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Caulfield toy library saved from wrecking ball

A space-starved inner south council planned to tear down a recently renovated and popular toy library to open up a fraction of space near Koornang Park — but they have now backed down on the demolition after a passionate parent campaign. 

Emma-Jayne Schenk, Caulfield Glen Eira LeaderSubscriber | June 26, 2019 4:30am

A popular Carnegie toy library that faced demolition to make way for a paltry plot of green space has been saved after a passionate campaign from parents. 

Space-starved Glen Eira Council had planned to tear down Caulfield Community Toy Library in Carnegie to open up a fraction of space near Koornang Park — despite spending $190,000 purpose-fitting the 1960s building in 2014 for the library to use.

But, following strong opposition from the community and a 556-signature petition, the council’s draft Koornang Park/Lord Reserve masterplan no longer lists the toy library building as a “structure to be removed”.

Committee member Pia Lower said people power had won out to save the 300-member, 32-year-old library.

Ms Lower said parents were grateful the council had “seen sense” so they could keep providing the service in a “friendly and accessible location”.

“We’re thrilled that we’re keeping our beautiful home adjacent to Koornang Park,” Ms Lower said.

“Our volunteers have put so much hard work into making this building the best home it can be for our ever-expanding toy collection.

Our members love visiting us here next to the park, pool and playground. This is a perfect place for a toy library.”

Glen Eira environment and infrastructure director Samantha Krull previously defended the proposed demolition, saying “as Glen Eira’s population grows so does the demand on our open space network and need to cater for a diverse range of users and activities”.

But Mayor Jamie Hyams this week said it was “not ideal” to have buildings in a park but the council had decided to keep it following consultation.

“(We decided) it was compatible with the park, given it is on the border and adjacent to the pool,” Cr Hyams said.

“(The) council also felt it was better to give this valuable service certainty, and rates and facilities would have better uses than rehousing an organisation that’s functioning well where it is.”

The council adopted the masterplan last night, but residents will be able to have their say on its implementation, including the proposed closure of Moira Ave.

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