The former Wood Street library will be demolished this month to make way for the council’s “Families and Homes Hub” and around 65 homes.

The new library opened just 500 metres down the road on August 13 after the council decided the original 1950s building was in too much disrepair to refurbish or even maintain.

The council plans to have work on the new building, which design sketches suggest will be nine storeys high, begin in October next year and end in October the year after.

Council employees dealing with housing and family services will work from the ground floor, while the project will be funded by the more than 60 flats in the floors above.

The council aims to have half of these homes be “affordable” and will prioritise those already living in the borough.

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Another sketch of the new plans for the site (Howarth Thompkins Architects)

A previous public consultation on plans to relocate the old library, which received more than 1,000 responses, found 69 per cent of local people disagreed with the move.

Responding in August to those who will miss the old building, Cllr Paul Douglas, cabinet member for culture, said the council “could not provide the service” needed at the former site.

He said: “Buildings are important but it’s about what goes on inside. I genuinely believe the new library is a lovely, warm, welcoming experience and the old building was not.”

Cllr Douglas added that the sale of the former library site would fund both the new library and part of the extension of Lea Bridge Library.

Waltham Forest Council has been approached to confirm if this is still the case and who currently owns the site.

The new library, on the Marlowe Road estate, is open 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

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