New library overdue

THE people of Portishead will have to wait until 2009 before the library they have waited more than a decade for is created. North Somerset Council

THE people of Portishead will have to wait until 2009 before the library they have waited more than a decade for is created.North Somerset Council had originally hoped work would start on the new building in time for a 2008 opening but this date has had to be revised yet again and put back a year.The new proposals for Portishead Library are nearly a third bigger than previously with an extra 175sq metres built into the plans.Council officers reported to the authority's executive committee that the library was due for opening in 2008 - but halfway through the last executive meeting it was revealed the date had been since pushed back a year.The extra space will be created by reducing the number of flats planned for the building by three to 29. The authority believes this measure will go some way to pacifying angry residents who thought the original number of flats would have looked unattractive and cause parking problems.The larger library will also have more space for books, meeting rooms and children's activities.It will also accommodate a 'Council Connect' service with information on council services and internet access. It will be the largest library outside Weston in North Somerset.North Somerset councillor Deborah Yamanaka, responsible for libraries, said: "The new library which should be ready in 2009 will befit the town."We must remember that recent delays have been caused by improvements to the building in response to residents' concerns."The overall building is lower, narrower, further away from other buildings, has fewer flats and more parking spaces than the developer's first planning application."More than 10 years is a long time to wait, but at least the end is in sight.


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