Last month Navin Shah, Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow wrote to Andy Bates, the planning officer for the Galliford Try planning application, regarding the demolition of the old Willesden library building.. This is what he wrote:
Dear Mr. Bates,
Application for Conservation Area Consent for the demolition of the old library building. Willesden Green Library Centre, 95 High Road, London NW10 2SF
I am writing to you about the conservation area consent application for the proposed demolition of Willesden Green Library. I strongly object to the proposal for demolition on the following grounds.
As the London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow I have been contacted by a number of residents in Brent who are extremely dismayed at the proposals to demolish the library. I fully share their dismay as I feel that this is a historically important building of local interest and importance which should be preserved.
As an architect by profession with special interest in listed buildings of architectural and heritage value I feel preserving Willesden Green Library is extremely important. The old building of ‘Arts and Crafts’ design contributes greatly to character of the area and should be celebrated as an iconic building, rather than be demolished.
This library building is a social and cultural tool and knocking it down would destroy the historical and architectural contribution it makes to the Borough of Brent and its special significance to the character of the area. This is a much loved building making positive contribution to the surrounding areas which is recognised by its local listing by Brent council and local people love it, as do I. So why destroy local heritage?
I’m not against the principle of regeneration for the site but there are other options available to the Council without destroying this cute little local landmark. Once a building of this character is destroyed, you will never get it back. I urge the members of planning committee to save Brent’s heritage by refusing the consent for demolition