The leader of Lichfield District Council has outlined the short term plans for the land left derelict following the collapse of the Friarsgate scheme.
The site – now rebranded the Birmingham Road Site by the local authority – includes the demolished Tempest Ford garage, the vacant police station building and the bus station area.
The long-awaited city centre redevelopment scheme bit the dust last year after more than a decade in the planning after it emerged that nowhere near enough funding could be secured to make the project a reality.
But Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council says that the local authority does have plans for the short term future of the site, despite parts of it already lying empty for more than six months since the demise of Friarsgate.
“We know from feedback local people want us to improve the site in the short-term, while we work on plans for a longer-term development that is both deliverable and sustainable,” continued Cllr Wilcox.
The council has drawn up plans to demolish the former police station buildings as well as those in the bus station, such as the public toilets.
The work will make way for an extension to the bus station and reconfigured car park.
The local authority also says it intends to landscape the area and install temporary toilet facilities.
The plans come after it emerged just two councillors had turned up to a meeting of a working group specifically created to find a long-term solution to the Friarsgate debacle.
Cllr Wilcox insisted long term proposals were being looked at.
“Going forward it’s vital that local people and stakeholders feed into our longer-term vision of the site and we look forward to hearing your ideas,” he said.
“We know that our plans must reflect the lifestyle and needs of our local community, be realistic and deliverable, encourage people to stay in our city and district, enhance the public realm and provide an economic benefit through more jobs and investment opportunities.
“Our aim is to provide a sustainable development that complements our changing and evolving city.”
The council has also launched a website at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/birminghamroad designed to keep residents up to date on plans for the development of the Birmingham Road Site.