Lewisham Council - Frequently asked questions on the potential redevelopment of Lewisham Library
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Lewisham Library feasibility study – your questions answered

We’ve answered some frequently asked questions about our feasibility study looking into the potential rebuilding of Lewisham Library.

How long will the feasibility study take and the cuts to library services be suspended?

Our aim is to complete the feasibility study by April 2019. A report will then be taken to the Mayor and Cabinet committee on the outcome.

What will happen if the proposals for redevelopment are judged to be unfeasible?

If the proposal to redevelop Lewisham Library is found to be unfeasible then we will need to revisit the original proposals.

Will there be a public consultation as a part of the feasibility plan?

The feasibility study will focus on the financial viability of the scheme. If the scheme is found to be feasible then a full public consultation would take place to help us plan the detailed design work.

Will we reduce staffing levels during the temporary relocation?

We will be looking at the staffing levels required as part of the feasibility work. Our ambition is to ensure that any temporary library is staffed for as many hours as the current Lewisham Library.

Why have we changed our mind after rebuilding Lewisham Library had already been ruled out in our Libraries Service consultation?

The option of redeveloping Lewisham Library was originally ruled out because we thought it would need a temporary closure. We now think that we might be able to relocate Lewisham Library during the redevelopment.

How long would Lewisham Library be closed or relocated for if the development project goes ahead?

The timeline for closure or redevelopment will be informed by the feasibility study, more detail on this will be available in April 2019.

Will we mitigate the impact on communities caused by temporary relocation?

The impact of relocation will be assessed in order to inform the Mayor and Cabinet committee’s decisions on the proposal.

What will we do to ensure the safe storage, preservation and public accessibility to our archives and local history collections during the relocation?

We understand the need for safe storage of Lewisham’s archives and will be looking for suitable storage space. Options for this will be included in the feasibility study.

How will we fund the development?

The financing of the redevelopment will be a key consideration of the feasibility study. It is not possible to give a detailed response about this until the study has been completed. However, we would not consider freehold sale of the land to a private developer.

What would the size of the floor space be and will this mean self-service only?

The scale of library floor space is also a consideration for the feasibility study. Our ambition is for the new library to be staffed for as many hours as it is currently, so it will not be self-service only.

How will we fund any budget shortfall whilst the cuts are suspended?

The library service cuts were planned to be implemented in 2020–21 so there will be no impact on the budget in 2019–20. Any impact on 2020–21 budget will be considered in the round as part of the annual budget setting process.

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