It’s now or never for the Friarsgate development, according to the leader of Lichfield District Council.
A consultation is currently taking place to gather feedback on the latest designs for the long-awaited scheme to bring a cinema, retail outlets and housing to the city centre.
The developers hope to have a planning application ready for the autumn after reviewing the feedback.
But Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council believes the latest version of Friarsgate could be make or break.
“If we can’t make it happen now, I don’t think we ever will,” he told LichfieldLive.
“The developers have ploughed millions into it already and they really believe in it – so much so, that they are still talking about starting the two year build next year in time for a summer 2018 completion.
“All the ducks have been lined up in a row and this really is our best opportunity.”
A number of responses have already been received, while a public event in July saw a number of local residents view the plans for the Friarsgate scheme.
Cllr Wilcox added: “Most of the negative comments we had were about the look of the external fronts of the shops – that’s not a big issue. We’d have been more concerned if there had been issues with building sizes and scales.
“But the cosmetic stuff we can look at and work with the developers to improve the scheme.”
Hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs are expected to be created if the development goes ahead.
Cllr Wilcox has said the scheme is crucial to the future of the district as a whole.
“Friarsgate really is a fantastic opportunity,” he said. “It will lift the district and create new jobs.”