Monday, 19 March 2012

Victorian Society 'strongly criticises' Brent Council over old library demolition

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A proposal to demolish the old Willesden library building has been strongly criticised by the Victorian Society.

Brent Council has drawn up plans for a new cultural centre and the proposed development site includes the current Willesden Green Library building, as well as the distinctive 1894 former library.

The Arts and Crafts style old library is locally listed and has been identified by the Council as being a key building within the Willesden Green Conservation Area. It holds a prominent position on the High Road at the junction with Brondesbury Park Road.

'Plans to knock down this attractive building in the heart of Willesden fly in the face of the Council's own guidance,' said James Hughes, Conservation Officer for the Victorian Society. 'Council documents stress the importance of the old library and the need to preserve the character of the Conservation Area.'

Mr Hughes added: 'we want to see the Council take a more imaginative and sustainable approach to this key site, as the loss of the Victorian library is unnecessary and wasteful. It should be possible to build a new cultural centre while retaining this important reminder of Willesden's heritage.'

The Society has written to Brent Council urging it to rethink its proposals.

LINK to Victorian Society website

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