Save Lambeth Libraries and the Carnegie Library occupation

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by save_r_library, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    it is an artist's impression and therefore may not be entirely accurate
  2. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Excellent comment from the Friends Of Carnegie Library on the Buzz article:

    Tricky Skills and Greebo like this.
  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Anyone going?

  4. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  5. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I went along to the pop up library and the 'exhibition' today. The former was a lovely community event, the latter a total waste of time.
    Gramsci and Greebo like this.
  6. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    The exhibition seemed very thin on information. It was just the usual information boards of community hubs, motherhood and apple pie as far as I could see. I gather Alderman Dickson put in an appearance - but unfortunately I missed that. Will there be pictures?
    Gramsci and Greebo like this.
  7. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I saw you walking in as I went past!

    And yes, it was utterly pointless in terms of information.
    Gramsci, CH1 and Greebo like this.
  8. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  9. footballerslegs

    footballerslegs Well-Known Member

    I was going to go to the exhibition today... But from what I'm reading - is it worth it?
  10. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's worth going along for a moan if it makes you feel better, but I'd definitely recommend the Pop Up Library opposite. Great to see people doing this kind of stuff. Uplifting.
    Greebo likes this.
  11. footballerslegs

    footballerslegs Well-Known Member

    Yes I think that's how it will go - moan at one and be inspired (and probably a bit sad, again that it has come to this) with the other.
    Greebo and editor like this.
  12. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I think anyone genuinely interested should go along. There is not a huge amount of information, but there is a bit more than I have seen presented previously. There are also some councillors there who you can question.

    I will put up some photos of the info boards shortly.
    footballerslegs and Greebo like this.
  13. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    CH1, footballerslegs and Greebo like this.
  14. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    One boards says: "Lambeth has commissioned a study to decide the future location of the Lambeth Archives currently located at the Minet."

    I imagine Savills have got the 'For Sale' sign ready for at least some of the building.
  15. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    The proposals claim that the same level of book stock as previously held will be available. I don't think this is something that was promised previously, but perhaps someone who has been following things in detail can correct me on this.

    They say that Lambeth librarians will be present every day for "up to two hours" which is not very specific. That could be 10 minutes a day, and even if they were there for two hours, that's no good to anyone who could use their services outside those hours. So it seems that effectively they are proposing that it is not staffed by any librarians.

    The floorplan rather vaguely shows (in pink) a large area on the ground floor that is "community library space & flexible community space". So we don't know how much of this will actually be "library".
    Greebo likes this.
  16. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Through the letterbox
    rps20160702_225649.jpg rps20160702_225626.jpg rps20160702_225600.jpg rps20160702_225533.jpg
    Greebo likes this.
  17. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

  18. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    So now the council have put everyone's backs up, are these people now a less bad option?
    Or are they opportunistically playing into a stalemate/vacuum?
    Tricky Skills and Greebo like this.
  19. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I don't know. It's all quite confusing. Seems to include some ex councillors and some who are/were involved in the Friends of Carnegie Library:


    But they don't seem on good terms with the Friends at present...
    CH1 likes this.
  20. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    The defend the 10 people were shown on Russia Today News UK this evening - presumably will come round again at 10.00 pm 11.00 pm again. It was part of a feature saying something like 953 libraries have been closed in England since 2010. Freeview Ch 135 (113 HD)
    Greebo likes this.
  21. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  22. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Greebo and editor like this.
  23. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Gramsci and CH1 like this.
  24. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Have the consultation results arrived?
    Lambeth issued this press release today Love Lambeth

    Next steps for Carnegie as plans are submitted
    4 November, 2016
    Written by: Michael Stringer
    Council news > Culture and community > Herne Hill > News

    The next steps in the future of Carnegie Library have been taken, with plans submitted to the council.

    Two community groups have submitted formal applications to the council to run the building in Herne Hill through an Asset Transfer process.


    It is planned that a Neighbourhood Library service, provided by Lambeth council and hosted in the building, will open towards the end of 2017 alongside other community uses and a new gym in the basement.

    Both business plans recognise the wider range of uses for the building as essential in maintaining a library service into the future.

    The council worked closely with both groups – The Carnegie Community Trust and The Carnegie Library Association – and the Asset Transfer submissions will be independently assessed over the coming months.

    A planning application from the council’s leisure provider GLL to install a gym in the basement of the building has also been submitted. The planning application should be determined in early 2017.

    Word from the Cabinet
    Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Business, Regeneration and Culture, said: “It’s great news that the next important steps in the future of Carnegie Library have been achieved and we can now move forward.

    “Both community groups have accepted the benefits of introducing a wider range of activities to the building, raising extra revenue to keep the library in Herne Hill for many years to come.

    “I’m confident that when the building reopens, it will be a great community hub offering something for everyone, including a great neighbourhood library.”

    Carnegie Neighbourhood Library
    The new neighbourhood library for Carnegie will include longer opening hours, a similar level of bookstock as previously, DVDs, audio books, books in large print, IT facilities, study space, self-service book lending, a programme of activities including a weekly under-fives session, and librarians on site for at least two hours per day.

    Similar Neighbourhood Libraries have recently opened successfully in Waterloo and Upper Norwood, run in partnership with community groups.

    Further information about Carnegie, and information on what is happening across Lambeth’s libraries, can be found online at
  25. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    A little while ago Greenwich Leisure Ltd made a planning application which covers the proposals to introduce the basement gym. The consultation period for this is still running but if you want to make comments you need to do so by Monday 12th December.

    You can make comments here:

    16/06271/LB | Retention of the existing library together with the erection of a two storey extension 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) | Carnegie Library Herne Hill Road London SE24 0AG

    There are two applications; one standard and one for Listed Building Consent. They are essentially duplicates.

    The drawings are all available at that link but I thought it might be useful summarising the scheme here for folk that aren't familiar with what's being proposed. The main changes to the building would be:

    1) A new extension at the side/back of the existing building, on Ferndene Rd. This is basically a glazed entrance/reception area and would be the main entrance to the gym, at least.

    2) Other extension works where the "reading garden" at the back of the library currently is. This is a mixture of machine rooms, access paths, stairs etc. Essentially it would destroy the garden area as it is at the moment.

    3) Excavation of the existing basement area to create extra headroom. The floor of the existing basement area will be lowered and this work will involve adding reinforcement under the columns that support the main library above. It's this area that would become the gym. It would not have any windows to the outside. In conjunction with this there are alterations to other parts of the lower level, this is to provide changing rooms, toilets etc.

    Here's the floorplan of how the lower level would be arranged. Red means new, black is existing. At the top right is the new entrance, opening onto Ferndene Rd. You'd enter here, then along a corridor either to changing rooms etc or to the lift which would give access to the upper levels. The red bits along the top of the "new gym space" on the drawing are the various plant rooms etc which take up the space currently given over to the reading garden.

    Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 21.45.36.jpg

    It's clear that the proposal, at least as far as the gym element is concerned, ignores the current main entrance on Herne Hill Road. That perhaps is fine in principle if the gym and library elements are to operate independently. But this doesn't match with the rationale previously presented which as I understood it was that the staff who would be in place looking after the gym also help look after the library, at least in terms of general oversight and reception. That wouldn't work with this layout. Either you'd need a separate reception at the Herne Hill Rd entrance to serve the library, or that entrance becomes defunct and you approach the library through the new entrance, along a basement corridor past changing rooms to the stairs/lift up. And presumably you'd need some kind of staffing upstairs anyway, so that someone is keeping an eye on things.

    The way this proposal is set out, it looks to me rather too easy to simply close off the library functions and run the gym on its own. This seems to conflict with the assurances in the application that the library will be open at all times the gym is open.

    The upper floor plan is not in any way specific about how the "library/community" space is to be set out or used. A lot of vaguely labelled rooms. This application seems primarily focused on making the gym work.

    Losing the reading garden seems unacceptable to me. It's one of the nicest things about the building. This scheme would trash it.

    And here are the (only) drawings submitted to show what that new extension would look like. First the elevation onto Ferndene Rd. Herne Hill Rd is at the left hand side.

    Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 21.55.07.jpg

    And in more detail so you can admire the sophistication of its design:

    Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 21.57.15.jpg

    Just my opinion but... it hardly seems good enough for such an attractive host building, which is after all grade 2 listed. This looks like a design for a reception in a 1990s business park.

    Finally, a view of the back of the building, where you can see the various additions that would go into where the reading garden currently is.

    Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 21.59.51.jpg

    Comments need to be in by 12th December!
  26. brixtonblade

    brixtonblade Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this.

    I completely agree with you about:
    - Losing the reading garden seems unacceptable to me. It's one of the nicest things about the building. This scheme would trash it.
    - It hardly seems good enough for such an attractive host building, which is after all grade 2 listed.

    What are the grounds which we can object on? From other threads on here I know that "this is stupid" might be accurate but doesn't influence planning decisions.
    teuchter and editor like this.
  27. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    On that note, would anyone be prepared to write an article detailing the grounds for appeal? I'm not in the UK at the moment and only have limited internet access but would love to get this out there. Please email me at urban75 - at - if you can help...
  28. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Have a look in the comments already submitted. There is one from the Herne Hill Society, which sets out objections with reference to specific planning policies. Might be useful to read through that to get an idea what the main planning issues are.

    You can certainly comment that you don't consider the design of the extensions to be of sufficient quality.

    If you look at the HHS statement you'll see that much of the objection revolves around the implications of these physical changes to the building, when it comes to the long term sustainibility and feasibility of the library use.

    This application isn't just about changes to the layout of the building but about changes to the way it's used and planning policy has something to say about both of those issues. It's going to be a complicated one and it'll go to committee.
    Gramsci and brixtonblade like this.
  29. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    There is no appeal here by the way. This is just a planning application at the moment. The planners have not yet made their recommendations and the committee hasn't yet considered it.

    Also, if Greenwich Leisure win permission for this, it doesn't necessarily mean the scheme goes ahead. As far as I understand there is a parallel process to do with applications by the (two?) community trusts to take over stewardship of the building. How that all works...I am no expert at all.
    brixtonblade likes this.
  30. footballerslegs

    footballerslegs Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all that info. If you hadn't have posted I'm not sure where I'd have picked this up.
    teuchter likes this.

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