PLANS to relocate community facilities in Thornbury have been labelled “financially misguided” and “detrimental” with frustrated residents calling for a public meeting.

The proposals would see the Armstrong Hall Complex, as well as the town’s library, move to Turnberrie’s Community Centre.

Alternative plans also put forward would see a full refurbishment of the Armstrong Hall.

Both sets of plans put forward by Thornbury Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council, estimated to cost several million pounds, have been on show in recent weeks, as part of a public consultation.

The councils have said that responses to the consultation, which concludes at the end of this month, will play a big part in the decision to move, which would be made by councillors.

But some residents claim important questions have been left unanswered, with some even claiming a bias towards the Turnberrie’s option.

SGC councillor David Chubb, who represents Thornbury, said he felt relocating to Turnberrie’s would be “detrimental to the town”.

“It’s a money saving affair,” he said. “There is in theory a financial benefit, but I don’t agree with that.

“In my opinion South Gloucestershire Council is financially misguided in this case.

“But unless you can put up a really strong case, these things usually go through, and I know that South Gloucestershire Council is very determined to push this forward.”

“The library is so central, in a pedestrian area which is safe for children, so to move it to Turnberrie’s is not a good idea.

“I think the library should remain where it is. It is part of the town and part of its character.”

At the town council’s finance and policy meeting last Thursday, residents called for a public meeting to discuss the proposals, amid fears that a decision could be made without full understanding.

“We are still without the financial details of how they would be funding this project as well as that of ownership,” said Charles Eardley-Wilmott, one of the residents who called for the meeting.

“There has been no mention of what provision would be made for those groups using the Armstrong Hall if it were temporarily shut or what would happen to the library building if it moves.

“We also do not know what would happen to the library building, should SGC choose to move it to Turnberrie’s.

“I am not the only one who is concerned about this, it’s the view of a lot of people in the town, hence the support for a public meeting.

“We don’t want people just being bamboozled into going along with the plans because they cannot make an informed decision.”

Heather Goddard, SGC’s cabinet member for tourism and communities said: “This is an ongoing consultation process. No decisions have been made and we encourage everyone in and around Thornbury to take part and let us know their views.

“The details published on both options allow residents to consider the sort of community facilities they would like.

“There are necessarily more details on the Turnberrie’s option, because this would include building an extension and relocating services, whereas the Armstrong Hall option retains services on the same site.”

She added that, if either option was pursued, further detailed work would be carried out including funding, planning permission, governance and ownership.

The call for a public meeting requires only six signatures from residents, with many more having already been submitted.

The group however argued that holding a meeting this Thursday would be too soon, with the decision on when to hold the meeting has been referred to the full town council meeting on October 3.

A town council spokeswoman confirmed that the required number of signatures to call a meeting had been submitted.

She said: “Following discussions with the residents calling for the meeting, the matter has been referred to full council on October 3 where a date for the meeting will be considered and set.

“The consultation on the different options and proposals which could affect the future of the Armstrong Hall, Turnberrie’s, the library and museum is open until September 29 and we would urge people to respond and to have their say before the deadline.”