Development potential for old library mooted

Development could be coming for the old Howick Library after all.

In the latest agenda from the Howick Local Board, the site of the former Howick library, located at 16 Fencible Drive is “under review for future uses according to Auckland Council’s development arm Panuku.

The old Howick library has sat derelict for the best part of a decade and has recently been closed to former community group key holders the Howick Village Association, which was using the dilapidated building for storage of stalls and associated equipment for the Howick Market.

Old Howick library building. Times photo Nick Krause

The building is structurally unsafe and has had past issues with asbestos. It is derelict inside and showing signs of significant water damage and the air is thick with a pungent odour. The property is not available for leasing purposes.

Panuku stated in the agenda that there is “Potential to explore (sic) idea of developing hybrid commercial/community space, including residential housing outcomes” and added “further engagement with the board is dependent on AT (Auckland Transport) confirming transport infrastructure requirements for the property’.

Howick Local Board Chairman David Collings told the Times his preferred option would be for the building to be administered by a trust or community partnership and he was confident the responsibility of building maintenance would be taken up by said trust.

Panuku also noted in the agenda that the property at 34 Moore Street Howick (the old council chambers) will stay empty and unused for the time being. Panuku responded to a presentation from the Howick Local Board by resolving “to retain the property for 12 months to allow further use investigations”.

“Panuku is continuing to work with the council’s departments and engage with the board as part of the rationalisation process.”