Council has approved a £500 million 12-story addition to the British Library
The British Library plans a 12-story enlargement that will include additional galleries, commercial space, and shops.
Camden Council has authorise the £500 million construction, which is schedule to be complete in 2029.
The rebuilt structure will include two additional entrances and improved access to St Pancras Station.
However, some local homeowners are concerned that the tower will obstruct light in their homes and produce light pollution.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the new building will have two underground levels and an additional 100,000 square feet (9,300 square metres) of the library, learning, commercial, and events.
It will house the Alan Turing Institute for data intelligence and artificial intelligence, as well as the British Library Centre for Conservation.
A pedestrian walkway will run the length of the basement to a new ticket hall, and the development must make room for infrastructure for the anticipated Crossrail 2 train link.
Camden’s planning committee authorised the concept, which must pay for itself without government financing, implying that some commercial space has been included.
The Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum, which represents some residents, is concerned about the scheme’s impact on a neighbouring estate.
It is also concerned about the loss of a communal garden while the construction is to done. A new community garden will open alongside the library expansion.
At the council meeting, Councillor Sue Vincent questioned officials about the impact on residents.
Camden’s lead conservation officer, Catherine Bond, said they were “what you would anticipate in a dense urban area”.
According to the meeting, the British Library will also provide £23 million for affordable housing in Somers Town.
“With a range of flexible new spaces, including a new bespoke learning centre and exceptional new exhibition galleries, this long-planned enlargement will allow even more people to access and enjoy the library,” said Roly Keating, chief director of the British Library.
The plan must now be present to the Mayor of London for approval.