Loss of parking at the Civic Centre could spell “mayhem”

The loss of parking facilities at the Civic Centre site in Station Road could result in “mayhem”, leaders at Harrow Central Mosque have warned.

Currently people who attend the mosque are able to park in the Civic Centre car park.

However, the number of public parking spaces is set to be dramatically reduced in order to make way for new homes.

Harrow Council is due to submit plans to demolish the Civic Centre and build 850 new flats and houses.

This major development is also expected to include a new primary school, GP surgery and shops.

However, there is widespread concern about the impact on parking especially during busy periods at the mosque such as the month of Ramadan.

One mosque elder pointed out there are already problems with people parking across driveways and in residents-only parking spaces near the building.

He warned that this would only get worse if parking provision at the Civic Centre site was reduced, predicting there would be “mayhem”.

HCRA committee members met with the mosque committee earlier this week to discuss potential problems relating to the “Poets Corner” development, including the issue of parking.

The two organisations have now teamed up to organise a public meeting this Friday to give local people the opportunity to express their views.

A “street stress survey” to assess how people get to and from the mosque found current parking provision was full to capacity during Ramadan.

While many people shared cars as part of efforts to reduce the number of vehicles the survey found this still meant a substantial number of cars coming and going.

Harrow Central Mosque said it was still waiting for the council’s response to the research and a petition signed by hundreds of mosque-goers.

The council has previously suggested there could be a park and ride scheme to ferry people to and from the mosque.

However, no suitable site has been found and the mosque has raised questions about the practicality of bus-ing large numbers of people to the building in time for daily prayers at set times.

The mosque has encouraged worshippers to make use of public transport but this may not be possible for those attending prayers very late at night or in the early hours.

Cycling is another option but many mosque users are too old and frail to jump on a bike.

Other concerns about the Poets Corner development include the lack of green space. pedestrian access to Harrow and Wealdstone station, and the impact on traffic and local services.

A formal planning application is expected to be submitted before council elections in May.

The public meeting organised by HCRA and Harrow Central Mosque will take place at the Jaspar Centre – the former magistrates’ court – in Rosslyn Crescent from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Friday, March 1.

The meeting is open to everyone with an interest in the Poets Corner plans.




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