Harrow Council approved a second major ‘co-living’ scheme in the space of four weeks, giving the green light to 89-room, five-storey building in the town centre.

Its planning committee voted in favour of the development in North Side Car Park, Greenhill Way, Harrow, despite concerns raised by opposition Conservative councillors.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, the Harrow Conservatives’ spokesman on planning, said she “had doubts” about the benefits of this scheme to the borough, while her colleague, Belmont ward councillor Anjana Patel, questioned whether co-living developments should be “encouraged” in Harrow.

They suggested the space would be better suited for flats as opposed to rooms with shared facilities and pointed out the lack of affordable housing at the site.

The development seeks to provide 89 rooms alongside shared kitchen facilities and living spaces.

It follows approval for a nearby, nine-storey scheme in Lowlands Road, which will provide 104 co-living homes and was described as a “high-class HMO (house in multiple occupation)”.

Cllr Sachin Shah, who represents Queensbury ward, said: “There’s probably a limit to the number of co-living schemes in Harrow, but I don’t think we are there yet.”

He added it would be far better to build high-class HMOs as opposed to low-class HMOs and suggested this kind of proposal can reduce the number of family homes in Harrow being turned into shared accommodation.

Cllr Patel, who initially made the HMO reference, clarified that this was based on their lack of affordability.

She, Cllr Ashton, and their party colleague Cllr Chris Baxter abstained on the vote to approve the scheme in Greenhill Way.

But it was ultimately approved after gaining support from Cllrs Shah, Simon Brown, Kiran Ramchandani and committee chairman Ghazanfar Ali.