PLANS to extend a central Harrow office block and turn part of it into flats have been mocked as a 'develop-er's dream'.
Councillors approved a scheme to add an extra two storeys to Equitable House in Lyon Road, build a seven-storey tower extension on the side and convert part of the new larger building into apartments.
The idea by P and Angel Properties will provide 32 flats, with the remainder of the floor space - the lowest three floors - being retained and refurbished as office space.
The ground floor covered parking area will be infilled to create a new reception space. But a partner at Macilvin Moore Reveres, a chartered accountancy firm based over the road in St John's Road, said: "It was definitely a mistake granting approval.
"The whole of Harrow - Lyon Road, Gayton Road - is being overdeveloped, and it's just not right.
"The council is not paying attention to business. They're creating all these residences but no jobs. It's an easy option - a developer's delight but not necessarily a community's delight."
Equitable House tenant DMG World Media objected, on the grounds that the construction work would be a 'major disturbance' that could force the company to relocate out of the borough. One of the conditions of approval stipulates the developer must contribute £64,000 towards public highway improvements in the town centre.
Harrow councillor Thomas Weiss (Conservative), who represents Greenhill ward, said: "What we need in the town is regeneration. No-one likes to see empty office space within the centre of Harrow and developments like Equitable House bring more investment into the area. If you look at the number of houses that are being converted into flats in Harrow, there's obviously huge demand for housing."