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Planned re-development of Marylebone Library Cancelled

The proposed redevelopment of Marylebone Library on Luxborough Street will no longer go ahead. Below is a letter from Mike Clarke
Director of Libraries and Archives, Westminster City Council explaining the decision.


Dear Library Member

I am writing to let you know that the proposed redevelopment of Marylebone Library on Luxborough Street will no longer go ahead. This difficult decision was taken following a substantial increase of £6 million in development costs.

The council remains committed to providing a library in Marylebone and will continue to provide a temporary library whilst we are looking for a permanent site.

The temporary library on Beaumont Street will move to a new location on nearby New Cavendish Street in early 2017.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused and hope you will continue to make use of the excellent library facilities in nearby Mayfair and Church Street or the temporary library on Beaumont Street until a permanent location is found.

We will update you on the progress of our proposals as soon as possible. To register your interest in future updates please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Yours faithfully

Mike Clarke

Director of Libraries and Archives

Westminster City Council

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Comments 2

Guest - dch on Monday, 01 August 2016 13:39

The original developer pulled out of the library project 2 years ago, and the council were going to retender the project. Did that ever happen ?

With milestone after milestone being missed, the council have batted away any questions about progress for 2 years with the standard response of 'there is no news to report'. Why did the council lie when the real news was quite clearly that they were making plans to abandon the project ?

If the project cost was too high then could the existing plans not be scaled back using the same site ?

Why were residents not consulted. An affordable reduced size permanent library could have been a much more sensible solution for all stakeholders ?

The HRA contributed an additional £5.8m in March 2016, what has happened to that?

Assuming we are to believe the council when they now say a new library could be built in 2020 at Seymour leisure centre (and this is a big assumption as few believe this comment to be anything more than an exercise to diffuse anger and deflect accountability into the future), then what makes the council think it will cost less and be more viable in 2020 ?

What do they have planned now for the Luxborough site ?

Finally... its strange how luxury flat developers never have the same level of failures and incompetence as the council. Perhaps flat developers they have more incentive to see a project through, whereas the council have much more to gain from seeing the library project fail and save costs.

The original developer pulled out of the library project 2 years ago, and the council were going to retender the project. Did that ever happen ? With milestone after milestone being missed, the council have batted away any questions about progress for 2 years with the standard response of [i]'there is no news to report'[/i]. Why did the council lie when the real news was quite clearly that they were making plans to abandon the project ? If the project cost was too high then could the existing plans not be scaled back using the same site ? Why were residents not consulted. An affordable reduced size permanent library could have been a much more sensible solution for all stakeholders ? The HRA contributed an additional £5.8m in March 2016, what has happened to that? Assuming we are to believe the council when they now say a new library could be built in 2020 at Seymour leisure centre (and this is a big assumption as few believe this comment to be anything more than an exercise to diffuse anger and deflect accountability into the future), then what makes the council think it will cost less and be more viable in 2020 ? What do they have planned now for the Luxborough site ? Finally... its strange how luxury flat developers never have the same level of failures and incompetence as the council. Perhaps flat developers they have more incentive to see a project through, whereas the council have much more to gain from seeing the library project fail and save costs.
Guest - Edward Quinn on Monday, 06 February 2017 22:09

One would think that a Conservative council like Westminster which allegedly upholds and supports traditional services and values would show more interest, spend more, rather than less, and keep safe library resources which have taken decades to build up...shame on the Council's leaders for allowing this vital service to be downscaled/dismantled!

One would think that a Conservative council like Westminster which allegedly upholds and supports traditional services and values would show more interest, spend more, rather than less, and keep safe library resources which have taken decades to build up...shame on the Council's leaders for allowing this vital service to be downscaled/dismantled!
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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

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