Address registered to owner of two axed libraries is used to support development proposals

Kensal Rise Library in Bathurst Gardens

Kensal Rise Library in Bathurst Gardens - Credit: Archant

An address which is registered to the owner of two axed library sites has been used to support three controversial developments of closed branches in the borough.

Cricklewood Library is in Olive Road

Cricklewood Library is in Olive Road - Credit: Archant

According to Land Registry records, Andrew Gillick owns the property in St Mary’s Terrace, Westminster, which was used to support planning applications for Cricklewood, Kensal Rise and Barham libraries.

Barham Library is in Harrow Road

Barham Library is in Harrow Road - Credit: Archant

No name was submitted on the three supporting messgages.

Mr Gillick, who owns Chelsea-based developers Platinum Revolver, has taken over Kensal Rise and Cricklewood libraries from their original owners, All Soul’s College in Oxford.

Brent Council gave the sites back to the university after they closed them alongside Barham. Tokyngton, Preston and Neasden libraries in 2001 to save £1million.

This news comes after Brent Council revealed last week that they had handed over a file to the National Fraud Squad regarding possible fake emails supporting the plans to redevelop Kensal Rise library into flats.

Francis Henry, 49, from Daniels Estate Agents, is a member of the Friends of Barham Library which runs a community library in Sudbury and Wembley.

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He said: “The application received around 90 positive messages in what seemed to be overnight.”

Mr Henry, along with members of Friends of Kensal Rise library, noticed that the address to a £1.2 million luxury flat in London was attached to planning applications for the three Brent libraries.

He paid a small fee to the land registry agency to uncover the owner of the address.

Cllr Alison Hopkins, Liberal Democrat councillor for Dollis Hill, said previous planning applications of the Cricklewood and Kensal Rise branches should be reviewed in the light of the situation.

She added: “There needs to be a more stringent process that anyone commenting on a planning application is a real person.”

Mr Gillick’s plans to convert Kensal Rise Library into six flats, a cottage and a community space were rejected by the council in September.

He withdraw his application to convert Cricklewood Library in Olive Road, at the 11th hour last month. He had planned to demolish the building and replace it with 10 flats and a multi-functional 2,000 sq ft community hub.

When the Times asked Mr Gillick if he lived at the address in St Mary’s Terrace or knows who lived there he said: “I am sure there are several addresses where two people have either supported or objected to the scheme.”

He declined to make any further comment.

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