Search

Former owners of Kensal Rise Library ordered to make details of ‘secret sale’ public

12:37 12 March 2014

ASC must release deatils of the sale of Kensal Rise Library

ASC must release deatils of the sale of Kensal Rise Library

Archant

The former owners of Kensal Rise Library have been ordered to make public details of its sale to a property development company or face court action.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has issued the warning to All Souls College, after they refused to release a copy of the sales agreement under the Freedom Of Information Act.

The ICO is an independent public authority set up to uphold information rights.

The Oxford-based college, which is also a registered charity, sold the building to Platinum Revolver Limited (PRL) after it was handed back to them by Brent Council when they closed the library in 2011. The deeds to the building in Bathurst Gardens were officially handed over to Andrew Gillick, PRL director, in late January for an undisclosed fee.

Margaret Bailey, chair of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library, a group established to save the reading room, and campaigner Meg Howarth were behind the FOI request, which was rejected

However an undeterred Ms Howarth took the issue to the ICO, who ruled that the sale is in the legitimate public interest as the building is an ‘Asset of Community Value’ .

The status means the building is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.

ASC has told the Times they will comply with the order, which has a deadline of April 8.

Ms Howarth said: “I am delighted by the outcome and I am not surprised ASC have announced they’ll comply with the notice. It would be embarrassing for them to be found in contempt of court.

“It is important for campaigners to know what the backroom shenanigans of the deal were.”

Ms Bailey, who lives in Kensal Rise, told the Times the ICO were correct in their judgement.

She added: “Not only because the building is an Asset of Community Value and the public have a right to know about the disposal of the assets they value, but also because public bodies and charities, such as the college, should not have financial arrangements that need to be hidden from public scrutiny.

“If the college and the developer have nothing to hide with regard to the sale of the library, this call for transparency should not be a problem for either.”

The news came as PRL submitted a new application this week to convert the building into five flats and a community space.

Under the terms, which have yet to be fully made public, PRL must provide rent-free space for the community.

Last year a planning application to convert the site into six flats, a cottage and a community hub was marred by claims that emails supporting the plans were faked.

The application was rejected by the council and PRL were forced to return to the drawing board.

PRL also own Cricklewood Library which was closed alongside Barham, Preston, Tokyngton and Neasden branches to save £1million.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest News Stories

26 minutes ago
Left to right: Daud, Ennis and Koshin

Three teenagers have been found guilty of murdering a church minister’s son from Willesden in an unprovoked attack in Harlesden.

Belly dancers at Wembley Central entertainment day

Hundreds of locals, shoppers and passing rugby fans enjoyed the first of two consecutive Saturdays of public entertainment to celebrate the newly redeveloped £90million Wembley Central.

Vikesh Champaneri made it through as a semi finalist  to the BBC 1's The Voice UK

A Wembley contestant who missed out on the BBC’s The Voice UK final will face his biggest live crowd in Glastonbury singing with Lily Allen’s father.

06:45
Queen's Park Primary

A school is to undergo significant redevelopment work to improve the safeguarding of pupils.

Most read news

Breaking News

Chuka Umunna certainly won’t be buying one.

The explosion in New York’s East Village killed two men in their 20s and left 22 people injured.

Here’s how the 2015 general election battle officially got under way.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Brent & Kilburn Times e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder