sP1090565

Planning permission for conversion of the Carnegie Library, Herne Hill, to a book gym, and spoiling of the lottery-funded reading garden, for the financial benefit of a private corporation, GLL, was granted by Lambeth Council on 30th June 2017. The Council has allowed three years for work to begin, so it is possible (and if the West Norwood Library precedent is followed, likely) that there will be no library service in Herne Hill before the year 2021.

stop the library snatchers

The published timetable for the conversion of the popular local library into the unwanted hybrid devised by GLL for their own enrichment, stated, with Lambeth’s usual disregard for reality, that planning permission would be granted in “late 2016”. So the project, imposed on the neighbourhood in defiance of public opinion, is already more than half a year behind schedule.

Nonetheless, in another departure from reality, Lambeth councillor Jim Dickson has stated that the library will reopen in “December 2017 if all goes to plan”.

dickson tweet

Alongside this claim he posted part of a leaflet outlining the plan, but omitted the part that contains the timetable. I wonder why? Well, this is the timetable in the plan:

carnegie timeline clip

Even in gentrified Lambeth, summer does not last until December. The only word in Jim’s tweet that merits any credibility is “if”.

The Council has never explained why the library needs to be closed to the public during the years when no building work will take place. It has already been closed for over a year, and books from its stock have been given to a commercial bookseller, Better World Books, for a derisory fraction of their cost. The valuable listed building is deteriorating due to lack of use and maintenance, and the once well cared-for garden has become overgrown and infested with Japanese knotweed.

Again somewhat typically, Lambeth has falsely stated to library campaigners that Better World Books is a charity. It is not. It is an American for-profit corporation that sells the valuable stock it receives for second-hand market prices on its own website and tax-dodging Amazon, and for each book sold gives an unsold or unsaleable book to a poor country. Whether the beneficiaries have any say in what they receive is not recorded. Anything unsuitable for either purpose is pulped.

The details of the planning permission are below, from Lambeth’s document.


30th June 2017

Site:

Carnegie Library Herne Hill Road London SE24 0AG

Proposed Development:

Retention of the existing library together with the erection of two single storey extensions to the south west elevation. Change of use and part excavation of the basement from a library (Use Class D1) to a gym and studio (Use Class D2) and the construction of an external plant compound provided at basement level. Existing columns supporting the ground floor will be underpinned and sections of the masonry walls removed and certain openings enlarged.

Existing basement cloakroom fittings including sanitary ware, finishes and partitions will be stripped out to permit reconfiguration and expansion of these facilities with alterations at ground floor level comprising forming a new door to the existing stairwell, removal of existing and provision of new partitions. (Town Planning and Listed Building Consent 16/06270/FUL)

Applicant:

GLL

I refer to my previous letter acknowledging your comments on this proposal. The decision on the planning application is as follows:

Grant Permission

The following conditions for permission or reasons for refusal apply:

1 The development to which this permission relates must be begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning from the date of this decision notice.

Reason: To comply with the requirements of Section 18(1)(a) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

2 The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the approved plans listed in this notice.

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.

3 No works of demolition, partial demolition, or excavation shall commence until full details of the proposed methodology, in the form of an Excavation Method Statement, have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The Excavation Method Statement shall include structural engineer’s drawings and indicate the proposed method of ensuring the safety and stability of the building fabric to be retained throughout any period of demolition, excavation, underpinning, and reconstruction. The relevant work shall be thereafter carried out in accordance with the approved Excavation Method Statement.

Reason: No works should commence before satisfying this condition in order to safeguard the special interest of the listed building and prevent irreparable harm or damage to its special character (policies Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

4 No internal or external works to the fabric of the listed building shall commence until sample panels of the proposed materials are provided on site (walls, coping, cills, louvres, windows, doors etc, air bricks, roofing, paving, modesty glazing) and a schedule of these materials has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The development hereby permitted shall be thereafter built in accordance with the approved details.

Reason: No works to the listed building should commence before satisfying this condition in order to safeguard the special interest of the listed building (policies Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

5 No works relating to the extension and alterations hereby permitted shall commence until construction drawings at 1:10 scale of all proposed works

(including sections and fixing), internal elevations, joinery etc, new doorway, fascias, copings, architectural trim, lighting, railings, gates, steps been

submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The development hereby permitted shall be thereafter built in accordance with the

approved details.

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the works are satisfactory and they protect the special interest of the listed building (Policies Q2, Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

6 All new external and internal work and finishes, and work of making good, shall match the existing adjacent original work in respect of the, materials, colour, size, texture, profile, and finished appearance, except where indicated otherwise on the drawings hereby approved, or unless otherwise required by condition.

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the building is satisfactory and it protects the special interest of the listed building (policies Q2 and Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

7 All new louvred extract grilles and airbricks shown on the approved plans or as approved by condition shall be of the materials, finish and colour to match the exterior and will be retained as such.

Reason: To ensure the external appearance of the building is satisfactory and it protects the character and appearance of the listed building (policies Q2 and Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

8 No new plumbing, pipes, soilstacks, flues, vents or ductwork shall be fixed on the external faces of the building unless shown on the drawings hereby approved.

Reason: To safeguard the special interest of the listed building (policies Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

9 No internal or external works to the fabric of the listed building shall commence until full service drawings of all new plumbing and waste pipes has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The development hereby permitted shall be thereafter built in accordance with the approved details.

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the works are satisfactory and they protect the special interest of the listed building (Policies Q2, Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

10 The following shall be retained on site, protected from damage during works and re-used:

1) loose terracotta copings in courtyard;

2) terracotta rockery in courtyard;

3) tiles from the new stairwell opening and;

4) ornate timber noticeboard in basement

Details of their re-use shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.

The development hereby permitted shall be thereafter built in accordance with the approved details.

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the works are satisfactory and they protect the special interest of the listed building (Policies Q2, Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

11 The demolition of the new doorway opening at raised ground floor level shall be undertaken using hand tools only. The tiles shall be carefully removed without damage for re-use elsewhere in the building.

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the works are satisfactory and they protect the special interest of the listed building (Policies Q2, Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

12 The proposed accessible toilet at basement and ground floor level shall be reconfigured to include baby changing facilities and retained for the duration of use of the building.

Reason: In order to improve accessibility and to ensure the appearance of the works are satisfactory and they protect the special interest of the listed building (Policies Q2, Q11 and Q20 of the London Borough of Lambeth Local Plan (2015)).

Regards,

Lambeth Planning

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