Retail and leisure plans put forward for old library site

Former Cramlington Library.'REF 1512146406
Former Cramlington Library.'REF 1512146406

Initial plans have been submitted to expand a major town retail complex in south east Northumberland.

Outline permission has been submitted to Northumberland County Council for the demolition of the former Cramlington library building in Forum Way, and the erection of new units, car parking, servicing and landscaping.

The building has been vacant since the library relocated to the council offices next to Concordia Leisure Centre in May 2013.

Developers Hammerson say the redevelopment of the site would replace the old library with a retail and/or leisure unit, which would complement the existing units already on offer.

The plans say a total of between 23 and 38 jobs would be created by the new commercial floor space at the site and generate a gross value added to the local economy of between £1.1m and £1.7m annually.

The proposal also includes a new customer access, 97 car parking spaces, and pedestrian linkages through the site providing connections to Manor Walks shopping centre, the south mall and residential area to the south.

Colin Farrow, assistant director of Retail Parks for Hammerson, said: “We have recently submitted an outline planning application for the redevelopment of the former Cramlington library site in Forum Way Cramlington.

“These initial proposals would enable a new retailer or leisure operator to open in the town centre.

“This has the potential to complement our recent development at Manor Walks.

“The scheme is subject to achieving a positive planning outcome from the council.”

A spokesman for the local authority said: “The council has agreed to sell the site of its former library in Forum Way to Hammerson, the owners of the Manor Walks shopping centre.

“The sale is conditional upon Hammerson receiving planning permission for retail development on the site for which an application has now been submitted.”