Northamptonshire County Council has agreed to plough around £240,000 of funding into building a new library in Moulton - but there is concern as that money was intended to build a new facility in Daventry.
Back in November 2013, A planning application for a 65,000 sq ft retail development on land north of High Street, Daventry, was approved by the town’s district council.
The Mulberry Place proposals included the building of a five-screen cinema and a completed new library in place of the current one there.
Northamptonshire County Council agreed to fund the scheme to the tune of £238,725. But at the end of 2015 the district council put the plans on hold, because they were not “economically viable.”
It is currently revising the overall Mulberry Place scheme.
As a result, on Tuesday the county council’s cabinet agreed to hand that £238,725 over to Moulton Parish Council, currently planning to build a new community centre, which will include a new library for Moulton and the surrounding area by March 2017.
Councillor Adam Collyer (UKIP, Daventry West) said he had concerns about “re-purposing” the money.
He said: “I’m aware the Daventry town centre development has been delayed, indeed it appears to be in disarray.
“But we will need a new library once it is finished as that scheme involves demolishing the old one.
“Surely if we repurpose this money there is a risk the town centre redevelopment will go ahead and we won’t have a library at all in Daventry.
“I can assure you local people in Daventry will blame this council for that.”
Cabinet member for health and wellbeing Councillor Robin Brown (Con, Woodford and Weedon) said the Daventry scheme will be paid for at a later date using contributions from developer section 106 agreements.
“I would also be extremely concerned if there was a likelihood there would not be a library in Daventry,” he added.
“Rest assured there will be a library in Daventry. The officers have quite rightly identified a better use for the money in the short term.”
The new Moulton library will form part of a community complex, which will include a doctors surgery, to serve the “expanding population” of the village.
The county council says the existing library at Moulton is not fit for purpose and the current lease is due to expire in June.