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Plans to turn former library into apartments and restaurant recommended for approval

By Kerry Ashdown | Stafford | News | Published:

Plans to convert a Grade II Listed town centre landmark into apartments and a restaurant could be given the green light by Stafford Borough Council this week.

The former Stafford Library at The Green was designed in 1913 and partially funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

The building was sold off by Staffordshire County Council several years ago, and in 2016 it was featured in the Victorian Society’s annual Top 10 Endangered Buildings list.

In recent years Friends of the Carnegie Old Library Stafford have been working towards giving the building a new lease of life as a community arts, wellbeing and cultural venue and previously launched a campaign to buy it.

But on Wednesday Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee will consider a proposal to convert the former library into 10 apartments and a bar and restaurant. Eight of the apartments are set to be located on the first floor and the remaining two on the ground floor.

Ward councillor Chris Baron has called in the plans for consideration by the committee because of concerns there are no parking facilities and no space for loading and unloading.

Stafford Borough Council also received five responses from residents to the original proposals – and a further response to amended plans – highlighting the lack of parking. There were also concerns about noise from the proposed bar/restaurant affecting apartment residents, as well as “additional unwanted noise and smells”, a report to Wednesday’s committee meeting said.

But Staffordshire’s highways authority has raised no objections. And the proposals have been recommended for approval by council planning officers.

The committee report said: “It is considered that the proposals would secure the renovation and re-use of an important heritage building within the town centre and conservation area. The proposed residential, bar and restaurant uses are also appropriate within this town centre location.

“Whilst no specific car parking is proposed satisfactory parking facilities are already present in this vicinity and there are no objections to the means of servicing the proposed bar/restaurant from the Highway Authority.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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