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Councillor insists Lichfield City Neighbourhood Plan does not contain proposals to redevelop car park site

A councillor has sought to calm concerns that a Lichfield city centre car park has been earmarked for redevelopment.

Residents will vote on the Lichfield City Neighbourhood Plan tomorrow (February 22).

But Cllr Paul Ray, a Liberal Democrat councillor on Lichfield City Council, said he was worried that residents believed the Bird Street car park and B&M building could be redeveloped after they were mentioned in the document.

The Bird Street car park

The Bird Street car park. Pic: Google Streetview

“I am concerned from the contact I have had that there is a real misunderstanding about the Lichfield City Neighbourhood Plan,” he said.

“It is very important that voters are clear on this – the Neighbourhood Plan does not propose any specific plans for this car park area.

“The plan, which is proposed by Lichfield City Council, does not provide for any specific development in the city. The purpose is to set out a planning framework for Lichfield District Council when it makes planning decisions affecting the economy and employment in Lichfield.

“Therefore any development of this car park would not be led by the city council. It does not own the B&M building or the car park.”

Cllr Ray said the site had been included in the document as it had been previously discussed as part of Lichfield District Council’s overall Local Plan.

He added: “It was therefore felt prudent to add some conditions and considerations to this area under the Lichfield City Neighbourhood Plan.

“These conditions include the retention of car parking on site. There is no mention in Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan of the retention of car parking on site – this was specifically inserted into the Lichfield City Neighbourhood Plan by the city council to ensure that car parking would be properly addressed as part of any planning application for this part of the city.

“I hope that this clarifies the position. The neighbourhood plan is important in helping to promote and improve our local economy, tourism and employment. I do hope the residents of the city of Lichfield will support it.”

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  1. Steve

    21st February, 2018 at 11:32 am

    It is going to become a new housing estate then?

    If the council oppose development. The developers will point out the What site development, was approved.

  2. John Griffin

    21st February, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    The value of luxury housing on the site – with ground floor parking and sweeping window views of the pool and cathedral, flats starting at £750k – will overcome any planning objections.

  3. Nodge

    22nd February, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    In 5 years’ time we’ll look back on this post with amusement.

  4. Philip John

    23rd February, 2018 at 8:41 am

    It doesn’t help that it’s called a plan when it’s not really a plan.

    A bunch of people who’ve asked me to explain what on earth it’s about have wondered about the Bird Street car park too. They see mention of that area, talk of planning and see it’s called a “plan” and the inevitable conclusion is that they’re voting – in part – for its redevelopment. But there’s no clear sense of what will happen on the site, so folks are wondering what they’re voting for.

    The plan simultaneously talks about the Cricket Lane development as something that is planned and is definitely going ahead, so it’s understandable that people would think the same of Bird Street.

    Of course, had there been any sort of decent effort to include local people in the actual creation of this “plan” it might have avoided a lot of this confusion.

    That Cllr Ray feels the need to explain shows up the failure of him and his colleagues at Lichfield City Council to adequately work with residents. Instead, they’ve written this plan opaquely, delivered no alternatives and communicated no ‘plan B’ if the plan is rejected in the referendum.

    I would completely understand if people voted to reject the plan.

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