The leader of Lichfield District Council says proposals to transfer Lichfield Library will safeguard St Mary’s in the Market Square.
Staffordshire County Council has drawn up plans to move the facility and convert the current site at The Friary into residential properties.
A petition opposing the plans has gathered more than 5,000 signatures, with campaigners saying the building – which was gifted to the people of the city before the covenant was dropped in 1995 – should not be sold to private developers.
But Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council, told a meeting of the local authority earlier this week that the move made sense.
“It is a good move to ensure the sustainability of St Mary’s and bring the library into the city centre, an area where we are keen to promote and boost in future,” he said.
His comments came after a formal question from Cllr Sue Woodward.
The leader of the Labour opposition group said that while the Save Lichfield Library campaign may have been “misnamed”, some of the issues raised did need to be considered.
“I agree that the move would improve the viability of St Mary’s – an important site in Lichfield city centre,” Cllr Woodward said. “But there is an issue over the public benefit of this building in the future.
“This public benefit is not met by selling the site for any purpose.
“If The Friary were to be used for public benefit then it may appease some of the complaints.”
Cllr Woodward has previously said that if the library is moved, the current site should be used for extra care housing for older or disabled people.
But Cllr Ian Parry, deputy leader of Stadffordshire County Council, said the conversion needed to achieve this would be “very difficult”.