Hundreds of people have backed a petition fighting the closure of a residential short breaks centre for people with disabilities in Beaconsfield.

Bucks County Council (BCC) is currently consulting on plans to transfer the residential short breaks service at Seeleys House in Beaconsfield to the Aylesbury Opportunities Centre.

Council bosses insist that there are no plans to change the day care service currently offered at a different part of the Seeleys House site.

Now 687 people have signed an online petition calling for BCC to either continue running the residential service at Seeleys House, or build a new, smaller unit in the car park.

Anne Vaughan, who set up the petition, said: “The buildings are not perfect but the love kindness and joy within created by the well-established well trained staff is what is so important to our adult children, both mentally and physically disabled.

“When they attend day centres or short breaks we know they are safe and well cared for.”

One parent commenting on the petition said: “Our son had respite at Seeleys House and it is a vital resource for carers to give them a break as well as a caring environment for their loved one.”

Another added: “Seeleys provides a valuable service for people with disabilities across the county.

“This consultation has been poorly conducted with no clear attempt to reach out to health or social services.”

A council spokesman said BCC “will be happy to consider any relevant petitions as part of the residential short breaks consultation feedback.”

Last week BCC announced it would be extending the consultation by two weeks, after cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Lin Hazell, said “it is clear” more time is needed following “the high level of interest” shown by parents and carers.

Short breaks allow children and adults with disabilities to spend time away from home and develop independence, which allows their primary carers to have a break from caring responsibilities.

People who currently use the short break services at the Aylesbury site will have to be moved to another service for a year while the site undergoes a partial rebuild.

The day services provided at the Aylesbury site will then have to be reduced in order to make way for the transfer of the new residential service.