Find out more about plans for a new Northcote Library at drop-in sessions

Published: 7 February 2017

Residents living in and around Northcote Road in Battersea can find out more about plans for a new improved local library and community hall at a series of drop-in sessions starting this week.

The council is holding an informal consultation on proposals that could eventually see the existing Northcote Library replaced with a larger, better facility offering a wider range of library and community services just yards away on the other side of Northcote Road.

The change would also see a modern new community hall built on the site of the existing Chatham Hall, which also needs extensive refurbishment.

If the plans proceed and a new library is approved, the current one would remain fully open to the public until its replacement is ready to open its doors.

Leaflets outlining the proposals have been distributed throughout the area and information boards will be on display at Northcote Library until Sunday, March 5

Drop-in sessions are now also being held at the library giving local residents the chance to ask the project team any questions they like face-to-face. These sessions will be held on the following date and times:

  • Thursday, February 9 between 5pm and 8pm
  • Saturday, February 11 from 10am to 2pm
  • Wednesday, February 22, 5pm to 8pm
  • Saturday, February 25 between 10am and 2pm.

The council’s community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We have arranged drop-in sessions at Northcote Library over the coming days and weeks so that residents can find out more about these proposals and tell us what they think.

“Our aim is to provide a brand-new library with a much greater range of services than is possible in the existing library building, which was built nearly 50 years ago and is no longer really adequate or suitable to meet the needs of today’s population.

“At a time when demand for library services is growing, and while other councils are axing their library network, we want to improve and expand our facilities in a building that’s fit for the 21st century.”

The proposals 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 current 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 cost of building a new library and community hall would be met by providing residential on the two sites. This would mean that local council tax payers would not have to pay a penny towards the new facilities.

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.

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.

Residents who cannot attend the drop-in sessions can call (020) 7566 6463 to find out more or email Information is also available at

Sign up for weekly e-news all about Wandsworth