Planning permission granted for Lichfield Friarsgate development

The Friarsgate shopping development has been granted planning permission.

An artist's impression of the new-look Friarsgate development

An artist’s impression of the new-look Friarsgate development

The redevelopment of Lichfield city centre was unanimously backed by councillors.

The project will see new retail units, a multi-screen cinema, a gym, a new bus station, 500 new parking spaces and 93 residential properties.

Cllr Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “I’m delighted that our planning committee unanimously approved the Friarsgate scheme, which is set to bring new shops, restaurants and hundreds of jobs to the city.

“The scheme will also deliver a gym and cinema, which we know local families and young people have been keen to see developed in Lichfield for many years.

An artist's impression of the new-look Friarsgate development

An artist’s impression of the new-look Friarsgate development

“We will be working closely with developers U&I and our city partners over the coming months to help ensure the new development enhances Lichfield overall and delivers footfall and growth to all areas of our city.”

It is estimated that Friarsgate will boost shopping turnover from £55million to £107million by 2022.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I said: “We are delighted that our planning application has been accepted and we can begin the work of turning our vision for Friarsgate into a reality.

“Following extensive public consultation last summer, when we spoke to hundreds of residents, partners and local businesses, we know we have a project that has the support and goodwill of the community.

“We are passionate about building mixed-use, sustainable communities and this project will transform the centre of Lichfield, bringing jobs and growth to the area in the process.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.


  1. Scribbler

    24th May, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Oooooh, doesn’t that look gorgeous.

    It looks so, what’s the words I’m looking for – soulless and generic.

    Take a city with a rich history and turn it into an identikit, bog standard town centre that can be found anywhere in the UK.

    Thanks Lichfield DC, yet another triumph of predictable mediocrity over golden opportunity.

    You serve us so well.

  2. Concerned citizen

    24th May, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Yes, and I see the Councillors have agreed a 15% increase in their allowances – austerity, what austerity?? Lead by example, I say.

  3. Simon

    24th May, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Well said Scribbler, that’s exactly what I was thinking. But as recent developments have shown…that’s what the planners want for Lichfield; a blot an a beautiful city. It’s very sad.

  4. Thornton

    25th May, 2016 at 7:48 am

    To be fair, i’d rather have Friarsgate that the rusty old Ford garage, 70’s style bus shelters and a 70’s concrete police station. The ‘pretty’ parts of Lichfield will remain.

  5. Silverlinings

    25th May, 2016 at 8:07 am

    It’s 2016 and people seem surprised that nobody is going around building wooden-framed Tudor any more. We don’t have to emulate the past, rather compliment it.

    This scheme is FAR better than the blot that currently exists. Great news :)

  6. Arkitekt

    25th May, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Thornton and Silverlinings, you’re missing the point; yes, the area needs to be developed and that’s great for the city, but where’s the vision and imagination? Why can’t we have something to be proud of? After all, bad architecture costs the same as good architecture!

  7. Thornton

    25th May, 2016 at 10:33 am

    What do you suggest? Maybe the people who object could put sone ideas together.

  8. Oli Mortimer

    25th May, 2016 at 10:41 am

    322 space car park (Frog Lane) and 59 spaces (Bus Station) replaced with a 500 space car park – 119 extra spaces to cater for a cinema, gym, 93 residential dwellings, 25 shops & 10 restaurants.

    Going off those numbers, they are only expecting 3.2 cars per new business (not including residential overspill). Who approves these numbers!?

  9. Interesting

    25th May, 2016 at 11:13 am

    The City Centre in Lichfield is struggling.

    Loads of empty shops, charity shops, cheap shops…..

    It would not surprise me, if Friarsgate doesn’t include: M&S, WH Smiths, Boots, McDonalds…… thus closing their stores in the current centre.

    The council have to financially support the Garrick, so will they have to financially support the cinema also?

    Lichfield is in a difficult situation, we need to do something, but we are too small to attract a lot of the big names. They want huge footfall and large profits.

    Richard Upton, deputy CEO of U+I, said: “With planning approval secured, we will be approaching a range of retailers and leisure brands to join the Friarsgate scheme

    They have no idea who will come into the development. How they can generate figures, I have no idea.

  10. Thornton

    25th May, 2016 at 11:36 am

    @Oli, i’d rather have shops than turn the centre into a car park. Many visitors come to Lichfield by train and bus not always by car.

  11. Silverlinings

    25th May, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Arkitekt I see your point, I too have reservations, but think that while designs of any current trend often look generic initially, their character, in my opinion, tends to develop over a period of time. I happen to like the scheme, and the simplicity of it. I don’t see why it is “Bad architecture.” It seems to me to be designed to suit its purpose. I think it’s right that visitors can tell our heritage apart from the new buildings and that they don’t try to blend them too much.

    I also think that developers face a tough battle to please everyone.
    Thornton is right, this scheme has been underway for the best part of ten years and I’ve never seen any alternatives.

  12. Toast

    25th May, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Oli you’re also ignoring the multiple council-run carparks around the city. Plus Tesco and the on-street parking available to disabled drivers. Add on the weekend parking available at the Uni and council offices on Frog Lane and you’ve got plenty of spaces in my mind.

  13. Oli Mortimer

    25th May, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    @Thornton I agree, but they still need to cater for the increase in traffic and parking requirements that this will bring to the city. I notice they will still have an entrance to the car park on both Frog Lane and Birmingham Road, but it’s busy enough on those roads as it is.

  14. Scribbler

    25th May, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I know this is a local little city for local little people, but surely part of the remit must be to attract non-residents into the city centre too to spend their hard-earned money?
    If so, Lichfield won’t be offering anything different to most other towns and cities. So why would they bother?