Four in five residents who took part in consultation opposed Willesden Green Library plans
Brent Council gives thumbs up to scheme despite only 15 out of 220 supporting controversial proposals for new building
Nearly 80 per cent of people who took part in a public consultation are against the designs for the new-look Willesden Green Library – where the current site is set to be demolished.
The outcome of the consultation, carried out by a company called Remarkable PR on behalf of developer Galliford Try, was revealed last week but has not been published on Brent Council’s website as the Times went to press.
Out of 220 respondents who took part, 171 objected to the plans.
Only 15 people supported the proposals with 24 partial supporters and 10 who were unsure. The cost of consultation will be met by the developers as part of the planning application.
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Angry campaigners now want the developer to go back to the drawing board and come up with designs incorporating the old library building, which stands next to the current centre and dates back to 1894.
Kate Spence, a resident and campaigner, said: “When we raised the consultation results with the council we were told this was not a reflection of what was of most benefit to Willesden.
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“As residents we feel outraged by this and have appealed to the council to rethink this very undemocratic decision.”
Last month nearly 6,000 people signed a petition against the demolition of the library in High Road, Willesden.
Residents believe there has been a lack of consultation over the plans to knock down the site and the old library building.
The popular Willesden Bookshop will also be forced out when the centre is flattened.
Martin Francis, Brent Green Party spokesman, who helped set up the Keep Willesden Green website, said: “Labour councillors must stand up for the people of Brent and, alongside opposition councillors, say ‘enough is enough’ and pause the redevelopment to allow for full citizen participation in the plans.”
But the council has said it will bring the library into the 21st Century with the help of the developer, who will build the new library at no cost to the council as well as flats to sell.
A Brent Council spokesperson said: “The project team has considered all the comments which were made during the pre-planning consultation for the Willesden Green Cultural Centre. The results of the consultation are being prepared and residents have been invited to meet the project team to review the next stage of the designs in a week’s time. “
Work on the demolition is expected the start in September and finish in spring 2014.