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Books damaged as pop-up library is demolished before dawn

Neighbours woke up to find the pop-up library at Kensal Rise library had been torn down by All Souls College

Campaigners outside what was Kensal Rise pop-up library

A POP-UP library went from imaginarium to Stig of the Dump following an early morning demolition.

The volunteer library outside the former Kensal Rise library building in Bathurst Gardens was taken apart by All Souls College, Oxford, at 5am this morning.

Members of the community were shocked to find the shelves, books, plants and piano taken apart and dumped on the pavement outside the century-old building.

Phil O’Shea, part of the library campaign, said: “I heard it was being taken down at 5am. The extraordinary thing is that for over two years while the pop-up library has been here there hasn’t been one incident of vandalism. Taking it down they have broken all the shelving and there were plants here as well, the books have been damaged. They could have talked to the campaign before they took it down but we knew nothing about it.”

The pop-up library was set up by the Friends of Kensal Rise library after the service was closed by Brent Council in 2011.



Richard Tufnell, from Cluttons estate agents which represents All Souls, said: “We had to have vacant possession of the building from today. We had also been asked by the council last year to remove the pop-up library, but this wasn’t done. The pop-up library was trespassing on the library property.”

Ownership reverted back to All Souls College when the building ceased to be used as a library.

The college sold the building to developer Andrew Gillick and as of today he takes over the freehold of the building.

All Souls needed to ensure that Mr Gillick had vacant possession before they could hand it over.

Mr Gillick is expected to lodge a planning application for the building imminently.



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