Louis Theroux praises the ‘biggest and best’ development seen in Harlesden for years

Documentary maker and resident gives Station Road makeover the thumbs up

A makeover to improve Harlesden has been dubbed the ‘biggest and best’ seen in the town for more than decade by documentary maker and resident Louis Theroux.

The television star, who lives in Harlesden, was at an event celebrating the ending of the first phase to improve and enrich the area for residents and traders.

Excited community members raised a glass after a ribbon cutting ceremony at The Amber Grill on Station Road, between Tubbs Road and Acton Lane, on Friday.

Station Road has been transformed by widened footways, modern seating, new bicycle parking stands and twenty new trees.

The works are the first in a set of measures which will reduce congestion and make life easier on pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Mr Theroux told the Times: “I think this is the biggest and best development I’ve seen in Harlesden in the last eleven years.

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“If people are sceptical about it all they really need to do is come down and have a look for themselves.

“The renovations on Station Road have actually boosted public morale, the area and the community have a much better emotional feel. It’s not just an aesthetic thing.”

The success of the first phase is down to the Harlesden Town Team, a collection of residents who have worked with the council since 2010 to organise the renovation scheme.

Leeroy Simpson, chairman of the Harlesden Town Team, said: “It’s been empowering to work with Transport for London and Brent Council as we’ve been able to put forward our own ideas.”

“A major development has been the pavement on Station Road which is now twice as wide on one side.

“The fact that local people have worked with the larger authorities on this scheme means that we can see what needs doing and have our say, and the pavement needed to be extended so that girls walking home from the station can feel safer and not have to brush up against others late at night.”

Transport for London has partnered with the Harlesden Town Team to secure �5 million to develop the main streets of the town.

The scheme hopes to make improvements over the next ten to 15 years, including planting more trees and removing street clutter.

Cllr James Powney, Brent Council’s lead member for environment and neighbourhoods, said: “I’m really pleased with the way Station Road is looking, especially with the new trees which will improve the quality of the air.

“It’s taken about two years planning but the time and the money has definitely been worth it.”