Loughton Library is under threat of demolition
and replacement by a smaller library under a block of flats.
The County Council plans to spend
almost £800,000 to demolish the library and replace it with 27 new
apartments for either sale or rent, along with a new library.
As reported in the Epping Forest Guardian, LRA Cllr Chris Pond said that the
development, just a short walk from the Epping Forest Special Area of
Conservation (SAC), will add extra pressure on the wildlife that exists
He added a European Court of Justice
judgement protecting special areas of conservation against development
needed to be taken into account, and that replacing the library with
homes would harm Epping Forest wildlife.
Cllr Pond called in the plan at a
recent County Council Committee Meeting (read the details - item 7), however this was rejected on party
lines by the Conservative controlled council. Much will now depend on
the inspector's report on the Local Plan on safeguarding the SAC (read the latest here), as this would be 27 extra dwellings, each
with people, dogs and cycles etc within a four minute walk of the SAC.
Separately, the Town Council Planning
& Licensing Committee agreed to register Loughton Library and
Town Hall as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ with the District Council,
and will let Essex County Council know they're doing so.