HarroWall Climbing Centre, located at Unit 2a & 3a, Neptune Trading Estate, Neptune Rd, Harrow, London HA1 4HX,  has now opened its doors to the public, bringing an exciting new sporting opportunity to the people of Harrow and London. Fuller Long gained planning permission for the change of use of a former industrial building to a class D2 use, for use as an indoor climbing centre on behalf of our client, the Lakeland Climbing Centre, established in 1995.

HarroWall is the largest bouldering centre in the country and has just been awarded National Performance Centre Status by the BMC (British Mountaineering Council). With the help of Fuller Long, the climbing centre has bought vacant floorspace back into economically beneficial use. The approved use provides a first class, dedicated climbing and bouldering recreational facility, capable of holding nationally important competitions. In doing so, it addresses a deficiency in provision of this type of use in the Borough and in turn will support sustainable growth in local communities, providing an excellent opportunity to bring some investment into this part of Harrow. The climbing centre also brings brand new opportunities for those living in the area, reducing barriers to employment by creating a whole range of new skilled and entry level jobs with the potential to learn and gain new skills.

Within our planning statement, Fuller Long highlighted the number of opportunities the largest climbing centre in the country would bring. With over 1,200 sqm of climbing surface and over 500 different climbs, the centre would have dedicated training areas equipped with a number of climbing facilities, including  an auto belay roped section and a World Cup Standard Competition Wall as well as a dedicated kids area, cafe and shop.

During the course of the planning process, our client encountered some issues regarding highways. Our planning and highways team successfully overcame concerns raised by Officers, by providing parking surveys, a well thought out parking management strategy and travel plan to reduce demands on the limited parking available to customers directly outside the site and to reduce the potential impact on the highways network. Following negotiations with planning and highways officers, we were able to overcome initial concerns to a positive officer recommendation to the planning committee, which ultimately determined to approve planning permission for our client.

Getting with the Trend

Climbing is one of the fastest growing sports and leisure activities in the Country and has just been awarded Olympic Status for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games. There are a number of climbing walls being opened in London, with about 6 of these being of a good standard. However, none of these are large enough to cater for the increased demand and capable of holding nationally important competitions.

This is a particularly pivotal case as recent research has shown that, since 1961 the UK has become 20 percent less physically active, with these figures projected to increase to 35 percent by 2030. Having facilities such as climbing centres that promote an alternative way of exercising is vital to encouraging Britain’s population to get more active. This is particularly true for the youth, as climbing presents a unique, social and interactive opportu

nity for them, whilst also promoting positive change in attitudes towards physical activity.

Climbing centres are not only a positive introduction to the recreational and social activities available to the public, but also a vital addition to the economy. There is an urgent need to create job opportunities now. Accordingly, the requirement for economic investment is a national imperative. This continues to be the case even though the economy shows signs of improving, particularly in the current climate & uncertainties in the market while the Brexit strategy is determined.

If you are a developer in search of the right consultants to realise the potential of your proposed schemes, Fuller Long have over 200 years of experience of helping deliver housing, retail and commercial schemes. Call 0808 164 1288 or email hello@fullerlong.com to speak with one of our Consultants today.