Monday, 3 September 2012

Brent's own 1983 plan shows 'Public Square' at Willesden Green

Martin Redston has written again to Michael Read of Brent Council regarding the Willesden Town Square application:

Dear Michael, 

I enclose extracts from the original 1983 document relating to the WGLC as currently constructed. The main site plan clearly shows a Public Square at the front of the building. The written description page describes the public square in some detail. Also an annotated sketch plan of the site stated: 'The Council intend to preserve the little building on the corner with its turret and decoration - the wings behind are later additions, and these will be removed to provide some much-needed open space.' 
This document was produced by Brent's Development Department (the forerunner of the present "Regeneration and Major Projects")  in December 1983. 
I understand that some councillors wanted to save money on the project, and demolish the whole of the old Willesden Green Library, replacing it with a public square which would run from the new Library Centre right down to the High Road. In a Council debate, reported in the "Kilburn Times" on 20 April 1984, Councillor Len Snow said that this 'would be a sad mistake', leaving 'a gap here, which will be open to wind and traffic noise'. He went on to say: 'If the square was protected by an interesting frontage it would be a haven of peace and on a sunny day a delight to sit in.' 
Brent Council's 1983lLibrary  development document clearly shows a public square
On this basis there is clearly no doubt that the area in front of the library is already a public square, therefore registration should be completed forthwith. The objection by Galliford Try is clearly inaccurate.
Although Brent's objection document, submitted after the due deadline date but dated 14th August is not valid as previously noted, I have taken the trouble to read it. There is nothing in the submission specific to the WGLC Square. Reference has been made to trading licences and examples have been provided. As noted in my own response this is entirely irrelevant as trading anywhere in the borough requires a licence, customers of the licensed traders do not require a licence to attend the stall or premises. I will provide an example: At Gladstone Park there are two ice cream vans, one by the gate on Kendal Road and one within the park by the central playground. In both cases the traders have obtained licences and permission to trade in particular positions. However the public do not need a licence to stand next to the van in the two types of public space to buy their ice creams.
The late submission by Brent Council has not been adequately researched and therefore should not be accepted as part of the process.

I look forward to your positive response in favour of registration, otherwise I suggest that we move forward to The Public Enquiry stage at the earliest opportunity. 

Martin Redston

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