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Planners behind a new draft masterplan for Lichfield city centre say it is important the city retains does not ruin its historic character.
The new proposals, which will be examined by an overview and scrutiny meeting at Lichfield District Council next week, have suggested the creation of four distinct quarters for future development.
Part of the plan would see the creation of a new courtyard area and residential area on the site of Bird Street car park, as well as the introduction of a cinema and new multi-storey car park in the Birmingham Road area which was left empty by the failure of the Friarsgate scheme.
But in the draft masterplan drawn up by Richard Lock Associates, the need to retain the city’s character is noted.
“Lichfield is a historic cathedral city with a significant number of listed buildings and heritage assets located within the Lichfield City Conservation Area.
“The historic character and quality of the centre is a key attractor for visitors.
“It is important that any new development is sympathetic to the historic character of the city.
“It is also important to ensure that views of important historic buildings, including the spires of the cathedral are retained across the city centre, and consideration given to where new vistas could be introduced.”Draft Lichfield city centre masterplan
While the new vision for the city identifies the need for a mix of leisure, commercial and residential uses, the masterplan outlines the alternative option it offers to neighbouring rivals in terms of being a retail destination.
“While Lichfield does not contain many of the national retail chains and stores typical of larger towns and city centres, niche and artisan retail are a key component of Lichfield’s character.
“This means Lichfield has a unique retail offer to attract visitors.
“Lichfield city centre benefits from an existing night-time economy, particularly at weekends.
“New development should seek to complement, not compete with, the existing offer.
“Where new retail is introduced, the focus should be on niche, independent retailers, as part of a wider mix.”Draft Lichfield city centre masterplan