Progress made on Kettering Library roof project


20 June 2024

Exterior of Kettering Library

Work continues on a project to replace the 120-year-old roof on the heritage Grade 2 listed Kettering library building, with planning and listed building consent applications being submitted for the works.

Since the budget approval and alongside work to remove vegetation causing damage to the building, the project team have undertaken extensive surveys to understand the condition and construction of the building, services, drainage, windows and how the works might impact the local environment and ecology (including bats in residence).

Following the surveys and the finalisation of the designs to ensure they meet all necessary specifications and standards; a planning application and listed building consent has been submitted. The application and consent will be considered by NNC’s Planning team and the applications will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the relevant committee.

The original roof of the Library building is tiled with Collyweston slate and, following discussions with conservation experts and advice from Historic England, it has been agreed that, given the building is Grade 2 listed, the roof will be replaced with Collyweston slates.

Due to the number of slates required for the project, there is only one suitable source of new Collyweston slate within the timeframe required. With this in mind, officers have now placed an order for the slates with the supplier, meaning they should be available when needed. Where possible, suitable existing slates will be reused on the Library roof or elsewhere.

As has been previously mentioned and included in council reports, the intention remains to provide a temporary roof over the Library to allow works to be undertaken and prevent further damage to the building. Whilst the necessary preparation works have been undertaken and permissions sought, minor temporary repairs have been completed, with scaffolding due to be erected once planning permission is granted and contractors are appointed.

Whilst the works are undertaken, the library has been temporarily relocated into the upper floor of the modern extension of Cornerstone and continues to offer a full range of services and group activities. The Cornerstone team is also offering a range of outreach activities across Kettering with details and information available on the Cornerstone social media channels.

Once the application has gone through the planning process, physical work will be able to begin on site (once a contractor has been appointed) and a final timeline for the project will be published. Consideration is being taken to the site and to ensure minimal disruption to the surrounding area and businesses whilst works are undertaken. Further updates about the Kettering Library roof replacement project will be published in due course.

The planning application for the roof works is due to be heard at an upcoming meeting of NNC’s Planning Committee (North).