Homes plan approved for former Alnwick library building

The former library building on Green Batt in Alnwick.The former library building on Green Batt in Alnwick.
The former library building on Green Batt in Alnwick.
Plans to convert the former Alnwick library building into four apartments have received the green light.

An application by Pilgrim House Developments Ltd seeking change of use permission for the Green Batt site was approved by Northumberland County Council planners using delegated powers.

There were no objections from local residents or statutory consultees.

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It is proposed to keep the main building as it is, although there are some new and replacement extensions proposed to the side and rear.

The overall frontage will be retained apart from the demolition of the old garage on the eastern side.

The application explains that to this side of the building, there is currently a gap to the frontage due to the set-back neighbouring bungalows and the removal of the garage ‘will enhance this open space, allow for a small extension which will expose more of the older gable of the library and enhance the views to this vista’.

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The plans show two one-bedroom flats plus two two-bedroom units where the second bedroom and an en-suite bathroom are on the first floor. All of the apartments will have their own entrances.

Six parking spaces will be provided.

A report with the application concludes: ‘The accommodation due to its size will be affordable and of high quality.

‘The new extensions will enhance the existing building and the inclusion of a modern extension to the rear will cause no adverse impact to the history of the site and allow its retained use going into the future.’

It was originally built in 1810-11 as a school for poor boys by the 2nd Duke of Northumberland to commemorate the golden jubilee of King George III.

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Originally known as the Jubilee School, it soon became known as the Duke's School.

In 1904 a new school building was built on a different site and the old school was used as an elementary school. This school closed in 1921 and the building became the library.

The building was assessed for listing in 2008, but it did not meet the criteria due to additions made in the late 19th and 20th centuries.