Wigmore Library site eyed for development

Wigmore Library's closure in January 2014 prompted a backlash from campaigners
Wigmore Library's closure in January 2014 prompted a backlash from campaigners

A Luton library which was closed after huge funding cuts could be converted into either a cafe or restaurant, the Luton News can reveal.

The January 2014 closure of Wigmore Library, off Wigmore Lane, was labelled a “disgrace” by angry campaigners, who protested outside the Wigmore Lane site on the last day of its operation.

Sundon Park Library and Luton Mobile Library were condemned to the history books on the same day, as Luton Culture made swathes of cutbacks after £1.58million was sliced off its budget.

At the time then Luton Culture chief executive Maggie Appleton said: “This is a sad day for us and we realise that for some, especially older people, this is a huge blow.”

A year on Luton Borough Council has received a planning application from the unit’s owner, Rubicon West Plc, to convert the site into either a cafe or a restaurant.

The application, which was lodged on January 19, gives no other detail on what work would take place.

Rubicon West were unavailable for comment when contacted by the Luton News.

A council spokesperson said; “This is a change of use application currently being considered by planning officers (which does not permit any changes to the external elements of the building).

“More information may be requested from the applicant in due course.”

A resident of nearby Keeble Close has written to the council to oppose the plans.

The letter reads: “The high amount of restaurants we have within a few metres has changed this zone and I don’t think that extra restaurants and cafes are needed.

“It would be more needed to create a cultural centre, to reopen a library and to create some centre of interest for the local community.”

Council officers are set to decide on the application by April 9.

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