Work to improve land left vacant by the failed Friarsgate development in Lichfield has begun.
Lichfield District Council has appointed The Coleman Group to carry out the short-term works on the renamed Birmingham Road Site.
The project includes demolishing the former police station and bus station buildings, creating extra coach parking, refreshing the bus station, installing temporary toilets, landscaping the area and moving the bus station long-stay car park.
Cllr Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for investment, economic growth and tourism, said the work would make the area safer, more useful and attractive, and provide a better route into the city from the train and bus stations.
“It is really fantastic to see the work starting to bring down the old police station, clean up and open out the site, and visitor coach parking and a renewed bus station being delivered.
“It often takes time for decisions in the council to turn into action. Now that the work is starting we are hoping to see it completed by the spring.
“As things are moved around in the bus station there will be some short-term disruption while the works take place. The bus station car park will be closed for a number of weeks, but there is plenty of space in nearby car parks.
“I know from the people who have contacted me, it is important to make sure toilets are available for bus and coach travellers and these will be available throughout the works and afterwards.
“I hope the works will make the bus station and route into the city centre a much nicer place for everyone coming into Lichfield.
I also hope that it will present a welcoming place for anyone coming to visit Lichfield and that the displays on the hoardings will encourage the day visitors to come back again, as they are intended to highlight what else we have to offer in our district.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
“The opportunity to shape how our city centre will work”
The council says the work will also help prepare for long-term development of the city.
The local authority has gone back to the drawing board after the Friarsgate redevelopment failed to materialise after more than a decade in the planning.
A consultation is running until 3rd February for residents to give their views on a new draft city centre masterplan.
The document has recommended the creation of distinct quarters, while also calling for the city to retain its historic character.
As well as the consultation, two drop-in information sessions are also taking place at Lichfield Library from 9am to 5pm on 17th January and 9am to 4pm on 18th January.
Cllr Eadie added:
“I would ask everyone to get involved with the consultation.
“If you can’t make the drop-in events then please let us know your views online
“The draft masterplan includes some ideas that I am sure people will have an opinion on.
“We want to hear what everyone thinks, as this the opportunity to shape how our city centre will work and what it will look like for the future.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
For more details on the masterplan visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/lichfieldmasterplan.