The future of Muswell Hill Library
Muswell Hill Library opened as a purpose-built library in 1931 and has enjoyed more than 80 years at the heart of the community.
Although much-loved by local residents, the Grade II listed building suffers from access issues, is not compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and cannot be easily updated to incorporate modern library facilities.
Last year, Haringey Council invited local residents’ views on the possibility of relocating the library to a new accessible site the other side of Muswell Hill roundabout, at 54/56 Muswell Hill. The new site, created as part of a housing development, allows for better access and improved library facilities in a modern location.
The response from local residents was clear – with a strong desire to keep the library in its current home and concerns about how the existing heritage building might be used if the library was relocated.
Following community feedback, we commissioned independent property experts GL Hearn to explore options for both the existing library and the new site. An executive summary of their report can be found below.
We’ve listened carefully to what local people have told us about the library, we have considered the rising demand for workspace in the area and the continuing pressure for more affordable rented housing, particularly in the west of the borough.
Given the extent of public support, we’ve decided to keep Muswell Hill Library in its current home. However, as we’ve previously made clear, the council does not have funding to invest in significant improvements to Muswell Hill Library. While routine maintenance will continue, we will not be able to invest in changes to the fabric of the building, such as accessibility improvements.
As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the local economy and building on Haringey’s growing reputation as a hub for new and creative industries, we are exploring options for co-working spaces at 54/56 Muswell Hill and the land behind the library will be prioritised for much needed affordable housing provision.
We look forward to sharing further information about the future use of 54/56 Muswell Hill in due course.
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