New trees planted in Frognal and Rosslyn

Three new trees have been planted in Rosslyn Crescent and Frognal Avenue thanks to HCRA’s ongoing tree campaign.

Over the past decade or so HCRA volunteers have lobbied and fundraised to get more trees planted in our three roads.

Overall more than 40 new trees have been planted – many paid for by the association, individual residents and from community funding made available to local councillors.

The latest trees – two in Rosslyn and one in Frognal – were installed by Harrow Council following ongoing discussion with HCRA.

HCRA tree officer Helen Grimes said she was delighted to see more new trees go in.

“We think trees really make a difference to the look and feel of our streets,” she said.

“Residents can help look after our new trees by taking care when parking near them, reporting damage or broken branches to HCRA and by watering trees in hot weather.”

 

 

Mosque pledges £100 to help replant community garden

Harrow Central Mosque has pledged £100 to help replant HCRA’s community garden after it was chopped to the ground.

The mosque is just one of many local organisations and individuals to express their support for the garden on the corner of Rosslyn Crescent and Station Road after it was vandalised again last week.

HCRA volunteers have attempted to replant and tidy what is left of the garden and are now seeking funding for new plants.

They estimate at least £600 worth of damage was caused when plants were hacked down and uprooted.

The committee that runs Harrow Central Mosque said it would give £100 to help restore the garden.

Representatives from Harrow Council have also said they may be able to help with some money from a budget set aside for community projects.

The garden is outside the Stop and Shop convenience store and HCRA has been working with the shop management on a replanting plan.

Shop managers have also promised to give some money towards new plants.

“We were devastated when we found out the garden had been destroyed again but are really encouraged by the support we have had from the local community,” said Jo Stephenson from HCRA’s gardening group.

“We’re delighted that the mosque has pledged £100, which is really kind and generous and we’re hopeful that the council and others will get behind our efforts to restore the garden to its former glory.”

If you can help with a donation towards new plants then please email chair@hcra.org.uk

 

Volunteers devastated as community garden destroyed for second time

Local police are investigating after the community garden created by HCRA was destroyed for a second time.

The garden outside the convenience store at the corner of Rosslyn Crescent and Station Road was built in 2015 after neighbours raised nearly £4,000 to transform a patch of wasteland.

The garden was funded by donations from many local people and organisations including Harrow Council, Harrow Central Mosque and Harrow in LEAF.

When HCRA members, who have continued to maintain the garden, visited the site yesterday they were shocked to discover most of the plants had been chopped to the ground.

This is the second time the garden has been vandalised. In April 2018 many of the plants were hacked to the ground by the shop owner at the time.

The shop – now called Stop and Shop – has since changed hands and HCRA volunteers have been working with the new management on plans to improve the garden and refresh the planting.

However, these plans are now on hold while shocked residents try to work out how best to salvage what is left of the garden.

The incident has been reported to the Metropolitan Police who are taking it seriously and have said they plan to review CCTV footage in a bid to identify the culprits.

Jo Stephenson, who chairs the HCRA gardening group, said she was devastated when she saw the state of the garden.

“So many people have worked for so many hours on this garden so it is incredibly upsetting to see it in such a mess,” she said.

“Many of the plants have been totally destroyed or dug up. I just don’t understand why someone would do this. We will do our best to renew and replant the garden but we’re talking £100s of pounds of damage. We are a small voluntary organisation and just don’t have that kind of money.”

Callous thieves steal plants from community garden

Spot the difference. These photos show a flower bed at HCRA’s community garden before and after thieves struck this week.

Volunteers who planted the flowers were shocked to find the blooms had been uprooted and stolen just days after they had been put in.

The plants had been paid for by two residents and donated to the garden project.

“This was a despicable thing to do and is a kick in the teeth for our volunteers who work so hard to try and make our neighbourhood a nicer place to live,” said HCRA chair Brett Lake-Benson.

The community garden outside the convenience store at the top of Rosslyn Crescent was built by HCRA with support from many local organisations and businesses.

It is maintained by a team of local people who expressed their sadness at the theft.

“We don’t really have a budget for maintaining the garden so these flowers were donated by two residents to fill an empty bed,” said Jo Stephenson, who lives in Rosslyn Crescent and regularly tends the garden.

“It is heart-breaking and dispiriting when things like this happen because it makes people think twice about getting involved in community projects. It makes you wonder why you bother.

“However, we won’t let this setback stop us from trying to brighten up the local area.”

Share your views on local issues at our annual meeting

Residents can find out more about the work of HCRA and share local issues and concerns at our annual general meeting on Wednesday, June 5.

The meeting will take place from 7.30pm to 8.30pm at 19 Woodlands Road. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The meeting will include reports on HCRA activity in the past year and a short neighbours’ forum to discuss issues affecting our three streets – Rosslyn Crescent, Frognal Avenue and Woodlands Road.

We will also decide on our key goals for the forthcoming year and collection subscriptions.

If you can’t attend the meeting in person you can pay your annual subscription of £3 per household via Paypal using the link at the top of this website.

The annual general meeting will be followed by our normal monthly residents’ meeting where issues are discussed in more detail.

For more information please email chair@hcra.org.uk

 

Harrow & Wealdstone Station gets a revamp

Work has begun to spruce up Harrow and Wealdstone Station, which was badly in need of repairs.

The £3.7 million revamp will include replacing and repainting windows and work to refurbish the bridge and lifts.

Work has already started with one half of the bridge currently boarded up and out of use.

The works are expected to continue until December this year. Managers have said the lifts will remain in use throughout.

Greenhill ward councillor Keith Ferry has been pushing for the upgrade for many years.

“I look forward to seeing a station we can be proud of once again – shiny, pristine and sparkling,” he told the council’s Harrow People magazine.

Volunteers take junk to the dump

A team of local volunteers cleared away tonnes of junk as part of HCRA’s annual clean-up.

The popular “Dump Run” event on May 12 saw neighbours collect unwanted furniture and other rubbish and ferry it to the dump.

The event is supported by Harrow Council and those who came to lend a hand included Greenhill ward councillor Sue Anderson (pictured above).

As always there was plenty of junk to cart away including many items left by callous fly-tippers.

During the event the team cleared huge amounts of dumped rubbish from the passageway that runs between Rosslyn Crescent and Frognal Avenue including mattresses, a rusty barbecue and other household waste.

The event is free but HCRA does collect donations to help pay for the hire of the van and other expenses.

Once again volunteers were treated to a delicious lunch made by a resident from Rosslyn Crescent.

HCRA chair Brett Lake-Benson thanked everyone who took part and supported the event.

“One of HCRA’s main goals is to make our neighbourhood a nicer place to live. It is depressing when fly-tippers dump rubbish in our streets and alleyways but we are determined not to lot them win,” he said.

“Events like our annual Dump Run show what communities can achieve when they work together.”

At other times of the year Harrow Council will collect bulky items for a fee.

Meanwhile HCRA encourages all residents in Rosslyn Crescent, Frognal Avenue and Woodlands Road to download and use Harrow Council’s “Your Place, Your Space” app, which can be used to report fly-tipping quickly and easily.

 

Chance to take a tour around your local mosque

Local people are being invited to take a tour round Harrow Central Mosque this Sunday as part of the Visit My Mosque scheme.

The mosque on the corner of Station Road and Rosslyn Crescent is one of more than 250 mosques across the UK taking part in the nation-wide scheme aimed at building bridges between communities.

The mosque will be open to the general public from 2.30pm to 5.30pm on Sunday, March 3.

Activities will include a guided tour, a chance to meet the Imam, and see live prayers at 4.15pm. There will also be a Q&A session and free refreshments on offer.

Free parking is available at the Civic Centre car park in Station Road.

 

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.

 

 

 

Concerns for future of probation office site

Residents fear the probation office building in Rosslyn Crescent could swiftly become a derelict eyesore after it was confirmed the facility had closed for good.

Harrow Council, which is the freeholder of the building, has said it is looking for a new tenant.

However, the erection of an imposing chain-link fence around the site suggests it could remain empty for some time.

If a new occupant cannot be found then the land may well be sold off to make way for more news homes as Harrow strives to hit housing targets.

“The probation office is an incredibly ugly breeze block building and now a big metal fence has been erected making it look even worse,” said Rosslyn resident Jo Stephenson.

“I’m worried it could be left like that for months which won’t be good for the area. I don’t think anyone will be sad if the building is knocked down but residents will obviously want to know more about any plans to replace it with flats or business premises.”

Greenhill councillor Keith Ferry confirmed the freehold of the former probation centre was held by Harrow Council and that the probation service’s lease had expired.

“The council has secured the property whilst we search for a new tenant,” he told HCRA.

If a new tenant is not found then the most likely course of action will be to redevelop the site amid pressure to build thousands of new homes in the borough, which has led to a flurry of applications.

Plans to demolish outdated office buildings on the opposite arm of Rosslyn Crescent and build more than 50 new homes have been submitted to Harrow Council.

A large-scale HMO (house of multiple occupation) was recently built at the top of Woodlands Road and there are plans to redevelop Watkins House care home at other end of the street.

Meanwhile local people are steeling themselves for the major redevelopment of the Civic Centre site with plans for 850 new homes.