Artists impression of the Friary Outer development. ©Steve Dimes
Artists impression of the Friary Outer development. ©Steve Dimes

A new housing development has been heralded by a social landlord firm as “life changing” for elderly local residents.

The Friary Outer scheme got underway last month thanks to £2.4million of investment from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and will provide homes for elderly residents in the city who will move to the new dwellings once complete.

In total, 60 homes are allocated for older people in the city with 54 supported housing scheme units with the remaining 6 units as part of a shared ownership scheme.

Further, the development comprises a 65-bed hotel and new parking provision to take the current provision of the site from 230 to around 400.

Proposals for the imaginative scheme won overwhelming support from Lichfield District Council’s planning committee earlier this year, followed by the completion of a development agreement between the partners delivering the scheme. Initial work on site started in March, with full scale construction work scheduled to begin this summer.

Partners in the project include developers S Harrison Developments Ltd, Bromford Group – who are the registered social landlords, the HCA and Lichfield District Council. S Harrison is also the developer behind Lichfield’s planned Friarsgate scheme.

Paul Spooner, executive director for HCA Midlands, said: “It is fantastic to see work starting here on site. This scheme has continued to be a priority for the local community, and we are delighted that our investment with the Bromford Group has enabled these first homes to get underway.

“Our investment will also unlock the wider development of Friary Outer, helping to safeguard and create jobs, complement the commercial redevelopment and support of the city’s economic growth.”

Bromford describe the development as a flagship scheme. Bromford Support business manager, Anna Gillespie, says: “The location of the scheme, close to the city centre, provides great access to local facilities for older people, including access to local parks and direct to the city’s retail heart. We’ve already talked to the residents in Sandford Gate, who will be moving to Friary Outer, and they are excited at the prospect.

“We’re delighted to be involved in this flagship development. More than just providing quality housing, it addresses a number of strategic needs of the city and will play a major part in the regeneration of the city centre.”

Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, added: “It’s great to see work starting on this important development. It will offer older residents central homes, as well as more parking spaces for the city, a new hotel and a restaurant or retail space. While Friary Outer car park is closed, we are suggesting that visitors park in the near-by University car park or Sandford Street car park.”

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