Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 13:48 UK

'Dreary' suburb may get protected

Emily Watson and Christian Bale in Metroland

A "dreary" slice of north London suburbia romanticised by the poet John Betjeman may be given protected status.

Metroland, built in the early 20th century in Harrow, was one of Britain's first suburbs and is credited with helping to shape modern London.

Councillor Marilyn Ashton said: "This area is of historical importance because it acted as the main catalyst for the rest of the London suburbs."

A Harrow council spokesman said it was a prime example of the mundane.

He added: "While it isn't as historic as a 14th century barn, it will be one day.

"Some of these homes could be described as dreary but that is why they were cherished by Betjeman - he revelled in the mundane."

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, Harrow Council

'Dreary' suburb may get protected

The idea came about after a group of residents urged the council to protect a cluster of homes that would be representative of wider Metroland.

The protected area would include Cecil Park, part of Marsh Road, and properties along The Chase.

Harrow Council is due to hold a meeting in September and they hope the plans will go through early next year.

If the plan is successful residents will be prevented from building inappropriate extensions and using plastic window frames.

The council hopes protected status will preserve the character of the area.

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