Jan 31 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
A PRINTWORKS in Harrow on the Hill could be demolished and replaced by a new complex with a museum, houses, offices and a coffee shop.
The redevelopment plan for 43 to 55 West Street was submitted to Harrow Council on Wednesday last week by applicant Graham Harwood, of Harwood Press Advertising, whose family has operated the plant for about 60 years.
Janet Cotterell, a partner at CTT Sustainable Building Practice, the architects of the project, told the Observer: “Mr Harwood’s aim is to retain the local historic link with the printing industry by creating a small museum and to further retain other business uses, which will be of value to the local community – these proposals reflect the history of West Street which was never solely a residential area.
“Some modest new development to the rear of West Street enables the re-building/restoration needed on West Street itself.”
The two-storey terraced buildings at 43 to 49 West Street, which is occupied by Harwood Press Advertising, would be pulled down and the façade rebuilt with any much salvaged material as possible to house a replacement printworks on the lower ground floor, a cafe 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-bedroom family homes, and three further detached houses constructed around the rear courtyard accessed from High Street.
Ransford Stewart of planning consultancy Stewart MPS said an application made in 2010 was withdrawn over concerns raised by amenity groups and by Harrow Council, and Mr Harwood and his agents have since been working to try to address those issues.
Mr Stewart said: “The revised scheme is not as big as it was previously. Whereas the previous scheme featured flatted development, there was concern from residents about having flats in this part of the Hill.
“Now there are five houses proposed with gardens, arranged around a courtyard.”
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.