Westminster Council’s plans to build a new Marylebone Library on a children’s playground/sports area on Luxborough Street have been delayed for nearly a year after the preferred bidder was asked to withdraw its tender.
In answer to a question from Labour’s Finance spokesperson Councillor David Boothroyd, the Council has revealed;
“The Marylebone library project has been delayed as the preferred bidder requested substantial changes to the Agreement for Lease and to the way they had proposed to finance the project. These changes were considered to be material in nature and such they created a procurement risk for the Council these that officers were unable to accept. As such the preferred bidder was asked to withdraw its tender, and this was formally received on 5 September, some seven months after the decision to award the contract. Officers are now engaged in retendering on a design and build basis, with the Council funding the scheme, which is considered more likely to be successful in the current market conditions. This has introduced a delay estimated at up to nine months in the project from the original anticipated completion date of October 2015 with a new timescale of early summer 2016 considered more achievable.”
The proposed new Library in Luxborough Street, which is located in the underground basement floors of a proposed residential development, has been much criticised by local residents who objected to the loss of the children’s playground and sports area
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Marylebone has not had a permanent Library for many years now and residents have had to put up with makeshift temporary libraries in the Council House and in Beaumont Street. Now, library users will have to wait until nearly another year until Westminster Council finally gets it act together. Perhaps the Council should re-open the sports area so that local youngsters can get some exercise while the Council starts again?”