Two locations in the running for new Marylebone Library site
The search for a premises to house the new Marylebone Library is down to a shortlist of two after the council confirmed possible sites at Luxborough Street and Moxon Street.
Last week Westminster Council announced plans to sell Marylebone Town Hall to the London Business School which would see the current library disappear next year.
But the council is now committed to building a new library either as part of a larger mixed-use development alongside housing at Luxborough Street or on a vacant car park site at Moxon Street.
A possible Luxborough Street housing development has been the source of contention for many years and sparked the Save Our Space campaign which was set up by residents in 1999 to protect the playground and green space located there.
Yael Saunders, who organised the campaign, said residents would continue to oppose any building on the playground, but the inclusion of Moxon Street into plans could see all amenities maintained in Marylebone.
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She said: “We would be delighted to have a library on our doorstep, but not at the expense of the playground.
“If the argument is that they have to build the library at Luxborough Street, but they build a playground at Moxon Street, then that could be OK.
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“It would make great sense if they take a rounded view of the area and consider both sites together to accommodate everything.”
Marylebone Association chairman Stephen Quinn said: “The Luxborough Street site would be slightly better from a public transport point of view because it is closer to Baker Street station and closer to the buses.
“The most important aspect of the two sites is how quickly we could get a new library at either of them.”
The council says the new purpose-built library will be “significantly larger” than the existing space and will continue to hold classes and activities for adults and children.
A temporary library will be located nearby while the new premises is built.
Libraries boss Cllr Melvyn Caplan said: “Marylebone Library is a fantastic example of how a local library can bring together a whole community.
“The local library is the face of the council in the community and providing the best service available for residents and visitors remains our top priority.”
A drop-in session to find out more about the plans will be held at the library on Tuesday, March 6.
For more details visit www.westminster.gov.uk/councilhouse.