We have received a communication from Mr Wolf Erdmann, architect for Mr Andrew Gillick, regarding the new proposals for the Kensal Rise Library building.
At the Trustees’ meeting of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library last night, it was agreed that we have the basis for a constructive discussion. There’s still a way to go but it is a move in the right direction.
We will keep you updated with details and what we hope will be fruitful negotiations.
Maybe, hope, for Christmas?
The architect has told us that the drawings are still at the design stage. FKRL believe that the proposals as currently presented don’t yet meet the need for a sustainable community library and space and require further adjustment.
This event will be an opportunity to provide feedback to the architect about what you, the community, needs, so please make an effort to attend and make your views known.
3. For your information: usable floor space
1. Original Ground Floor space
Storage upstairs: Office 25 m2,Store: 13 m2, Staff area/Kitchen: 15 m2, WC’s: 15 m2
Total usable space: 349.26 m2
2. Previous offer by developer rejected by planning committee September 2013
Floor space 176 sq m
Ground floor 107 sq m
Basement 69 sq m
Floor areas after deduction of area required for vertical circulation:
Ground floor 90 m2 + Basement 57 m2
Total usable floor space 147 m2
3. New proposal November 2013 (based on developer’s architect’s figures)
Total 212.4 m2
Ground floor 98.2 m2
Basement 114.2 m2
GF: 70m2 Multi functional space (net)
25m2 Circulation, Entrance
LG: 70 m2 Multi functional space (net)
25 m2 Circulation, Entrance
22 m2 Circulation, Services (bathrooms…)
Total usable floor space 140 m2
(All Souls in November 2012 wrote to us to say that the floor space would be mainly at ground floor level, the latest proposal has more usable space in the basement)
So there will be plenty to discuss.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
Margaret Bailey, a member of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) commented this week on behalf of the group that they were “bemused” by the “contradictory” attitude taken by All Souls, who control the building, and developer Andrew Gillick towards how the building would be redeveloped.
The north-west London library closed in spring 2012, causing ownership to revert to All Souls by law. The college exchanged contracts for sale of the building with Mr Gillick, head of development company Platinum Revolver, on the condition that at least 1500 square feet of the building continue to function as a library.
The development plans have been the subject of serious debate at community level. Mr Gillick was beset by allegations that letters to the council in support of his planning application, made in September, were fraudulent. Mr Gillick denied knowledge of such letters at the time, but the council nevertheless refused planning permission for Mr Gillick’s first development proposal.
All Souls has also come in from criticism in recent days. When a Private Eye article alleged that the college had “reneged on its covenant” with Brent Council, the college issued a statement saying it “regretted” the closure of the library, and that it “[did not renege] on any covenant”. All Souls claimed that it was “under no obligation” to ensure that a library continued to occupy part of the building, “but it has in fact done so”.
In a letter earlier this month, however, All Souls say that Mr Gillick will, as “Senior Land lord…have final say in the matter” of how the building is used. This is in contrast to an assurance earlier in the letter that the college agreed with Mr Gillick that “a minimum of 1500 square feet” will be put to use as a library for the community.
It is this contrast, labelled “contradictory” by FKRL, that has reignited the ongoing struggle for control of the building. Ms Bailey’s statement takes issue with the ambiguity of All Souls’ approach. In the statement she voices concern that the agreement between the college and Mr Gillick could be “unenforceable”, resulting in a building “with no effect or benefit for the community”.
The FKRL group has fought a long battle to retain use of the library, having staged a protest outside the college in Michaelmas last year. The campaign has received significant media attention, and won the support of such names as Alan Bennett, Zadie Smith, Philip Pullman and Michael Frayn.
The library itself has a distinguished history, having been opened by Mark Twain in 1900, and funded in part by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
All Souls is the third-wealthiest college in Oxford, with its financial endowment amounting to £245 million as of July 2012.
This article was taken from:
Lorraine King, News editor Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The action has been taken after an investigation by Brent Council into the allegations surrounding Kensal Rise Library concluded the case should be referred to detectives.
The council’s IT officers scrutinised the emails including IP addresses which are exclusive to each computer.
Cllr Roxanne Mashari, Brent Council’s lead member for environment and neighbourhoods, is responsible for libraries.
She said: “The council compiled a report after their own investigation and we have handed this over to police.
“Abuse of Brent’s planning system will not be tolerated.
“This has now escalated into a police matter and we await the outcome of the police investigation.”
In September, a council report added strength to claims by campaigners Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) that false statements were made against its fight to retain the Bathurst Road building for community use.
The report stated that when email notifications were sent to everyone who made a statement about the plans on the council’s website 78 were returned as being undelivered with 70 of those belonged to ‘supporters’.
Andrew Gillick, the director of Platinum Revolver Limited which took over the building from owners All Soul’s College in Oxford, hit back with claims that false objections against the application had also been posted on the council’s website.
He had applied for permission to convert the site into six flats, a cottage and a community hub but it was rejected by the council.
Margaret Bailey, chair of FKRL, said: “We applaud the action of our council and it’s willingness to take seriously this attempt to subvert local democracy and mislead the public.
“Our community is strongly against this development for the library building and these fraudulent emails of support for the development were an attempt to divide and denigrate this community.
“Fraud is illegal and we support a thorough investigation by the police.”
Cllr Mashari added: “We must keep our eyes on the end result of securing a community library at Kensal Rise.
“I am ready to work with the community and any stakeholder to ensure that this happens and that it is viable and sustainable.”
Kensal Rise Library was closed alongside Neasden, Tokyngton, Cricklewood, Preston and Barham branches by Brent Council in October 2011 to save £1million.
This article was taken from the Brent and Kilburn Times:
Meg Howarth’s letter of the week to the Brent and Kilburn Times:
Dear Letters Editor,
It’s absolutely proper that no further planning proposal from Andrew Gillick should be considered by the council while its investigation in to claims of fraudulent emails over his original planning application is still underway (Kensal Rise library ‘developer’ accuses Brent Council of ignoring him’, 25 October).
At the request of Andrew Gillick, the developer who has entered into a binding agreement with All Soul’s College to buy the Kensal Rise Library Building, and with the permission of the College who sent the letter to us dated 10th October 2013, we are placing a copy of this letter on our web site.
While we welcome All Souls College’s indication set out under the second Paragraph of their letter of 10th October 2013, that they have reached agreement with Mr. Gillick the Developer that, space of a minimum 1,500 sq feet within the building will be made available for library use, we are somewhat bemused by the reference at Paragraph five of the same letter by All Souls College’s statement that “as Senior Land lord, he (i.e Mr. Gillick ) will have final say in the matter”.
We would therefore welcome clarification of this somewhat contradictory statement at the earliest opportunity by All Souls College, in particular, as to whether or not they consider their agreement with Mr. Gillick as to the minimum space referred to, to be binding and enforceable by them, as if, as stated by them, the final say rests with the developer, then the agreement referred to by All Souls College would be unenforceable against the developer by them and therefore of no effect or benefit to the Community”
A project of orchestrated group oil painting, accessible to all ages and abilities.
Saturday 28th Sept from 10am to 1pm at the Pop Up Library.
The Walls of Colour is a collaborative painting project orgainised by Marion Mainstone & Beatriz Petri.
Works created will be exhibited as part of a large scale display totalling 5 metres sq to be housed in the new Brent Civic Centre, November 2013.
We will have cakes and drinks and will also be able to fill you in on what has been happening with the campaign. Bring cakes to share too.
Bring your arty selves and children and create a community masterpiece.
2. Fraudulent support for the planning application
We are expecting the council to pursue the origins of the fraudulent submissions of support for the planning submission as reported in The Kilburn Times and The Evening Standard last week.
Help us to keep up the pressure on the council to find out where this dodgy support comes from by writing to the Leader of the Council and your local councillors asking them to make sure the council makes every effort to find out who is guilty of this fraudulent support. We can’t allow local democracy to be undermined by such abuse of the consultative processes of the council.
Leader of the Council Muhammed Butt firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact your local councillors by email:
Kensal Green Ward
James Powney email@example.com
Queens Park Ward
Michael Adeyeye firstname.lastname@example.org
Brondesbury Park Ward
Carol Shaw email@example.com
3. Boards for the campaign.
Daniels Real Estate, who have been long term supporters of the campaign are providing boards for us to promote the campaign and also to display our events. Show your support for the campaign by displaying one of these boards outside your house or flat. They will be the usual estate agent sized boards that are displayed on properties.
If you are willing to have one in your yard please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for your consistent support and hopefully see you on Saturday.
Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library campaign group — which unsuccessfully fought the closure of the library and five others by Brent council — say they have discovered that false addresses, as well as some of their own, had been used to champion the redevelopment.
The group claim they have evidence that addresses invented or used without consent have been given in online comments and that in one sample alone, 70 out of 78 submissions supporting the development were false.
They say that these have the potential to influence and mislead the public and would have been seen by the council’s planning committee, which will decide if the proposal goes ahead.
Internal correspondence between Brent councillors reveals that they are trying to trace the IP addresses of the online comments. Councillor Roxanne Mashari alerted colleagues to the alleged fake emails. She said: “Abuses of the planning system won’t be tolerated, and the results of our investigations will determine whether or not we involve the police.”
Keith Marks, of Ashburnham Road in Kensal Green, is one of dozens of residents whose addresses were used.
He said: “I was very pissed off. I was brought up here and always used the library as a child — it’s one of the nicest buildings we’ve got in Kensal Rise and it will be such a shame if it gets turned into flats.”
Andrew Gillick, director of Platinum Revolver Ltd and Kensal Properties Ltd, and his agent Nicholas Taylor were unavailable for comment. At last night’s planning committee meeting they said they had no knowledge of the fraudulent submissions.
The Friends of Kensal Rise Library want the building to be retained as a community library.
Taken from the Evening Standard: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/faked-emails-support-flats-plan-for-library-8829637.html