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Fears for the future of historic Muswell Hill Library

PUBLISHED: 13:16 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:59 04 March 2016

The future of Muswell Hill Library's home since 1931 is in question. Picture: Tony Gay

The future of Muswell Hill Library's home since 1931 is in question. Picture: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

Muswell Hill Library could be moved out of its listed building on Queens Avenue, according to a new Haringey Council feasibility report.

The report aims to look at how the library service can be developed to give inclusive access to staff and wider community users as a “fully accessible modern facility.”

Haringey Council had been consulting on whether to re-model the library, extend the library courtyard or develop vacant land behind the library.

But the report argues the council should consider moving the library to an “alternative site” in Muswell Hill.

It says the other options exceed the budget and permissions are needed to develop a listed building.

It would not be possible to make the entrance suitable for disabled users under the law, the report says.

And library services would need to be suspended for a “minimum of 20 weeks” if the work is carried out.

Cllr Gail Engert, leader of the opposition, received the report following a member’s enquiry.

She said: “The Liberal Democrats are concerned that Labour has forgotten that moving Muswell Hill Library means that the public will lose access to a wonderful grade 2 listed gem.

“A building which sits on land that was donated for public use by James Edmondson, a man who was in many ways the architect of the Muswell Hill we know and love today.

“The closure of the Muswell Hill Library building would be a great loss to the local community. We will be fighting hard to keep the library open on its current site.”


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