Future of Chiswick Library Uncertain

Proposed plans for the Chiswick Library / Barley Mow development on hold as Workspace back out

It's back to the drawing board for Chiswick Library as the company that was planning to pay for the development appears to be backing away from the scheme.

Workspace plc. was offering to pay for the construction of a new library facility on the Dukes Avenue site in return for being allowed to develop office space above. However many users, including the Friends of Chiswick Library were unhappy with the design which would have banished the to the basement level.

When Workspace were approached about an alternative scheme which would site the library on the ground floor they expressed unwillingness to proceed on this basis.

Chiswick Library's facilities and accessibility have been considered inadequate for some time now by a number of members of our community. With the Disability Discrimination Act due to come into force in 2004 and the New National Standard for Libraries introduced in 2001 the need for redevelopment was clear. A Library Review Panel found that the building is inadequate, there are major access issues and that the service provided should be brought into line with Hounslow's library. Any library not meeting the standards laid down by the new legislation would need to be closed.

Workspace PLC remain the only solution currently on the table although the council have continued to explore alternative options. The suggestion by Councillors that a design competition should be held to solicit new plans has been rejected as unworkable.

April 24, 2003

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