Unearthed document gives Willesden Green Library campaigners fresh hope

Plans show Brent Council intended to use area as a town square in 1983

Library campaigners have been given fresh hope after a document was unearthed which showed that Brent Council intended to use the area around Willesden Green Library as a town square almost 30 years ago.

The document was a 1983 outline for plans relating to the original rebuild of the library centre in High Road, Willesden which earmarked a space in front of the library as a ‘public square’.

It also said: “The Council intend to preserve the little building on the corner with its turret and decoration - the wings behind are later additions, and these will be removed to provide some much-needed open space.”

Eagle eyed Martin Redston, who spotted the document, called on the council and co-developers Galliford Try to re-think the application for a town square.

He said: “The council are dragging their feet here; all Galliford Try has done is object to what we say.

“Its clearly obvious the area was intended for a town square and the council have admitted that so why can’t it be accepted.”

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The controversial redevelopment plans for Willesden Green Library Centre have attracted much criticism from campaigners. Originally the plans included tearing down the current library and the Victorian library which has stood on the site since 1894 replacing them with a new building 92 flats.

In a bid to thwart the development the Keep Willesden Green Group, which has campaigned against the plans, lodged an appeal to designate the library’s surrounding area as a town square.

However, the plans were thrown out by developers Galliford Try and Brent Council and are set to be redrawn in the coming months.

A Brent Council spokesman said: “We are duty bound to consider all representations right up until the point when the decision is made.

“The document from the 1980s has now been put forward as evidence and will be taken into account as part of the process.”