Property developer Andrew Gillick has submitted plans to put six luxury flats and a house in the Kensal Rise Library Building. The building has always been for community use. So campaigners (The Friends of Kensal Rise Library) have tried to protect the building by persuading Brent Council to list it as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.
However, if the Planning Committee ignores this listing and Gillick succeeds, only a small part of the building will remain for the community. Once the building goes residential the community will lose it forever. A building that the community helped to pay for, and has used and loved for over a hundred years.
The Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) have considered the developer’s proposal in detail with the help of expert advice, and have decided to oppose the grant of planning permission. They consider that the whole building should remain for the benefit of the community.
What can I do?
Write to Brent Council expressing your concerns. You can write by post or email, or make your comments online. In order for your objection to be valid, you must include your full name and address, and the reference number for the application, which is 13/2058.
You can see the full planning application on the Brent Council website at http://tiny.cc/9vnc1w (where you can also make online comments).
The case officer is Robin Sedgwick, telephone 020 8937 5229, and you can contact him with any queries about the application. The statutory consultation period ends on 29th August 2013, but objections received until around the end of August are likely to be taken into account.
Write online or by post
Email address for objections: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal address for objections:
Mr Robin Sedgwick, Planning Department, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ
It is much better and more powerful to write your own letter
It is important the Council receives as many written objections as possible.
Remember to include your name, address and planning reference number: 13/2058
Letter writing sessions: Come to one of our letter writing sessions to be held on:
Saturday 17th August & Sunday 18th August 11am-4pm at the Pop-up Library (corner of Bathurst Gdns & College Rd)
On what basis can I object to the application?
Brent Council states on its website that they will take into account issues that include the following (our emphasis added):· Problems of noise, smell, dust, traffic etc.
· Loss of light, privacy or outlook
· Number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings
· The impact on traffic safety and conges-tion; the effects on parking provision
· The impact on travel patterns – the availability of public transport and facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and disabled people
· The impact on the environment and public safety
· The loss of trees and other natural features
· The provision of landscaping
· The adequacy of infrastructure like roads and schools etc
· The impact on protected areas like Conservation Areas,
· Protected Open Space and Nature Conservation Sites
· Loss of Protected Land Uses (in areas or sites which are retained for residential use, community use)
· Impact on employment
· Opportunities for crime from the design of the development
· The effect on the character of the area
· It is also relevant that the building has been listed as an Asset of Community Value. This applies to the whole building and means that the planners must take into account that the building has been listed in this way.
If there is anything else you would like to mention then it is best to include it rather than leave it out.
· Loss of property value.
· Nuisance from building work (this is controlled by other legislation)
· Moral considerations (e.g. objections to drinking, gambling etc.)
· The personality of the applicant
· Boundary disputes and other private matters
· The fact that an applicant may make a commercial gain as a result of a successful application
· Matters covered by Building Regulations (impact on foundations, sewerage etc)
· Loss of view from a private property
· Commercial competition, where for example a proposed shop will directly compete for the trade of another.
Last year, Brent Council chose to return Kensal Rise Library to All Souls College, Oxford, rather than accept a proposal from the Friends of Kensal Rise Library to run the library at no cost to the Council. All Souls then held an open marketing process and the Friends submitted a proposal that would have retained the whole building for community use. Instead of accepting this, All Souls have chosen to sell the library building to a property developer whose priority is making a huge profit out of the building with little regard for what this community wants or needs.
Deadline for responding to planning application: 29th August 2013