Another drop-in session at Northcote Library tomorrow

Published: Friday 24th February 17

Residents living in and around Northcote Road are being urged to visit their local library to find out more about plans to build a new improved one plus a brand new community hall.

The council is holding an informal consultation on proposals that could eventually see the existing Northcote Library replaced with a larger one that would offer a wider range of library and community services just a few yards away.

It would also see a modern new community hall built on the site of the existing Chatham Hall, which also needs extensive refurbishment. This would provide modern and updated facilities for all the local groups, organisations and businesses that currently hire space there.

How the new library could look

An exhibition outlining precisely what is being considered is on display at Northcote Library until Saturday, March 11.

And another special drop-in session being staged there tomorrow (Saturday) between 10am and 2pm will give local people a further chance to ask the project team any questions they like, face-to-face.

The council’s community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Local people can find out precisely what is being considered by visiting the exhibition at the library or by looking at the consultation website.

“If they go to the library tomorrow they will also be able to get answers to any questions they raise direct from the team who have drawn up these proposals.

“I would respectfully urge local people with an interest in this issue to attend this session to get the full picture because unfortunately its emerged that there are some leaflets circulating in the area that offer a quite inaccurate and misleading version of what is being discussed here.

“We want to provide our residents with a bigger and better local library plus a fully modernised and upgraded community hall that is better able and equipped to meet the needs of the groups that use it and rely on it.

“It is vitally important that local people, whose views will help shape what happens next, have a full and accurate picture of what this scheme actually entails.”

If the current proposals were to proceed it would see a big expansion in the children’s library complete with buggy parking space, enlarged study accommodation, self serve kiosks for book loans, upgraded computer and digital learning areas and a coffee and drinks outlet next to the section containing newspapers, magazine and periodicals.

The existing library building’s flaws include restricted access to its first floor children’s library, no room to safely and securely store buggies, no space to provide computer access on the ground floor, obsolete and inflexible shelving which does not make the best use of the available space, while the building is poorly ventilated and lacking natural light with inadequate toilet and baby changing facilities.

The construction costs of a new library and community hall would be met by also building homes on the two sites. This would mean that local council tax payers would not have to pay a penny towards the new facilities.

Nine flats would be built as part of the new library development while another eight, plus retail space for two shops, would be provided on the existing library site.

People purchasing or renting these properties would not be eligible for parking permits, ensuing there is no added pressure on local parking provision.

The new community hall would also have space on its upper floors for a business suite offering small local businesses state-of-the-art communications technologies, adaptable work spaces and meeting rooms for hire.

Residents who cannot attend the drop-in sessions can call (020) 7566 6463 to find out more or email info@northcotelibrary.co.uk. Information is also available at www.northcotelibrary.co.uk.

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