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Plans for new library in Eye town centre, Suffolk, set to be approved

PUBLISHED: 14:58 05 March 2018

The existing Eye Library is set to be sold with a new library being established in Cross Street. Picture: SIMON PARKER

The existing Eye Library is set to be sold with a new library being established in Cross Street. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Archant

Plans to create a new library in Eye town centre are set to be given the green light on Wednesday, as project bosses aim to deliver a “modern” facility for the town.

The current library in Bucklesham Lane has been in place for around 40 years, but was never designed to be a permanent home for the service.

The new library will be in Cross Street, with the plans stating that it will “enhance what is currently an unattractive section” of the road.

The plan aims to demolish the rear wing of 6 Cross Street, formerly a highways office and workshop before laying dormant for several years, and redevelop the site as a “purpose-built, modern” library.

The matter is due to be decided at Wednesday’s development and regulation committee, where the scheme is recommended for approval.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, Tony Goldson, said it was a “real investment”.

He added: “It is hoped the project brings several benefits including the creation of the purpose-built modern library for the town with additional storage space and accessible toilet facilities.

“The project would be funded by the sale of the current site where the library has been for around 40 years. The current building was not designed to be permanent and is now quite old and costly to maintain.

“A new library would be more cost effective to run and would provide a better environment for local customers.”

If approved, the target opening date for the new library will be spring 2019.

The council also plans the space to be available outside of library hours for events and activities in the community.

Colin Ribchester, mayor of Eye Town Council said there were some issues surrounding the design, loss of car park spaces and missed opportunity to incorporate the adjacent public toilets, but said it was important for Eye’s community to have a fit-for-purpose library.

He added: “I think it is something that will be absolutely fantastic when they do it.

“More people are using it so it will be a lot better. The library is very well used and it’s antiquated now – it’s been there a long time.

“It’s still a good place but a new one is going to improve it a lot.”

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