The developer, Andrew Gillick, has submitted his planning application for the Kensal Rise Library building (see below at end).
The Trustees of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) have been trying to negotiate with the developer and the College since November. We were offered three quarters of the ground floor.
The Trustees agreed, in principle, to accept the space offered – subject to a written agreement between all parties (All Souls College, the developer and the FKRL) guaranteeing that FKRL would be the lessee of the space in return for its support for change of use of the building.
The College agreed to be a signatory to such an agreement. However, so far, Mr Gillick has not been willing to sign.
The amount of space is not of FKRL’s choosing. However, the FKRL’s Trustees agreed to accept it rather than jeopardise the chance of no space at all for a library and community area – sadly, a real, potential outcome.
The Trustees accept that it will be a challenge to run a sustainable library in the space offered, which is much smaller than other community libraries (eg Little Chalfont, Belsize, New Cross etc). They also know that the amount of space offered falls far short of retaining the entire building for community use, as per its official listing as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.
We are due to meet the developer’s planning consultant tomorrow evening, Wednesday 12th March. It will be made clear there whether or not the developer wishes the FKRL’s support and is prepared to give us the assurance we need about our tenancy.
Without this assurance, FKRL will have no choice but to oppose the developer’s planning application, and will campaign against the suitability of Mr Gillick and his plans for this community asset.
We will also rely on Planning Officers and Committee to decide whether the offer to the community is sufficient mitigation for the loss of community space, notwithstanding the reluctant decision of FKRL’s Trustees to accept – or risk losing any space at all.
The Officers and Committee are not bound by our decision, and will decide on planning issues and the material consideration that the whole building has been designated an Asset of Community Value.
There will remain the problem of choice of tenants for the community space, although we have the College’s assurance that FKRL are still its preferred tenant. However, whether this will carry any weight with the developer, as senior landlord, remains to be seen.
Everyone will be free to respond to Mr Gillick’s planning application.
We hope that you will all take time to consider the above – and FKRL’s predicament, and make your comments regarding the application accordingly.
Information for Planning Application 14/0846
|Application Type:||Full Planning Permission|
|Location:||KENSAL RISE BRANCH LIBRARY, Bathurst Gardens, London, NW10 5JA|
|Proposal:||Conversion of the existing vacant building to provide 5 residential units (2 x studios, 1 x 1 bed duplex flat and 2 x 2 bed duplex flats) on part ground and upper floors and 186m2 community space (Use Class D1) on the ground floor. Single storey ground floor extension to west elevation, provision of roof extension and communal residential roof terrace, and creation of basement for bin/cycle store. Provision of new entrance door on Bathurst Gardens serving D1 space, with associated cycle parking and landscaping to Bathurst Gardens and College Road. Erection of temporary site hoarding to protect site from vandalism and tresappsing while vacant.|
|Comments:||Comments and objections cannot currently be submitted for this case as it has not been fully validated.|
|Received Date:||07/ 03/ 2014|
|Status:||Received – not yet validated|
|Decision:||This case has not yet been decided.|
|Key dates:||Monitor your application|
|Agent:||Mr Sahota, Nicholas Taylor & Associates , 128 Southwark Street London SE1 0SW|
|Applicant:||Kensal Properties Limited, c/o agent|
|Case Officer:||Technical Support Team
020 8937 5210