Housing plan for old Hanley library rejected over safety fears

Old Hanley Library Old Hanley Library

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s planning department has rejected plans to transform City Central Library in Hanley into a 106-flat scheme due to “fundamental and detrimental concerns”. 

The council had listed the site for £1.3 million in 2020 and selected Hanley Library Redevelopment Ltd as the preferred bidder. 

This redevelopment company, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, submitted their transformation application last summer – however, these plans have now been refused. 

The company proposed to turn the Bethesda Street site into a 106-flat scheme, with a gym and other commercial space planned for the basement. 

The council’s planning department stated that the plans were “insufficient” and posed both fire and highway safety concerns. Additionally, the layout of the flats was poorly thought out, with bedrooms located through the wall from “noisy” rooms. 

Case officer Kerry Mee stated: “…the application raises fundamental and detrimental concerns with respect to design and the scheme’s impact on designated heritage assets along with significant concerns being identified with regards to residential amenity, highway safety and fire safety.”

Mee continued: “…whilst the positive elements of the scheme are duly and fully noted, the fundamental lack of information and adverse impacts with respect to design, heritage, amenity, fire safety and highway safety of the proposals are considered to substantially outweigh the positive impacts which would likely flow from the scheme. Accordingly, the application is recommended for refusal.”

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