A planning application for the new North Kensington Library and Youth Centre has been submitted by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Highlights of the proposals include:
- a larger library floor space – 829 sq m (compared with a current area of 580 sq m) to accommodate an improved selection of books, magazines and newspapers, a reading room and informal activity space
- the new library arranged all on the ground floor making it easier for wheelchair users, buggies and people with reduced mobility to navigate;
- more meeting rooms and spaces for adult education classes and local organisations to use;
- more quiet study space and a dedicated children’s library;
comfortable seating and natural light throughout;
excellent Wi-Fi and IT;
- access to refreshment facilities;
- public toilets with baby change facilities;
- an improved youth centre;
- a rooftop games area for sport and recreation, with dedicated changing facilities available for building users and the wider community;
- a range of energy efficiency measures to reduce maintenance and running costs.
The outcome of the planning application is expected to be decided by the local planning authority on Thursday 30 March.
If granted planning permission, construction of the new building should start during summer 2017, with the new library opening by 2020. The current library would remain open until the new one, just 50 metres away on Lancaster Road, is ready for use.
Designed by architects Piercy&Company and project-managed by Mace Group, the proposed new North Kensington Library would not only be bigger and better than the current building, but it has also been designed to include additional commercial space that can be rented out to provide much needed income to help the Council protect its vital frontline services. The commercial space has been fully and openly marketed and generated much interest from a range of educational businesses; the Council’s Cabinet is due to decide on the new tenant for the commercial space in February 2017.
The planning application is available online - at www.rbkc.gov.uk/planning