A “21st Century community space” could replace a library set for demolition.

Waltham Forest Council has announced plans for a new library as part of the Marlowe Road developments.

In plans to be debated by the council’s cabinet on July 17, the old library in Wood Street will be demolished and the site sold off to pay for the new library and revamp the Grade II listed Lea Bridge library.

The new Marlowe Road library, due to open in 2019, will be located opposite Wood Street station and will be larger than its predecessor.

Designs include modern furnishings and spaces, books and information, digital services, a children’s library and a café.

The Lea Bridge library will be transformed with flexible indoor and outdoor spaces. The library will feature a new conservatory café, exhibition space and children’s play area.

Council leader Cllr Clare Coghill said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to further improve two of our libraries and bring them into the 21st Century. Despite the council making £115 million in savings, we have not reduced the number of libraries, unlike other councils, and we have continued to invest to make them more accessible and user-friendly.

“We know how much residents love their libraries. This has been clearly shown by the response to the Library Local consultation with more than 80 per cent agreeing with our library vision to create modern and attractive libraries, in accessible places, alongside other community facilities.”

Waltham Forest Council consulted more than 3,400 residents between September 2016 to January 2017 on its plans for libraries and the future of library services in the borough.

The consultation found more than 70 per cent of respondents wanted greater community involvement in the management of libraries.

Cllr Coghill said: “As part of the plan we will set up a community engagement panel to ensure local people are part of the process. Initially, they will input into the design and layout of the library but they will have a longer term role in planning activities for the library and how the space is used.

“There is clearly great love for the Wood Street building but unfortunately renovating it isn’t the most effective or efficient way to spend council money.

“The Wood Street Library no longer meets the needs of residents. We need to attract younger people and encourage residents who used the library to return. Our libraries need to be contemporary and relevant to the all residents.”

The current Wood Street Library will remain open until it moves to Marlowe Road in late 2019, the relocation is not expected to affect access to library services.

The council estimated that the cost to renovate the current Wood Street Library site would be £2.3 million.

The cost of relocating the library to Marlowe Road and extending Lea Bridge Library will be funded by the sale of the Wood Street library land and a £411,000 grant from the Greater London Authority’s Good Growth Fund.

A virtual reality tour showing the possible design of the new library is available here