Plans for shop in former Shiney Row Library which closed last year

The former Shiney Row Library.
The former Shiney Row Library.

Beers, biscuits and beans could replace the books at a former library.

Shiney Row Library, in Chester Road, was shut last year and now, after Sunderland City Council was unable to find anyone to keep running a ‘community’ facility from the site, it could become a shop.

Members of the council’s Development Control Sub-Committee for Houghton, Hetton and Washington, is set to rule on the plans on Tuesday, November 27.

After the library was shut down, the building was offered for sale, with prices starting at £160,000 – or £17,000 a year to anyone interested in leasing the site.

According to a report prepared for councillors, there were no bids submitted for a ‘community’ use for the building and a sale for commercial use was agreed in March this year.

It adds: “There does not appear to be any obvious realistic likelihood of the longstanding library use being maintained or an alternative ‘community’ use coming forward and as such, it is suggested that it is reasonable in this case to consider the merits of another, non-‘community’ use of the building.

“The alternative would be that the building will continue to stand empty into the future.”

Officers have recommended the plans be given the green light, but have also suggested opening hours be restricted to between 8am–8pm as a condition of approval.

But the scheme has also generated significant opposition, including several letters of objection to the council’s planning department and a 140-signature petition.

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service