Road.

The fourth aims to enhance the identities of the town centre and Wealdstone, with the latter keeping its industrial character and generating new jobs.

Station Road would see “large scale” improvements to the street scene.

The council has not included a preference in the consultation material as it waits to see what feedback residents give.

But in meetings councillors have discussed the fourth option as the one they believe fits best.

If targets are hit the population of the three areas is likely to grow by 38 per cent.

To see the options in full click here.