Friday, 31 August 2012

Brent Council wanted a Willesden Town Square in 1984

Wassail at Willesden Town Square 2010
 Philip Grant has sent us the following comment on the Willesden Town Square application:
Martin Redston's application for Town Square status to be given to the space between Willesden Green Library Centre and the original 1894 library building actually fits in with what Brent Council  wanted when they planned the 1980's redevelopment of Willesden Green Library.
In a document produced by Brent's Development Department (the forerunner of the present "Regeneration and Major Projects") in December 1983, an annotated 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.'
Some councillors wanted to save money on the project, and demolish the whole of the old (Victorian) 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.' 
Len Snow's view, and that of like-minded Councillors, eventually prevailed, giving Willesden Green the public square that local people have enjoyed for more than 25 years, and still enjoy.

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