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Report admits Friarsgate delays are “disappointing” but insists Lichfield District Council is still hopeful work will begin this year

A report has admitted delays to the start of the Friarsgate redevelopment are “disappointing” – but Lichfield District Council says it still hopes to see work on the project begin this year.

An artist's impression of the new Friarsgate development

An artist’s impression of the new Friarsgate development

The long-mooted regeneration of Lichfield city centre has gathered pace in the past year, with the announcement of a new operator for the proposed cinema and other businesses agreeing to take up units, while preliminary bore holes were drilled at the end of last year.

However, an item on the agenda of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee meeting on June 28 reveals that approval is being sought “to put back three milestone dates” in the Friarsgate Development Agreement – although details of the exact nature of these changes have been kept confidential by the council.

But a risk register report to a meeting of the local authority’s audit and member standards committee says work should still begin in 2017.

“The delay in the scheme is disappointing,” the report explains. “But there are signs that the funding market is becoming more stable, enabling a start on site in 2017.

“The extent of tenant interest in the scheme is extremely encouraging.”

Figures to be heard at the same meeting also reveal that the council had originally budgeted to spend more than £2.6million in connection with Friarsgate – but with work still to begin, had ended up spending less than 10% of that figure (£232,123).

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  1. The Scribbler

    26th June, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    We’ll probably have another General Election – or two – before this scheme gets going.

  2. Darryl

    26th June, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    The design looked outdated 3 years ago, it’ll need redoing as soon as it’s built!

  3. Steve

    26th June, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    The developers plans are running perfectly.

    Kill all local businesses, say retail development isn’t suitable. Then build a massive overpriced housing development.

  4. Dave

    26th June, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    to be fair who wants another crop of coffee shops and eating places anyway , the only thing I can see of benefit is the cinema , most of the other dross will probably close down within 12 months.

  5. Roy Appleby

    26th June, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    It will be a complete shambles.Lichfield used to be a lovely little city.Quaint and historical now will be ruined by greed!!

  6. Clown in a wig

    26th June, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    It’s a three way race between Friarsgate, the Regal cinema and Norgren as to which will leave the starting blocks first. Friarsgate has had more than enough false starts, Norgren has stalled and it’s a race against time before the Regal mysteriously burns to the ground.

  7. John Griffin

    26th June, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Top $ ‘clown’, been expecting the Regal fire for years. Lichfield is on its last legs with few independents left. It’s the same all over- was in Cardiff last week, the arcades where the independents are, half empty. Only chains can afford the rents. Mind you, most of Lichfield is private space, landlords oil the povjets and do what they want.

  8. FFS

    27th June, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Maybe this shambles is what Lichfield deserves! You unthinkingly vote in the same lame-duck Tories year after year and act surprised when they repeatedly get turned over by developers. The ugly results can be seen all around Lichfield, with rarely a sign of the promised amenities. I’m sure this development will go ahead as soon as the proportion given over to “luxury apartments” creeps high enough.

  9. Rodney

    27th June, 2017 at 9:41 am

    It’s a good job that the council chased out Tempest Ford early, it will give us all more time to appreciate the sight of a dead business in the heart of Lichfield.

  10. John Griffin

    27th June, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Had several comments by friends and relatives visiting Lichfield over the last couple of years….not much of a tourist attraction apart from the Cathedral, shopping centre deadly dull, some nice pubs and eateries….mind you they didn’t go down the Dimbles. What EXACTLY is the vision for Lichfield? Although, living in what is seemingly considered a dormitory satellite area of little interest (aka Burntwood) I suppose I’m jaundiced.

  11. Steve

    27th June, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    @John Griffin. I used to have a number of friends who used to come to visit Lichfield, for the unique and individual shops. They loved it.

    They have all said the same. It has lost its heart and soul.

  12. Jane

    5th December, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    The Council said they’re hopeful work will commence this year. Not long to go before the first sod of earth is dug then. Tick tock tick tock

  13. Ann

    6th December, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    FFS I always vote Labour in local and general elections but to no avail, so l don’t deserve what we get and have to put up with the numpty decisions taken. ?

    Jane, l guess it’s not the tick tock of Big Ben you can here! ?

    John Griffin, l live in Lichfield and have no idea what the vision is. ?

  14. Darryl

    6th December, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    The render was already old back in June, now it looks positively monstrous.

    Time to start again.

  15. Toast

    7th December, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Darryl’s right, that thing will look dated as soon as Fabbo’s cut the ceremonial ribbon and f*cked off back to Nero.