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Council leader insists short and long term plans for Friarsgate land to be put to good use are being explored

The leader of Lichfield District Council says work is taking place to ensure short and long term plans are in place for land left vacant following the collapse of the Friarsgate redevelopment scheme.

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

The future of the Birmingham Road area, including the former Tempest Road and Police Station sites, had been drawn into question after the long-awaited project failed to find the funding needed to progress.

But Cllr Mike Wilcox has insisted work is taking place to ensure the land is put to good use.

“I want to ensure that the future is bright and exciting for the city, hence the urgency in bringing forth in the short term plans for the Birmingham Road Sites quickly that can then be shared with the people of Lichfield and the district.

“The Cabinet and Senior Officers of the Council have been working over the summer assessing the exciting potential the site offers to the residents and visitors.

“In the short term the council will be looking to improve the aesthetic appearance as well as creating places of interest within the Birmingham Road sites, which include the bus station, kiosk, former garage and the recently purchased Police Station.

“I’m hopeful that part of this work will commence as soon as practically possible.”

Cllr Wilcox added that a cross-party working group was being established to look at the options for the longer term future of the land.

“This will also involve and engage with the public and groups such as Lichfield Civic Society, the Business Improvement District, Lichfield City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association,” Cllr Wilcox said.

“There will also be a number of public drop-in sessions arranged across the city and the district to ensure everyone who wishes to engage with us can.”

Colin Ball

Colin Ball

Labour councillor Colin Ball said the working group needed to have the right mix of people involved.

“The Conservative administration is finally doing something, but it’s been almost two months since I first made it my suggestion of a cross-party working group during my by-election campaign,” he said.

“I firmly believe that a working group should initially be no more than half-a-dozen people at the most, ideally with housing, construction and or community engagement experience, ready to meet and work intensely over a month or two to pull together some viable options, so that this all gets moving quickly now.

“It’s about starting over again with a blank piece of paper and coming up with proposals that will meet local needs, aspirations and consensus.”

Although no firm details for the land has yet been put forward, Cllr Wilcox said he hoped the long-term future would benefit as many residents as problem.

“I hope that what materialises will offer an experience tailored to multi-generational families who wish to be entertained as well as spend quality time together in our wonderful city.”

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5 Comments

  1. John Griffin

    2nd September, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I’m sure there are prospective Tory candidates around who just happen to have links in the public/private development realm. Indeed, can think of one. It’ll be trebled all round at the golf club bar!

  2. Darryl

    2nd September, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I look forward to the next council meeting where it appears the only item on the agenda is ‘something must be done and done quickly.’

  3. Michel Souris

    2nd September, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Councillor Wilcox – you claim that several options are being considered for the area, would you please elaborate on those options? If your usual lack of transparency continues then the electorate will not believe you. You are a spent force and an embarrassment to the city and should resign.

  4. LetsGuveItASpin

    2nd September, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Housing housing housing !!

  5. Markie Willis

    17th October, 2018 at 11:18 am

    This entire fiasco is beyond farce. This failed project has cost coal taxpayers millions of pounds. If I cost my business £7 million – I’d be sacked and quite rightly so. The entire project has been completely mishandled. Furthermore – what about the poor business who had to move or fold completely (Tempest Ford), because of the plans? Are they entitled to compensation? Heads at Lichfield Council need to roll over this – or I smell a cover up.

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