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Friday, 3 February 2012

Willesden Library Criticisms

I gather that the Call In Committee on Wednesday had a lot of public attention.  I suspect a lot of this was attracted to a backdoor way of overturning the decision in April about the Libraries Transformation Project, which is really a totally separate issue.  There are three other detailed issues that should be addressed.

1) The survival of the bookshop.  Although under no obiligation, the Council is trying to help find alternative premises for the Willesden Bookshop in the same area.  As this involve a one off move, I think it would be more likely to protect the Bookshop's commercial viability than the suggested temporary move followed by a move back into what would be a much more expensive retail space at the rebuilt library.

2) The status of the locally listed building at the front.  "Locally listed" means that Brent Council put this building on a register as a building of conservation importance.  It does not convey the same level of protection as a national listed building such as Dollis Hill House, which could only be demolished once the Secretary of State had given permission.  The reason that the old building would need to be removed to make any rebuild project viable is to do with the housing which funds the project.  Leving the old building in place would push the library centre back into the car park area, reducing the space for housing.  Since the funding for the project comes from the sale of housing, that would effectively make the project unviable.  Thus, the Planning Committee will have to consider whether the conservation status of the old building outweighs the value of the project as a whole.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But couldn't the frontage, only as far back as the new front glass screen, be retained?

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