Fight to save Daventry Library from wrecking ball

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A DAVENTRY historian is on a one-man crusade to try and save the town’s library from demolition.

David Adams, who is involved with the Friends of Daventry Museum, is to apply to English Heritage to try and get the library, in North Street, listed.

The building, built in 1938, is currently earmarked for demolition under plans to build a shopping centre as part of Daventry District Council’s Masterplan for the regeneration of the town.

Outlining his reasons for trying to save the library from the wrecking ball, Mr Adams, said: “It is a place which has huge significance to the local community as it was the former Daventry Grammar School.

“I have also discovered in my research that it was one of the very few buildings put up in Daventry between both the world wars that is still standing today.”

He also says that the application, which is a personal one from him, has not been put in to stop future developments.

Mr Adams added: “This is not a case of simply looking to stop the development, this is about trying to save a building that I think is worth saving.

“The building is perfectly good so I don’t see any reason why it should be knocked down just to make way for another building. Why can it not be accommodated in the plans that they have?”

Mr Adams has been collecting photographs and information as evidence to support the proposal.

He said: “The application is 99 per cent complete. It includes my reason why I think it is a building worth saving and then sending the application off.”

Any decision made by English Heritage on whether the library will be listed is likely to be made at the end of the year.

Even if the library were to be listed, it would not automatically mean it would be saved from demolition as the proposed developers behind the shopping centre, could still go through further planning regulations in order to get the library knocked down.

A planning application submitted by Henry Boot is due later in the year.

The plan would see the library knocked down and several new shops built parallel to the High Street.

Daventry Town Council was consulted about supporting the application but decided at a meeting held on Monday, May 16 against supporting it until they had heard back from the planning committee about its recommendations.

Mr Adams said: “I would not have put this application in if I was not hopeful of it being approved. I think there is enough evidence to suggest it deserves to be listed but we shall have to wait and see what decision is made.”

“I approached the town council about getting involved and I think it would have been nice for them to have supported it because it helps to add an extra bit of weight behind the application.”