Campaigners urge Brent Council to refuse permission to convert Kensal Rise library into flats

Children protest about the closure of Kensal Rise Library

Children protest about the closure of Kensal Rise Library - Credit: Archant

Campaigners fighting a property developer’s bid to turn a former library into flats with space for a community hub are hoping the Localism Act will save the day.

The Save Kensal Rise Library campaigners have written to all Brent councillors asking them to ensure the planning committee uses the ‘Asset of Community Value’ legislation to refuse planning permission and retain the building for community use.

Margaret Bailey, chair of the campaign, said: “The council designated the entire building an ‘Asset of Community Value’ in December last year.

“We now want the council to show that its decision has meaning, that the legislation is worth something and that it actually does what it says it will do and protect our community asset from being sold to make profit without any regard for what this community needs or wants.”

The planning application for the Victorian building on Bathurst Gardens was submitted to Brent Council by property developer Andrew Gillick of Chelsea-based Platinum Revolver who bought the building last year after it was closed by Brent Council in 2011.

Mr Gillick plans to convert up to 30 per cent of the building into a multi-functional, self sufficient, not-for-profit organisation and rent out the space free of charge.

Despite library campaigners maintaining that All Souls College at Oxford University are the legal owners of the building, Mr Gillick has also stated he is the owner.

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Brent Council is expected to make a decision in September.