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Report reveals council spent more than £56,000 on planning coach park for failed Friarsgate scheme

Lichfield District Council spent more than £56,000 on planning a new coach park for the failed Friarsgate project, it has been revealed.

Lichfield District Council House

Lichfield District Council House

The local authority eventually confirmed the overall bill for the aborted redevelopment scheme after holding previous discussions behind closed doors.

But a report to the meeting of the local authority’s audit and member standards committee revealed some of the detail around where the money had been spent – including £56,709 planning where tourist buses visiting the city would go.

The work had been carried out ahead of the proposed closure of the bus station, with the council hoping to move coach parking provision to land at Staffordshire University’s city campus.

Lichfield District Council confirmed the money had been spent on a valuation of the site, design fees, ground investigations and a review of how the scheme would impact on local roads.

Other figures in the report show that £349,617 was spent on “support” for the Friarsgate scheme, while £16,111 went on preparatory work for the enhancements to Castle Dyke and Frog Lane.

Both figures were under the approved budget after work on Friarsgate failed to begin.

The spending on the doomed redevelopment project has been criticised by councillors, with Burntwood Town Council Labour member Rob Birch suggesting Lichfield District Council leader Mike Wilcox should justify the spending to local families who are struggling to make ends meet.

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  1. Mat Hayward

    20th July, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    This could not be made up! It’s like a piece of bad fiction. How can they ever be trusted again?

  2. Roy Appleby

    20th July, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    “Other figures in the report show that £349,617 was spent on “support” for the Friarsgate scheme”
    What does that mean?

  3. Philip Allso

    20th July, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I have no way of knowing if the sums mentioned represents good value. Clearly they would have to have been done anyway. The overwhelming mistake was not having the finances settled before starting. This was naive in the extreme. The aftermath is not defensible and those involved (especially the head of council) should resign. As it is he has not even apologised and would seem to want to continue as if nothing has happened. As Mat says…’You could not make it up!’

  4. LetsGiveItASpin

    20th July, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    And the total just keeps rising ……