Final chapter for Town Square bid to save Willesden Green Library

PUBLISHED: 14:23 18 March 2013 | UPDATED: 10:27 19 March 2013

Willesden Green Library

Willesden Green Library

Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037

Planning chiefs reject application for surrounding area to be designated as one

The campaign to save Willesden Green Library looks to have reached the final chapter after an application to designate the surrounding area as a town square was rejected.

Campaign group, Keep Willesden Green (KWG) has been fighting the plans to tear down and rebuild the library, in High Road, Willesden, since they were announced.

Despite the long running saga eventually being granted planning permission last month crusaders still hoped that they could designate the area at the front of the building as a town square.

If successful this could have stalled the development, which will see 95 new flats and a cultural centre built in place of the current library as part of a project being spearheaded by Brent Council and developers Galliford Try.

However, the claims were thrown out following the conclusion of a public inquiry.

Martin Redston, who led the efforts to designate the area told the Times it was “very disappointing” but added that there would be no legal challenge.

He said: “It was a fair and reasonable process and we do not believe they put a foot wrong.

“We still all feel that the whole redevelopment process is wrong but they [the council] are the land owners and have decided to change use of land.”

The report, which was finalised on March 11, states: “The difficulty for this Application, however, is that the law requires land to have been used for LSP (leisure sport and pastimes) for a period of 20 years or more before it qualifies for registration as a TVG (town or village green).

“Whatever the affection with which the Site is held today by local residents, there is in my view simply not the evidence there to support the conclusion that the same was true in the early 1990s.”

It adds: “It is also clear to me that there are many people who have come to value the Site as a civic space. However, that is not the test for registration as a TVG.”

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