Council acts over library ‘blunder’

Sorby House, where Burngreave Library could be moved
Sorby House, where Burngreave Library could be moved
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Sheffield Council is withdrawing a planning application which proposed moving Burngreave Library – and there has been no decision about which branches will be closed due to cuts.

The authority plans to axe 14 of 27 sites – unless community groups or other organisations take them over. Bids from third parties are now being considered.

But a planning application for Sorby House office block, Spital Hill, Burngreave, was submitted to the council’s planning department. The proposals were for ‘library facilities, community action zone, interview rooms and offices’.

Wes Hedge, a former chairman of Ecclesall Forum, said: “Our library is one of the best used in Sheffield, yet we do not know what’s happening in our area.

“This seems to be guaranteeing the future of Burngreave Library when the review is not finished.”w

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Opposition Lib Dem leader, said: “The council should reveal which libraries are under threat.”

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for communities, said: “This application should not have been made and will be withdrawn. We plan to make an announcement about libraries in the next two to three weeks.”