A Lichfield councillor says a plan to use open space in the city to for a new road junction have been pulled.

The junction at the A51 and The Friary. Picture: Google Streetview

Staffordshire County Council had hoped to use Festival Gardens for a new filter lane between the A51 and The Friary at the Bowling Green island.

Lichfield City Council – which owns the land – had opened a consultation on the proposals, which led to a petition signed by thousands of residents objecting to the scheme.

Cllr Colin Greatorex, Conservative representative for Lichfield City South at Staffordshire County Council, said the controversial scheme had now been axed after the strength of feeling amongst local residents became clear.

Cllr Colin Greatorex

“I have just, as county councillor, agreed that Staffordshire County Council should withdraw from any interest in acquiring Festival Gardens land from Lichfield City Council in order to extend the A51 south at the Bowling Green roundabout.

“There had to be silence on my behalf while the city council ran its public consultation. 

“That finished yesterday and I have seen both the comments from that consultation and the weight of the opposition to the scheme represented by the petition.

“I have been impressed with the campaign behind the petition and the variety of concerns expressed and so informed the county council officers I am pulling the scheme.

“The public have been listened to.”

Cllr Colin Greatorex, Staffordshire County Council

Lichfield City Council had been due to discuss the responses to the consultation later this month.

Residents had raised a number of issues, including whether changes in travel in the wake of the coronavirus crisis should be a factor in the decision-making process.

Cllr Greatorex said discussions were now planned with developers about how infrastructure might look for future developments.

“One benefit of pulling the scheme is there is now no need for the uncertainty that would have existed if the city council had been required to meet again to decide whether to progress further. 

“This will not happen on 17th April – the scheme is not going ahead.

“Some of the consultation respondents have made the point that fewer people are on the road and more are cycling and walking. 

“The housing developers are still obliged to contribute to transport infrastructure improvements.

“Therefore, I have asked the county council officers to look at developer-funded improvements to pedestrian road crossings, cycleways and pedestrian walkways that do not involve any land transfers. 

“These will now be further discussed with the developer.

“Thanks to all those who have contacted me with alternative improvement ideas.”

Cllr Colin Greatorex, Staffordshire County Council

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13 Comments

  1. Can I check when you will be running the press release from our MP claiming this as a victory for his tireless campaigning?

    Also interesting to see Tory councillors on social media applauding this decision – the first public utterances they have made on the issue!

  2. Just wish more decisions were made through local votes ? You would think with modern technology it wouldn’t be beyond us to have online voting for all residents in Lichfield to voice their approval or not on key matters which affect us all.

  3. Thank goodness the gardens will be left as they are. I travel that junction most days and the approach to the gardens is a tranquil site….. after encountering frequent dangerous driving from some A51 drivers! Can they not the 30 sign??? Larger mph signs would be better…. I’m tempted to make some!

  4. @The Scribbler – Also interesting to see Tory councillors on social media applauding this decision – the first public utterances they have made on the issue!
    @FCA Lichfield – Excellent, but would we have had the same result if local elections were not imminent?
    I had the same thoughts.

  5. Let’s hope this is a permanent decision and not one to keep the voters quiet for a while only to bring it back quietly when the dust has died down after the election ? Forever spectical !!

  6. Glad glad they have seen since,,. Hope see sense again and not build too many houses not many places like Lichfield around let’s try and keep it as it is unique

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