Harrow Council have named Wates Residential as the development partner for the £600m regeneration of Wealdstone.
The Harrow Strategic Development Partnership (HSDP) aims to transform the landscape of Wealdstone, building 1,500 new homes, including a “significant” number of affordable homes, a new civic centre, shops, offices, and a school, as well as public and green spaces.
The partnership will also work with hundreds of young people at schools and colleges across the borough to provide school curriculum support and help raise aspirations; invest in employment, skills and training initiatives including providing construction training for over 130 unemployed adults to help kick-start their careers; and deliver 220 apprenticeships.
The local economy will also benefit from a spend close to £100m with Harrow businesses, while a pop-up business school session will support the growth of existing local businesses and start-ups.
Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council said: “During these difficult times it is important to have something to look forward to, and our ambitious plans will give families an affordable place to call home, create jobs for local people, build a new council HQ, and re-energise Wealdstone town centre.
“Through our partnership with Wates we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of our residents and boost the local economy. Now is the right time to redevelop these three sites and build a better Harrow for our residents and businesses.”
The announcement comes 15 months after the north-west London local authority launched their search for a development partner.
Kate Ives, development director for Wates Residential, said: “Wates Residential is delighted to have been chosen as Harrow Council’s partner to help deliver its ambitious vision to build a better Harrow. We look forward to working with the council as we build more than 1,500 much-needed high-quality homes and a new civic centre at the heart of the local community.
“We believe that everyone deserves a great place to live and, as part of our partnership with the council, we will not only provide crucial additional housing, but also leave a positive legacy for the community through investment in skills, training, education and jobs to help local people thrive.”
The search for the private sector delivery partner was overseen by strategic real estate advisor Avison Young while international law firm Pinsent Masons advised Harrow Council on the set up of the proposed partnership in the north-west London borough.
Kim Grieveson, director of development consultancy at Avison Young, said: “We are delighted to have worked alongside the council to secure a development partner who shares in their vision for Harrow. It is so important in the current climate to see the public sector still fully committed to ambitious projects of this nature and this sends a strong message to the market. We look forward to these plans coming to fruition over the coming years.”
Scot Morrison, housing partner at Pinsent Masons, said: “The Harrow Strategic Development Partnership is a transformational project not only from a development perspective (providing new homes, a new civic centre and commercial space) but also from community point of view with its potential to significantly boost employment, skills and training opportunities. We are proud to be able to bring the specialist skills we have in structuring these types of partnerships to enable us assist the council in delivering such an exciting opportunity for the borough.”
The Harrow Strategic Development Partnership is due to start in February 2021 with the first homes built in 2022.