Campaign to save Willesden Green Library from the wrecking ball gathers pace

Campaigners claim there was a lack of consultation from Brent Council

A campaign to stop the demolition of Willesden Green Library is gathering pace following a packed public meeting last week.

It was standing room only at Kings Hall, in Harlesden Road, last Thursday night where the campaign to Keep Willesden Green was launched.

The meeting heard from residents who are concerned with the development of Willesden Green Library Centre, in High Road, Willesden, because they feel there has been a lack of consultation.

Brent Council has now signed a contract with developer Galliford Try which will build a new cultural centre at no cost to the council in return for the right to develop homes on the site for sale.

Kate Spence, a founding member of campaign group Keep Willesden Green who lives in Brondesbury Park, said: “They have got very pretty colour visuals but I think they are quite misleading as they do not show the housing scheme.

“We want some clarity, some facts and figures which has led to this decision to give public amenity space to private housing.

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“These decisions have been taken behind closed doors. We want some transparency.”

The demolition includes knocking down the Old Willesden Library building which has been an iconic landmark in the area since it was built on request by the people of Willesden in 1894.

Campaigners have now written to English Heritage requesting it be listed.

Under the plans The Willesden Bookshop will also be forced to move.

Father-of-one Alex Colas, 42, of Willesden Green, said: “Getting rid of the bookshop is cultural vandalism. I’ve been using it for about 10 years and it is used by local schools as well as their parents and pupils.

“The plans are being rushed through and the community is not having their say. People not have a sense of ownership of the building if the council will not listen to them.”

Martin Redstone, Willesden heritage campaigner, said: “We deplore the actions of Brent Council which we feel has not been transparent. It is clear it wants to clear the site for the developer without any consideration for the community.

“The designs are appalling and are totally irrelevant to Willesden.”

What do you think? Do you like the plans for the new Willesden Library? Email