Waltham Forest Council plans to redevelop the “tired and outdated” Chingford library, adding 40 new homes to the site.

The construction of the new “Chingford Hub” will be paid for in part with £617,000 from the council’s libraries capital programme and through profits from the new homes.

Building on the new hub, which will merge the library with the neighbouring Assembly Hall, is expected to start in mid-2021 and end mid-2023. The library will remain open throughout.

Cllr Simon Miller, who is responsible for economic growth and housing development, said the new dedicated library space would be “at least the same size” as currently and that the homes would be “marketed toward local people as a priority”.

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He said: “The plans for the redevelopment of Chingford library, which is tired and outdated, and Chingford Assembly Hall sites will create a fully accessible modern library, with learning space for Adult Learning Service courses as well as enhanced facilities so that older residents can be more involved in their community.

“The project will also deliver around 40 new homes, with an aspiration that 50 per cent of these will be affordable and marketed toward local people as a priority.

“The dedicated library space will be at least the same size as the current dedicated library space, but the updated modern design will make it easier for all members of the community to access and enjoy these essential community facilities.

“If the cabinet approves the proposals, exact details of the new facilities will be confirmed at the next design stage. The final design will require full planning permission to be granted before the project starts on site.”

The cabinet will meet to discuss the proposals at a virtual meeting held at 2pm tomorrow (June 11).

Chingford Library is visited by an average of 12,000 people a month. South Chingford Library closed in 2011 to help save £1 million from the library services budget.

Read more: What happened to the former South Chingford Library

The library will remain open through building in a “temporary demountable unit” to the rear of the current building.

A report prepared for the cabinet notes that the money from the libraries capital programme would be enough to address some issues with the building but not enough to improve the Assembly Hall.

It reads: “The Assembly Hall is typically used only at weekends and is an underutilised cultural and community asset, as well as a drain on resources.

“The interior of the library is inflexible, and its internal decoration is tired and in need of a complete overhaul.

“Making this investment even on a standalone basis would be a costly exercise.”

You can watch a livestream of the cabinet meeting on Youtube here.

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