Future of old library site to be decided next week

The planning application from New Ideal Homes to demolish the old library site and build a 3 storey block of flats is scheduled for the next meeting of the Planning Committee. The plan is to build a 3 storey block of flats containing 3 x 3 bedroom and 6 x 1 bedroom flats. All flats to be leased as affordable homes.

The Local planning Authority recommend that the application is accepted although in their own words the design fails to meet the Council’s own standard on minimum space between new build and an existing dwelling and fails to meet the standard on dedicated parking, there isn’t any but still recommend acceptance.

What is a disappointment is the land has always been available for community use. In 1945 it was the site of a YMCA youth centre and then in the 1950’s the library took over the site. Once this site has gone it will mean that there is no community owned land in the centre of Knaphill.

The applicant and the Local Planning Authority refer to the building on the old Clifton’s site as a benchmark for the new building, is that good planning.

The Planning Committee meeting is to be held on 1st July and it will be interesting to listen to our Ward Councillors represent the views of local residents. This meeting is open to the public or can be watched on the Councils webcasting site.

Phil Stubbs

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