West Norwood Library and cinema plans move on
Plans to transform a dormant library and open a cinema have been given the green light.
West Norwood Library and Nettlefold Hall in Norwood High Street have been shut more than a year after a spate of copper thefts, to the frustration of residents.
The council cabinet on Monday approved an agreement for Picturehouse Cinemas to come up with designs to turn the building into a ‘Culture and Creative Hub’.
The hub would house a cinema, cafe, bar and an improved library and have the flexibility to incorporate a Norwood Cemetery Visitor Centre.
Council Leader Steve Reed said: "It’s really exciting. It’s going to transform West Norwood if it happens.
"All of a sudden we will see a lot more life coming to West Norwood as a town centre."
Thurlow Park Councillor Clare Whelan welcomed the idea but raised concerns over how long the project might take, demand for parking spaces and the absence of any Plan B.
Coun Whelan said: "There is real support in the community for the idea, but there are also worries that will have to be dealt with.
"The basic idea is welcome and we are still calling for the library to open as soon as possible."
Streatham South Councillor Mark Bennett, who took part in early discussions, said: "It’s nice to see it come to some sort of fruition."
Under the agreement Picturehouse Cinemas, which runs Brixton’s Ritzy and other cinemas across London, would prepare business models and plans by March.
The library footprint would remain the same or even increase and a new community space would address the loss of the meeting hall.