On Tuesday 20 January the London Borough of Merton completed the sale of the former Library site at Raynes Park to McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s largest retirement home builder.
The proposed re-development of the site, which is situated between Aston Road and Clifton Park Avenue near Raynes Park Station, is a part three and part four storey development providing:
– A new ground floor library comprising approximately 465m2 (5000sqft) of Library and associated meeting rooms and W/C’s,
– Rear car parking
– 29 one and two bedroom sheltered housing units.
Raynes Park Library will remain open for eight weeks before the stock is gradually relocated to Merton’s other libraries over a four-week period. The IT equipment will be supplementing the People’s Network facilities at Wimbledon Library so there will be plenty of access for users.
Library users are encouraged to use neighbouring Wimbledon, West Barnes and Morden Libraries during the estimated 15 – 18 month period when the new premises are being developed. However some creative and innovative alternatives are being put in place in the local area for those residents who are unable to get to the surrounding libraries. These include:
– A collection of some paperback and hardback books will be available from Raynes Park station. Readers will be encouraged to take a book for their journey and drop it back when they have finished.
– A book loan service will run from a local pub where residents borrow books on trust.
– The council is currently investigating the possibility of holding a temporary loan service two afternoons a week in a local church hall to cater primarily for young children and older residents.
– Officers are talking to traders about stocking collections of South Asian and/or South Korean books.
Councillor Su Assinen Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Culture said: “The NEW library will provide exciting, state of the art provision for residents with whom we have worked closely in developing plans. In the interim, there will be a number of creative alternatives in place for those residents who are unable to visit neighbouring libraries.”
Notes to editors
The site which has a frontage to Approach Road is situated between Aston Road and Clifton Park Avenue and is very close to Raynes Park Station almost opposite the Raynes Park Bridge.
Enquiries can be made into the one and two bedroom sheltered housing by calling free phone 0500 870454.
Senior PR and Press Officer
London Borough of Merton