Work on a masterplan for Lichfield means rejuvenation of the city centre will be ahead of the curve despite the demise of big name retailers, a councillor has said.

An artist’s impression of the city centre masterplan

Doubts over the future of brands such as Debenhams and those in the Arcadia Group such as Dorothy Perkins have caused uncertainty in towns and cities across the UK.

But responding to a question from Cllr Colin Ball on how the potential loss of big name high street brands would impact on the city, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for major projects and economic development, Cllr Liz Little, said the masterplan would create a versatile city centre.

Cllr Liz Little

“The sad news of the closures of well-known brands, including Debenhams and the Arcadia Group, will no doubt have an impact on high streets throughout the UK.

“The enthusiasm for online shopping, an inability or unwillingness to respond to changing patterns of demand on the part of certain retail groups and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt accelerated the changes which have been taking place in town and city centres for several years.

“In October, the council endorsed the Lichfield city centre masterplan as a blueprint for the development and regeneration the city centre.

“This puts Lichfield ahead of the curve in terms of its plans to rejuvenate the city centre, with proposals in place for a mixture of uses and experiences for visitors and residents alike.

“Work has been ongoing in respect of commissioning detailed plans and strategies to inform the developments to come forward, with the start of the implementation of projects to take place in 2021.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

The departure of the likes of Thorntons and Carphone Warehouse in recent years along with the potential demise of Debenhams means the city centre will also face more immediate challenges.

But Cllr Little said discussions were taking place to identify both short and long term solutions.

“The council is working closely with the owners of Three Spires Shopping Centre to understand the impacts on the centre itself and the work that is being done to maintain a vibrant and active destination now and for the longer term.

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

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11 Comments

  1. If this so called masterplan takes as long as site opposite station has been vacant generating no income for LDC — Dream On!! Internet sales are now over 35% of total UK retail sales & still growing fast [according to BBC Radio 4 Today]. It will probably be 50% by Christmas 2021.

  2. Difficult to know what to read in that statement. Any visit to Lichfield shows what a paucity of shops are available. People are driven to the internet by lack of choice. ‘Being ahead of the curve?’ Is that a soundbite or does it mean somthing?
    The city is becoming an all eggs in one basket place. Plenty of hospitality outlets but little else.
    A massive effort is necessary to regenerate the city. This statement is not reassuring in view of the real challenges that will present. For a start what image does the city want to show? What is going to replace the high street giants? What will single us out from the crowd of so many contenders?

  3. I’ve lived in and around Lichfield since 1973, during that time there has always been talk of great redevelopments by the local council and the creation of a world beating city centre.

    The only common factor in all of that time is the councils ability to over promise and under deliver whilst wasting millions in the process.

    This latest mad cap scheme is no different and I guarantee won’t be implemented.

    I’ve reached the sad conclusion what we have is fundamentally all we will have for the foreseeable future.

  4. LDC may wish to have a look at:

    Scope of this consultation: This consultation seeks views on: a proposed new permitted development right for the change of use from Commercial, Business and Service use to residential to create new homes,

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/supporting-housing-delivery-and-public-service-infrastructure/supporting-housing-delivery-and-public-service-infrastructure

    LDC will blow millions on this project. Only, for it to become a housing estate.

    There will be very few shops, in the city centre, soon. Only housing.

  5. I moved to Lichfield 13 years ago, back then there were plans for redevelopment, nothing has happened, I moved from Tunbridge Wells after living there for 24 years, Lichfield is still living in the late 70’s they would benefit from development of the type experienced in Tunbridge Wells.

  6. I’m Lichfield born and bread of 61 years and I’m so depressed at the demise of our City. The heart of the city has been ripped out by the lack of independent retailers. Where are the incentives for new entrepreneurs to start up a business. We have a ever growing population with all the new home builds but without the facilities to provide for them. Not just retail but also schools, doctors surgeries, better roads, public transport etc.
    The old City Forefathers must be spinning in their graves.

  7. Love Lichfield born at the Vic , always like to visit and help out at Lichfield arts guild hall fantastic old building like so many, hope they don’t knock any of these historic buildings down like they have at my local town Cannock.

  8. Question really….do the LDC actually read these comments? We’ve lived in Burntwood for over 30 years and I echo previous comments about “all talk and no action”. There are huge housing projects surrounding the city, yet nothing in the centre to support thousands of people who will live there.

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