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Birkenhead Library back on track

Birkenhead Library back on track
September 23, 2005

North Shore City Council will be pursuing a plan change in an effort to get the Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre project back on track as quickly as possible.

Construction of the new, larger library at the same site was to begin this year, but council's application for consent was turned down because of the land's zoning.

Measures will also be taken to secure existing use rights at Nell Fisher Reserve.

North Shore Libraries manager, Geoff Chamberlain, says a plan change is the best way to get the result everyone wants - a much needed new library.

"Nell Fisher Reserve is the most appropriate site and there has been a library there for more than 50 years. The community agreed with that during consultation about the project," he says.

"The design of the new Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre retains the big trees, the memorial and park benches that are there now, with the added bonus of a spectacular sea view from the first floor."

The plan change, which would see a piece of the council-owned site currently zoned recreation 2 re-zoned to special purpose 9, would be publicly notified.

It is estimated this process will put the project back by a year.

"In the meantime we're still offering the same services we did at the old building, just at different locations," says Mr Chamberlain.

"The library is now at our Birkenhead Leisure Centre, the area office and Citizens Advice Bureau at the Rawene Centre, and Highbury Plunket is operating from Glenfield Plunket."

On Wednesdays and Fridays people can take a free bus from the ASB Bank bus stop in Birkenhead Ave down to the temporary library. It leaves at 10am, 10.30am and 11am, and returns at 10.25am, 10.55am and 11.55am.

Birkenhead-Northcote Community Board, together with the Friends of the Birkenhead Library, have organised a public meeting about the new Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre. It will be held on Thursday, October 6 from 7pm at Birkenhead School Hall.


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