The Green Party say they will continue to fight plans to convert The Friary in Lichfield into housing.
Staffordshire County Council has drawn up proposals to move the library to St Mary’s in Market Square and convert the current site into residential accomodation.
They claim The Friary was a gift to the people of the city and should not be sold. However, documents have revealed that the county council were able to end the original covenants for £15,000 in 1995.
But the Greens say their fight will continue.
“The changes in 1995 effectively granted the county council the right to do as they please with the building and its land,” said Simon Partridge, spokesperson for the Lichfield and Burntwood branch of the party. “This will no doubt come as a surprise to a great many Lichfield people who believed that the land had been given in perpetuity.
“Our position remains unchanged. We will continue to call, as we have from the beginning, for an open, public consultation on the future of Lichfield Library and The Friary.
“However, these revelations will do little to reassure those in Lichfield who feel that they are being kept in the dark when it comes to key decisions concerning the future of the city.
“We would ask people to keep signing and sharing our petition calling for a public consultation.”
Staffordshire County Council say any sale would preserve the building, which it says is in need of more than £1million of repairs.
Cllr Ian Parry, deputy leader of the authority, said: “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.”