Deputy leader says Lichfield District Council can only do so much to breathe new life into empty retail units

There is only so much Lichfield District Council can do to get empty retail and industrial units filled, its deputy leader has said.

A new economic development strategy is being drawn up and a draft version was discussed at a meeting of the local authority’s Cabinet.

Cllr Andy Smith had asked what the council could do in order to lobby developers and landowners to deal with “eyesore” empty properties.

Cllr Ian Pritchard

Cllr Ian Pritchard

But Cllr Ian Pritchard, deputy leader of the local authority, said there were limits to what could be achieved.

“Take the Kwik Save site in the city centre – it’s been to more planning meetings than I have,” he said. “It’s the same as the Angel Croft Hotel.

“As a council there is only so much we can do. We can make it waterproof and secure, but it is frustrating when buildings lie empty.”

Richard King, the local authority’s strategic director of democratic, development and legal, added that the movement was finally being made on the Kwik Save site which he admitted had become “a blot on the landscape”.

He added: “As a council we have to be as facilitating as possible.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

6 Comments

  1. Frustrated

    12th May, 2016 at 11:44 am

    If you want to make the retails units more attractive and get more people into the city centre.

    The best way is to increase car parking charges and so make it less attractive for people to park close by.

    Oh, maybe not.

  2. John

    13th May, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Oh FFS is nothing to do with car parking . Lichfield is just full to the rim of negative needy people ….

    You really believe free car parking is the answer ! Of course it’s not if it was no car park would charge anywhere in the uk

    What Lichfield needs to do is re-invent itself to make it more popular and more wide reaching . No more cafe no more hairdressers would be a good start

  3. Thornton

    13th May, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    What would you suggest John?

  4. Ron

    13th May, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Well we all have opinions I suppose but frankly, if you want more people in the centre, then you have to make it a) easy and b) affordable. Free car parking is actually a good idea and the reason nobody else does it, might have something to do with narrow minded greed. We need to wake up to the fact that practically everyone nowadays uses a car and all of them are punished for it. Ask yourself why that is. It is certainly not for our benefit.

  5. Mat

    14th May, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Well don’t fret, when the library is situated in St Mary’s people will come to Lichfield in droves, all the needy people that burden our streets will be vacuumed away by extra terrestials and world peace will break out. Talk of reinvention and investment is just nonsense. All part of the old boom and bust economics that blighted our economy. We will not find answers in constant consumption and the search for economic growth based on Gdp. If you want to help, reward small, local and sustainable enterprise. Create policy to keep money within Lichfield based on World Transition Model. Encourage and support community ventures that are owned by the community which plough profits back into the venture. Ban cars from the centre, create a park and ride scheme.

  6. Ron

    16th May, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Nice one Mat. Great Idea.

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