Oct 26 2012 By Hannah Bewley
Residents barricade Kensal Rise Library to stop Brent Council from closing it.
CAMPAIGNERS have been made aware that an Oxford college plans to sell a library building to be turned into flats.
All Souls College, Oxford, held a meeting with people hoping to save Kensal Rise Library and told them they planned to sell the red brick building in Bathurst Gardens to a developer.
Campaigner Laura Collignon said they were "angry" at the plans.
She said: "It has come as a shock because All Souls gave the Friends of Kensal Rise Library an assurance that the building would not be turned into flats, and led us to believe that they were looking at community uses for the building."
The Save Kensal Rise group put in a bid to All Souls outlining their plans for a community centre with a library which would be financially viable through space being rented out for classes and groups.
They managed to raise more than £80,000 in pledges in just a few weeks to ensure the community library could be set up.
All Souls came into possession of the building after the library was closed by Brent Council in October 2011.
The agreement on the building, which was paid for by the community more than 100 years ago, stated that once it was no longer being used as a library it would revert back to the college.
It is believed the building, which will be converted and not demolished, is on the market for almost £1 million.
Under the current proposals campaigners would be able to rent a small part of the ground floor for a library but would pay a market rate.
Laura Collignon said: "We wouldn't be able to keep a library going if we had to pay such a high rent. That wouldn't be a community library and I don't think it would still be here in 30 to 40 years let alone another 100 years. The problem with turning it into flats is that it is irreversible. A lot of people are angry about the plans."
No formal agreement has been signed between All Souls and the developer.
Talks are still on-going between All Souls and Cricklewood library campaigners who put in a bid to the college to run the building as a community library in Olive Road.
All Souls has been contacted for a comment.
More to follow.