RALLYING cries have been issued to the people of Stanmore and Edgware to fight the development of two key sites in their towns.
They have been asked to sign petitions requesting Harrow Council's Labour administration adopt a planning brief for the Anmer Lodge and former Lidl's car park site in Coverdale Close before selling the land, and overturn November's decision to lease Whitchurch Playing Fields and its pavillion in Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, to an out-of-the-borough commercial consortium.
Marilyn Ashton (Conservative) (pictured), ward councillor for Stanmore Park, told a public meeting held at Stanmore Library on Thursday: "It's got to be appropriate development and the council has a duty to do it in the right way, and take responsibility, and do things in the right order.
"There's too many decisions in smoke-filled rooms. We think it's scandalous and we're not being briefed properly as councillors.
"We need your help so that together we can tell the council they must stop, and write and adopt a planning brief, and get that out of the way, and then we have a proper consultation about how we can improve the vitality of the town centre.
"They need to go back to the drawing board."
Like councillors, locals have been critical of the council's three day consultation exhibition in December at Bernays Memorial Hall in The Broadway, Stanmore, at which three anonymised development plans for Amner Lodge were shown, not least because they say they are being kept in the dark about who the developers behind each of the potential schemes are, and therefore their motivations.
Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane (Conservative) said the council had not carried out adequate enough consultation over the future of the Whitchurch Playing Fields, and had relied on an out-of-date report produced several years ago when the Tories ran the authority, before opting for Whitchurch Consortium over a rival consortium of local sports team including Harrow RFC and St Joseph's Youth FC who promised less intensive and less commerically exploitative use of the land.
"We have to make sure we don't spoil it for future generations," Mr Macleod-Cullinane said. "And Labour has just driven this through.
"Having a planning policy and planning brief is crucial."
People living in Stanmore and Edgware were asked to "make noise" by lobbying the Labour administration, and council officers including chief executive Michael Lockwood, and persuade them to re-think the two matters.
The petitions will be submitted to the council cabinet meeting on Thursday March 5.