Guest Post from Meg Howarth
A crucial question now is whether All Souls College (ASC) will proceed to complete its ‘binding agreement to sell’ the historic Kensal Rise Library (KRL) site to Andrew Gillick’s Kensal Properties Ltd (Platinum Revolver in another guise?). Completion of sale was conditional on vacant possession, so once ASC was told the police investigation was off, it appears to have wasted no time in sending in its heavies to demolish the pop-up - thus securing the necessary vacant possession and enabling the sale contract with Mr Gillick to be completed.
The embarrassment to ASC that will be caused by any re-opening of the fraudulent email inquiry is incalculable, particularly if completion has taken place over the last two days. Already on the defensive because of the adverse publicity surrounding events last Friday, ASC has tried to blame the council for its barbarity, citing a seven-months-old enforcement letter 27 June 2013 to justify its action. LINK
And here’s the text of an even-earlier letter - May 2012 - this time from ASC’s bursar to a horrified newspaper reader who’d contacted the college on hearing of Brent’s own now-notorious dawn raid on the KRL site:
Yes, the College became aware of what happened yesterday and we find it distressing. We had told the Council that we would have been happy for them to have kept the Library open, possibly through cooperation with the Friends of Kensal Rise Library, who had developed an interesting business plan.
This was not to be however.
The law by which we originally donated the land dictates that the site now reverts to the College’s freehold. This is not something we ever wanted to see happen, but because it is the law, is something we cannot change either’.
Does this once-prestigious institution, noted for its famous Codrington library, really want to go down in history as the wealthiest of Oxford’s colleges that couldn’t wait to gain vacant possession in a civilised fashion before sealing a deal with its chosen developer who’s not yet been cleared of involvement in the fraudulent email affair?
‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ inevitably springs to mind.