Harrow Civic Centre could be replaced with a new town hall on the present site of Harrow College, councillors have revealed.

Harrow Council said it could relocate its headquarters - including administrative offices, committee rooms and the council chamber - from Station Road to Lowlands Road in five years.

The news is the latest twist in Harrow College's pursuance of a multi-million pound scheme to replace its Harrow on the Hill campus in Lowlands Road.

While the institution has permission to build a new college complex next door on Lowlands Open Space, its plans to demolish the existing college buildings for housing development - a deal needed to help fund the project - were rejected by Harrow Council in June, forcing the college to reconsider its options.

Yesterday evening (Thursday) the council's cabinet committee took the decision in private to pursue the idea of relocating the civic centre there instead, putting the college's plans back on track.

Councillor Tony Ferrari (Conservative), portfolio holder for major contracts and property, said: "By working together with Harrow College, we are showing real leadership to revitalise the heart of the town centre despite a difficult financial climate.
 
"This deal, once finalised, will also give us the opportunity to either develop a new town hall or control any sensitive private development when the market recovers and protect the views from Harrow on the Hill.
 
"If we do decide to build a new council office, this will provide a far more modern workplace for staff and be close to the town centre shops and transport links.

"It would also be more accessible for residents and provide overall a better quality customer experience. The earliest potential date that staff would move is in April 2013.
 
"This purchase would also give the council the additional option to allow the present civic centre to be developed to build new commercial offices or housing.

"This will provide even more value for money to our residents. The new site would also utilise the same space far more efficiently and contribute to the green agenda."