Jul 4 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A PLANNING application for a controversial library redevelopment has been withdrawn.
Developers Galliford Try has withdrawn the application for Willesden Green Library which was submitted in May, giving residents more time to submit their views through consultation.
Brent Council and the developers will hold further consultation activities over the summer over the design of the building.
Councillor George Crane, Brent councillor for regeneration and major projects said: "We want this project to help kick start regeneration for the whole of the Willesden area. We are absolutely committed to delivering a top class building for all of the residents in the borough and this is still our intention. But development opportunities like this don't come along every day and we are quite prepared to delay things if the end result is a better facility for local people. This redevelopment has never been a foregone conclusion as some people have claimed and this extra time for discussion demonstrates that. From the outset we have always been clear that residents were at the heart of this project, it needs to be at no capital cost and it results in a quality development and these principles remain unchanged."
Campaigners welcomed the news and Martin Redston said: "We are very happy about this and we feel that this is a good opportunity to engage with the council and the community properly, however, we won't let our guard drop."
He added that the developers had been trying to elicit support from the community but after speaking to people the campaigners believe that opposition is 100 per cent to the plans as they stand.
Liberal Democrat group leader councillor Paul Lorber said: "Liberal Democrat councillors warned of problems with the consultation process, timescale and decision-making arrangements when we called in the decision in January. The council could have worked together to design the best solution for Willesden Green, instead an enormous amount of energy and money has been spent and next to nothing so far achieved. Brent Council now needs to engage in a proper consultation process and, this time, actually listen and respond to what people say."
Details about the consultation and engagement events will be publicised shortly.