Kirkwall's old library could be turned into 14 new homes

The library was most recently used as the home for Grooves Records shop and a gallery.

New plans for Kirkwall’s old library to go to planning committee LDRS
Library: Plans to go to committee decision.

Plans to convert Kirkwall’s old Carnegie library, and part of the adjoined Sound Archive, into ten houses and four flats will go to Orkney council’s Planning Committee.

However, due to an objection from roads services, council officers have recommended that the committee turn down planning permission on Wednesday.

The library, on Laing Street, was most recently used as the home for Grooves Records shop and a gallery.

However, the business moved out last year, leaving the building empty.

While the interior would see a drastic change under the proposals, the character and appearance of the listed building would stay the same.

The plans, put forward by local businessman Neil Stevenson, would also see the music venue section of the Sound Archive, next door to the library, walled off and converted into residential units.

However, the council’s roads services have taken issue with the development over the lack of parking.

With no parking featuring in the plans, roads services have said it would make the parking problems in Kirkwall’s town centre even worse.

The department has said, with plans for 14 residential units, there should be an equal number of parking spaces provided.

Despite this guidance from officers, the council decided not to use delegated powers to refuse the application outright. Instead, the decision will fall to the planning committee.

The meeting of Orkney Islands Council’s planning committee will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, from 9.30am.