Kensal Rise library ‘developer’ accuses Brent Council of ignoring him

Kensal Rise library was closed in October 2011

Kensal Rise library was closed in October 2011 - Credit: Archant

The developer behind controversial plans to convert a closed library site which was rejected by Brent Council has accused town hall bosses of snubbing him.

Andrew Gillick says the council have refused to discuss with him his future plans for Kensal Rise library in Bathurst Gardens, after they turned down his planning application last month.

He had sought permission to convert the Victorian building into six flats, a cottage and a £1million community hub which he offered rent- free to library campaigners.

Mr Gillick told the Times he was appealing the decision but his future plans for the building were being ignored by the council.

He said: “They (the council) are failing to interact with any of my project team, they just don’t want to know.

“I have addressed the reasons for refusal. The community space will be more usable and might be bigger and there will be more light, two separate rooms and a lobby.

“The flats will be bigger, but there will be one less. We are going to do a public consultation on it.”

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The refusal of the initial application came as a welcome victory for the Friends of Kensal Rise Library who vigorously campaigned against the development in a bid to retain the building for sole community use.

Margaret Bailey, who chairs FKRL, said the group will meet Mr Gillick to discuss his revised plans.

A council spokesman told the Times they were responding to Mr Gillick’s complaint.

The library was closed by the council to save £1m in October 2011.

Cricklewood, Neasden, Preston, Barham and Tokyngton were also axed.