Monday 9 February 2015

Local residents and library users are invited to have their say on plans for a new community hub – with a library, medical centre and pharmacy – in Woodseats.

The proposed new development is for the site of the current library on Chesterfield Road, which is in a poor condition and not economical to repair.

Plans have been developed by Woodseats Medical Practice which intends to submit a planning application in March. Sheffield City Council has worked with the practice and negotiated that, if plans are successful, the council will receive a new library in return for providing the land for development.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to secure the future of Woodseats Library within a brand new building alongside health services. We’ll have the same amount of space as currently used in the library and will have the same opening times.

“We’re starting with a blank canvas in terms of what the new library space will look like and how it will be used. I really want local people to tell us what they think and help shape these important local plans.”

The consultation starts on Monday 9 February and will run to Friday 6 March. Plans are available at the library and online. A public meeting will take place at Woodseats Library at the beginning of March.

Dr Olivia Horner, GP Partner at the Woodseats Medical Centre, said: “We are very excited at this once in a lifetime opportunity to house both council and NHS services under one roof. We feel that this will provide enhanced services, efficiency and accessibility to the people of Woodseats.

“We’re keen to get feedback from local people about the proposed changes to the provision of their health services.”

If planning permission is granted construction could start in the summer. It is expected to last for just under a year.

The council has investigated possible options for a temporary library in the area during construction, but there are no suitable buildings. If plans go ahead, it will provide a service from the existing Woodseats Medical Centre in Cobnar Road so people can pick up and drop off books. It will also promote the Home Library Service for people who cannot get to alternative facilities and look to have its Little Library at Woodseats on a regular basis as a space for children’s activities.

Opening hours at the Highfield and Ecclesall branches, the closest council-run branches to Woodseats, would be extended to help people access them.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal added: “I would like to apologise to the library users for the inevitable disruption, should the plans go ahead. We will do everything possible to minimise this by providing alternatives during construction, and I hope people will bear with us and look forward to a fantastic new library for Woodseats.”

Visit Woodseats Library or see www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries for more information.