Friday, 8 June 2012

Public rally to defence of Willesden Green Conservation area

There may be some duplication of the previous posting but here are all the on-line comment on the Willesden Green Conservation area application (12/1191) LINK  Formal closing date for comments June 12th 2012.
  • 43 Balmoral Road , London , NW2 5BN : Dear sirs, I strongly object to the demolition of the period half timbered Victorian building which occupies the corner of the site on the High Road. This particular good example of a pleasing aesthetic addition to the architectural character of the High Road is in my mind, something that should be retained. Its removal is surely not necessary as the site itself is sufficient size to cope with the new propsed demands. The aesthetic contradiction in style to its new neighbour is no more a problem than it is now, which seems to work. In fact I see no reason at all for its removal. It has stood the test of time, which the current development soon wont, and who is to say that new proposal similarly will be subject to the same process in 20 years time. I hope my comments help persuade and guarantee its safe future which I'm sure Mr Pevsner would agree would regard as something of a little gem
  • 16 Grange Road , London , NW10 2QU: As a resident of grange road for over 40 years and having already had to live through one regeneration of the library I firstly object greatly to the destruction of the old library building at the front of the building. this falls under english heritage and should in no way be demolished and is also not legal to do so. Secondly I object to the amount of parking that will be supllied for the new flats at the back 60 parking spaces with a possibility of up to 400 people living in these flats this does clearly not add up it also removes what is already a busy parking area for willesden high road. Thirdly my house currently has a large amount of day light in the windows adjacent to the plans for the new property which we recieve throughout the day, as per the plans this new building will greatly decrease the amount of daylight available to my property which I currently work from as a photographer and therefore greatly damages my right of light under the Prescription Act of 1832 having had over 40 years enjoyment of light through this window. As such this is therefore also illegal. I believe this new building proposal will greatly limit the amount of light coming in through my window and the level of light inside will fall below the accepted level, which then constitutes an obstruction and will leave me no option but to take legal action and request an injunction against the landowner. I do not recall anyone consulting with any residents on Grange road about this very serious matter? residents seem to have been totally ignored on all of these points? I will also be sending a copy of these points into the local and london press
  • 157 Brondesbury Park , London , NW2 5JL : Whilst i do not object to replacing the existing "tired" willesden Library with a state of the art new one I do object to the demolition of the beautiful old library. The old library is a building of historic architectural importance and is the only interesting/beautiful building on the shabby high street (hence why it was listed in the first place!). Having attended a number of meetings regarding the plans for the demolition of both buildings on the site to build a new library building and 96 flats it would seem to me that Brent Council has not given any consideration to what the residents of Willesden Green want and need and has rather bowed to the demands of its chosen developer Galliford Try who will obviously profit through the sale of these unwanted flats. The development of such a large number of new properties on the exisiting library site will not benefit Willesden residents in any way and will in fact bring huge amounts of increased traffic to the area, specifically Brondesbury Park (where the entrance to these flats will be). Perhaps Brent shoud consder reducing the number of flats on the site as a means of saving the historic old library and also consider saving more open space around the area for the benefit of local resdents.
  • 24B Chambers Lane , London , NW10 2RJ: I would like to strongly object to the demolition of the Old Library Building. The Old Library building, while not a perfect example of architecture, is the most attractive building on the high road - which is a conservation area. Removing it would significantly destroy the character of the area - which it was set up to specifically to prevent. It is almost certain that the new building will age badly - the old building will still be a beautiful building of interest in 100 years time, yet a new building will almost certainly not be (most probably has a designed life span of far less) and the old building lost forever. Secondly, it is not necessary to demolish the building to achieve the benefit of a new library centre, although I do agree that it would significantly reduce a developer's profit if the Old Library Building were to remain in place. As far as I'm aware, the planning guidelines state that local planning authorities should refuse consent unless "it can be demonstrated that the substantial harm or loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.". There is no concrete evidence that benefit cannot be achieved without demolishing the Old Library Building (I very much doubt the new centre will be significantly better than the existing one - an additional coffee shop does not count). Therefore I believe the planning application cannot be granted if the guidelines are followed in letter or spirit.
  • 70 Walm Lane Willesden Green , London , NW2 4RA : As both a local resident living on Churchill Road and as someone who has an office on Walm lane I would like to register my objection to the loss of the historic old library building. The locally listed Old Library has been at the heart of Willesden High Road for well over a century, it is greatly valued by the local community and it is locally listed. It would be a huge loss to the High Road as it is one of the few remaining historical buildings in the local area. If Willesden Green library is to be rebuilt then the plans should incorporate the Old Library. This objection is particularly relevant to Planning Application 12/1191, Conservation Area Consent. Brent Council have argued that the Old Library building is not of major significance. However, as well as being an intergral part of group of Victorian buildings which form the core of the Willesden Green Conservation Area, the Old Library is architecturally significant in its own right. The applicant¿s Heritage Statement argues that the significance of the Old Library has been diminished as a result of the work that has taken place on the building. This means, it is argued, that the building pays little resemblance to the original 1894 building. However, this ignores that reason for the building work that took place in the 1980s, which was to ensure that the 1894 frontage could be preserved as part of a building put to good use.
  • 110 Brondesbury Park , Willesden Green , London , NW2 5JR : The old library building is an important landmark for Willesden Green. Despite some changes mostly internally to this building over the years, externally it is a beautiful and lovely local example of Victorian architecture. This building should remain as a reminder and a tribute to those those women and who ensured in the first instance that the area got it's very own library. I recall that using that small library was a total joy. Residents were deeply saddened when its use as a library ceased. Now it is very hard to contemplate the bulldozers coming in. I am yet to understand why the building cannot be incorporated into the architects design. The old library building sits on a relatively small amount of land. If it is looked after it will probably be there in a another 100 years. I wonder how long the proposed new structure will hold up? Our views matter, and it is time that those of you who we the residents elected to look after our local interest begin to take account of our serious objections to the demolition of this building. Many residents have accepted that the council will march along regardless with their plans to demolish the main library. But the council also know that residents are passionate about wanting to save the old library building. It is quite simply an important part of our heritage and to demolish it to my mind is nothing short of draconian. Along with thousand of residents in Willesden and Brent, I beg the planning authorities to look again at this application and move positively to save this locally listed building.
  • 203C Brondesbury Park , LONDON , NW2 5JN : Whilst development and investment in our communities should be encouraged, it is important that the development adds more value to the community than it takes away. Upon review of the plans submitted, it appears a good balance is not achieved; they may not therefore "avoid angry site neighbours" problems. The designs do not seem in keeping with the visual environment, although it is not helped as the comparison is the current Library which is attractive and in keeping. The impact on road congestion will be very significant and parking problems for the type and number of residential units will be totally unacceptable. It may be appropriate to carefully investigate the assumptions on traffic density impact and associated potential safety matters, most particularly as this purports to cater for young people and children.These residential units, in addition to them being architecturally insensitive, will affect light into mine and other neighbouring property and remove privacy completely for many. If the plans were to be amended to reduce elevation, increase quality retail space, which encourages an upgrade of offer to the High Street, then the proposals may begin to have some merit. I would also like to see a greater emphasis from the developer on local jobs.
  • 33 Gowan Road , London , - , NW10 2SH: The old library building is a beautiful and iconic landmark and is in character with the area. It was paid for by people who wanted to leave something for future residents of the area. The proposal to demolish it is motivated purely by short term profit and should not be agreed. The building which will replace the old library is ugly, too big for the area and designed merely to be an 'add-on' to the 92 unit residential development. The Planning Committee should not agree to this act of municipal vandalism.
  • 26b Grange Road NW10 2QU: LOSS OF OPEN SPACE; There is an application to designate the conservation area surrounding the library as common land; used for St. Patrick's Day celebrations, French Market, etc. It's our, public land. Once lost, it will be gone forever - after our non-resident "representatives" and property developers have left for greener pastures, leaving residents behind with browner ones. UNJUSTIFIED LOSS OF THE ICONIC,VICTORIAN BUILDING - The front of the Original 1984 Library Building, built and paid for by local taxpayers will be demolished. Developer's greed for space is the only justification. UGLINESS AND SHADOW - The proposed aspect is out of sympathy with surrounding buildings. Too high and will leave adjoining gardens in longer periods of shadow, muddier and unusable for longer drying-out periods. PEDESTRIAN CONGESTION - Narrower pavements and increased traffic will result in higher local levels of stress and inconvenience. Books are heavy things to carry on public transport for people with disabilities and parents with children. Library visits and books borrowed have already decreased. The new Centre will be more congested. ENVIROMENTAL WASTE - The demolition of a sound building, 23 years old, which Brent Council has never used to its full potential, and allowed to run down. Why bother recycling? MULTIPLE CONTRAVENTION OF CLAUSES IN BRENT'S OWN GUIDELINES: 4. Environmental Protection (.pdf, 343Kb) 5. Housing (.pdf, 583Kb) 6. Transport (.pdf, 958Kb) 8. Town Centres and Shopping (.pdf, 886Kb) 9. Tourism, Entertainment and the Arts (.pdf, 207Kb) 10. Open Space and Recreation (.pdf, 810Kb) 11. Community Facilities (.pdf, 363Kb) 12. Waste (.pdf, 255Kb). All available online, and with which all Case Officers should be familiar. NO PUBLIC GAIN - the new plans offer less space and fewer resources to local residents, but free land to private developers and extra offices to even more Council "representatives". There is no planning gain under the Section 106 agreement. The interim provision for students is inadequate. There is less space for parents with small children and buggies. NO MEANINGFUL CONSULTATION - Despite the misleading information strategically issued to the media by Brent Council and developers Galliford Try, this entire scheme was orchestrated behind closed doors for one year and then presented as a "done deal", take-it-or-leave-it. I am cynically aware that there are laws for the rich and others for the poor. But can anyone imagine this arrogant proposal being dumped on the affluent and well-connected residents of Hampstead, Richmond, Kensington, etc? STRONG LOCAL OPPOSITION TO THE PLANS - 80% of local residents are against. Not including a further 10% of parents from South American, African or Asian backgrounds who regularly use the library facilities, but who do not have the linguistic levels to understand and oppose the plans. MIS-MANAGEMENT - Councillors over the last 20 years have allowed the existing Library building to run down. There is no guarantee they will not do the same with the new one. LOSS OF INDEPENDENT, MULTI-CULTURAL BOOKSHOP - perfectly in tune with the needs of our local community and schools. LOSS OF PARKING - Where will town visitors park? How much extra stress will be put on resident car-owners? The information regarding parking is misleading. Local businesses will suffer. 92 luxury flats will not compensate for loss in local trade. TRANSFER OF PUBLIC LAND TO PRIVATE SECTOR - Increasing the discrepancy between rich and poor. The development is for private housing, an excellent time to buy if you have an extra £300,000 to invest (Labour Councillors should hang their heads in shame). SECRECY - This scheme was developed behind closed doors for one year before being dumped on local residents. Constant dela
  • 20A Grange Road , London , NW10 2QU: I vehemently object to this planning application (12/1190 and 12/1191) on the following grounds: 1. Having lived at my property (20 Grange Road) for 20 years, under the1959 Rights of Light Act, I have the right to continue having light through my front window. 2. The demolition of the Victorian old library building removes the only building of character in this part of Willesden. 3. The demolition of the existing library is absurd given that it is a few decades old and has recently been entirely renovated¿using money from our Council Taxes 4. The proposed new library building is extraordinarily ugly and inappropriate for its surroundings. 5. The proposed new library building is far too small for the purpose, and would represent a massive loss of functionality at a time when so many libraries have been closed. 6. The abolition of parking for the library will cause congestion on Grange Road, so that residents will be unable to park. 7. The proposed new housing does not help to mitigate the lack of affordable housing in Willeseden¿it is clearly a money-making scheme for the developer, without benefit to ordinary working people in Willesden. It will simply increase the crowding of local amenities and place further pressure on borough services. 8. Finally, I am appalled by the lack of consultation that has characterized this proposal. It has been rushed through, presumably because the developers and borough council realized that residents of Willesden¿who through their council tax pay the salaries of borough officials¿would not accept this outrageous proposal.
  • 30 Linacre Road , London , NW2 5BB : It would be totally unacceptable and against the wishes of most residents if the old library were to be demolished. It is one of the most significant old buildings in the area and with a little imagination and a small extra cost, could easily be incorporated into the plans for a new centre. If Brent Planning approve this, there will no doubt be fierce opposition by various means and the decision will certainly be remembered at the next election. There is absolutely no excuse for this blatant architectural vandalism and profiteering so often seen in London and Brent have the power to ensure a compromise is agreed to keep the original small building which has graced our Willesden Green scenery since 1894.
  • 142 Walm Lane , London , NW2 4RU : I stronly object to the demolition of this library. This library is the heart of our community. It has succeeded in inviting young people in as well as people of all ages and range of the community. I have never seen so many young people preferring to spend their day in this library than anywhere else. That is because the library is unique. It is truly pleasant, beautiful building, friendly atmosphere and it is also wonderfully organised. It organizes all kinds of events that interest all kinds of people. Due to this library we don't have antisocial behaviour in Willesden Green as young people prefer to spend their time in it than anywhere else. I would suggest to anyone who doubts the importance of this library, to go and spend one day in there. He or she will realize that this library is special. It is a meeting point where people can socialize and relax in a safe, pleasant and inspiring environment. This library is the heart of our community. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE IT AWAY FROM US!
  • 142 Walm Lane , London , NW2 4RU : I strongly object to the demolition of this library. It is the heart of our community and a meeting point for people of all ages. It has succeeded in inviting young people in and keeping antisocial behaviour at bay. It is a beautiful building, with uniquely friendly and warm atmosphere, which organizes all kinds of interesting and beneficial events and seminars. If taken away, people will loose a vital part of their lives.
  • 10 Balmoral Road , Willesden , London , NW2 5BT : I strongly object to the destruction of the original Library building , which has been an iconic landmark in the High Road for over a century. This council seems hell bent on destroying this boroughs heritage, despite the very vocal complete and united local opposition to its demolition. The local people do not want this building to disappear. It it not that long ago that the Library was rebuilt, and luckily the original entrance to the "old " building was saved and persevered for prosperity and future generations. This beautiful Victorian / Edwardian era building is a wonderful part of our borough and should be kept. Whose is to say in twenty year time you will not want to rebuild this one and waste even more of " our " money ( being the council tax payers of this borough).
  • 7 Huddlestone Road , Willesden Green , London , NW2 5DL : I object to the application on a number of counts I am a concerned resident of Huddlestone Road Willesden Green. I am concerned that the proposed consultation on planning consent for the Willesden Green Library development runs contrary to Brent Councils policy on Conservation areas and would be as such a public law breach.  Although many elements of BE25 -27 apply to the proposed development I particularly want to bring your attention to BE27.  BE27 DEMOLITION & GAP SITES IN CONSERVATION AREAS Consent will not be given for the demolition of a building, or alteration involving demolition of part of a building, in a conservation area unless the building, or part of the building, positively detracts from the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. It clearly states that no consent can be given to the demolition of a building in a conservation area unless it positively detracts from the character or appearance of the conservation area. Given that the building is Victorian, and inside the conservation area, in good repair and locally listed it cannot be said to positively detract from the conservation area. Councillors should therefore not be put in the position of having to decide on its demolition. I would argue that until consultation on changing planning guidance for conservation areas takes place that this particular planning application, if it includes the Old (Victorian) Library at Willesden Green, represents a public law breach.  The loss of the building represents a loss of cultural heritage as it is a one of a small number of landmark buildings that act as the centre of Willesden Green. By removing the old library the conservation area will be markedly undermined. Secondly the proposed new building although full of council administrative facilities has less cultural amenities. The library is smaller and there is no cinema. It is unfortunate that this once vibrant building has been undermined by years of poor management. Thirdly the proposals represent a loss of gathering space. By moving the new building forward a valued public open space next to the high road will be lost. This space has been used more and more by markets and dining. Rather than taking this positive facility away from the community work should be done to increase usage.
  • 9 Osborne Road NW2 5DR : The old Library is unarguably one of the most distinctive buildings in the area, and has considerable local interest for its characterful fa├žade which provides an important focal point in the streetscape and surrounding conservation area. Its demolition will not be compensated by the erection of a new Cultural Centre for two main reasons. First, the new center fails to provide net gains for the community: residents will lose library footspace, a much-loved bookshop, a cinema, public parking, the only open public area in the neighborhood in front of the existing library. The only gains are for the Council in the form of offices and for private developers in the form of the luxury gated residential community they stand to profit from. Second, the old library is the only iconic historical building that gives Willesden Green a sense of place and identity. It plays a role akin to Harlesden Clock tower or the station parade in Kensal Rise, giving the neighbourhood a landmark building in an open area that offers residents of all backgrounds a sense of belonging, and the only breathing space on the High Road. The 1894 building represents the civic pride of Willesden Green, anchoring a historical continuity between successive communities that have come to this area to better themselves and their children. Demolishing it simply to make space for luxury flats at the rear of the new development is an insult to both the memory of working class residents who forked out to erect the library in the first place, and to current and future residents who wish to continue that legacy of collective self-improvement through learning.
  • 9 Osborne Road NW2 5DR : I am writing to object to demolition of the old library. I have been a local resident for many years and have seen how this building adds to the appearance and welcome offered by the area in front of the current Willesden library. We have old and new together - symbolising for some that know- the long struggle for literacy in Brent supported by its residents. For others the Willesden Green landmark is used in local businesses on their advertising. If this building is demolished and replaced by the impersonal new Willesden library centre we lose sense of place and uniqueness that helps residents feel part of an area that is theirs and not run by big business with all the usual brand names littering where we live.
  • 61 Chatsworth Rd , London , NW2 4BG : The old library building is one of the last preserved remnants of our architectural heritage left on Willesden High Rd. This characterful historic building is really the only beautiful building left in the area and it would simply be vandalism to demolish it. The hypocritical nature of the Councils proposal, that it's somehow OK for this important building to be knocked down beggars belief - it is not OK. The proposal to replace it with the new build would not only destroy the historic building with it's connection to the past, it would fundamentally change, forever, and for the worse, the character of Willesden. Currently the corner on which this wonderful building sits provides a rare and valued sense of space - it is an important open area which is vital to break up the "closed in" darkness that the rest of that stretch of High Road has. In addition, we would be left with a charmless anonymous modern building which has no architectural merit or innovative features of note - it could not possibly be said to provide an improvement of any kind to the area. I have used the library, and its excellent amenities, including the bookshop for many years and can see no valid reason for its replacement. Not only that, the current deficit of facilities caused by the shutdown of other local libraries would leave residents in this area without a valuable resource just when times are hard and access to library facilities are crucial for education and job seeking. It would be a waste of valuable resources to replace something that is very successful for the community already, with what you propose, at a time when we can't afford to make such costly mistakes. The way this project has been handled, with its sneaky introduction and continuation in the face of overwhelming public condemnation has angered many in the community. By all means build on the car park, but don't, please, damage Willesdens future by going any further than that. I object strongly to the proposal, it is simply short sighted and thoughtless for the future of Willesden and its residents.
  • 8 Churchill Rd., Willesden, , London , NW2 5EA : This piece of Willesden's architectural character and history should not be destroyed.
  • 51chesham street , London , London , Nw100au : Dear sir, The proposal to demolish the library cottage is not in the best interest of the area as this is English heritage site, which includes all the properties surrounding it and this includes the baptist church to the left and the police station, also those properties within site of the cottage. What would the planning committee like to de next, demolish the church and the police station ? We must conserve something of the old willedsden high road, too much demolition is not good for the generations to come. Yours sincerely Chris janes
  • 40 Normanby Road , London , NW10 1BX: I object to plans to demolish the Victorian library building. The historical significance of the building stems from the fact it is a link to the area's origins and the building forms a key and integral part of the conservation area. Its significance in terms of its value to the community is clear and it is a significant and a recognised heritage asset because of its archaeological, architectural, artistic and historic contribution to the area. The building was designed by Newman and Newman, well-known architects whose London work helps define the architecture of the late Victorian period. It is original, being built at the time when Willesden Green was first developed, and it links to other notable buildings in the area (the church, the bank and the police station). On the Brent Council website the following text on Willesden Green appears (http://www.brent.gov.uk/tps.nsf/Conservation%20areas/LBB-283) in which the Council clearlystates that the Victorian library is listed as a building of note: ¿A Victorian commercial centre with buildings of note by several well-known architects: James Brooks, Newman and Newman and Gabriel contributed St. Andrews Church, the library, and the bank premises respectively.¿ It is a terrible idea to knock down preserved buildings in a conservattion area, and plans to demolish the old library building should not be approved by Brent Council.
  • 79 Churchill Road , Willesden Green , London , NW2 5EG : This is one of the few distinctive and community-valued buildings in Willesden Green. It prevents the road becoming a dark corridor defined only by shadow and road traffic. The building appears is valuable to residents of all ages and backgrounds and in a democracy, their views must come first within their own community. It is an intrinsic element of the neighbourhood and the only clear landmark we in Willesden Green have. If Brent Council destroys this building, it will be clear sign that they believe heritage, community, and good architecture are for wealthy neighbourhoods only. The building could be incorporated into a 'hub' of buildings, and in this way it could continue to make a clear and valuable contribution to any library or cultural complex in this area of London. To demolish it would cause a great deal of pain to a large number of people.
  • 54 Chatsworth Road , London , NW2 4DD : i wish to object. this is one of the finest buildings in the area, there are very few old buildings of character left in the area, the history of brent should be preserved not destroyed. the conservation was placed to save this and should be respected, there are many excellent new developments that integrate old interesting architecture into them rather than the lazy and unimaginative destruction. when looked at later it is always clear that the demolition was wrong, i come from a city the pulled down some of the finest victorian buildings of the industrial revolution in the 1960's and replaced them with ones that are now due for demolition, the old building left remain the citites finest. dont do this to brent deborah minchom
  • 8A Harlesden Road , Willesden , London , NW10 2BX: I believe the old library is a heritage to this community and should not be demolished. I also believe the main building is too new and under developed and has not been allowed to reach its full potential. The library and archive are invaluable and not only myself but many of my friends use the existing services. The new plans are for financial gain only and not for the benefit of the "community". There are enough "multi cultural" site around here to cover the so called "minorities". The effect on traffic together with the ineffectual proposals in place will be worse. As I see it there will be no social housing provided, again a lack of investment in "council stock". There are enough problems with housing without adding more privatised households. I therefore object to the new proposals as they stand. Perhaps some Council homes to be made in the rear car park. A new initiative for the existing building, maybe the cinema being brought back to life as there is definitive need for that. Proper regeneration for the high road . Not a money making fund for the council and a private company. This is not what we pay our taxes for. It is about time OUR taxes were used for the total gain of the community not some land holders and a private company. Sincerely Paul Lovell
  • 41 Staverton Road , LONDON , NW2 5HA : Well this is the 4th attempt in trying to submit an objection. Maybe it is a ruse so your passionate pleas to rethink this appalling scheme get diminished. As I wrote before Willesden Green library holds special memories for me bringing up my children in Willesden over the last 20 years. There were times when it was well run and they held poetry readings for children (I went to one with Michael Rosen it was brilliant), jazz evenings at the pub, films to be enjoyed and a fantastic selection of books/films and music. Over the years it has been run down and now I think that this was probably deliberate so as to make the passage smoother to bulldoze it down and erect a building which appears to have no soul - a design so out of keeping with our High Street. We have lovely old buildings, a few modern disasters given planning permission by previous deluded planners, and the library and old library blend into this and have become the focal point of Willesden. The proposal is appalling and you should all be ashamed of yourselves of selling our heritage for a short term return. We don't need more houses, especially as they are not being built for the young of Willesden who cannot afford them, we don't need a dated design blotting our High Street. But you got yourselves elected (narrowly) you have closed many libraries, and you feel you can do whatever you please. The consultation will go ahead - like Ken Livingstone's consultation on the extension of the congestion zone - and even if you get more people objecting you will tell us "well it was only a consultation it didn't mean we would take any notice" But please stop and think - once you pull it down you can't build it up again. Think of better usage and management - use the space well. Let us enjoy our bookshop and the amenities that could be. Be bold and stop this dreadful plan. How can you look at it and think that it is an improvement?? Another consideration is that you are going to leave this part of the borough without a library whilst you carry out this vandalism. Where are the people going to go ..... it is so central to schools, buses and has a car park ..... it is madness. How proud you will feel when your legacy is that of destroying the heart of Willesden? But you probably don't live here.
  • 27 Harlesden Road , London , NW10 2BY: 1. The old library building is a unique and valued part of Willesden's history and heritage. It is also the only remaining part of the old library which was built by local people to enhance their educational prospects and stands as a tribute to working-class aspirations. It was locally-listed by Brent Council and I am appalled that elected councillors are now willing to remove this local listing and destroy our local heritage for short-term benefit. 2. The appearance of the old library building is in keeping with the rest of the High Road and is unique to Willesden. The new building does not fit in with the existing streetscape and will turn Willesden into yet another cheap and nasty town centre likely to only attract anti-social behaviour.
  • 15 Grange Road NW10 , London , : I would like to bring the right to light law to your attention, as it states if you have enjoyed the right to light in front of our house for over 20 years and we also own our property. Please read below the laws regarding the rights to light and you will agree that we have a case. Regarding no 15 this building does not effect us personally now or before, but the proposal on block B directly opposite my property is set as a 5 storey building and the 5th is set back and that will tower our house and block the sun light, which we have enjoyed the sun light through the windows for over 20 years. RIGHT OF LIGHT Basic Information Detail A Right of Light is protected in England and Wales under common law, adverse possession or by the Prescription Act 1832. Unlike right to freedom from smell and noise, a Right of Light has to be acquired before it can be enforced. Natural light is a commodity that can be bought, sold or even transferred between parties. Rights can be registered, granted by deed or simply acquired by having a minimum of 20 years enjoyment of light through a window or opening. Once a window has received over 20 years of unobstructed daylight, it automatically earns itself a Right of Light. Such rights are, for Land Registration purposes, overriding interests. They are valid whether or not they are registered on the title deeds to the property which claims the right. A development may be prevented due to a Right of Light, even if Planning Permission has been granted by the Local Authority. If a new building limits the amount of light coming in through a window and the level of light inside falls below the accepted level, then this constitutes an obstruction. Unless the owner of the affected window waives his rights he would be entitled to take legal action against the landowner if he considered that his light is being blocked. To complicate matters further, the law recognises that some loss of light is acceptable and the fact that there is less light does not necessarily give a land owner a right to complain. The general rules are: 1) The reduction in light must make the property less fit than it was for its purpose. 2) The amount of "appropriate" light may vary depending upon building, use and even region. 3) The amount of light considered to be sufficient will tend to increase as standards of living and expectations increase. Any kind of 'development' can potentially block light. For instance: A new shed Garden walls Extensions Part of a new housing or commercial development. This may prevent a proposal from the erection of a building or extension that will significantly reduce the level of daylight to an adjoining window. Therefore if a neighbour has a window that might have acquired a Right to Light it is important to take this into consideration; the neighbour may have a case for compensation or for negotiating changes to the development. Most cases usually involve a combination of both. Taken to an extreme this could mean the removal of offending development. House extensions are a common cause of right to light disputes as homeowners may employ a local building firm to extend their property without appreciating the development could affect their neighbours. The most common problem is where the neighbour has a window to the side of their house to which the light is blocked by a high wall. On a small building project people rarely employ professional advisors and the first they know of a problem is when they receive a letter from their neighbour's solicitor. In any proposed development, it is vital that investigations are made to ensure that adjoining owners do not have rights which may prevent build.
  • 99 Bryan Avenue , London , NW10 2AS: I do not agree with: - Demolition of the old library building - Erection of flats which leads to loss of car parking space - Loss of bookshop in the centre

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