Plans to relocate a Finchley library to a new housing development have moved a step closer.

Barnet Borough Council’s cabinet resources committee has approved details of a proposed lease which could see a new Church End Library being built at Gateway House in Regents Park Road.

The owners of Gateway House have submitted a planning application to turn the office block into 54 residential units. If consent is granted, the development will be completed by around 2017 along with a new library.

The development would have 54 parking spaces and 59 cycle spaces, with the library covering 800sq m over two floors.

There would also be a café and study areas, as well as meeting and activity spaces within the library which would be given a 125 years lease.

Councillor Robert Rams, cabinet member for customer access and partnerships, said: “This development takes us a step closer to providing a new library in Barnet. I don’t want to prejudge the planning application, but if permission is granted, this proposal could see a brand new library being built at a time when neighbouring boroughs are closing libraries.”

The council says the existing library in Hendon Lane would remain open until the new library is ready, adding that a range of options are currently being considered for the building.