'We don’t want a sculpture centre'

Protesters outside the library

Protesters outside the library

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

GREEN campaigners have hit out at plans by Bury Council to create a sculpture centre at the town’s library Bury Green Party has urged the council’s planning committee to reject proposals to adapt the Grade II listed building and to allow the sculpture centre to open.

The planning application includes a heritage statement, the application form, architectural plans and a location plan.

However, Nicole Haydock, Bury Green Party joint-co-ordinator, said this was not enough to merit approval.

Mrs Haydock said: “There are no supporting documents presented as to the nature of the proposed installation, nor any information as to where the artefacts would be coming from, nor how often such an installation would be renewed.

“No business case has been submitted in support of this planning application.

“There is no viability report provided, no evidence of running costs, no details of the cost of security staff nor of any insurance cost.”

The proposals include separating the sculpture centre from the library by closing off two arched openings, upgrading partitions and doors, adding a timber door to access the library, and redecoration works.

Nearly 3,000 library users, have signed a petition calling the plan to be scrapped.

The sculpture centre would open in May, and requires a one-off capital investment from Bury Council of £75,000. It has received a grant of £27,000 from Arts Council England.

A council spokesman said: “The planning application is out for public consultation, and it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.

“The planning committee will take all representations into account when it makes its decision, based on planning grounds.”

A decision is expected by January 23.

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