Wider consultation on the Willesden Green Cultural Centre

The planning application for the new Willesden Green Cultural Centre which was submitted in May has been withdrawn. A new application will be submitted to Brent Council later in the year. In order to provide more time to refine the design for the new cultural centre to meet our specification, Galliford Try have now withdrawn the existing planning application.

The Council and Galliford Try will now extend the consultation period for the redevelopment and use the summer months to hold further engagement activities with local people and other stakeholders. These will include the design of the new cultural centre and the activities that people want to see in the building once it is complete.

The aim is to work towards a scheme to be considered by the planning committee by December 2012. The financial parameters of the project remain unchanged – ie. we will be delivering a Cultural Centre at no net capital cost to the Council.

The initial design proposals were the subject of consultation over several months and had already been amended in response to residents’ feedback.

Cllr 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. 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 result in a quality development – these principles remain unchanged.”

Tony Blackburn, Land Director at Galliford Try, added: “This will be a landmark building serving the local community. As such, we want to ensure that we get it absolutely right and that what we deliver reflects the aspirations of the community, and in particular of those who will use its outstanding facilities. If it takes a little more time, then it will be worth it”.

Details about the consultation and engagement events will be publicised in due course.

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2 Comments

  1. Top class building ? No cost ? The council seems blind and deaf to the wishes of the people of Brent who use the current library centre. The most essential internal element seems to be a decent internet service on working computers. During extensive opinion gathering (thouands of signatures and letters) it is clear to me that people want 1) Retention of the old 1894 library. 2) Retention of the public space around it. 3) Retention of the bookshop. These are elements of the High Road which may actually last, unlike the charming but fleeting pop-up shops on Queen’s Parade. GTry will need more than the price of the land ( £10.5,000.000 ?) to create a decent, LASTING building. That the present building needs replacing (does it?) after 23 years of council maintenance, is a pretty damming indictment. Please use the time to think laterally, make use of other land plots, to give the developers a chance to either refurbish or rebuild to a decent standard. The council should please listen, and stop trying to wrestle a housing need and a desire to make a Grand Gesture (with a shiny new building, however cheap,small and inadequate it may be,) into a neat parcel stuffed onto a valued parking area too small for it to fit on.

    • I entirely agree with Niclolette. Local politicians are completely out of touch with what local people actually want or need. Too busy trying to ram their outdated party political dogmas down out throats.


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