A LIBRARY is set to be demolished later than planned amid calls to repair the building instead.

Oxfordshire County Council had planned for the former Woodstock library building on Hensington Road to be knocked down by the end of this month, but a demolition date has still not been set.

Meanwhile, Woodstock Town Council has called for the demolition to be suspended so the county council can fully assess the cost of fixing the structure.

The building was closed due to structural damage in October, with the library temporarily located in The Oxfordshire Museum on Park Street since then.

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Town councillor Sharone Parnes, who proposed the motion to put the demolition on hold at this month's meeting, claimed the old site was a 'much better' location for the library.

He said: "While admirable, the replacement library is insufficient. It's too small and not comparable to the previous library in its facilities.


"With more housing planned for Woodstock, people need a place to go, especially youngsters revising for their exams at this time of year.

"The old library was in a much better location for parking and access. The new one is better than nothing, but we should aspire to more."

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The county council said it was 'mindful' of the motion resolved at the meeting on April 9, but said there were 'no plans' to suspend the library's demolition.

A spokesperson said: "The county council has fully assessed the case using all the appropriate expertise and the outcome has been the demolition of the library."


In October, a routine inspection of the Hensington Road building, opened in 1985, uncovered structural issues with some of the walls, while further surveys showed more damage.

That month, the county council's structural report on the library recommended temporary works, but the demolition plans were finalised in December.

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Since then, the county council has noticed several large cracks appearing 'very rapidly', with the building's 'structural integrity' continuing to deteriorate.

The spokesperson continued: "The most important factor for the county council is to maintain a library facility within Woodstock for local residents.

"In fact this temporary move has increased the opening hours by almost 50 per cent for the public, from 27 hours per week to 38 hours per week, with a café and pleasant garden where residents are able to enjoy a tea or coffee whilst selecting their books.

"This is a temporary move and the county council will consult with the town council, residents and other stakeholders before a final decision on the location is determined."