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GLL plans to convert library into gym leads to opposition

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Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) plans to convert a Grade II listed library into a gym will ruin the building and is not wanted, according to campaigners and locals.

GLL, which is Lambeth Borough Council’s leisure provider, has submitted an application to convert Carnegie Library into a gym in Herne Hill, London.

The council closed the library at the end of March due to “severe financial pressure”. The library then made national headlines after the building was occupied by protesters for ten days.

The GLL plans include the erection of a two storey extension to house a new reception and entrance. There are also plans to excavate the basement so a gym and studio can be installed. The plans also include a neighbourhood library in the building.

The council said the facility would have between 60-70 gym stations, with a combination of cardiovascular and resistance machines. Classes would also be offered, and membership prices would start at £19.95 per month.

However, campaigners have argued that proposals would “wreck” the listed building as well as its garden.

The council is inviting the public to comment on the plans.

In one submission commenting on the application, the author argued that there is clear demand for a library and that the proposed scheme fails to provide adequate replacement facilities.

Another submission said: “The residents have made it very clear they want a library, not a gym; to go through with these plans would be to waste a huge amount of money simply to take away a service many people want, value or need, to replace it with something they have no use for.”

Another said: “We need a good local library not a basement gym.”

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Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) plans to convert a Grade II listed library into a gym will ruin the building and is not wanted, according to campaigners and locals.
GLL's plans have led to opposition


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