Major repair work planned at historic library after ‘partial roof collapse’
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Proposed repairs to a Grade II listed building which suffered a partial roof collapse during torrential rain are due to go before council planners.
Hadleigh Library, once home to an historic pub and the town's police station, was converted into a library in August 1987.
Numerous leaks have been reported by the library in recent years, according to Suffolk County Council (SCC).
The authority is now applying for permission to carry out major repairs to the building, in the High Street.
Bosses wrote in the application: "A major leak late in 2019 caused a partial ceiling collapse and the library had to temporarily close.
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"Capital funding has been made available to carry out a comprehensive re-laying of the slated roofs which will make the building fit for purpose for the foreseeable future."
Staff at the library say they are happy the plans are being put forward.
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"We're very pleased that the work is due to take place, as it'll help to protect the library building," a spokesman said.
The planned work is as a result of heavy rain in November which caused part of the roof to collapse, he added.
The county council's property team visited at the time and carried out some repairs and cleaned up, but this new application is for more comprehensive repair, and replacement of the roof.
Bosses want to strip each roof compartment and fix any defects in the structure, as part of the proposed works.
The library's appearance after the repairs would be very similar to what it looks like now, they added, with any work retaining its integrity as an historic building.
SCC chiefs added: "The work constitutes necessary and timely replacement of a part of the building's fabric which is failing.
"The investment will help maintain the building in use, providing a valuable facility to the local community and therefore having clear public benefits."
It is a busy time for the library team, which is this week turning a disused storage cupboard into a hireable space for the community.
James Powell, of Suffolk Libraries, said: "Hadleigh has a strong creative network in the town and the room will function as a space for everyone, from writers' residencies to a wellbeing haven.
"The new space will be available to hire from late spring 2020."