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Harrow Road The Story So Far

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This is the story of the
Harrow Road Place Plan.

The development of the project is presented here in reverse​ chronological order and organised into three sections. To start from the beginning please click the tab below.

PROJECT DELIVERY identifies recent project milestones or important achievements that are helping to improve the Harrow Road

ESTABLISHING THE VISION describes the principles and objectives that could help the Harrow Road successfully grow and evolve

THE BACKGROUND describes the existing issues, priorities and community aspirations that underpin the Place Plan

Functional canal pathway Destination canal spaces Site specific activation areas

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Project Delivery

September 2018 WECH Garden

WCC are excited to announce that following a competitive tender process they have appointed Breeze Landscape Architects to carry out the detailed design of the WECH Garden.

WCC and Walterton and Elgin Community Homes (WECH) are also pleased to acknowledge they have progressed to Stage 2 of the Major Capital Projects Grants Programme run by the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

The programme helps to fund projects that demonstrate a clear commitment to encouraging and supporting people who are not physically active to participate in physical activity, sport or play.

The project aims to deliver a new, health and fitness focused, public space on the Harrow Road by Autumn 2019.

More Information

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July 2018 Pop-up business school

The first Westminster Pop-up Business School took place from the 23rd - 27th July and was a huge success, engaging 108 people throughout the week.

The week attracted a range of residents from across the borough, of all ages and backgrounds gathering in the Yaa centre in Harrow Road to take part in workshops on developing a business. Topics covered how to start a business for free, sales and marketing, how to build a website, social media and tax.

Staff from the Business Unit were on hand all week to offer support to attendees and to link them with council services. The Business Unit will continue to support attendees wishing to grow their business and will follow up with all participants in six month’s time. A more in depth evaluation of the course is available on the Pop-up Business School project page.

More Information

Establishing the vision

The vision is for the Harrow Road to become an attractive, prosperous, community for people that live, work and spend time here...

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Project background

The decision to develop a Place Plan was taken after a draft Area Planning Framework (APF) for the Woodfield Road area was paused in April 2017 due to the Council beginning work on a complete review of its City Plan.​

This Place Plan avoids momentum and important stakeholder relationships being lost and will ensure local ambitions are considered in the preparation of the City Plan. Its non-statutory status allows flexibility in scoping and delivering projects, engaging with stakeholders and responding to changes and pressures that are common in areas such as the Harrow Road.

Purpose of the Harrow Road place plan


A strategic document that will describe the existing issues and priorities, establish overarching objectives for the area and give details on a range of realistic projects that will help deliver immediate and longer-term change.


The document will build on the consultation and discussions carried out to date with the local community and stakeholders. It will propose actions and timescales for the Council, local groups and stakeholders.


The document will be non-statutory and will therefore rely on governance structures with local stakeholders and residents which the Steering Group will be repurposed to monitor and assess progress against agreed actions.

A wealth of engagement has taken place,
helping establish the vision and four objectives
for the Harrow Road Place Plan


March 2018 Stakeholder workshop

One key engagement event was a workshop held on the 10th March 2018 at the WECH Community Centre. This was used to establish priorities for the Harrow Road Place Plan.

*Please note this project was formerly known as the Harrow Road Manual for Delivery

It attracted 30 people including local residents and Councillors, representatives from residents and retailers associations, cultural institutions, major landowners and the Greater London Authority (GLA) regeneration team.​

The aim of the session was to identify priority projects and discuss a spatial strategy for the Harrow Road​. The project ideas collected at this workshop are summarised below.

Download Workshop Summary

Project ideas

Harrow Road

Short term

Provide insurance, business advice and deal with enforcement issues

Medium term

Produce a design guide for shop fronts

Long term

Introduce greater diversity in the retail, employment and leisure offer

Public Spaces


Improve east-west movement and introduce greater activity and an enhanced environment through employment space, permanent moorings, new bridge connections or public art


Initiatives to increase levels of greenspace, target vacant public spaces and introduce trees, planting, parklets and playstreets

Maida Hill market place

Provide improvements to the existing streetscape and limit the impact of traffic. Strengthen the markets function and identity

Workspace and local assets

All Star Boxing Club

Provide a Queen’s Park Community Hall on the ground floor and retain All Star Boxing Club above

Empty buildings

Convert key properties into affordable works space or introduce meanwhile uses. Former RBS bank on Elgin Avenue is seen as a priority

Creative Enterprise Zone

Secure the presence of existing cultural assets in the area by looking at options for long-term sustainability and growth. Grow the creative sector and increase affordable workspace


Project plan

Projects ideas gathered from this stakeholder workshop and all previous engagement events were then mapped.

To help organise a wide range of aspirations, these were categorised by theme and organised under four broad objectives to help deliver the vision.

Over time measurable targets or key performance indicators will be attached to these objectives to assess the Place Plan’s success.

Project plan

Canal Side Activation

Establishing the canal as a better connected resource for the Town Centre, a place for leisure or culture and an east-west pedestrian and cycle link that serves a large swathe of area.

Healthy Streets Study

A large study across the Harrow Road area exploring how walking, cycling and public transport can be better supported, helping to improve access to local shops and businesses.

Harrow Rd Movement

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Maida Hill Junction

A continuation of previous public realm works, providing increased footway amenity, diagonal crossings, improvements to bus services and overall aesthetic enhancement.

Town Centre

Setting up a website to promote all businesses on the Harrow Road

Town Centre

Improve the mix of uses in Harrow Road, bringing in different retail, office and community uses

Town Centre

Reduce clutter and address the issues of overspill from shop forecourts

Town Centre

Produce Design Guide for Shops in Harrow Road with Harrow Rd Retailers Association

Town Centre

Offer a programme of business advice

Town Centre

Consider uses such as a theatre or cinema

Town Centre

Build an 'identity' to help market and promote the area

Town Centre

Showcase the areas creative enerprises and 'maker-spaces'

Town Centre

Consolidate retail uses around the market to reinforce the local shopping centre

Town Centre

Offer greater protection of A1, A2 and A3 shop uses on the Harrow Road

Town Centre

Make the area more attractive and accessible to cyclists and pedestrians

Market Place

Consider using a private provider to manage and run the market

Market Place

Convert subterranean toilet block into above and below ground retail space

Market Place

Management strategy for dealing with noise or anti-social behaviour

Market Place

Retain existing ground-level toilets

Market Place

Provide improved and easy to access market storage

Market Place

Introduce a trial for an evening market

Market Place

Develop a programme of events for the space

Market Place

Create a new social / community hub on or very near the Market

Market Place

Activate the ground and basement floors of the former RBS building

Market Place

Stop operating the market as a 6-day a week venture

Market Place

Provide support for the community market

Market Place

Engage local schools or community groups and let them use the space

Market Place

Encourage a diverse market offer, not replicating the High Street offer

Market Place

Better communicate rates and make it easy for young businesses to access pitches

Market Place

Introduce Wi-fi

Transport and Movement

Reverse Woodfield Place one-way system and reinstate two-way traffic on Woodfield Road

Transport and Movement

Improving parking arrangements in Harrow Rd for retailers, businesses and workshop areas

Transport and movement

Improve cycle routes, introduce cycle parking, hire points and associated facilities

Transport and movement

Introduction of a 20mph zone

Transport and movement

Physically close the Walterton and Fernhead Road junction to traffic

Transport and movement

Convert parking spaces to shared bays for servicing and/or loading

Transport and movement

Introduce measures to reduce air pollution

Transport and movement

Introduce more electric vehicle charging points

Transport and movement

Tackle the issue of rat-running on key streets

Transport and movement

Develop a parking app

Transport and movement

Create a better pedestrian environment outside station

Transport and movement

Ensure pedestrians are prioritised on the Harrow Road

Maida Hill Public Space

Activate the underused playground at QEII Jubilee School

Maida Hill Public Space

Encourage more cafés and restaurants around the square with space to sit outside

Maida Hill Public Space

Improved pedestrian crossing between the two sides of Harrow Road

Maida Hill Public Space

Improved street furniture with tables and chairs for games and new landscaping

Maida Hill Public Space

Introduce public art to make the market a memorable location

Maida Hill Public Space

Manage cyclists movement through space to avoid conflict with market activity and pedestrians

Maida Hill Public Space

Consider shared surface treatment across the whole area

Maida Hill Public Space

Better connect the two sides of Elgin Avenue

Maida Hill Public Space

Improvements to key buildings / facades facing onto the market

Maida Hill Public Space

Bring vacant forecourts (outside RBS) into the public realm and increase landscaping

Maida Hill Public Space

Ensure there is access to utilities such as water

Maida Hill Public Space

Consolidate and visually improve areas of waste storage

Grand Union Canal

Public realm improvements and greening along the Canal

Grand Union Canal

Enhance access to canal from the Harrow Road

Grand Union Canal

Add green wall to bus depot to help mitigate pollution and make walkway more attractive

Grand Union Canal

Create a Traffic Management Order on slip road to improve its management and use

Grand Union Canal

Use public art on bridges to form memorable arrival points

Grand Union Canal

Redevelop the ground floors of Canal Terrace to make room for workspaces, opening towards the canal

Grand Union Canal

Deliver studio spaces for creative businesses on underused land beneath the Westway

Grand Union Canal

Improving cycle routes and infrastructure along the canal

Grand Union Canal

Providing additional permanent moorings for residential boats

Grand Union Canal

Enhance accessibility and safety through lighting and signage

Grand Union Canal

Provision of not-for-profit or low cost enterprise space on canal boats

Grand Union Canal

Introduce leisure and cultural uses in this area

Grand Union Canal

Build on Meanwhile Gardens and provide allotment or community growing space

Grand Union Canal

Introduce new boater facilities such as showers and similar infrastructure

Grand Union Canal

Make it possible for a community group to volunteer and look after a stretch of canal

Greening and open space

Plant trees and increase green coverage in streets and public spaces

Greening and open space

Open up currently gated estates such as WECH and encourage active uses around their perimeters

Greening and open space

Pocket Park on Hormead Road next to existing moorings

Greening and open space

Pocket Park on the eastern end of the Harrow Road opposite Sutherland Avenue

Greening and open space

Improve green space outside Queens Park Library

Greening and open space

Improve green space outside Westminster Register Office

Greening and open space

Introduction of play streets close to schools

Greening and open space

Improved play equipment in Edbrook Road gardens

Greening and open space

Expand the greenspace around the Lydford Estate

Greening and open space

Increased outdoor space and leisure provision for young people

Greening and open space

Opportunities for community growing projects

Greening and open space

Improved setting of Warwick Community Hall

Greening and open space

Pocket Park at western end of Harrow Road leading to the canal

Socially Sustainable Future

Convert 470 Harrow Road into enterprise space or retail unit

Socially sustainable future

Use of Queen's Park Community Hall / Boxing Club's hall as a community space

Socially Sustainable Future

Protection of community assets including Stowe Centre and Warwick Community Hall

Socially Sustainable Future

Greater support for creative enterprise and community uses

Socially sustainable Future

Encourage meanwhile use of empty properties, primarily for community uses and affordable workspace

Socially Sustainable Future

Protect and maintain existing community hubs including the Yaa Centre, WECH and Lydford Estate

Socially Sustainable Future

Create a new social or community hub on or very near the Market

Socially Sustainable Future

Engage artists in local public art projects

Socially Sustainable Future

Open access to culture and arts events to better promote hidden activity

Socially Sustainable Future

Maintain an up to date register of empty properties, work with owners to introduce meanwhile use

Socially Sustainable Future

Work with Paddington Arts and other local creative enterprises to sustain and grow core activities

Socially Sustainable Future

Use Mary Mags to create a focal point for the history of communities in Paddington and along the Harrow Road

Future Development

Create a green space on the Tower Transit site connected to Meanwhile Gardens

Future Development

Safeguard Paddington Arts and make it easier to access from the Harrow Road

Future Development

Provide active frontage along the canal

Future Development

Explore the potential of creating new footbridges over the canal

Future Development

Provide active frontage along Great Western Road

Future Development

Introduce new pockets of Green Space

Future Development

Upgrades to the towpath on the northern edge of canal and improve permeability

Future Development

Consider new uses in the arches under Great Western Road

August 2018 Harrow Road steering group meeting

Once the wealth of insight drawn from conversations with local residents and stakeholders was understood, the WCC Place Shaping Team translated these into an overarching spatial strategy for the Harrow Road.​

This is intended to provide a high level vision for how the area could develop. It provides a roadmap that helps make sense of the wide range of smaller projects and activities that can help improve the Harrow Road whilst ensuring they are not delivered in isolation but are rooted in, and contributing towards, a much bigger aspiration.​

The Harrow Road steering group comprises of ward councillors and representatives of the area’s three Neighbourhood Forums. More information on the Place Plan’s Governance Structure can be found here.​

Download Meeting Minutes

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The High Street and Great Western Road are important areas that require improvement. Offering business support and ensuring the high street is easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to move through are key actions as well as the prioritisation of space for pedestrians close to the station, and positive gateways towards the town centre.

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Concentrating activity and footfall around an improved market and complementary new uses at Maida Hill Place can ensure the market becomes a true focal point of the community.

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There is a huge opportunity to establish the canal as an east-west pedestrian and cyclist link that serves a large swathe of area and addresses severance caused by the Westway. The canal can form valuable links to growth areas such as Paddington Opportunity Area and Old Oak and Park Royal. The canal will also become a better connected resource for the town centre.

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Ensuring local areas can contribute towards, and benefit from, a revitalised Harrow Road. Residential areas will be tied into the town centre via a network of safe, healthy and pedestrian or cycle focused streets.

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The retail offer can be concentrated around the market, helping to emphasise the local high street. Increasing the sense of pedestrian priority The reuse of ground floor properties for business or enterprise space and encouraging community uses or infrastructure will supplement the wider high street. Working with landowners will help unlock further benefits such as new infrastructure and routes.

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Pre January 2018 Previous Stakeholder Engagement

Before January 2018, other engagement activity took place around the Harrow Road which has provided an important marker and a record of community views. This section captures the essence of these conversations to not only set out opportunities but also identify a number of difficult challenges that the Harrow Road Place Plan must address.​

It is important to remember that the following information reflects a fixed moment in time with many of the statistics drawn from the 2011 census. It is intended that the ongoing work on the Place Plan will result in the continual improvement of the context and statistics captured here.

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A Strong & Established Community

The three wards that make up the Harrow Road
are among the countries most diverse

They also fall within the top 10%
most deprived wards in England...

This impacts on community health and wellbeing with only 47% of people living locally considered in good health

Children's wellbeing


of the population is under 15 years of age


of reception children and...


of year 6 pupils are regarded as obese... Above the London average of 11% and 22% respectively

The area suffers from an open space deficiency

Working with partners and providing new places for fitness, play and learning could help address these issues

Streets could be healthier

More friendly for people walking, cycling
and moving through the area

The Railway and Westway are barriers to movement...

Working with owners of potential development sites
could provide new routes

The canal is not used to its full potential
and can be made more accessible... 


Successful Recent developments such as Kings Cross have built an identity and focused new activity around the Canal


Alongside leisure uses the canal could offer a new movement network being xx minutes from Paddington


Cycle ride from Old Oak and Park Royal, London’s largest regeneration opportunity creating 90,000 new jobs


The area will experience development pressure as the population of Westminster grows by 25,000 people by 2030


Around the Harrow Road there is approximately xxha of potential development land


with xx linear meters of potential new canal side frontage

It would benefit from more employment, leisure, entertainment or evening uses


85% of consumers lived locally


were only visiting to shop


were buying convenience goods

Broadening the markets appeal

Can establish it as the true focal point of the
community and help attract footfall

The area's somewhat hidden cultural potential could help define an identity and an alternative offer for the high street

But options to increase income and grow core activities

are needed to help local cultural and creative assets
that are under pressure...

More use can be made of vacant buildings and spaces


of the working age population are in employment (London average 70%)


of dependent children (under 18) are growing up in out of work households (London average 19%)


of dependent children are in out of work households in Westbourne ward


of the population has no qualifications (Westminster average 13%)


is the median salary for residents (£42,000 across Westminster)

£55 PSF

typical business rents, not affordable for start-ups



The Harrow Road Place Plan is looking to work alongside residents and stakeholders to address these pressing issues and create an attractive, prosperous, community for people that live, work and spend time here

Harrow Road Place Plan The Objectives

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