Jan 24 2013 By Ian Proctor
A PRINTWORKS in Harrow on the Hill could be demolished and replaced by a new complex that also incorporates a print museum, offices and a coffee shop.
The redevelopment plan submitted to Harrow Council on Wednesday for 43 to 51 West Street by applicant Graham Harwood, of Harwood Press Advertising, is a revision of a previous scheme withdrawn in 2011 following council objections.
Stewart Management and Planning Solutions, Mr Harwood's planning agents, said in its design and access statement: "An integral part of these applications is to rebuild the frontage buildings in the style of the existing buildings, using retained materials wherever possible to ensure that this historic environment is not significantly altered in the long term, but is upgraded and that the new buildings will not only enhance the conservation area but will also achieve modern energy efficiency targets and access for people with disabilities to ensure their long term use.
"The current scheme differs from the one that was withdrawn in 2001 in two main aspects: first, the entire new build residential component is comprised of separate single family dwellings rather than flats and secondly, the new scheme is predicated on retention of the façades of the buildings with the rebuilding of selected features to enable Disability Discrimination Act compliant access."
The two-storey terraced buildings at 43 to 49 West Street - occupied by Harwood Press Advertising - would be pulled down and the façade rebuilt to house a replacement printworks on the lower ground floor, a café and part of the print museum on the upper ground floor and two small office suites on the first floor.
Neighbouring 51 West Street would be refurbished and converted into the bulk of the print museum over two levels while 53 and 55 West Street, three derelict former business units with ground floor shopfronts, would be revamped and rebuilt into two three-bed family homes, and three further detached houses constructed around the rear courtyard accessed from High Street.
"The terrace is in a very poor condition," said structural engineer B J Malone in a commissioned report for architects Cotterell, Thomas and Thomas.
"I consider the most reliable way of retaining the historic appearance of the street scene is to carefully demolish the existing buildings and rebuild them using salvaged materials for the front elevation, which would be detailed to match the existing appearance of the terrace."
Harrow Council locally lists 43 to 49 West Street and 51 - all cottages built before 1860 - for their architectural merit, and the site lies within Harrow on the Hill Conservation Area.
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