A senior Harrow councillor defended the decision to sell off council-owned land to a small builders’ programme despite some opposition from those living nearby.

Cllr Keith Ferry, responsible for regeneration, planning and employment, explained it made financial sense to dispose of five small sites in the borough to a scheme run by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

There are plans to build up to eight homes across these sites, in Pinner, Stanmore, Hatch End and Canons Park, which are currently occupied by garages or are vacant.

Cllr Ferry said this decision supports small builders, makes the homes more attractive to the market and provides the chance to secure more GLA funding.

He added that all other options considered by the council, including developing the sites in-house, putting them on the open market or considering an alternative use for the land were all “uneconomical”.

And he explained that repairs to the sites, particularly at the out-of-date garages, are costing the council more than they are bringing in.

The decision comes despite a petition against the proposals, specifically at the garages in Pinewood Close, Pinner.

Launched by Raj Dasani, who lives near the site, he claimed it could lead to overdevelopment in the area and argued that the garages are still of use.

He accused the council of ignoring the garages “for the past five years” and urged it to revitalise the site in its current state.

He added there is “no room for extra housing” in the cul-de-sac and it would “cause a loss of light and increase traffic in the area”.