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Details emerge about contract to develop future vision for land earmarked for failed Friarsgate scheme

More details have emerged about the work due to be carried out by consultants looking at a new iteration of Friarsgate – including the size of the contract.

Lichfield bus station, which had been earmarked to be part of the failed Friarsgate redevelopment
Lichfield bus station, which had been earmarked to be part of the failed Friarsgate redevelopment

The long-awaited city centre redevelopment project bit the dust after more than a decade in the planning, leaving large chunks of land in the city centre lying empty or derelict.

Town planning specialists David Lock Associates won the tender to carry out the work on behalf of Lichfield District Council to look again at how the area could be developed.

The contract – which runs until 1st October 2019 will see the Milton Keynes-based company paid in the region of £57,000, according to the government’s contract finder website.

The documentation for the tender process revealed that the local authority wanted a scheme that was “commercially viable and deliverable”.

“This commission is a once in a generation opportunity to rethink the future direction of development in the cathedral city of Lichfield at a time when the future of city centres is topical both locally and nationally,” the tender documentation said.

“Its objective is to propose a way forward for a key city centre development site, and in doing so also capture a dynamic, sustainable, deliverable vision for the future of the city centre.

“The development recommendations must be commercially viable, deliverable, compliant with adopted and emerging local plans and strategies, and of the highest quality commensurate with a development in a historic cathedral city.”

“Develop options”

Lichfield District Council has already outlined short-term works to the bus station and former police station site, but this latest contract will look at the longer term strategy for the site.

The Friarsgate land was rebranded as the Birmingham Road Site by the local authority and a council working group was created – but saw one meeting attended by just two members.

But the contract now agreed will see David Lock Associates – who describe themselves online as a company which is “delivering bespoke strategies for planning, masterplanning and placemaking” – tasked to “commission a multi-disciplinary team to consider and develop options” for the former Firarsgate site.

Doug Pullen
Doug Pullen

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.”

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5 Comments

  1. brian pretty

    31st July, 2019 at 11:33 am

    do we now much about the consultants and the brief -does it include the existing multi-story car park well past it’s sell by date

  2. William

    31st July, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Report in a nutshell: Build more flats.

  3. Kerry

    31st July, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Who knows? This is Lichfield District Council we’re talking about here…..not the most transparent of councils.

  4. Chippy

    1st August, 2019 at 9:17 am

    I, for one, was critical of the Council’s “unprofessional ” approach to the Friarsgate development and I’m delighted that they have acknowledged their shortcomings and brought on board a team with proven ability.
    If it all goes wrong at least they’ll be able to say “it wasn’t our fault “

  5. Sally-Anne

    2nd August, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Chippy, do you really think this could has a problem with saying “it wasn’t our fault”?!? It’s their default response!!! It’s exactly what they did say then Friarsgate first went belly up and they lost circa £9,000,000 of local taxpayer money. Unless you can find me a quote of one single councillor accepting responsibility??

    No, thought not.

    Even Doug “I wasn’t leader at the time” Pullen distances himself from it now. Never mind, at least he still has his massive “allowance” to comfort himself with, as well as his wife’s “allowance”.

    Who’d have thought that being a councillor could prove to be so lucrative?

    We’re being led by morons.

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