A former library and social club in Dagenham could be turned into a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The application made on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council has requested full planning permission to change the use of the former Rectory Library in Old Dagenham Park into a SEND school. 

In 2010 the library was closed, with the space being used by the Royal British Legion social club and the Leaping Toads club after this. 

However, the site is not believed to have been used by anyone since 2020.

The application claims that the proposed site has been subjected to trespassers, vandalism, and the theft of 'live' copper pipework resulting in significant water damage. 

If approved, a single storey extension, a staircase, parking spaces, and rooftop planting area would be built as part of the development. 

A total of 16 new jobs would be created by the project, with ten full-time staff and six part-time staff. 

Romford Recorder: An aerial view of the proposed development siteAn aerial view of the proposed development site (Image: Google Maps)

The council wrote: "'The Rectory' (proposed school name) is to be operated as a resource that supports the borough’s need to provide education for young people for whom there is currently no option other than to home-school.

"It is a place for the social development of young people; with the primary intention being to nurture their ability to self-regulate, to help them to realise their full potential for independent living and to enhance family integration and wellbeing."

The planning documents estimate that the school would be opened in August 2026 if given the go-ahead.