Monday 5 November 2012

Galliford Try submit revised planning application to Council for Willesden Green Cultural Centre

Brent Council has issued the following press release:
A revised planning application to redevelop Willesden Library and replace it with a state of the art cultural centre was submitted last Wednesday (31 October).

The application, which was submitted by developer Galliford Try, details proposals to deliver a brand new library and cultural centre that will act as the main service delivery hub for the south of the borough.

The proposed revised design is a result of extended consultation with the local community which took place over August and September and includes the old Victorian library as part of the plans.

Brent has secured a self-financing scheme which involves working with developer partner, Galliford Try, to deliver the new cultural centre in return for developing homes on the remainder of the current site for market sale.

For the past few month residents have met with council officers and Galliford Try to revisit the original design and discuss alternative proposals for the new centre and its design.

In response to the recent extended period of consultation Brent has made several changes to the design, including;
  • completely redesigning the scheme to include the old library
  • increasing the size of the new library within the centre
  • creating room for more study spaces and computers
  • changing the brief for the building so that it could, potentially, include a bookshop.
The proposals for the centre also include a children's library,  IT provision, museum, community gallery, archive, archive store, three community spaces (which will provide an array of programmed creative events), café/ bookshop, multi faith contemplation room and high quality public spaces designed for markets and events.

Cllr George Crane Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects said: "Thank you to the many residents who got involved in consultation and gave up their time to help us develop plans for this new centre."

If the project gets the green light the council hopes to build on its close working with stakeholders to develop the building proposals including how it is may be used and managed.
 Link to Brent  Planning site: 12./2924 LINK   12/2925  LINK

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that the Council's Press Release, while saying that 'Brent has made several changes to the design', also states that the application 'was submitted by developer Galliford Try'.
Following the earlier applications in May 2012, I was involved in correspondence with Brent's chief legal officer, Fiona Ledden, in which I explained, with supporting evidence and legal argument, why these applications must be made in the names of both Galliford Try Plc and the London Borough of Brent, as they are the joint developers in this scheme. Her response to this was:
‘It is a requirement of the Development Agreement that Galliford Try Plc, submits a planning application to the Council in respect of the proposed scheme, and if planning permission is granted, to carry out the development. In the circumstances it is not correct to say that the Council should be a party to that application.’
My response to this was, and is, that the contractual relationship between them, as drawn up by their lawyers in the Development Agreement, cannot over-ride the actual relationship between them in respect of the applications if the facts of the matter show that they are jointly engaged in the development.
Like so much else with this "regeneration" scheme, Brent Council and its Officers are ignoring virtually everything that well-meaning local citizens are trying to tell them, and heading into another mess, the cost of which will have to be picked up by Council Tax payers.
Philip Grant.