The future of The Friary building will be secure if Lichfield Library moves into St Mary’s, according to the deputy leader of Staffordshire County Council.
The proposals would see the library switch into the Market Square site with the current building then converted for residential use.
Cllr Ian Parry, deputy leader at Staffordshire County Council, said the move would secure the site long term.
“Instead of leaving buildings mothballed or allowing them to fall into disrepair, we have a county wide programme aimed at breathing new life into surplus and underused buildings to bring new jobs, homes and fresh investment into the county.
“Our review of buildings has been in the public domain for some time and given our proposals in Lichfield will not only allow residents to benefit from a more central ground floor library, but will also safeguard the future of the Friary building, which is need of almost £1.4million of repairs.
“It is a little surprising that the Green Party should suddenly object.”
The Green Party has also questioned the move to sell the building, claiming it was gifted to the people of the city and should not be moved into private hands.
But Cllr Parry said the original terms had long been withdrawn.
“In terms of the covenant, the Green Party should be aware this was actually superseded by a new agreement with Lichfield District Council more than 20 years ago,” he said. “Despite the fact the covenant no longer exists, the county council plans to reinvest proceeds from the Friary in the city of Lichfield for the benefit of everyone.
“This proposal has been welcomed by The Guild of St Mary’s and Lichfield District Council because it’s a long term commitment to provide a first class library in the heart of the city and retain the vitality of landmark buildings.”