Library campaigners are urging supporters of the Carnegie library in Herne Hill to act quickly to comment on a planning application to convert the Grade II listed building into a “neighbourhood library” and gym run by Lambeth council’s leisure provider GLL, now known as “Better”.
Comments on the application close in less than a fortnight on 29 November.
Campaigners said that the plans would not only wreck a listed building, but also its “unique” garden.
They went on: “GLL will get a huge gym in the basement and first dibs on nearly all the ground floor ‘community’ space for exercise classes, including noisy ‘body pump’ sessions.
“Where the so-called ‘library’ will go is still unclear. What’s certain is that it will be much smaller and have no staff (well, maybe two hours a day).
In the garden, “three of the four mature trees would be felled. Most of the shrubs and bushes would be destroyed.
“The garden’s size would be more than halved, to fit in two big structures for gym ventilation etc. and a garish modern glass entrance would be stuck on.”
To have any chance of being considered, objections to a planning application need to address certain fixed issues.