Hold-up on former library demolition

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The demolition of the former library in Newbiggin has been delayed following a request by Historic England.

An application to knock down the building, on Gibson Street, was recommended for approval at last Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s planning committee.

However, the item was withdrawn for the agenda at late notice.

A spokeswoman for the county council said: “This agenda item was withdrawn from the committee meeting following a request from Historic England. This is because an issue has been raised which requires investigation.”

The building is in the town’s conservation area and the council’s conservation officer had said that the demolition would cause a degree of harm to the conservation area.

‘The degree of harm is considered to be less than substantial that should be carefully balanced against the benefits of the development proposed’, the response said.

The planning officer said that the lack of proposed uses for the building and the potential for it to fall into a state of disrepair would have a worse impact on the conservation area.

After the demolition, it was proposed for the site to sit as vacant hard-standing, with an intention to create a car park.