Police fraud probe fails to halt decision on the future of Kensal Rise Library
- Credit: Archant
Controversial plans to develop Kensal Rise Library will be heard for the second time and decided next week - despite a police investigation into fraud on the previous planning application.
The fate of the axed library in Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, is due to be decided on July 16, after planning chiefs deferred the decision to receive legal advice on the importance of the police probe.
Detectives were called in to investigate suspected fraudulent emails supporting the previous application.
Last September, Brent Council published a report in the report, which stated that ‘a large proportion of the supporting emails appear to have been fabricated’.
In a further twist, three ‘supporters’ informed the council they had not sent an email backing the plans from their address.
In addition, written letters of support had been received addressed from 95 High Road which is the site of Willesden Library and correspondence addressed from Kensal Rise Library itself.
Kirsty Slattery of Graceland Yards in Liddell Gardens, Kensal Rise, was shocked to discover her name and address had been used to support the application while she was away with her family.
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She had told the Times: “It’s really upsetting because Gracelands provides something for the community of which I am a part and I would never support the plans.
“I categorically do not support the development; I support my community and not the library being turned into flats.”
Andrew Gillick, director of Platinum Revolver Limited (PRL), which owns the Victorian property, submitted plans to convert it into five flats and a community space under the handle of Kensal Properties.
He has consistently maintained that the company had no involvement with any email support for the former submission adding that false objections against the application had also been posted on the council’s website.
In March, the developer gave community group Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) two-thirds of the building’s ground floor space to use as a reading room as part proposals to redevelop the site.
Margaret Bailey, who chairs of FKRL, previously told the Times: “We will continue to campaign for a community library in the building whatever the outcome of planning decisions.”