The decision to rebuild Chingford Library, adding 40 new homes, will be discussed by Waltham Forest councillors again tonight.

The project was given unanimous approval by the council’s leaders at a cabinet meeting on June 11 but was then “called in” by all 13 Conservative councillors.

“Call-in” powers allow councillors to force the council to reconsider a decision made by the cabinet, bringing it back before a scrutiny committee.

Conservative group leader Cllr Alan Siggers (Valley) said: "We sought assurances from the cabinet and were told that the council wanted to work with the community to get this project right.

“However, so far there has been no progress on agreeing who would be consulted, how, when, or on what.

“We have therefore called in the decision to give more time for these details to be worked out.

“It will then go back to cabinet and I hope when it does, it will include details of how the North Chingford community will be consulted on what happens to these important buildings."

The committee will be able to confirm the decision or refer it back to the cabinet or the council with their concerns.

Read more: Chingford Library revamp gets cabinet approval

In a statement on June 23, Cllr Simon Miller, responsible for economic growth and high streets, said the council planned to hold “extensive engagement” on the project in summer and autumn.

He added that the project “will be the largest investment the council has made in the area” with “significant benefits” for residents and businesses.

Cllr Miller said: “The current library and assembly hall are expensive to maintain, the heating system is inefficient and is not environmentally friendly, and the buildings do not meet accessibility standards for elderly or less mobile residents.

“We have examined our options carefully and it would not be a cost-effective use of taxpayer money to bring the existing buildings up to the required standard.

“Any development in this location must meet the strict planning regulations that apply to conservation areas.”

Sixty Bricks, the council’s own building company, plans to fund the project using profits from the 40 additional homes, as well as £617,000 from the council’s Libraries Capital Programme.

The company also plans to borrow from the council to “cover further design development, development management and land acquisition costs”.

The project will be discussed at a Growth Scrutiny meeting tonight at 7.30pm, which can be viewed on Youtube here.

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