Waltham Forest Council has voted to sell an historic library building amid concerns of a “scandal.”

Protestors who fought hard to save Wood Street Library lost the battle after a vote last night.

The plans were originally debated by the council’s cabinet on July 17 but were called in for an extraordinary neighbourhood scrutiny meeting held last night.

Tories called in the decision over concerns that the Labour group was not listening to the many Wood Street residents who have voiced opposition to the plans for years, but the plans were approved regardless.

Cllr Selina Seesunkur, Conservative councillor for Larkswood, took to Twitter last night. She said: “My questions went unanswered by the leader even though it was a scrutiny meeting. The leader paid no regard to public opinion.”

Fellow Larkswood Tory Cllr Catherine Saumarez also took to Twitter. She said: “I’m sorry Wood Street, we tried to get them to not shut your library. But the council wouldn’t listen.

“The decision had already been made and was rubber stamped by the scrutiny committee tonight which means the library will be closed in its present location.”

The council first announced plans to relocate the library in 2016 because it was “beyond its useful life” and the upkeep became expensive.

The move sparked protests outside the library as opponents said the changes offered “false choices” and the downsized services would affect children and older people.

The decision was labelled “a scandal” by the protesters who feared for the loss of the historic building.

The old library site will be sold off in late 2019 to pay for the new library on Marlowe Road opposite Wood Street station and revamp the Grade II listed Lea Bridge library.

Council leader Cllr Clare Coghill said: “It is outrageous that Conservative councillors are calling into question the integrity of officers without a shred of evidence.

“There has been a lengthy consultation process leading up to this decision and we have heard from a number of people who spoke passionately in favour of the new facilities.

“Instead of attacking us, the Tories should be fighting alongside us to lobby their party for fair funding for local government so that we are better able to provide our residents with the services they deserve.

“I’m pleased the neighbourhoods scrutiny committee have upheld the decision made at cabinet. As we go forward with these proposals we will make sure residents get a say in shaping the design of the new Wood Street Library, and the existing site will remain open until the new site is ready.”