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Company appointed to help shape future of Lichfield city centre after failure of Friarsgate redevelopment

A company has been appointed to help shape the future of Lichfield city centre after the failure of the Friarsgate redevelopment.

The former Tempest Ford site, part of the area earmarked for the failed Friarsgate scheme
The former Tempest Ford site, part of the area earmarked for the failed Friarsgate scheme

A master plan will be drawn up by Milton Keynes-based David Lock Associates.

It comes in the wake of the failed Friarsgate city centre redevelopment project which bit the dust after more than a decade of planning.

Cllr Iain Eadie, deputy leader of Lichfield District Council and Cabinet member for investment, economic growth and tourism, said he was confident that the town planning firm will deliver at robust proposal.

Iain Eadie
Iain Eadie

“We were very impressed with David Lock Associates’ creative and inclusive approach to public and stakeholder consultation, which is a vital element of creating the new masterplan,” he said.

“The new plan, which will include proposals for the future of the Birmingham Road Site and its interaction with the overall city centre, is essential if we are to develop Lichfield city positively for future generations.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the team as they continue our work to gather local views and ideas.

“I am also excited to see those ideas start to take shape in the form of draft plans that will be tested with local people to make sure they fit the city’s and local people’s needs.”

“New and sustainable futures”

Tenders for the contract were appraised on criteria including experience, approach and processes for maintaining quality.

Sources close to the council have told Lichfield Live that local town planning experts were beaten to the contract during the bidding process.

Cllr Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “I’m delighted we have appointed David Lock Associates.

“The team comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and have helped towns and cities across the country to reimagine and create new and sustainable futures.

“David Lock Associates competed against 16 other nationally-respected companies to be awarded the work.

“We were particularly impressed with their track record in delivering new master plans for historic UK towns and cities, such as Chichester and Bury St Edmunds.”

Residents can follow the progress of the work on the local authority’s website.

Cllr Eadie added: “We are now working closely with the team at David Lock to confirm the timeline for the development of the master plan and we look forward to work taking place over the summer months.”

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21 Comments

  1. Mat

    30th July, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    You were impressed by their track record? It’s your track record which is giving the city cause for concern.

  2. Pam easto

    30th July, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    It is interesting to note that a company in Milton Keynes knows what the people of Lichfield need!

  3. Chris DC

    30th July, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Here’s my suggestion to add to the forthcoming consultation

    We dont want any more barbers shops and the centre seems at capacity with charity shops, so why not add something locals want, like a cinema or a swimming pool! But until that happens and in case it doesnt – #SaveFriaryGrange

    #SaveFriaryGrange

  4. Amanda L

    30th July, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    More money. More sound bites. It’s got to the point whereby it’s hard to believe anything that comes out of the mouths of LDC councillors – particularly Eadie.

    We have a council that loves spending your money on failed projects. A council that insists on meeting in private. A council that has a track record of councillors who have acted outside of the rules. A council that wants to close down the only Leisure Centre in the city. A council that needlessly closed businesses because of Friarsgate (which incidentally cost us taxpayers circa £9m, not including whatever Lock Associates are now creaming off in additional fees). A council that ignored public opinion and relocated the city’s library. A council that is now introducing “stealth taxes” in the form of bin tax (thanks Mr Eadie).

    Lichfield is fast becoming the laughing stock of the Midlands that’s to the district council. As another poster has said – councillors as far away as a Solihull are making jibes about how laughable LDC is.

    We need a complete overhaul. This is just getting silly now.

  5. nellygb

    30th July, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Great to see the local council supporting local business…not. Wonder if the under took a study into the environmental impact the project is going to have with the many (highly paid) consultants driving up to Lichfield from Milton Keynes in their Bentleys..thought not.

  6. Ritz

    30th July, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Don’t screw it up this time LDC by getting too involved with your own opinions – we all know that will end in a Friarsgate-like debacle! For the love of god, no more barbers, hair salons, cafes or charity shops! And no more apartments!! Some proper investment in business and entertainment that the city so badly needs!

  7. John Griffin

    30th July, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Private company makes ££££ putting forward ideas that many could write on an A5 sheet, then an architects firm (more ££££) comes up with a load of edgy drivel that doesn’t suit Lichfield, then further ££££ to another developer or big builder………meanwhile some of the ££££ goes into selected back pockets…….same old story. It needs locals, a small architects with a track record of sympathetic development and a small management team who run it as if they have ginger up their rear passages, with speed and passion.

  8. GPI

    30th July, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    More money for more consultations are this council so inadiquate they can’t think for themselves ………..

  9. AnnS

    30th July, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Here we go again. See you all in 10-15 years time with your words of wisdom that LDC ignored.

  10. Diane

    30th July, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    About time something was done with the toilets in the bus station. The whole of Lichfield is turning into another Tamworth. Let’s close everything local n ship it out where pedestrians can’t get to it and then blame it on Internet buying. LDC aren’t interested in what locals want or need unless it lines pockets.

  11. Steve Thatcher

    30th July, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    This was the company that the city council used to design and promote a new settlement at Fradley wasn’t it?

  12. Dave

    31st July, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I wonder does anyone know the amount LDC have set aside for this project?

  13. Darryl Godden

    31st July, 2019 at 8:25 am

    If there has been a fair and open selection process, I don’t really have a problem with how the company was selected, therein is the problem, LDC have not positioned themselves as a transparent organisation, choosing to conceal issues, hold meetings behind closed doors and ignore requests for information.

    I believe the responses to this article, which simply tells us that the process to sort out Friarsgate is started to gain momentum, show the distrust the council have engendered.

    The concern comes from these organisations that develop these lofty plans, they require capital and will, we could end up in exactly the same position after the process.

    Final note, the “progress” website, which contains numerous errors, has a bold titled page ‘Key milestones delivered so far,’ of which ‘•Worked to appoint consultants, who will when appointed, work with the council to develop a wider city centre master plan,’ at best, this is a high-level requirement, put a date on it – then it becomes a key milestone.

  14. AgitatorofPeople

    31st July, 2019 at 8:28 am

  15. Robert Griffiths-Jones

    31st July, 2019 at 8:55 am

    What will this plan be called Friarsgate 2 ?? Have the not any ideas of your own or can you not ask US ,the one’s that live here

  16. AnnS

    31st July, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Thanks AgitatorofPeople. Worrying though when whoever gave it a reference number thinks there is a T in Lichfield. Wonder what else they’ll get wrong?

    Reference
    •LITCH001-DN403242-01281621

  17. Kerry

    31st July, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Oh god….another £58,000 of taxpayers money being thrown at the failed Friarsgate project. Ffs!!!!!!!

    Eadie needs to go. His idea of “problem solving” starts and ends with opening the taxpayers coffers

    WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR LICHFIELD RESIDENTS TO TAKE A STAND OVER THIS COUNCIL??

    I’m a single parent whose disposable income per month is under £80. All the while the council to whom I pay taxes is literally p!ssing money away left, right and centre to cover up their incompetence. In addition to this, the “councillors” (and I use that term very loosely), who are regularly found to be acting inappropriately/failing to disclose business interests etc. are continuing to cream off their (minimum) £5000 per year “expenses (£10k per year for the “couples).

    Am I missing something?

    We are literally being controlled by cretins, AND paying them for it.

    Something needs to be urgently done.

    I object in the strongest possible terms to being practically in poverty, while paying for incompetent idiots to throw what little money I have away….time and time again.

    WE NEED ACTION. PROTEST? GET NATIONAL ATTENTION? WE NEED SOMETHING!!

    How do we start, and who’s with me?

  18. Emily

    31st July, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Agitatorofpeople – any idea how we can up the Ante with coverage/visibility of how bad LDC is?? We need swift action.

  19. AnnS

    31st July, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I’m with you all the way Kerry. There was an opportunity in May at the local elections to make significant changes, but to our detriment we live in a BLUE city, and it seems no matter what they do people still vote them in. Probably the same people that really do not keep abreast of local issues and therefore do not know what is going on but god forbid they would vote any other colour or no colour.

  20. Steve

    31st July, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Kerry. I totally agree with all that you say.

    Part of the problem is the lack of information. I often speak to friends about things I have found from LichfieldLive. They always seem totally in the dark. When they start to read on here, they are horrified about what is going on.

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