The hoardings around the site earmarked for the failed Friarsgate scheme on Birmingham Road

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Land left empty by the failed Friarsgate scheme will be at the front of the queue when Lichfield city centre is redeveloped, a councillor has confirmed.

The long-awaited project bit the dust despite more than a decade of planning, leaving large chunks of the site along the Birmingham Road lying empty.

But during a cabinet debate on the city centre masterplan document at Lichfield District Council it was confirmed that the priority was to fix the legacy of Friarsgate’s failure.

Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, said:

“Our focus is on Birmingham Road site first and foremost.

“If we can get some quick wins with other areas in the masterplan then of course we will look at those as well, but our focus is on the Birmingham Road site.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

The cabinet meeting also confirmed that the council would take an alternative approach to the ‘all or nothing’ Friarsgate development.

Cllr Little said she hoped to see some work begin within the next year and a half.

Cllr Liz Little

“Over the next couple of months we are looking at the Birmingham Road site and the viability and deliverability of it, but we are likely to break that down into different sections.

“Some we will deliver direct, some we’d look for a joint venture on, but we will break it down and do it part by part.

“Some parts will be delivered quicker than others with the COVID-19 environment we are working within – we’ll need to see what the funding market is like.

“I am hoping to get something started within the next 12 to 18 months, but it will depend on various factors.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

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  1. 2021 – Residential development starts
    2022 – The cinema/ leisure centre is due to start
    Mid 2021 – New residents complain about noise and impact cinema/ leisure centre will create.
    2022 – Whole site is turned into a housing development and builders disappear

  2. Steve
    I like it, if it was not so close to the truth of what will happen
    Anyone remember the properties built close to the level crossings between City and Trent Valley stations, and the new residents complained because the trains had to sound their whistle on the approach to the crossings, the residents wanted the crossings closed which would have meant a huge detour to walk across a foot bridge, so as you say watch this space

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