A £600,000 plan to refurbish a library and create a gym has been given the go-ahead.

South Woodford Library, in High Road, South Woodford, will be redeveloped with a gym and studio in the current children’s library area, which will be move elsewhere in the building.

Work is expected to begin in September, with £236,000 expected to be recouped in annual revenue from membership fees for the gym.

More than 400 library users viewed the proposals during consultation, with 89 per cent said to support the plan.

Cllr Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is great news for residents in South Woodford. 

"The £600,000 investment we’re making will refurbish the library, introduce a new gym facility and generate savings for the council in the longer term.

"I’m particularly impressed with the plans for the new children’s library, which will have specific areas for different age groups and space retained for community groups who meet in the library.

"I’m grateful to all the residents who took part in the consultation and I hope they’ll be pleased with the result.”

The plans were passed at the Health and Wellbeing cabinet meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford last week.

Conservative Church End Cllr Tom McLaren supports the plan but believes councillors were not consulted properly.

He said: "I am totally supportive of keeping South Woodford Library open and these plans will sustain it for the future.

"But I am worried that local councillors are not being consulted properly, Cllr Streeting is not from this ward so does not understand the needs of people from Church End.

"Issues such as extra traffic and parking seem to have been swept aside."