Library to be rebuiilt as 30 homes planned for new estate in Finsbury Park area
By poppy_smith | Saturday, December 01, 2012, 08:10
Islington Council is proposing to bring up to 30 new homes to an estate in Tufnell Park, N7, delivering much needed new social housing for social rent.
As part of the development the council will rebuild a library at the same location and improve the local environment.
Residents on the Lower Hilldrop Estate and neighbouring Dalmeny Avenue along with library users will be consulted on proposals to rebuild John Barnes Library, Camden Road, as part of the scheme.
Cllr James Murray said: "Islington is in desperate need of family homes for social rent, particularly while low income families bear the brunt of government cuts.
"These social rented homes will first be offered to local families under our local lettings scheme for new council housing - giving people better homes and tackling overcrowding.
"Our proposals will also deliver other benefits for existing residents including an improved local area."
Cllr Janet Burgess said: "We want a good quality of life for all our residents with access to good quality services.
"We are completely committed to maintaining our libraries - as part of this scheme we'll be building a modern, flexible, lower maintenance library that better meets the future needs of local people.
"We want local people to have their say on these proposals and to help us restore the library to the heart of the community."
Bramber House, a small residential block next to Kimble House (both on the Lower Hilldrop Estate) was demolished in November 2011. The vacant plot will form part of the proposed joint library/housing scheme.
The plans also provide a chance to improve the environment for existing tenants of Kimble House who have had to put up with fly-tipping, commuter parking by non-residents and poor quality recreational space.
The John Barnes Library, built in 1971, has a £218,000 price tag for repairs and maintenance due before 2017. The building also suffers from a set back location making it less accessible for some users and hidden away.
Visitor numbers have dropped from a peak of 83,000 in 2003/4 to 55,000 in 2011/12. Islington Council hope to reverse this trend by making it more welcoming and by providing more flexible space for other community activities. The proposed housing scheme offers us a unique opportunity to revitalise it.
During the construction phase, a temporary library will be provided nearby.
The scheme is the latest in a line of high quality affordable housing developments from Islington Council. New completions at Seven Sisters Road, N4 and Otley House, N5, will soon be joined by new homes for social rent at Vaudeville Court, N4 and in 2014 at the part council-funded Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association scheme at Zoffany Street, N19.
As part of its Fairness Commission, Islington has aligned its services to prioritise tackling inequality.
Its commitment to providing decent, secure and affordable homes for everyone, means the Council will complete 1,800 new affordable homes in the borough by 2014.
For details of the consultation, drop-in events and exhibition, go to: http://www.islington.gov.uk/consultation
All responses must be submitted by 20 December 2012.