Planning application to demolish Willesden Library withdrawn

Campaigners ‘overjoyed’ with decision but say they will not let down their guard

A controversial planning application which could have resulted in a Victorian library in Willesden Green being demolished has been withdrawn.

Plans for the re-development of Willesden Green Library Centre, in High Road, Willesden, will now be re-drafted by the developers Galliford Try.

The plans have attracted much criticism with campaign groups which have called for the old library, built in 1894 and thatstands in front of the current building, to be preserved.

A spokesman for Brent Council said the decision to redraft the plans was to “allow more time to consider the design of the new cultural centre.”

Martin Redston, a member of the Keep Willesden Green Campaign, which has been campaigning against the plans, said they were ‘overjoyed’ to hear the news but warned that any new application must take into account the public’s requestsHe said: “I am overjoyed that they have seen sense and the need to engage with the community.

“However, we must not let our guard down. We want to work with Brent Council and the developers to ensure that the next decision is a community friendly and architecturally acceptable design.”

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Speaking about the decision, Cllr George Crane, lead member for regeneration and major projects at the council, said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering a top class building for all of the residents in the borough and this is still our intention.

“But development opportunities like this don’t come along every day and we are quite prepared to delay things if the end result is a better facility for local people.

“This redevelopment has never been a foregone conclusion as some people have claimed and this extra time for discussion demonstrates that.

“From the outset we have always been clear that residents were at the heart of this project, it needs to be at no capital cost and it results in a quality development - these principles remain unchanged.”

Details about the consultation and engagement events will be publicised shortly.