A shut-down South Tyneside library has been brought to book – after plans were passed for it to be demolished.
Council buildings bosses have given the go-ahead for the former Hebburn Library – since replaced by a £13m new-build redevelopment – to be pulled down.
When it is dismantled, they have ordered a wall it shares with the neighbouring Iona Club be rendered in a colour to match existing brickwork.
They also want the site landscaped, including top soiled and seeded, and a knee-height rail fence installed around its perimeter.
South Tyneside Council case officer Dave Rogerson said a previous demolition order for the Station Road building had been granted in 2015 but landscaping restoration works were different to those previously approved which meant a new application was required.
Library services switched to the new Hebburn Central hub in June 2015, rendering the former building obsolete.
Mr Rogerson’s report says the size of the building meant a sequential demolition technique and dust and noise suppression would also be deployed.
He added: “The proposed method of demolition works would be acceptable given the scale of the building, and to then top soil and seed the plot would be an acceptable form of site restoration.
“The rendering of the party wall of the Iona Club, in a colour to match the existing brickwork, would also be acceptable.”
The two-storey Hebburn Central also has a six-lane swimming pool, learner pool, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area, learning centre and café.
Its construction saw South Tyneside Council focus services at four multi-service ‘hubs’ - The Word, in South Shields, Hebburn Central, Jarrow Hub and the Cleadon Park centre.
At the same time, some other library services moved to voluntary management.
In July 2016, figures revealed that book loans at Hebburn Central had increased by 31 per cent compared to those of Hebburn Library.