An eyesore building that has lain undeveloped since plans for a skyscraper fell through has now been bought for £9.5million.

The long-empty former Royal Mail sorting office, which is leaving a “negative impression” on College Road, Harrow, was purchased by The Hyde Group from previous owner Dandara earlier this month.

Property investment firm The Hyde Group intends to enter into a joint venture with housebuilder Galliard Homes to tear down the ex-sorting office and build new homes - although no masterplan or designs have been created yet.

The Hyde Group’s group business development director David Gannicott said: “This development will provide much needed private, rented and affordable homes as well as associated commercial and amenity space.

“It will also benefit from Hyde’s award-winning place-making experience, already evidenced at sites in Bermondsey and Packington. “We look forward to delivering this high quality and substantial development in Harrow using world-class design and construction standards.”

Dandara washed its hands of the site four years after its planning application was refused by Harrow Council’s planning committee, a decision upheld on appeal by a planning inspector on the grounds of the architectural designs not being of high enough quality.

The former Royal Mail sorting office at 51 College Road, Harrow, that has been sold by Dandara to The Hyde Group
The former Royal Mail sorting office at 51 College Road, Harrow, that has been sold by Dandara to The Hyde Group
 

The scheme comprised for 410 flats in three towers - one of them 19 storeys high - shops, a public square and a railway footbridge.

Caroline Bruce, Harrow Council’s corporate director for environment and enterprise, said: “The council welcomes the acquisition by The Hyde Group of this strategically important site in Harrow town centre and welcomes the opportunity to look at new options for providing a comprehensive high quality development across the wider site that delivers upon the community’s expectations for the area.”

Harrow Council’s Harrow and Wealdstone Area Action Plan planning blueprint gives the site a target of providing 400 homes and 40 jobs.

It says: “The principle of a tall building on this site, up to 19 storeys in height and projecting above Harrow Weald Ridge, has been accepted by the Secretary of State, subject to world class architectural design being achieved.

“Depending on the height of the tall landmark building, building heights across the rest of the site should be four to five storeys fronting College Road rising up to 10 storeys along the railway. Civic/community use provision should front onto the new public space to be created within the site, and form part of the active ground floor frontage.”