THE old Blackheath library is to be put on the market after Sandwell Council chiefs branded it surplus to requirement.

Built in 1909, the library in Carnegie Road is due to close shortly when the service moves into the new £4 million glass-fronted eco building in High Street.

It had been hoped the council would find an alternative use for the old building, which was built with a donation from Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Blackheath councillor Mary Docker said she feared for its future.

“Although it is not a listed building, it is a landmark in the town and I would not want it to be bulldozed,” she said.

But cabinet member for jobs and economy Councillor Ian Jones said as alternative uses could not be found the council was acting swiftly to put the building on the market to ensure it does not become a derelict eyesore.

“Its future will be dealt with through the planning process and any issues that residents have can be brought to bear as and when a new owner and usage is identified,” he said.

Cllr Jones added his concern that the council may lose its power to determine applications and residents will forego their opportunity to object to proposals by Government plans to relax planning rules.

The library will be put on the market in the new year after the service has moved into the new premises, which it will share with the Black Country Housing Group.