Readers have reacted with dismay to the news that Bury Knowle Library in Headington could be closed to make way for businesses.

Bury Knowle Library A review of property owned by Oxford City Council has recommended that Bury Knowle House be used for commercial purposes when the current lease with Oxfordshire County Council ends in 2009.

The library has been housed in the Grade II-listed building in a public park for the past 70 years. Headington city councillor David Rundle described the news as "deeply worrying".

He added: "We will fight this attempt to make a quick buck at the expense of our library. We will be working to find a new home but it won't be easy and we have to fear that the clock will be against us."

At a recent north east area committee meeting, councillors proposed that the house should remain in community use.

The city council has said the house must be made accessible to disabled users if it remains a community building.

Mr Rundle, a Liberal Democrat, said: "Though the committee agreed this, it looks very much as if the Labour council is ignoring our advice. The library loses its home and Bury Knowle House is lost to the community."

His colleague Stephen Tall said the council had £41,000 to spend on disabled access to libraries in Headington, but he was concerned the work would not be done if the building's future was at risk.

He added: "Bury Knowle House isn't a great site for the library but it is a home and there aren't any other alternatives in the centre of Headington."

Adrienne Garrod, 73, from Headington, said: "I would be devastated. I think this is such a lovely setting in the summer, you can get a book and then sit and read it.

"I know it's a small library and perhaps it's not cost-effective, but I would be very very sad to see it go. I think it would destroy the character of this area."

Reg Cox, 60, from Headington, said: "It would be very sad if we lost the library. I think we could probably do with a bigger one and more space.

"It's in a nice location with recreational facilities for children and adults. If it gets taken over by a business it could lose its character."

Julie Osborne, 37, from Headington, who was visitng the library with her daughter Josephine:

"I would be very disappointed. It is in such pleasant surroundings and makes such a lovely trip."