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Latest discussions due on future of Lichfield land earmarked for doomed Friarsgate development

Councillors are due to discuss the latest plans to revamp the land earmarked for Friarsgate this evening.

Boarded up shops next to the bus station which had been earmarked for the doomed Friarsgate development

Boarded up shops next to the bus station which had been earmarked for the doomed Friarsgate development

The recently-formed Birmingham Road Site working group at Lichfield District Council met last month to outline a way forward for the city centre site left empty following the collapse of the long-awaited redevelopment project – a demise which still left taxpayers with a £7million bill.

Minutes from that meeting reveal that discussions were had on work still to be carried out on the former Tempest Ford and Police Station sites.

An artist's impression of how the Friarsgate development would have looked where Tempest Ford previously stood

An artist’s impression of how the Friarsgate development would have looked where Tempest Ford previously stood

The report added that discussions were held about how the former Friarsgate site fitted into the wider plan for Lichfield.

“It was emphasised that a masterplan should look at the wider city centre to ensure that any scheme for the Birmingham Road site could be optimised,” the minutes say.

“Some members felt any such exercise should include sites outside the city centre including, for example at Trent Valley. However, it was reported that while those sites were important the focus should be on the city centre given the physical location of the Birmingham Road site and the clear emphasis of national and local
guidance in directing services and facilities to city centre locations where possible.

“It was advised that it would be unlikely that there would be a conflict of desired development between the city and out of city areas as the market was showing that leisure offerings were working well in cities and more bulky retail and office offerings were more successful out of town.”

The minutes also revealed that the group were keen on increasing opportunities for families and the younger generation, while also retaining the historic feel of the city centre.

The meeting scheduled for tonight (13th November) is due to debate the key elements of any future development scheme.

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2 Comments

  1. Neal Cox

    13th November, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    They are quite right focus on the city centre. However the irony is that the councillors gave permission for a new Lidl and lots of retail out of town and didn’t seem to think about the impact that may have on the town centre. It will be interesting to see if M and S turn up there.

  2. Flossy

    13th November, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Town centre Community Centre for use by all would be an idea but whatever is decided money with talk over community. Cant wait for May 2019 elections!

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