Published: 11:00, 03 September 2014 |
Updated: 11:47, 03 September 2014
This week, Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite urged people to let Kent County Council know how they feel before a decision is made about its refurbishment.
Cllr Kite said: “It’s great that KCC wants to invest in our library, but it’s no secret that I think some of the changes proposed are unsympathetic and inappropriate for a building of this age and style.
“We managed to get a previous planning application withdrawn because the library service simply hadn’t consulted users about it and at least they are now talking to local people.
“However, I’m still unhappy that the consultation isn’t clear enough and that the extent of the changes aren’t immediately obvious from looking at the plans and illustrations.”
The scheme, costing about £450,000, proposes a general refurbishment of the library, including restoration work on the listed shelving, new furniture, new flooring that would aim to replicate the look and feel of the old parquet flooring, new public toilets and a new entrance to the museum via the library.
In order to provide facilities for those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, Kent County Council also intends to include toilets that offer additional space and specialist equipment.
The main concerns – originally expressed when a planning application was submitted and subsequently withdrawn – were around bookshelves being removed with the space being “transformed with more flexible, free-standing furniture”.
There were also worries about the “Good Day Programme”, which would teach independent living skills, including offering cooking classes within the library.
Cllr Kite says he was particularly concerned about plans to install modern furniture and kitchen equipment and he also wants to see a greater role for Dartford’s local history collection.
He said: “I know that libraries must adapt to meet the challenges of the internet, e-books and digital distribution, but Dartford Central Library is one of only two in the world built in this particular style and we should not allow its ambience to be disturbed without great care.
“I have suggested bringing in nice sofas, more items of local historical interest and traditional furniture to create a classically beautiful space where residents can read, research, relax and engage with digital information and a range of services.
“It’s important that the voices of local people are heard whether they agree with me or not, so I hope as many people as possible will take part.”
The results will be published on December 22. To take part visit consultations.kent.gov.uk
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.