Sep 14 2015

College Road Development – “Barely Second Rate” says Cllr Marilyn Ashton

2014_marilyn_ashtonDear Editor,

At the meeting of Harrow Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier this month, I asked Council Leader David Perry whether he thought the sizeable development recently approved by his Labour colleagues for the 51 College Road site was ‘world class’. After all, the Council’s own planning policy, called an Area Action Plan, says that tall buildings are acceptable for the site, “subject to world class architectural design being achieved”. So one would hope the Council Leader would believe this requirement had been met, given it was only due to Labour’s votes on the Planning Committee that the development was passed, with the Conservatives voting against it.

Cllr. Perry started by saying he didn’t really know very much about planning and, as if wanting to prove this point to everyone, then said that he was “impressed” when the architect first presented their plan for the site at the Major Developments Panel. However, he was reluctant to say directly that he thought the development was indeed ‘world class’ – the best he could muster was saying he was of the same mind as his Labour colleagues on the Planning Committee.

Of course, from an architectural point of view, the proposal for College Road is anything but ‘world class’. It’s a bulky, slab-like monolith that will be twice as tall as anything around it, and which will ruin views of St. Mary’s and dominate the town centre for decades. That I essentially had to drag enthusiasm about it from Cllr. Perry speaks volumes, but the real damage was done when his Labour colleagues voted for this development, despite knowing in their heart of hearts that it’s barely second-rate, never mind ‘world class’.


Cllr. Marilyn Ashton (Conservative)

Stanmore Park Ward

Harrow Council

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  1. Someonewhocares

    ‘World Class’? Well it probably depends on how easily-influenced we all are by ‘artistic licence’:


  2. stainglass44

    Thank goodness Mrs Ashton is no longer in charge of the planning committee, Anyone living on the Pinner Wood Park Conservation Ares will never forget her. We were all encouraged to take part in a consultation regarding our area not to long ago when she was the chairperson of the planning committee. There are about 320 houses that fall into the conservation area, and I believe nearly all of the residents took part in the exercise. The outcome was that over 300 residents wanted change to the out dated rules regarding our rotten windows with only 8 residents wanting to wood. The residents committee had been working very closely with one of the conservation officers over a couple of years and between us and after a lot of research found suitable 21st century aluminium windows that the conservation officer agreed us would be a good replacement. Our findings were put to Mrs Ashtons committee but they were refused out of hand So much for taking part in a consultation, she and her committee had already decided what the out come of the consultation would be before any of us took part in the consultation. We were arrogantly told by Mrs Ashton that ”IT WILL BE WOOD AND ONLY WOOD WHETHER LIKE IT OR NOT” and her and her committee recommendations were that we should buy ” QUILTED CURTAINS, SECONDERY DOUBLE GLAZING or apply for CAVITY WALL INSLUTION to keep the cold and out during the winter months. So much for the experts on her committee and her experts in her planning department. ”OUR HOUSES ARE NOT CONSTRUCTED WITH CAVITY WALLS” you would have thought that her and her committee would have found that out before suggesting it but NO. By the way I had a quotation for wooden windows for just the front on my semi about 7 or 8 years ago which was £15,000 way out of my reach. I also had a quote of £ 4,000 for the same amount of replacement windows. So beware of taking part in any Council Consultation in the future because they have already made up their minds before you take part in one. I can assure you no one on the PINNER WOOD PARK CONSERVATION AREA will ever take part in one ever again. I will not be applying for planning permission when my rotting windows need changing. My house is now no longer in what Harrow Council laughingly call A Conservation Area.
    Peter Day

  3. Someonewhocares

    Interesting stanglass44: Perhaps this is the main problem, in her haste to ‘oppose change’ (of any kind) Marylin A. has overlooked the advantages of same?

    Never mind, she has asked Bob B. ‘to stick his oar in’, too (again regardless of residents preferences no doubt)!


  4. Marilyn Ashton

    I will not waste too much time responding to Mr Day’s rather confused contribution, save to say that what he is carrying on about is simply that seven years ago the council did not wish to remove the Article Directions that had been applied to the materials on replacement windows in the Pinnerwood Park Conservation Area.
    This was agreed at the LDF Panel by all the Councillors on the panel – cross party. As regards Bob Blackman writing to the Secretary of State, I am most grateful to him for doing so. People have been up in arms about the recently approved development at 51 College Road and so it is just as well that, unlike Gareth Thomas, Bob took the trouble to make representations on this matter.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Nice to see that there was ‘cross-party agreement’ on this, but did the same Panel also agree to give the affected residents subsidies to cover their future fuel bills then? As for Bob B. and the College Road development which specific people were ‘up in arms’ and why?

  5. stainglass44

    Of course Mrs Ashton wants to forget her Rude” WOOD AND ONLY WOOD WETEHR YOU LIKE IT OR NOT” COMMENTS to the over 300 resident’s that presented their views comments to he committee. She does not have to live in what Harrow Council laughingly call a conservation area, where we get threatened with fines if we do not abide by the outdated rules and have to live in damp, cold and draughty houses with rotting windows with no cavity wall who her and her EXPERTS that she suggested we should get insulated when we do not have cavity walls or buy quilted curtains to keep warm throughout the winter months. I can assure her that what she calls a confused contribution is not confused to us residents who she asked for our views and then rudely ignored us Which was not entirely a surprise to us. The council can fine us, even though we own our houses, but we cannot fine the council for not looking after the area as anyone can see by just driving around it and taking a look at the pavements roads, the public gardens, that she left us with. No one on this estate will ever take part in any consultation again when the committee has already made up it’s mind on what it is going to do.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Not sure if you understand the Council’s’ Consultation process’, stanglass44. It is merely an exercise in *creating the impression* that they are listening to the RESIDENTS, and then they will just do what is the best for THEM, politically, financially or personally, all wrapped up in rhetoric!

  6. stainglass44

    SOMEONEWHOCARES Yes you are quite right, they ask you to vote for them, then pretend that they are working in you interests, but of course they are not VESTED INTERETS is more like it. What I left out of my original letter was that just before the so called consultation, the EXPERTS at the council granted planning permission for Aluminium windows for a house in Evelin Drive in the conservation area, and when that decision was question, they said that it did not set a Precedent well it did. Further more they also had UPVC windows installed in the only council house that they own in Latimer gardens also in the consultation area. Everyone should be beware of consultations and councillors.

    1. stainglass44

      Yes, you are quite right, probably something to do with VESTED INTRESTS Just why people bother to vote for these Arrogant Rude people is beyond me.

      1. red mirror

        dont believe them don’t listen to them all local politicians and i mean ALL are corrupted how do i know? whenever i have presented indisputable facts of gross misconduct and sex crimes i have been sacked threatened and even bribed i cant say too much more but in the very near future arrests are coming keep your eyes on local press and don’t be bullied by these lying cowards.

  7. red mirror

    a microcosm of the macrocosm i am afraid stainglass whenever i challenge blue sue on the real meat and potato issues she slinks off and wont answer me but has all the time in the world to pour buckets of water over her head for the paps FOR CHARITY OF COURSE.

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