Only a porcelain toilet remains where the old library was.

The old library, on Bell St in front of the doctor’s surgery, has been demolished – making way for redevelopment.

B&DBC granted permission on 13th September 2010 for the demolotion and erection of three 1-bedroom, and two 2-bedroom flats with parking for 6 vehicles.

A conservation area planning application was recommended for refusal, but was granted on 15 March 2010. This approval was granted under the condition that demolition would not take place until a contract was in place for the redevelopment.

Whitchurch townscape appraisal lists the trees at the old library site and the view of them from Bell Yard

NOTABLE TREE TO BE CUT

The large sycamore trees (Acer pseudoplantanus) may be felled – even though they are in the conservation area and listed with B&DBC as “trees of townscape significance”. No mention was made of them in the approval notice for the conservation area application.

There were many strict conditions placed on the approval of the development, including research into ground conditions – the site is near to the location of the town’s former, ancient gasworks – and an assessment of piling vibration on nearby listed buildings, like The Bell pub.

THOUSANDS IN FEES TO B&DBC

In addition, it is understood that a legal agreement states that over £23,000 in fees must be paid to B&DBC, for the provision of community facilities, open space and playing fields nearby.

A large notable tree dominates the site - it is to be cut down.

It is not known if the two painted bollards (the very first ones decorated under the SEEDA art project grant) will be retained.

APPROVED APPLICATIONS

The B&DBC approved planning application is BDB/71477, which includes architectural drawings of the proposed structure surrounding Gryphon House (HERE). A second planning application was required as the work is in the town’s conservation area: BDB/71689.

The B&DBC tree policy (2007) is HERE; The Townscape Appraisal for Whitchurch (2001) is HERE. Information about the painted bollards is HERE.

Notice of approval from B&DBC for new flats on the site of the old library, Bell Street.

The first two decorated bollards are on the Bell St side of the site.