Kensal Rise Library fails to sell at auction
PUBLISHED: 14:27 17 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:37 18 December 2014
Kensal Rise Library went unsold this morning after it failed to find a buyer under a revised higher guide price of £1.25million.
The Victorian building in Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, which was closed by Brent Council in 2011, was £50,000 short after two bidders stopped at £1.2m.
It had originally been given a reserve price of £1.15m but this was changed on Monday.
Bidding opened at £1m for the site, which has planning permission for five flats and a community space, at Allsop Residential Auction in Marble Arch.
Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL), a group of residents who fought to save the reading room from closing, had the building listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in 2012, before it was sold by its owners All Souls College to Andrew Gillick.
When Mr Gillick announced the building would be put up for sale it triggered a six-week period in which community groups could place a bid for the site because of its ACV status.
FKRL, who are the preferred tenants for the community space, placed a bid which in turn launched a six month moratorium during which the site could not be ‘disposed of’, unless a community group wishes to buy it.
This expires next May.
But who ever buys the site will still be legally obliged to allocate the community space inside the building to a local organisation or group.
The property is still for sale but with these conditions attached.
Francis Henry, from Daniels Estate Agent, which has several branches in Brent, told the Times a sale could still go ahead.
He said: “Just because the auction’s over doesn’t mean the deal can’t be done.
“It’s still under auction rules so anybody that would like to buy it and effectively exchange contracts immediately is when the hammer drops. Although even in this instance after the hammer, a sale can still be agreed.”
Jourdan Prowting, a partner at Allsop, said: “It’s still very possible to sell the property post auction so we will take instruction as and when. We’ve already had quite a few enquiries and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Margaret Bailey, chair of FKRL said: “The Friends of Kensal rise library remain focused on getting a library into the building and we will do whatever is within our power to ensure this happens - we are exploring all options.”
The Times has contacted Mr Gillick for a comment.
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