Dorking Library to move into empty shops

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Plans to move Dorking library from a listed building to empty retail units in the town centre are to go ahead despite objections from residents.

At a planning meeting on Wednesday, Mole Valley councillors approved the move from Pippbrook House in Reigate Road to St Martin's Walk.

The decision on the Surrey County Council application had been deferred from July to allow the public to speak.

Tim Hall, from the council, said the library would be "bigger and better".

'Difficult access'

He said Pippbrook House was too small and did not have suitable disabled access.

"We are going to have a 40% bigger library in the centre of the town," he said.

Residents objected to the move because they said access would be difficult for people who had to park and walk to the site, whereas Pippbrook House has free parking.

Mole Valley council has said that it will consider the best use for Pippbrook House when it is vacated.

Alternative uses may include converting the building to flats.

Councillor Clare Curran said: "Our longer term plans for Dorking involve the revitalisation of St Martin's Walk and the town centre, and experience elsewhere shows that the relocation of the library will help with that.

"This move is generally welcomed by retailers locally, and will help to promote the vitality of Dorking.

"I am looking forward to the new, modern library service that Dorking will get as a result."

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