Genuine public consultation over the Willesden Green Library Centre regeneration
We the undersigned petition the council to Pause the Willesden Green Library Centre regeneration plans to allow for full consultation with residents in order to ascertain their views on how the area should be developed and the amenities that should be provided or retained.
Brent Council is handing over public land worth £10.4 million to a property developer in exchange for rebuilding the Willesden Library Centre. The original 1894 library building on the High Road will be demolished, The Willesden Bookshop is likely to be driven out of business, the public car park will be reduced to 8 spaces and a children’s play area will be lost. Over 18 months, three five-storey blocks of 90+ luxury flats will be built behind the existing Library Centre.
We all want a thriving, welcoming and dynamic library and cultural centre, but the current deal has been sealed with virtually no public consultation and very little available information, ignoring the wishes of over a thousand local residents who have expressed opposition to these plans in two Brent e-petitions.
While the developers get a healthy profit from the sale of luxury flats and Brent councillors get some fancy new offices, the cultural and financial cost to rate-paying citizens is disproportionately high. It smacks of ‘profits before people’.
Borough residents need to have a say in the content and design
of the library centre redevelopment, but we have not yet been given
the chance to do so.
The Council says: Plans for the development of the library centre were raised at the executive committee in February 2011, and quickly followed by two public consultations to ‘test the market’. The council had to abide by commercial confidentiality, so no detailed plans could be made public until a deal was signed with the developer on 15 February 2012.
We say: Did you know about this in 2011? Not a single local resident or tradesperson we spoke to knew about the plans until Jan 2012, and only then through word of mouth. The Feb 2011 consultations were conducted with, respectively, 5 and then 7 people. One person present recounted that they were asked for their opinion, then shown plans for the centre that were drawn up before the meeting. This does not conform to the generally understood definition of a ‘consultation’
Started by: Miki Berenyi
This ePetition ran from 01/03/2012 to 09/04/2012 and has now finished.
331 people signed this ePetition.