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“Christmas is such a busy time in Lichfield District with plenty on offer to get us into the festive spirit, and this was in evidence at Lichfield Christmas Festival, which, despite the wet and windy conditions, was a huge celebration of local shops, venues and community coming together. “Christmas is a reflective time when we look back on the year. From fantastic events, including Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park, Lichfield Food Festival and the Heritage Weekend, there have been many highlights. “We have recently received the Friarsgate planning application, which if approved will see a huge regeneration of the city centre. We know local people are excited about plans for a new cinema, shops, restaurants and bars, as well as apartments, town houses, and a new bus station. Planning Committee will consider the application in the spring. “2015 also saw the opening of Hawksyard play area in Armitage, Beacon Park achieved a Green Flag Award for the fifth consecutive year and was voted the most popular park in the Midlands and twelfth in the country by park goers. “In the summer businesses across Lichfield voted in favour to creating a Lichfield Business Improvement District. This will see city businesses contributing to deliver projects that should boost footfall and trade. “We were overwhelmed by the response to search to find the relatives of 22 World War Two heroes that are commemorated on Chasetown’s War Memorial. We managed to track down many descendants who were delighted to give us permission to name new streets in a housing development after the fallen heroes. “To all our volunteers, from our Community Transport drivers and the Friends of Lichfield Historic Parks to our Countryside and Parks Conservation Group, thank you for your continued support and we hope you enjoy a well-deserved break over Christmas! “As 2015 draws to a close and we look forward to what the New Year will bring, I wish everyone in Lichfield District a merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.”