Friday, 9 March 2012


Keep Willesden Green have launched a new paper and e-petition on the Willesden Green Regeneration issue that encompasses the various concerns of the local community are by calling for Brent Council to Pause, Listen and Reflect before proceeding.

You can sign the E-Petition HERE


We the undersigned petition the council to Pause the Willesden Green Library Centre regeneration plans to allow for full consultation with residents in order to ascertain their views on how the area should be developed and the amenities that should be provided or retained.

Brent Council is handing over public land worth £10.4 million to a property developer in exchange for rebuilding the Willesden Library Centre. The original 1894 library building on the High Road will be demolished, The Willesden Bookshop is likely to be driven out of business, the public car park will be reduced to 8 spaces and a children’s play area will be lost. Over 18 months, three five-storey blocks of 90+ luxury flats will be built behind the existing Library Centre.

We all want a thriving, welcoming and dynamic library and cultural centre, but the current deal has been sealed with virtually no public consultation and very little available information, ignoring the wishes of over a thousand local residents who have expressed opposition to these plans in two Brent e-petitions.

While the developers get a healthy profit from the sale of luxury flats and Brent councillors get some fancy new offices, the cultural and financial cost to rate-paying citizens is disproportionately high. It smacks of ‘profits before people’.

Borough residents need to have a say in the content and design of the library centre redevelopment, but we have not yet been given the chance to do so.

The Council says: Plans for the development of the library centre were raised at the executive committee in February 2011, and quickly followed by two public consultations to ‘test the market’. The council had to abide by commercial confidentiality, so no detailed plans could be made public until a deal was signed with the developer on 15 February 2012.

We say: Did you know about this in 2011? Not a single local resident or tradesperson we spoke to knew about the plans until Jan 2012, and only then through word of mouth. The Feb 2011 consultations were conducted with, respectively, 5 and then 7 people. One person present recounted that they were asked for their opinion, then shown plans for the centre that were drawn up before the meeting. This does not conform to the generally understood definition of a ‘consultation’



Anonymous said...

Who is the land registered to on the land registry

Martin Francis said...

Good question. I don't know the answer but I will pass on your question to the working group of Keep Willesden Green who are looking at the planning issues to do with the development.

Anonymous said...

No mention has been made about what will happen to both Brent Archives and Grange/Brent Museum when Willesden Green Library is demolished. You may remember Brent Archives moved from Cricklewood, but there was a period when no resident could access the Archives. Likewise, Grange/Brent Museum could not be accessed during its move from the Grange House(?)on Neasden roundabout. Again the residents will be missing out on these resources. Sue McKenzie was an archivist in Lambeth Library Service before becoming Deputy Head of Lambeth Library Service and from thence to head of Brent Library Service. One would have thought borough resources especially historical ones would have played a part in preventing the demolition of WGLC?

Anonymous said...

Having now attended the Galliford Try consultation, I am withdrawing my support for this campaign. The new building should bring regeneration to the high street, of which it is in dire need, and stimulate economic growth in the area. Sentiment for the Victorian library building is understandable but how many of us use it in its current niche capacity as an Irish visitors centre? It is of no use to the wider community.

Ossian said...

Maybe your idea of regeneration is turning everywhere into glass and steel canyons, dormitories and offices for bureaucrats. Let's see what sweetheart deal they come up with for the sale of the Town Hall in Wembley. There's sure to be plenty of money flying around there.

Anonymous said...

"It is of no use to the wider community."

Of course it is - we SEE it! Do only those ENTERING it matter?

Anonymous said...

The real interesting part about this whole campaign is how local people appear to assume this is the only time brent council and its planners and councillors have done something to upset members of the public.

Householders who apply for planning permission and get refused only to then get planning permission by way of appeal proves that those applying these rules in the first instance don't know them well enough to judge.

Pay special attention the next time you get refused for planning permission, the planner will automatically assume you will appeal the decision and insert a condition on your decision notice. The planner has already assumed you will be granted planning permission by way of appeal. Crazy huh?

A planning appeal will be judged by an independent person based on the same set of planning policy used by brent planners. How can one grant permission and the other can't? Its all about the money by way of making you send in applications.

The difference with the library development and the rest of us is the council is able to grant its own planning permission on any plans it has drawn up. I think we'd all like to be able to do that, wouldn't we.

The Local Don.

The Local Don said...

Willesden Library Centre
High Road
NW10 2SF


Sorry, we do not have a record of any titles for this property. This does not necessarily mean that the property is unregistered.

Can those high up in the KWG/library campaign now contact the council to find out according to their records who has the authority to pass this land to the developers.