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Relocation of Sidcup library given the green light

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 July 2018

The current site of the Sidcup library. Picture: Google

The current site of the Sidcup library. Picture: Google

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Bexley’s Cabinet has given the green light to the planned relocation of Sidcup Library with a new ArtHouse cinema into a new purpose-build building at the heart of the town centre.

The library would be on the ground floor of the new building, with the cinema above. They will be built on the site of the town’s former Blockbuster store and podiatry clinic at Elm Road.

The community will be offered the chance to be engaged in the internal design of the library, as well as through the formal planning consultation process.

Cllr Peter Craske, cabinet member for places said: “This will be great news for Sidcup, and great news for Sidcup’s fantastic library.

“To be able to provide residents with a much-improved library in a new, modern purpose-built site is really exciting and testament to the long-term future of Sidcup.

“In Bexley our library service is booming and I would urge the library users of now and the library users of the future to get involved and help shape a library fit for the next 40 years.”

The cabinet considered the views presented to April’s council meeting by a small deputation of residents, but decided to approve the proposed move because of the contribution it will make to improving the town’s appeal in the face of growing competition from other centres and online shopping.

Major investment has been made in improving the town over recent years and discussions are underway about a proposal to convert Sidcup Manor House into a boutique hotel.

The project is part of the council’s plans to further develop the town as a hub for cultural activities, which it is developing in partnership with the new Sidcup Cultural Board, alongside Bird and Rose Bruford colleges.

While the new library will occupy a smaller footprint that the current library, it will still be one the borough’s largest libraries and will be able to accommodate all the current services and programmes.

Its customer numbers are expected to increase when it moves to the new location.

Proposals for the future use of the vacated library and offices site in Hadlow Road Sidcup will be brought forward at a later date.

Given the nature of the road, it is likely that the site will be used for residential purposes.

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