Council-built mezzanine floor at Hull Central Library is rejected ... by councillors
A NEW mezzanine floor built at Hull's Central Library may have to be torn down after councillors refused to back the plans.
Work has already been carried out to construct the new floor housing the music library.
But NPS Humber Ltd, which carried out the work on behalf of Hull City Council, failed to obtain listed building consent before carrying out the work.
At a planning committee meeting this week, councillors refused the retrospective application and insisted the new structure would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.
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Councillor John Fareham said: "The design of the mezzanine floor is attractive but the ceiling is too low and I nearly nutted myself several times. It's clearly a design fault.
"The whole point of the room is to provide a perception of a room which is tall and spacious, the mezzanine floor takes that away."
Councillor Tom McVeigh also raised concerns about the height of the room.
He said: "It's not a safe place for people to be. We can't take a chance on adults braining themselves on the ceiling.
"This is particularly annoying as it's a council development and we shouldn't be doing this to ourselves."
If the council decides to appeal, it will be in the bizarre position of either arguing against a development it has commissioned and funded or against the decision of its own councillors.
NPS Humber Ltd was criticised by councillors with many insisting the company should foot the bill rather than taxpayers.
Councillor Pete Allen said: "We are paying someone to build something people can't use.
"The cost should be met by the professionals we have employed.
"If we were to allow this to go ahead, we couldn't justify refusing any other retrospective applications."
Listed building consent requires permission from the Secretary of State.
Afterwards, the council said it was working on ways to resolve the situation.
A spokesman said: "Councils go through the same processes with planning as any other applicants who go before planning committee.
"Obviously, this is not a desirable outcome but we are working with all the agencies involved to resolve it and appeal if necessary."