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

Dawn Butler (red coat) outside her new campaign office

The Labour Parliamentary candidate for Brent Central has opened a campaign office for the run up to the General Election.

Yesterday, 12:00
Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher

Every week Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, Brent Police borough commander, writes a column to inform Times readers about the latest policing activity happening in the borough. Today he talks about crime mapping technology.

Yesterday, 09:57
Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala will be sentenced on February 27

Stonebridge councillor Zaffar Van Kalwala has been found guilty of driving a motor vehicle dangerously and actual bodily harm (ABH) following an incident in Wembley.

Fri, 12:00
The new store will open inside the Civic Centre

After an absence of more than 20 years Sainsbury’s is set to return to Wembley at the end of February.

Most read news

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Brent & Kilburn Times e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder