Calls made to postpone decision on the future of Kensal Rise Library

Kensal Rise Library is in Bathurst Gardens

Kensal Rise Library is in Bathurst Gardens - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to redevelop the axed Kensal Rise Library building will be considered at the upcoming planning committee meeting – despite an ongoing investigation into the previous application.

Mark Twain opened Kensal Rise Library in 1900

Mark Twain opened Kensal Rise Library in 1900 - Credit: Archant

Andrew Gillick, director of Platinum Revolver Limited (PRL), which owns the Victorian property in Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, has applied to convert it into five flats and a community space under the handle of Kensal Properties –another company in which he runs.

Children protest outside Kensal Rise Library

Children protest outside Kensal Rise Library - Credit: Archant

Planning officers have recommended that the proposals be granted subject to legal agreements.

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

In November, town hall bosses called the police over allegations that emails supporting plans to develop the axed reading room were faked.

Meg Howarth, who has campaigning to protect the building, which is listed as asset of community value, claims the hearing should be deferred until after the police investigation has been completed.

She added; “I think they should postpone a planning committee hearing until Brent police have finished their live investigation which may or may not result in some charges.

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“Postponing the hearing does not in anyway way fail to meet Brent’s obligation of hearing all application brought before them.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council, said: “We have to wait for the findings of the police investigation but this is a separate application, so this has to be looked at independently.

“It will be judged in its own merit as all planning applications have to be.”

KRL was closed in 2011 alongside five other library branches by Brent Council in a £1million a year cost-savings exercise,

The planning committee meeting is due to take place on June 17.

Related links: Brent Council received ‘high proportion’ of fake emails supporting Kensal Rise Library development plansInvestigation launched into Kensal Rise Library fraud claims by campaigners and property developer

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