Wood Street Library - Asset of Community Value

7 January 2019

Waltham Forest Council is committed to providing quality services to its residents. Community learning and new affordable housing are at the forefront of our service provision and we are investing in our library portfolio and estate regeneration as part of our commitment to local residents.

The existing Wood Street Library will be relocated a short distance from its current location to the Marlowe Road development on completion of the new library building. This will happen later this year and ensure that library services will continue to be provided to the community without disruption but will be taken forward in a brand new, fit-for-purpose building.

As with many old buildings, the existing Wood Street Library has significant refurbishment requirements, the costs of which are higher than the cost of providing the library at Marlowe Road. Local residents will be provided with a more modern facility, which will be better placed to provide the library’s essential services as well as new community services. Library opening hours will also be extended.

Once the relocation is complete, the existing Wood Street Library will be sold or redeveloped by the Council in order to meet the cost of the new library at Marlowe Road and to fund essential improvement works at Lea Bridge Library. Without the capital receipt that will be generated by Wood Street Library, neither development would be able to proceed.

As the library building is an Asset of Community Value, the Council must notify the community group or groups that nominated the building for ACV status when it is ready to sell or redevelop the property. This triggers a two stage moratorium period. The first moratorium period, which lasts six weeks, will allow interested community organisations to decide if they want to be considered as a bidder for the asset. The second moratorium period, lasting six months, will allow groups time to develop proposals and raise the required funds to purchase the asset. Both moratorium periods are triggered at the same time, on formal notification by the Council of its intention to sell or redevelop the site.

As part of the ACV process, the Council will consider all proposals put forward by community organisations alongside other proposals for the site. For more information on the ACV process including; the legislation in full, and how to submit an expression of interest to bid for an ACV, please click here.

The Council will trigger both moratorium periods in January 2019, giving interested bidders until July 2019 to submit their proposal for Wood Street Library. The Council will also use this period to review all potential options for the redevelopment or sale of the building to ensure it delivers optimal benefit from the library building site.

Cllr Simon Miller
Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets