Anger at proposals to redevelop community library

Campaigners are fighting to save their library (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg)

Campaigners are fighting to save their library (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg) - Credit: Archant

Plans to redevelop a community library will be disastrous for the neighbourhood, a residents’ association has said. 

The South Kenton and Preston Park Residents’ Association (SKPPRA) slammed Brent Council’s decision to grant planning permission for a new scheme at Carlton Avenue East’s Preston Park Library. 

The development will provide 12 flats alongside a library facility in a building up to four storeys high. 

The association has criticised the scale and design of the plans – suggesting it “overlooks and impacts on the amenity and privacy of the adjoining owners” – and said the local community will have diminished access to the site. 

It also pointed out the planning application was subject to two judicial reviews, where it was found to be in breach of Brent Council’s local plan.

The residents’ association added the proposals will harm the environment as demolition of the existing building will result in CO2 emissions, a loss of trees and disruption of a nearby underground river. 

A spokesman for SKPPRA said: “The development is a disaster for the climate and for our local community which has fought for so long to retain a library use.

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“The local community strongly opposed the development in 90 per cent of the responses made in the pre-application consultations and the town planning process.

“[We] and the residents living next to the Preston Library site in Wembley have for more than three years sought to plot a better course for the community, the site and the planet.”

It put forward its suggestions of how the library could be improved while, in its view, better serving the community and protecting the environment.

However, it said it has been unsuccessful in trying to work with Brent Council and local politicians. 

The development was granted planning permission in August 2019 but was knocked back after a judicial review. 

A second application was approved in 2020 despite objections from residents and Conservative councillor Michael Maurice on the planning committee. 

Cllr Maurice acknowledged the community wanted to maintain the “much loved and very well used library” but said these plans were “a total overdevelopment” and “out of character” for the area. 

Brent Council and the developer’s agent GL Hearn have been contacted for comment.