Letter to the TfL Commissioner regarding Harrow on the Hill Station on the 8th July 2016:
Re: Harrow-on-the-Hill station
I am concerned by the reports I have had of Transport for London’s current plans for six 20-storey tower blocks of flats at Harrow-on-the-Hill station.
As yet, there has been no public consultation or indeed any confirmation as to when such consultation might begin. Such a massive development will obviously be of considerable interest to my constituents who have seen up to a 60% increase in the cost of their commute into central London over the last eight years.
I understand the current plan is to allow only 10% affordable housing and that the land will be sold to developers so that they can then build at their own pace and sell, when it suits them, the remaining proportion. I understand too, that no restrictions are planned on who can buy the properties, so, for example, Harrow residents will not be granted an advance opportunity to buy the properties and sales in Hong Kong, Singapore etc. have not been ruled out.
I understand there are no current plans to work with housing associations. In addition, I understand there are no plans to put covenants on any of the properties built to ensure any future onward sales are to Harrow residents as well.
I would welcome early publication of the financial projections around these particular proposals. It is unclear to me why your ‘ideal’ programme for access works to the station are so expensive at £21million. It would be useful to understand what other options could be put in place that would cost less.
TfL have an Access Fund of some £75m I understand, yet is planning to allocate nothing from this fund towards the Harrow-on-the-Hill works.
I hope you will feel able to commit to work with me on the preparation of a plan for what is both the most important station in my constituency, and whose development will have profound implications for the character, sight line and level of amenity for my constituents. To that end, I would welcome an early meeting with you.
I look forward to your response.
Gareth Thomas MP