Muswell Hill Library Public Engagement

Muswell Hill LibraryThis consultation is now closed. Read the outcome of the consultation below.

Consultation outcome

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.

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What we consulted on 

Have your say on Muswell Hill Library

Muswell Hill Library Consultation ran from  31 May to 25 August 2016

We consulted on proposals to relocate Muswell Hill Library to an alternative site at 54/56 Muswell Hill (the site of the old Green Man pub). We have committed to maintaining and investing in our library service and we know they are a valuable resource in our communities.

To provide a modern and accessible service, Muswell Hill Library needs adaptations and repairs to the building. There is currently no lift in the building to access the children’s library on the first floor, and no accessible toilets for library users or staff. Level access to the ground floor entrance is provided by a limited elevated platform lift at the side of the building.

We are facing severe government funding cuts and difficult financial decisions about how and where to spend limited funding. Options for adapting the existing library building were explored, but the estimations of costs ranged from £680,000 to £1,650,000.

This year (2016) we are investing millions in the library service in our borough. This funds three main libraries at Hornsey, Wood Green and Marcus Garvey in Tottenham and six branch libraries, including Muswell Hill. We are proposing to move Muswell Hill library to a larger building which is modern, accessible, all on one floor, and still located in the centre of Muswell Hill.

We wanted to know what you thought about our proposals in order to help us make the best decisions for Muswell Hill.

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Why are we consulting?

We understand the library is a much loved building in Muswell Hill. However, over the years we have received complaints from residents about difficulties accessing the library, particularly those with pushchairs and in wheelchairs. The children’s library on the first floor is difficult to access, and many people struggle with the stairs or avoid using the building altogether. Some residents have also raised complaints about the library’s facilities, as the existing site has no toilets and poor heating, cooling and lighting. We think it’s unacceptable that many residents are unable to use the library service in Muswell Hill.

The proposal to relocate Muswell Hill library will enable more people to access its facilities and services. The new space is also 25% larger and more flexible, with the opportunity to design the new library in the centre of Muswell Hill with local residents. The current building needs expensive adaptations to give better access to residents in wheelchairs and pushchairs and it will need more money spent on maintenance and repairs as the building gets older. The new facility would provide a sustainable library service for the Muswell Hill community for years to come.

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What are we consulting on?

  • Option 1: Stay in the same building
  • Option 2: A brand new library in the centre of Muswell Hill – larger space and modern facilities, with level access for wheelchair and pushchair users.

We are seeking your views on our proposal to move Muswell Hill Library to a new location in the heart of Muswell Hill. As part of this process we are consulting local people and businesses and we are committed to involving the community in this decision.

Our preferred option is Option 2 because it offers a modern library which all members of the community can access. If the decision is taken to relocate the library, Haringey will work with residents and library users on the design, layout and services in the new building through a series of workshops.

The future use of the existing library building cannot be considered until a decision is made on the location of the library.

We would like to know what you think of the proposals outlined on this page.

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How will the proposals affect you?

Moving to a different building would enable:

  • Greater accessibility if you use a wheelchair or pushchair
  • More space available in the library for services, events and community use
  • Improved heating and cooling
  • Toilet facilities accessible for all library users, with baby changing facilities
  • More space in the library
  • Opportunity to help design the new library space if option 2 is agreed

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All related Documents

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Page last updated:

January 29, 2021

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