Our vision for a new, modern homelessness facility at 217 Harrow Road has been shaped by a variety of important voices and we want to thank all the local stakeholders who offered their time and ideas in conversations on our proposals. The community surrounding Harrow Road is diverse and we wanted to make sure all voices were represented, we spoke to everyone from school children and families to shopkeepers and neighbours.
Views and ideas contributed by the local community have been instrumental in shaping the proposals and issues raised on everything from the building design to the day-to-day operations of the facility have influenced the design.
COVID-19 restrictions during 2020 and early 2021 made community consultation challenging but once we got going we held a comprehensive consultation.
We held 250 conversations with local people which generated almost 500 feedback contributions. Over 20,000 newsletters were delivered in the local area, our website was visited 1,591 times and our social media reach was 66,496.
Whether you joined us for a socially-distanced conversation, sent us your feedback via our Freepost form or grabbed your paintbrush or skateboard at one of our free family events, we have really enjoyed getting to know the community surrounding this stretch of the Harrow Road and look forward to continuing this relationship as the project progresses.
What we heard
Overall we heard very strong support for the principle of providing a new homelessness facility for St Mungo’s; supporting those most in need in Westminster with more accommodation and flexible space on their journey to recovery.
Comments on the design of the building were positive with specific reference to a ‘modern’ and ‘high quality’ design. There were also many comments which emphasised the importance of greenery and planting in the designs and reinforced the project team's decision to include an internal courtyard with trees. This feedback also led to the design being adjusted to ensure that roof planting would be visible from the street.
The articulation of the building has been carefully considered and responds to the desire for a modest presence in the existing streetscape. A light brickwork will respond to cues from nearby listed buildings, St Mary Magdalene’s Church and Porchester Hall as well as lighten the visual impact along Harrow Road.
Many local people spoke fondly about the design of neighbouring Westminster Academy, designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the project team has responded to this fondness and will use coloured precast concrete which complements the brickwork and is sensitive to the surrounding buildings.
The project team welcomed ideas shared on the more detailed aspects of the design, including suggestions for sculptural aspects that could be incorporated into the design of the metal gate. It is hoped this will be attractive for passersby and encourage people to gaze towards the open space
of the courtyard with its trees and planting.
We have now submitted a planning application on our proposals to Westminster City Council so make sure you are signed up to our mailing list below to be the first to hear any updates.
Check the planning application details on the Westminster Planning portal via this link.