Whitchurch Library to close following evidence of 'increasing deflection' by the presence of RAAC
A library will be closed until further notice following “significant evidence” of deflection and cracking caused by RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) in the roof beams.
It comes as RAAC was discovered in parts of the Whitchurch Civic Centre, which contains the library and is operated by the Town Council, earlier this month – forcing it to close.
Work had been taking place to install roof props in the library – to allow it to remain open.
However, council leaders have now announced there is “significant evidence” of deflection and cracking in certain areas of the library.
Therefore, it been agreed that the library will have to close for more intrusive surveys to be carried out.
Current advice is that the Market Hall can stay open. Shropshire Council’s registration service will temporarily be providing additional appointment availability at the Market Drayton office while Whitchurch Library is closed.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for assets and housing, said: “Closure of the library is a situation we have been trying to avoid but there is significant evidence of increasing deflection and additional cracking in certain areas of the library, and this has worsened following recent heavy rain. As the safety of our staff and customers is paramount we have therefore taken the decision to close the library until further notice while further investigations take place.”
The initial plan was for the Town Council to have a presence in the library, though this is no longer possible.
Shropshire Council will continue to review the situation and the Town Council website and social media will provide latest information on how/where they can be contacted.
Mike McDonald, Whitchurch Town Council’s property officer said: “This is both unfortunate but unavoidable in the circumstances and we continue to work closely with our Shropshire Council colleagues.
“Telephone and email contact with the Town Council is being maintained in the interim, whilst we confirm alternative arrangements for a limited reception hub service elsewhere.
“Please keep an eye on our social media.” – @wtcwhitchurch – for important updates. In the meantime we thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation.
“However the safety of the public, our patrons and staff has to be the main priority at this time.”
To contact Whitchurch Town Council call 01948 665761, where messages can be left, or email email@example.com.