The Birmingham Road multi-storey car park. Pic: Google Streetview

A backlog of maintenance work caused by the collapse of the Friarsgate scheme has left Lichfield District Council facing a £300,000 bill for the city’s Birmingham Road car park.

The Birmingham Road multi-storey car park. Pic: Google Streetview

A report to a meeting of the local authority’s Cabinet has revealed that the city centre car park had been due to be knocked down as part of the doomed redevelopment scheme.

But with Friarsgate no longer going ahead after a decade in the planning and with taxpayers already having footed a £12.5million bill in relation to the projecrt, work now needs to be carried out to “maintain the structural integrity” of the car park.

A report by Cllr Ian Pritchard, Cabinet member for economic growth, environment and development services, said half of the money would need to be spent on structural work, with £100,000 needed to improve the lighting and a further £50,000 contingency fund.

He said: “Due to the previously planned demolition in connection with the Friarsgate project, maintenance work on the Birmingham Road multi-storey car park has been limited to essential items only for some years.

“This has led to a backlog of tasks which now need to be completed in order to ensure the continued structural integrity of the car park and also to make sure that the facility can provide a reasonably pleasant and inviting offer for our customers.

“The intention of this project is to provide a minimum five year life extension to the structure with no further major works expected in that period.

“If redevelopment intentions for the area were to change, making retention of the facility for the longer term desirable, additional structural works would be required, but none of the works proposed would prejudice this course of action.”

“Failing upper deck covering”

The car park was closed in 2009 after safety fears following a survey revealing “deterioration of the structure”, reopening 11 months later after strengthening work had been carried out.

But Cllr Pritchard’s report has revealed that the structure is again in need of repair work.

“The structure has been regularly inspected by consultant engineers and their recommendations form the core of the works proposed.

“These will include replacing the failing upper deck covering, repairs to various areas of damaged concrete, anti-corrosion treatment to structural steelwork, replacement of damaged height limiters, replacement of fire doors and a deep clean of the entire building.

“The lighting is a mixture of units, many of them thought to date from a major refurbishment carried out around 30 years ago. As well as presenting an ever increasing maintenance requirement, these units are extremely energy hungry by modern standards.

“It is expected that a complete refit with modern LED units would offer a sufficient pay back in reduced energy and maintenance costs to reach a break even point five years after the changeover.”

The works would be funded from a sinking fund from car park income that has been set aside to carry out works.

Cllr Pritchard added that levels would need to be closed while the repairs take place, but that it was hoped a complete closure could be avoided.

The report will be heard at a meeting of Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet on 12th March.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

21 replies on “Backlog caused by Friarsgate collapse leaves council facing a £300,000 bill to bring Lichfield multi-storey car park up to scratch”

  1. Oh never mind, just add it to the other money wasted on the Friarsgate F**k Up. You could always increase the council tax next year by 2.95% to cover it.

    Is there any chance of someone being held to account over this continuing drain on the public finances these idiots should be delivering best value for??

  2. The false economy of half-hearted measures, what qualifications do these people posses? Even the most simplistic project management work would flag up the risks and issues in doing half a job.

    Who pays? Us as usual.

  3. Yet another debacle. It just goes from bad to worse and no one is held to account. Do Cllrs. or anyone at LDC know what they are doing? Me thinks not!!!!!

  4. Knock it down no need for it as its always empty, who comes to Lichfield these days anyway ? Nothing here in the way of shops due to the extortionate rents. Maybe the council could hold a meeting at the Garrick disguise it as a pantomime and the paying public might come out for a good laugh.

  5. Problem solved, demolish it along with the former police station, bus station buildings and put car park on the level along with the extended car park and coach park which they intend to do on the “Birmingham Road ” site along with a upgraded Bus Station and a new toilet block then have the money in the Car park slush fund to help finance the whole works!!!

  6. My understanding is that the car park is subject to legal agreement with the three spires owners and also Debenhams . Council will have to spend the money. Though a lot of agreement now in Lichfield for someone to be held to account and not just the councillors it’s time to understand what the officers have been saying and doing about this internally . What if the officers have been giving the councillors duff advice?

  7. Whilst flaffing around could someone please replace all the not working lights on Level 2/3/4? Complete incompetence will result in big changes to LDC in May elections. You cannot hope to be re elected with this total still emerging shambles.

  8. Do you really think that the Tories will be ousted in May? The Great Lichfield public could not care less about the locality and that is what the Tories rely on. I hope and wish that Wilcox and Co are given a bloody nose in May and we can have a Council which cares about the City and not their own interests. Maybe a new Council will challenge the Officers about their advice because I think that is suspect too.

  9. This is brilliant. Are they going to spend even more on this failed area!?! Failing leadership at Lichfield. Where is the good councillors, surely there are some?

  10. I understand that if you think you will knock it down then you won’t budget for the maintenance. But surely it was clear 2 or 3 years ago that it wasn’t going to happen. This is bad accounting practices.

    Ann – good idea. Knock it down and save the money and use the area and the police station as temporary car park.

    Letsgiveitaspin – I think more likely is that officers gave the correct advice but were told to be quiet or ignored

  11. If the carpark is flattened and a new layout devised into. An open plan carpark and also the old kenning space made into carparking for people to use the police station could be kept and updated to. New offices or. Maybe an indoor. Market now there planning for. You ldc

  12. I just sincerely hope that the voters remember this grotesque ineptitude and financial management at the local elections in May.

  13. Don’t believe the Tories will be voted out, no matter how pragmatic and persistent Cllrs Woodward, Ball etc are, no matter how sensible, a majority will vote for the people who have spent the reserves, squandered millions and whose mates have trousered a packet.

  14. Lichfield is a disappointment to everyone who lives and works here. Most new people don’t even work around here. Do we need more coffee shops and estate agents and retirement homes NO. We will never get conservatives out as there just for the rich people again who don’t work here. The council need to regenerate the city. As I don’t want to sound callous but there will eventually be no young people in Lichfield as it’s too expensive. And then when the older generation pass away what will they have. Oh yes a cathedral

  15. I am sure that there is at least one person of responsibility working for the council. If so, they must be very lonely, and just a voice in the dark.What qualifications do you need to work there? I am not talking about the average ,decent hard. working people,but those who are responsible for making decisions.Why is it that we are ruled and governed by a bunch of self serving money grabbing egotistical ego maniacs? Come the various elections, who do you vote for ? You always hope that the next showere will do better,and every time it’s the came sandwich,just a different filling. Fed up,dissalusioned,you bet.

  16. You vote for people who know what they’re doing. You could do worse than start with Cllr Ball.

  17. Knock multi car park down .clear where ford was use as car park. If we do need a multi store car park build a new one.

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