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Revised Friarsgate development backed by Lichfield District Council’s cabinet

Revised plans for the Friarsgate redevelopment have been approved by Lichfield District Council’s cabinet.

An earlier artist's impression of the Friarsgate development

An earlier artist’s impression of the Friarsgate development

The changes will see the project developed in two phases and a reduction in the number of new shops.

Other alterations in the plans include the removal of the office space in the Birmingham Road redevelopment, but an increase in the number of residential apartments.

The first phase of the Friarsgate scheme will see the creation of 18 shops, up to 11 cafes, bars and restaurants, a cinema, 65 apartments, a new bus station and a 500 plus space multi storey car park – although the flagship department store will not be introduced until phase two.

Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “The economic climate has changed radically since we first started planning Friarsgate.

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

“However, the need to revitalise the Birmingham Road area in a way that will link up to and complement the rest of the city centre still remains. This is why we believe a phased development is more achievable and sustainable and will bring forward the development and regeneration sooner.

“If approved by our Planning Committee, the scheme promises to deliver a wide range of shops, eateries, city centre apartments and the eagerly anticipated cinema. We are also hoping to have further retail units as part of the second phase of the scheme.”

No timescales have yet been announced for the overall scheme, but residents have been promised the city will be improved even if there is a lull between the two elements of the redevelopment.

“If there is a gap between the phases, the area set aside for phase two will be landscaped as a temporary public space, which could be used for community activities,” said Cllr Wilcox. “Development Securities PLC will be asking for local people’s views on how best this new city space could be used and set out as part of a public consultation later this year.

“Overall, the planned development will have a huge impact on our local economy, and projections are that it will create up to 750 jobs and contribute £211 million into the local economy over a ten-year period.”

Development Securities PLC will now submit a new planning application later this year.

Spokesman Richard Upton, said: “We’re delighted that members of the cabinet have chosen to extend the development agreement, and remain committed to delivering a landmark development for Lichfield.

“We have an exciting opportunity to redevelop Friarsgate, delivering a project that creates new jobs, adds to the life and economy of Lichfield and places the city firmly on the map as a shopping, leisure and food destination.

“We are confident that our revised scheme is the best fit for the city and we look forward to progressing our plans alongside Lichfield District Council and the local community.”

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1 Comment

  1. Adam

    10th February, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Can we please have a development that is more innovative and fitting than the bland structures that have recently been built at the Friary and Swan Road? Dare I suggest something more akin to the Touchwood Centre than the Saddlers Centre?