Vegetation causing damage to Kettering Library to be removed


22 February 2024

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As part of the wider project to replace Kettering Library’s Grade 2 listed roof, works will start in March to remove vegetation that has been identified as causing damage to the building.

Currently, Ivy and Virginia Creeper cover a large portion of the Library and Art Gallery with vegetation growing, at places, through the building’s windows and roof causing damage and impacting the overall building.

Now, North Northamptonshire Council will start works to fully remove all the vegetation and clean up the exterior of the building, which will prevent further damage and reduce maintenance costs in the long term, whilst allowing for the historical architecture of the building to be visible.

The works are taking place now to avoid the removal of plants later in the year when, typically, they would be flowering/denser.

The work will be undertaken as the Library roof project replacement moves into the ‘delivery’ phase.

Tree canopies around the building have already been raised to prevent further damage to existing roof slates.

As we move to the ‘delivery’ phase of this extremely complex and carefully thought out project, we have been working with specialists on the best solutions to preserve this important historical building. 

As part of this process, we have been advised that the Ivy on the outside of the building is causing damage and should be removed. The Virginia Creeper is directly affecting the rainwater dispersal system, which has been a major factor in the recent issues with the leaking roof and removing the vegetation will also allow the historic architecture of this beautiful building to be visible. 

Removal of the Ivy and Virginia Creeper was always going to be the final option, but we have to consider the damage that is being caused and the long-term impacts.
Cllr Helen Howell, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism
As a council, we have to ensure that all the buildings we own, including Kettering Library, are maintained and will stand the test of time.

Although the plants may aesthetically add to the character of the building, they are damaging the wider building. We also must consider the long term costs of maintain the vegetation. With all this in mind and having consulted with specialists, the decision has been taken to remove the vegetation.
Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

Further updates about the Kettering Library roof replacement project will be published in due course.