Wednesday 2 April 2014

Why Friends of Kensal Rise Library accepted developer's offer of space

In this guest blog the Trustees of  Friends of Kensal Rise Library explain why they they decided to accept the developer's offer of space in the building.

Many of you know that the FKRL Trustees recently decided to support the community (D1) aspect of the library building's re-development. We signed an agreement in good faith with All Souls College and the developer to this effect, trusting this would strengthen our position as future operators of the library and community space.

The proposal provides approximately two thirds (186m2) of the ground floor for community use, with FKRL as the 'preferred' tenants. The London Evening Standard called this: 'a landmark agreement with developers that could save Kensal Rise Library' (25th March 2014).

We feel you should know how we came to make this momentous decision and the factors that we were obliged to take into account.

Throughout almost four years of campaigning and negotiating, initially with Brent Council, and more recently with All Souls College and the developer, FKRL's objectives has been, and will remain, to re-establish a library and community space in the building. We trust and hope that our decision offers the community the best chance of this.

The decision is not without risk. However, there were risks involved in the other options open to us which we ultimately rejected. These included the following:

  • The provision of rent-free space is an important factor for the sustainability of a community library. The current proposal is for rent-free community space, as this forms part of the agreement between All Souls College and the developer. Even if further space were to be available for community use, there is no guarantee that it would be rent-free.
  • Although the upstairs parts of the library were used for archive and staff purposes until the library closed, the ground floor is the only part of the library that has been accessible to the public in recent years, and planning officers noted and remarked on this when we met them in October 2013.

  • FKRL worked hard to persuade the Council to protect the entire building as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in 2012. Just before the Council designated it as an ACV the College and the developer entered into a binding agreement that meant the moratorium period of six months that we might have used to prepare a bid for the building could not apply.
  • We may have prepared a bid to buy the building, but there would have been no obligation on the College to accept our bid.
  • If change of use from community to part-residential/part-community use was refused and the whole building remained in D1 (community) use as an ACV, the developer could rent it out for other community uses: for example, as a religious place of worship, doctor's surgery, or school. The planning process cannot dictate that the community space must be used as a library.
  • There is no guarantee that any of the space will be used for a library or for anything that this community might want or need, nor who will be able to use the space.
  • ACV does not determine ownership. The owner remains the same. The community does not own the building.

  • If the most recent planning application is rejected, the developer could go to Appeal or submit another planning application. This could continue for years, during which there would probably not be any community access to the building.

  • If the developer decided to sell the building, substantial seven figure sums would be needed not only to purchase but also to refurbish. The developer would be under no obligation to sell it to FKRL or to the community.
  • There is no guarantee that any new purchaser would be obliged to grant a rent free space space to the community.

FKRL made their decision after very carefully analysing the risk of losing the space proposed in the latest planning application, We have always endeavoured to act fairly, honestly and openly in our negotiations with the other parties and have entered into this agreement in good faith.

Kensal Rise Library's last librarian - before it was closed - said of FKRL's achievement and of the space currently on offer:
I'm sorry you weren't able to get as much space as you wanted, obviously the more the better. I think though that you've still got enough space to have a really good community library. There are certainly nice libraries that are smaller than the area you've got.

You have done a fantastic job in my opinion in saving the library. I really hope that as a group you don't let any disappointment about not getting everything you wanted overshadow what you have achieved. The odds were stacked against you and the people running Brent Libraries were determined Kensal should close. I'm sure that you will make a success of running the library. It really will be valued by local people after the fight that has been put up to save it.
Karl Hemsley (25 March 2014).
We are encouraged by the support of the Lead Member for Libraries at Brent Council, Cllr Roxanne Tessa Awe, Mashari, and by the present and future backing of Ms Tessa Awe, CEO of Brent CVS (Community, Voluntary Sector). There is tremendous community support for the library and the campaign to save it, and we know local people will embrace a new community library if, as we hope, we are given the opportunity to run it.

(FKRL have not been asked to comment on the whole of the planing application, only on the space proposed for D1 (community) use in the redevelopment. The Council is consulting the local community about the planning application in the usual way and everyone is free to comment on all aspects of the proposal.)


Trustees of Friends of Kensal Rise Library


Jodi Gramigni said...

Thank you for all the hard work and the detailed explanation. I notice you mention that the deal is "not without risk". Can you please elaborate on what the risks are (for making this deal with the developer) as it isn't mentioned above? A complete picture of all risks is greatly appreciated, and in particular, how the deal entered into addresses the concerns highlighted in your March update:

Anonymous said...

Money talks in the end.

A total disgrace.

A sell out to Capitalism.

Those who control the Capital control us.

Anonymous said...

It is assumed FKRL will now not support a police investigation ?

A full police investigation is only day clear yo this matter

Anonymous said...

I hope FKRL answers this important question, also why it isn't asking that the planning hearing be deferred until the CID have decided whether or not a criminal prosecution is to take place regarding the fake emails. Deferring doesn't mean objecting to the developer's latest proposal or abandoning the principle of innocent until proven guilty. It simply allows the police to finish the job they've been assigned. Why FKRL isn't asking for this is baffling.

Anonymous said...

Fully agree

Has FKRL been bought for their silence ?

It all Seems very suspect.

Anonymous said...

For open, transparent and accountable Brent Council it is in the publics best interest to suspend the planning application until the investigation has been fully completed.

Anonymous said...

Like all local authority planning committees, Brent's is statutorily independent of the Council. Its members cannot be told what to do by political party bosses ('whipped'). This means that members could vote to defer an application tabled to be heard on a particular date. At present, a date for the hearing of Andrew Gillick's revised plan for the Kensal Rise Library site (application number 14/0846) hasn't been published but 14 May is the earliest. The agenda for that meeting should be available on 2 May (or the Tuesday following the Bank Holiday) and will be able to be seen here

The planning committee's statutory independence also means that its members don't need to follow planning officers' recommendations. Their recent, widely welcomed decision on the Queensbury pub demonstrates that - and apparently set a precedent in rejecting officer-advice.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So what's all you commentators' solution to re-establishing a library on that site?
The council gave away the building to the college, which sold it to the developer. The developer now owns that building. Period.
What's your answer to that conundrum? You're big on moaning, but short on solutions.

As for the police investigation, the council's procedural processes do not allow it to delay any unconvicted applicant's planning application. To suggest FKRL is deliberately being quiet on this issue - when it did all the research and lobbying in the first place to bring the matter to the council's attention, is laughable.

Your conspiracy theories are indeed a joke - and actually, really nasty, given all the years of daily hard graft and struggle FKRL has done for us locals, by us locals. But then, dramatic conspiracy theories are easier to grasp than the boring subtleties of weighing up difficult options in good faith for the best possible outcome.

Drama Queens. The lot of you.

Anonymous said...

I fully support the Friends of Kensal Rise Library in reaching this agreement. I think that what they have achieved is a realistic, practical solution to a difficult situation. I admire their tenacity, and the effort that local people have put in to keep this important issue alive, and to come away at the end of it with a community space in the original building which will provide a volunteer run library service for the people of the area, to replace that taken away from them under Brent's grossly mishandled Libraries Transformation Project is something they can be proud of.

And the next battle? The Barham Park Trustees (a sub-committee of Brent's Executive, working in conjunction with a Management Committee of Senior Council Officers chaired by Jenny Isaac) have just lodged their appeal against Brent Planning Committee's refusal last November to allow a change of use from D1 (community use) to B1 (business use) of the former Barham Park Library building. The delay/timing seems to be aimed at ensuring that the Planning Inspector's decision will not be published until after the local elections on 22 May. Details can be found on the Brent Planning website, under the application reference 13/2179. Any comments on the appeal, and support for the former library to remain for community use, and hopefully its return to community use for the Friends of Barham Library and their volunteer library service, must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by 5 May.

Philip Grant.

Anonymous said...

"...substantial seven figure sums would be needed not only to purchase but also to refurbish...": The building would only be worth a "substantial seven figure sum" were Andrew Gillick to get residential planning permission for it. FKRL's own survey from last year showed over 80 percent of those they questioned were in favour of buying the building. As to refurbishment of the building: it could be done piecemeal, it doesn't all have to be refurbished in one go, it could be done in stages and costs minimised. Will people show the same level of support for FKRL fighting for two-thirds of the ground floor if their deal with Andrew Gillick starts unravelling once he gets residential approval for most of the building? Karl Helmsley never had to make money to run the library, FKRL will; is two-thirds of the ground floor enough to generate funds to run a library? Relying on volunteer support forever isn't a good idea, and as to relying on Brent Council, well, they got us into this mess in the first place.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong about the 'council's procedural processes', I'm afraid - see also comment above, posted today, 9.30. As for 'conspiracy theories' - would you like to point them out?

trevor said...

you are right...but another way to sum it all up is to see it as it is which a misuse of authority on the part of the government and a betrayal of the people they claim to represent.
and the reason why this laughable so called democracy continues is because they know that in the absence of it this country would collapse.
even through it is already broken thanks to the government.

Anonymous said...

The Queensbury was not the first time that Brent's Planning Committee had gone against their Planning Officer's advice. They also did so last November, rejecting the application to take away D1 community use from the former Barham Park Library building. As a result, the Barham Park Trustees (all members of Brent's Executive), early last December, accepted what I believe was flawed advice from a Senior Council Officer, Richard Barratt (yes, he of the early hours raid on Kensal Rise Library) to appeal against their own Planning Committee's decision.

That appeal has finally been lodged. Why has it taken so long to submit the appeal? It may be something to do with the fact that the earliest a decision on the appeal can now be published is late May 2014, just after the local elections (see my comment below on this planning appeal, if you wish to get involved in it).

Philip Grant.

Anonymous said...

The planning application does not seem to have any affordable housing ?

It assumed as per usual the properties will be sold to foreign investors and rented back to Londoners !

The Common people yet again keep the wealthy in their manor While the pesants fed a few Bones keeping them quiet.

A sad state indeed inequility just keeps growing when a community building is stolen from the community.

Jodi Gramigni said...

A note of caution: The agreement does not legally guarantee FKRL as the tenant or a library space. It offers FKRL a 'period of negotiation' as the 'preferred tenant', but no binding commitment. Refer p.16

The developer could choose another tenant after the preferred period, or sell the building without agreeing a tenancy, just to name a few possibilities. Hopefully that will not happen, and FKRL will "come away at the end of it with a community space in the original building", but it is not a given.

I appreciate that FKRL does not want to highlight the risks of their agreement, but the level of risk regarding the different options is a matter of opinion, and they should make all key facts clear so that they present a complete picture. The community deserves to understand the risks of the deal as well as the potential benefits.

At the rate of rocketing real estate prices in Kensal Rise, the developer stands to make a killing if granted change of use. Then it will be down to his good will to see if the deal with FKRL results in a community library. FKRL may be willing to trust the developer, but that is a risk.

Will objecting to planning draw out the resolution for KRL? Perhaps, but so may supporting it. One thing is for sure, if the developer is granted approval for his plans, a minimum of 80% of a historic Asset of Community Value will be lost forever - and that is guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

Surely FKRL is not now gloating.

They should not be so smug as to now be not wanting any suspensión police investigation.

For the benefit of trust in planning applications this oasis with alleged false emails in support of a planning application goes to heart of the rotten society it has now become. People seem to think it is now acceptable to rig the system for their own financial gain.

How many planning applications might have been granted using fake emails in support ?

We have to get to the bottom of this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction and apologies for my error re Queensbury.I should have double-checked before posting. This error doesn't, of course, alter the substance of my comment above, namely the statutory independence of the planning committee whose members can, as already stated, vote to defer the latest planning application for the Kensal Rise Library building.

Jodi Gramigni said...

Hi Philip, I've just had a look at the Barham Park planning application/appeal page: but cannot see how to submit a comment. Can you advise? Thx!

Anonymous said...

Why let Gillick make a tidy profit ?

If the whole Borough opposed his planning application on the grounds that Gillick is not compensating the community enough for such loss then planning committee might just for once listen to the people.

Gillick took a gamble that he could get planning permission without considering the wider implications of loss of D1 community space.

Only £ were in his eyes if he could pull it off.

Anonymous said...

FYI - Do check out on Google 'Ghost gazzumping in property market' (Financial Times, 14/03/2014) - sorry can't post direct link due to FT's subscription control. There you'll find Kensal Rise named as one of four London 'suburbs' in which the following practice can be found:

'Property buyers in London are increasingly being asked to pay tens of thousands of pounds extra at the last minute, in a new, more aggressive form of “gazumping” that does not feature a rival bidder'.

As for 'affordable housing' (LOL) - comment below - there is none in the KRL development as the number of residential units is below the level at which the (un)affordable component kicks in.

Anonymous said...

Could all the objectors to the agreement signed by FKRL please submit their solutions?

Perhaps you know something FKRL don't know? Maybe FKRL have missed a trick or something?

In detail please.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Andrew Gillick will still be the owner whether he gets planning permission or not.
And he will let this community use the building won't he?
Planning cannot say who the tenants will be.
And he will sell it to the community won't he?
'Relying on volunteers'? - er, that's what community libraries do. That's what an almost 4 year campaign has relied on.

Anonymous said...

Simple solution building zone D1 and should remain so as property belongs community for place of learning, evening meeting venue etc etc

Anonymous said...

If the agreement is not watertight what will inevitably happen is the promise of community space will turn to dust.

How many times have we seen this over the years?

Anonymous said...

Property belongs to the developer whether for D1 community use or not. Unfortunately, the community does not own it.

Anonymous said...

Following your lead - in fairness to the several commentators above who've raised the matter of the police investigation, perhaps FKRL will explain whether or not it supports deferral of the planning application until after the police have reported. FKRL has stated clearly in the past that trying to sway the planning process is a criminal offence. It remains so - the law on this hasn't changed. Seeking a deferral doesn't contradict or undermine the campaign's support for the developer's offer of space. It merely delays the planning application hearing while the police get on with this important job. So why FKRL's silence on this important matter?

Anonymous said...

Well said

Speak up FKRL

Anonymous said...


But the zoning is D1and Gillick assumed he could push through planning application that has a substantial amount of residential and planning would have to approve such a change of use.

Granted if planning not approved Gillick could simply sit on it land bank style but making a stand against developers profiting from community assets without adequately replacing the asset with something of comparable size and value is simply unacceptable.

It also seems the D1 space is not particularly accessible in any event given access door will not be via the current main entrance as this will be reserved for the residence in the development.

What happens if residence complain about noise etc from community area. Who's voice will be considered as a priority and could restrictions in operating hours for example be impossed on D1 space if residence start complaining ?

There needs more thought in practice, could some form of restrictive convenant be considered to avoid what might happen so if residence either choose to buy or rent a property in development they can't in future start complaining.

Anonymous said...

'Trust'. That is a crucial factor with respect to the police being allowed to complete their inquiry before the developer's latest planning application is heard - trust in the police, in the politicians and, in particular, in the members of the planning committee. Failure to defer the hearing of Mr Gillick's latest change-of-use plans can, however unfairly, only call in to question the statutory independence of the planning committee and the integrity of its members. That would be a travesty of justice not only for the councillors concerned but for residents whose addresses and names were stolen and abused. A discredited planning committee is in the interests of neither residents nor Brent Council. For that to be the outcome of what began as an FKRL-led complaint in to what officers confirmed as 'fake' emails in support of the developer's first planning application would be farcical if it weren't tragic.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Gillick is in it for the money, he won't hold on to an asset he can't do anything with - and the Asset of Community Value status can at least ensure that it remains a D1 property, as long as local politicians know that people still care about the asset. (Election time soon isn't it?) If Gillick were to frustrate the community's efforts to buy the building off him at a reasonable price, then it wouldn't bode well for him in future development projects in which he would require a community's consent - this is a connected world in which even people such as Andrew Gillick require the consent of elected politicians to get what they want done. (Bear in mind also that All Souls College is still linked to Gillick through its agreement with him, and this supposed elite establishment must love the coverage it receives on this matter.)

", that's what community libraries do...": Oh, I'm sorry, did I upset your divinely prescripted definition of how a community library is run? I do apologise.

I wonder now what the 4 year campaign was about: was it about the running a library in any space within the building, or was it about retaining the building for the community and ensuring that part of it remains a library (as it had been for a generation)? I'd suggest it is the latter. FKRL knows the depth of community support for retaining the building for community use, what's the depth of community support for two-thirds of the ground floor?

Anonymous said...

In reply to Jodi's query above, and for anyone else interested, comments on the Barham Park library appeal have to be made to the Planning Inspectorate. Details of the case and a link or email address for making comments can be found at:

The appeal documents, however, are not viewable at that site, and are meant to be made available via Brent's planning website. Pdf's of the appeal form and the letter from the Planning Inspectorate to Brent about the appeal are already available, but the key document, the Full Statement of Case, is not (as the agent for the Barham Park Trustees apparently forgot to send Brent's Planning Department a copy!). The Planning Officer is chasing this up, and has promised to put a copy online as soon as he receives it. I am monitoring the situation.

Philip Grant

Anonymous said...

I had always thought campaign was about retaining community asset that could be accessed by the whole community including community library but other space such as Art Gallery space homework study space etc etc

The planning application should not be supported unless Gillick offers a better alternative for the loss of D1 community space

Anonymous said...

In full support

Hear Hear

Anonymous said...

Typical silence from our Councillors.

Why even bother having Councillors if they are not prepared stand up for justice and at least speak out for a suspension of planning application until answers might come to the surface via police investigation.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. The ward councillors in particular must surely be uncomfortable at the prospect of the planning cart being put before the police investigation horse regarding a property on their political patch - mustn't they?

Anonymous said...

Front page of tonight's Evening Standard investigation fraud financial irregularities in Council ofTower Hamlets

Brent is an obvious place for concern with what is going on

Anonymous said...

According to the same FKRL survey 91% of respondents agreed that All Souls 'should ensure that a workable space is part of terms of the sale to the developer'.
So, the community was also aware of the possibility of a sale and responded accordingly
I thought the campaign was about getting the best deal for the community.

Anonymous said...

Eh? So you see the word 'fraud' and think it's the same, or even a similar, situation to ours here in Brent - and more specifically with regard to the library building? On what planet do you operate? Your conflations and simplifications and general hysteria are, I agree, a joke. Understand which battles to fight. Know who's your real enemy. Seems beyond you at the moment. So sad.

Anonymous said...

I guess you think fraud is acceptable and can be tolerated ?

Anonymous said...

Eh? Where in what I've written does it say that?

Anonymous said...

You seem to think it is all just a joke!

This is the way your post comes across.

Surely if irregularities are being investigated in another Borough and granted circumstances might be different but nevertheless equally as important to investigate and suspend in Brents case the planning application.

Jodi Gramigni said...

Why are so many comments resorting to personal digs, rather than responding to the factual questions/points? Of course there is a lot of passion, that is to be expected. But we all love the library and we live in the same community. Just be cause we have a difference in opinion doesn't mean we should attach each other. Let's stick to the issues please.

Anonymous said...

Does Cllr Roxanne Mashari, Lead member for Environment and Neighbourhoods at Brent Council and, according FKRL's name-check in their above statement, also for Libraries, agree that the planning-committee hearing of Andrew Gillick's latest scheme should be deferred until the police have reported? Cllr Mashari must have a view, if only because of her cabinet responsibility for neighbourhoods - a much better word than the over-used 'community'. It's neighbourhood addresses and names that were stolen and abused.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster at 10.23. Anonymous's (20.51) personal attack clearly chose to side-step the matter of the police inquiry and the suspension of the planning hearing, raised in the preceding comments.

Anonymous said...

Yes Councillors speak up
After all that is why you were voted in but could be voted out if you maintain silence.

Why bother having elected representatives if they stay silent on important issue particularly this one as it calls into question the whole trust in planning procedure.

Anonymous said...

Agree lets not let this become a "Lord of the Flies"

Although I suggest for democratic governance Councillors do need to responsed. At least you can have an object view of who you should vote for in May.

Simply staying silent solves nothing

Anonymous said...

Is it true Brent Councils procedural processes do not allow suspending planning application pending fraud investigation ?

Surely planning committee could simply adjourn hearing of application pending outcome of fraud investigation !

I can't see why they can't !

So far I have not heard Gillick categorically state he did not issue the fake emails in support of his planning application !

It would be a sad day for democracy and upholding justice if Brent Council could not do anything !

If there is nothing Brent Council can do perhaps on mass if people start refusing to pay Council tax they might just start doing something.

After all why bother paying Council tax that pays the wages of Council officers and Councillors etc.

Lets just hope Brent start thinking and acting for the benefit of local people.

Anonymous said...

No it isn't true - see comment posted 3 April 9.30 above. The planning committee is statutorily independent and can vote to defer. Indeed, it beggars belief that its members will do otherwise. Imagine, for example, that the committee grants planning permission and then the police decide that a criminal investigation is to be launched (the matter is now in the hands of the CID, according to council leader Muhammed Butt)? What a mess, particularly if the developer were himself to come under investigation. As another commentator has noted, this doesn't mean renouncing the principle of innocent until proven guilty, fundamental to the survival of Britain's justice system. Rather, it means doing right by local residents and ensuring that the credibility of the planning process and the integrity of its individual members isn't undermined. That, too, is part of common justice. If the hearing isn't suspended, then who can ever trust Brent's planning process again? The technical fix the council was quick to insist it had made to its online planning system is insufficient, and alone would be an insult to constituents.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone got a rough idea of what building costs are likely to be ?

On my rough calculations if development cost around £ 1 million plus £100,000 purchase price from All Souls College and he sells flats at around £300,000 each possibly more Developer stands to make cool profit of upward of £500,000.

Community Infrastructure levy is less than £80,000

It seems to me Gillick is making a tidy profit without giving much back to the community in respect to loss of 75% of D1 floor area.

Anonymous said...

What will be interesting to see this time is proportion of residents who oppose development and those who support it.

Last time it was about equal numbers

If this time there is a significantly smaller number in support of the development this gives much better indication of the level of support.

Anonymous said...

This lovely historic library building could be compulsorily purchased by Brent Council under a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order), with perhaps one or two council-owned flats on the upper floor. That way, the Asset of Community Value (ACV) status conferred on it by Brent would be more than a meaningless label - the building would remain largely in D1 use, and the residential component would provide much accommodation for some of the neediest in the borough, not those seeking a quick buck from the borough's soaring property-price inflation, exploited by the building's link to Mark Twain.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to set up a planning petition ?

This seems like a good opportunity for local democracy in petitioning for a suspension of planning application until alleged fraud investitation has been concluded.

If a large majority support such a petition then can't see how planning committee can ignore

Martin Francis said...

A petition can be set up on the Brent Council website and augmented by a paper petition with exactly the same wording. The Keep Willesden Green petition over the library redevelopment attracted almost 6,000 signatories and played some part in the preservation of the Victorian library although the main redevelopment with the loss of the bookshop and cinema has gone ahead.

Andrew Donald who is in charge of Regeneration and Planning has stated that the Council has a duty to consider all planning applications (despite the police investigation) but the Kensal Rise application has not yet been tabled. Even if it is tabled the Planning Committee could still vote to defer it. It is not on the agenda for the April 9th Planning Committee but there is one more Planning Committee, on May 14th, before the local election on the 22nd.

Unknown said...

The Save the Queensbury campaign was repeatedly warned (by CAMRA and others) about developers who promise at the planning stage to include a pub, or other community facility, in a new development. It happens time and time again that once planning is granted there are any number of reasons used to break this promise. Without a signed agreement that FKRL will be offered the lease it would seem to be very dangerous to support the planning application.

There is a further issue that the entire Kensal Rise library building is listed as an ACV. If it is recognised as having community value then what is the rationale for allowing 80% to be converted to residential? The Save The Queensbury campaign has been lobbying for new planning guidance for ACVs to be protected from Change of Use - it's something that would give some weight and meaning to an ACV listing. Brent could do this without national guidance. Are they bothered enough? The latest lot of planning guidelines would suggest not.

Anonymous said...

Great point perhaps Brent could start taking lead and in practice define what ACV means.

Does it mean converting a building to residential or does it mean retaining the community asset as of value to the community.

It could be argued change use from D1 to a significant part to residential conflicts with the meaning of ACV and application could be refused on such grounds

Anonymous said...

See also comment above: 6 April, 9.15 re 'the Asset of Community Value (ACV) status conferred on [the library] by Brent [becoming] more than a meaningless label'.

Anonymous said...

Yes but what in practice does ACV actually mean when planning decisions are considered ?

Does it mean anything at all if planning committee accept 75-80% loss of D1 floor area together with an architecturally interesting building of community value that turns a large majority of the building into "private Value" ?

This week attended a very interesting lecture at LSE 17 contradictions of Capitalism.

The escalation of public land into private ownership is central to the equality divide.

Simply giving into developer demands as the developer might have the upper hand ie access to finance etc means that generally a developer will eventually get their way, but long term loss of value to community and keeps people poor while enriching the developer and a select few financiers etc

Anonymous said...

We all get the picture Jodi you oppose the application.

Now back in the real world the developer owns the building are you waiting for him to come around and hand you the keys.

You have not come up with one viable option so perhaps it is time for you to be quiet and not ruin the chance to run a great space for the whole community.

Anonymous said...

What a space that is 80% less than what the community deserves ?

Eileen said...

Jodi Gramigni is one of very few people to have posted openly on this and subsequent related blogs. You, of course, have chosen to hide behind Anonymous, as have most others - many to protect themselves, quite possibly, from the gratuitous rudeness you display should they wish to post a comment critical of FKRL's position.

Jodi's comment above (3 April 19.30) explaining that FKRL's recent agreement with Andrew Gillick is for a "'period of negotiation' as the 'preferred tenant' but with no binding commitment" will have been useful to many readers of WM, helping them make up their minds about this deal with the developer. And she's surely wise to have urged caution. Clause 15.1 of the Option Agreement (OA) published on WM blog 'All Souls/Gillick Kensal Rise Library option... 6 April, states clearly of the library space to be offered that 'none [is to be] in the basement of the Property'. That didn't stop Mr Gillick including D1 space in the basement in his original planning application in defiance of the agreement he'd signed. Is that someone to be trusted?

As for 'viable options' - do you think it viable for the developer's latest planning application to be heard before the police have reported? This is the issue exercising most of the commentators on this and the subsequent blogs. This is a very 'real world' question but one you have chosen to ignore.

Anonymous said...

Does not sound like Gillick can be trusted if he had signed an agreement not to put library in basement and he then proposed to locate library in basement !

Simple solution vote against planning application.

Anonymous said...

let's not lie.

the last time upstairs was used Mark Twain was signing books downstairs

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should learn how to read.

This agreement expired in January 2013.

When did we see the basement option and other options? December 2013?

We do not know what this agreement was replaced with so we cannot say if what we are being offered complies or if a stipulation still exists.

Jodi and now Eileen have not come up with one viable alternative plan.

Anonymous said...

The option agreement was signed 26 Nov 2012 stating no basement but then Gillick filed planning application with D1 in basement.

This does not seem lirespect t when until the secret option agreement was opened the planning committee would not know an agreement had been reached in respect of D1 space not in the basement.

Seems to me Gillick tried to pull a fast one when secret option agreement was secret.

If this is the kind of Behaviour the so called financier whizz kids get up to Gillicks former life before becoming a want to be developer, then is it any wonder the country is on it's knees and the bankers have bankrupt us all.

Anonymous said...

The campaign has always been about saving a library. 'Asset of Community Value' did not exist when the campaign to save the library began in 2010.
If 'the building' is 'saved' for 'the community' (and the owner is still Mr Gillick) and a nursery, school, church or doctor's surgery is put in the building there will be no library, much as the community might want these. I want a library in the building and while I don't want flats I do want a library. I thought the campaign was about saving a library - not a building.

Meg Howarth said...

Option Agreement 14.7 'For so long as an obligation under this Agreement remains to be performed then notwithstanding completion of the sale this Agreement shall remain in full force'.

NB Option Agreement was signed in November 2012.

Anonymous said...

The library campaign was about saving the whole building or am I missing something ?

The current agreement with 80% flats, I do not think is what the community supported the library campaign for.

Perhaps we were all misled by the library campaign !

If the eventual outcome is not a library I would rather the whole building, currently classed as D1 to be used for the benefit of the community, rather than 80% flats.

80% flats does not benefit the community, but other community services such as school, nursery, church, doctors surgery etc would all be fine with me, if the whole building were retained as D1 community use.

I do not think a developer should profit, simply because he has bought the building and is trying to secure the support of the library campaign and the library campaign seem to have sold out to the developer in exchange for their complicit agreement to now fully support his development.

Anonymous said...

You say "Asset of Community Value." This relates to the building not the library.

It is the building that was listed, not the library and the community space within the building.

The original library proposal was to incorporate other community groups, so we could all enjoy the benefits of retaining an "Asset of Community Value."

Anonymous said...

The campaign was about saving a library, the clue is in the name of the campaign.
A private school, private nursery, church or doctor's surgery are exclusive, not inclusive of all the community.
They may be acceptable to members of the community who can afford to pay. A library will be free for all to use - that is ALL the community. There is no intention of excluding any groups.

Anonymous said...

Save Kensal Library Campaign sold it to the community that the whole building would remain as such and not 80% converted to flats.

This is not what people wanted in the community.

If for example the developer was required to make good the full loss of D1 space by offering alternative D1 space in other locations where other library provisions were lost, this might be acceptable. Simply accepting the demand of the developer is not good enough, when the community from other areas supported the library campaign and have lost their provision.

Anonymous said...

Meg wake up.

The option agreement expired in January 2013... do we know what the end deal was? No we don't.

Think you will find the Library Transformation Project re-provided the lost library space within the borough.

Hence lost library space has been re-provided. The Library Transformation project that states the space was re provided was written by our friends in Brent Council.

I am not going too fast for you now am I?

Who is hearing the planning application? Brent Council.

Follow? .....

To think a developer is going to say no to income producing D1 opportunities Church, Surgery, Synagogue, Creche if he doesn't get planning and open a library...... well that wouldn't be capitalism.

And you now wonder why FKRL has done a deal?

Anonymous said...

We missed our chance when we did not buy the building.

It is as simple as that.


Meg Howarth said...

The Option Agreement has NOT expired, as 14.7 makes clear.

Anonymous said...

If the whole contract is actually found to be invalid, due to All Souls College trying to become the Brent planning committee by pre determining the reduction in D1 area to minimum 1500sq before Brent planning committee have determined and reduction it means Gillick does not even own the building, so he can't even rent it out.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense - the (entire) building was not listed as an Asset of Community Value because it looked pretty, it was listed because the activities that took place within it (ie the library function) was recognised as having a community value.

Anonymous said...

When did FKRL and its supporters endorse the LTP? The commentator at 18.39 couldn't be a councillor, could it...?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but under the legislation an Asset of Community Value is the building

Anonymous said...

Where has the hundreds of square metres in lost library space - due to the closure of the six libraries in Oct 2011 - been "re-provided"?

Anonymous said...

'Margaret Bailey, chair of FKRL, said: “We applaud the action of our council and it’s willingness to take seriously this attempt to subvert local democracy and mislead the public.

“Our community is strongly against this development for the library building and these fraudulent emails of support for the development were an attempt to divide and denigrate this community.

“Fraud is illegal and we support a thorough investigation by the police.”

Cllr Mashari added: “We must keep our eyes on the end result of securing a community library at Kensal Rise.

“I am ready to work with the community and any stakeholder to ensure that this happens and that it is viable and sustainable"' - Brent & Kilburn Times, 21 November 2013.

Anonymous said...

The building is the asset but it is only an asset because if the activities that take place within it. The same building performing a purely residential function would not have a hope of being listed.

Anonymous said...

New application creates a viable and impressive community ZERO rent.

This is a first for London not just Brent.