Developers say they are “hopeful” that councillors will approve a major regeneration scheme in Lichfield when it is considered early next year.

An artist’s impression of the new Beacon Street development

Friel Homes submitted a full planning application for 1 Beacon Street in 2020 after three years of preparatory work.

The development will see construction carried out on and around the former Angel Croft Hotel site.

The proposals include refurbishment of the Grade II listed Westgate House to create five new homes, as well as the conversion of an outbuilding into a detached property.

It will also see the conversion and extension of Westgate Cottage as a boutique hotel and spa, along with apartments and new homes.

Access to the area has also been earmarked for improvement with a bridge over Leamonsley Brook included as part of the development.

A spokesperson for Friel Homes said the plans were expected to be discussed by members of Lichfield District Council’s planning committee early in 2022.

“We understand there are over 40 letters of support for this application and no objections from residents of Lichfield.

“Multiple organisations have confirmed support for our proposals including Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association, Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield Civic Society and Lichfield Cathedral.

“Given the widespread public support for the scheme, we are hopeful that the planning committee will recognise this opportunity for Lichfield to evolve and improve on a deliverable site.”

Friel Homes spokesperson

The spokesperson said the project had been given lengthy consideration as part of the process of developing the formal planning application.

They added that the scheme would provide “public benefits at no cost to the public purse” by safeguarding listed buildings, making improvements on Beacon Street and creating new cycling and walking routes into the city from Beacon Park.

An artist’s impression of the new Beacon Street development

“For the past year following submission, we have continued to engage with Lichfield District Council and other stakeholders.

“Many design changes were made in response to feedback from the conservation officer.

“Our proposed scheme provides the following public benefits at no cost to the public purse.

“Given that we have been discussing these proposals with the council since 2017, we were both surprised and disappointed that our site in the heart of the conservation area was not included in the 2020 Lichfield City Centre Masterplan.

“Despite this, our proposals would deliver several key masterplan objectives including creating new vistas, increasing connectivity and improving the Bird Street and Swan Road junction.”

Friel Homes spokesperson

Full details on the development proposals are available on Lichfield District Council’s planning website.

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  1. Before the NIMBYs and usual moaners get in…..this sounds like good project. We have here a scheme that will see Repurposing and redevelopment of historic existing buildings, bringing investment, jobs and something new to the city. It can only be a good thing.

  2. This doesn’t look as if it’s in keeping with the Georgian character of the area. The houses in the smaller picture look more Edwardian if anything. Seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity when Lichfield has some beautiful Georgian architecture worth preserving and emulating.

  3. Walking and cycling paths into Lichfield? That will be at least a two minute walk and 40 second bike ride ? They do use some BS in their spin why not just tell it straight.

  4. I agree with #Fan. Why it’s taken so long to get approved is surprising given there were 40 letters of support for the development which makes a refreshing change.

  5. Looks like developers are marking their own homework again. If true, why should the council take regard of support letters when they never take account of those with legitimate concerns? It’s probably a done deal anyway if Lichfield Planning follows its usual performance. The suburbs are expanding exponentially. Creeping development is in the historic heart will be the end of it.

  6. Phillip, I agree the suburbs are expanding. Well noticed, but don’t see how it is relevant in this instance? However this project which is literally opposite the Cathedral couldn’t be anymore of a city centre redevelopment plan if it tried. Some folk just want to moan. I wish I was around to remember Boley Park being developed 40 years ago. I wonder if that project attracted as much moaning as any new development does now?

  7. I agree with the positive comments here. This looks like a fantastic development and is much needed for that site. It sounds like some people here would rather keep the wasteland car park and derelict buildings as they are.

  8. It looks like the developers lobby are out in force. I think that anyone who has read Lichfield Live for long enough will understand the points of concern.
    Don’t we see the same problem everywhere? Many market towns and cities are complaining about over development. The government supports this kind of development. Every scrap of land (even public land) in our city is earmarked for ‘development’. It is ‘fill your boots time for developers’. It has been an accelerating process.
    So what is my point? We agree that there is exponential building in the suburbs. A further pressing concern is the medieval city centre which is the historic heritage. The Angel Croft area is part of this. This proposed development is not in keeping with that ethos. Nor, for that matter, is the Ego monstrosity on Minster Pool.
    Many historic towns have strict criteria of what kind of development can take place in order to keep it special and attractive to visitors and residents. Now here is my point. If you allow creeping inappropriate building in historically important sites it diminishes the value of the whole.
    I did live here before Boley and agreed that it was appropriate development and was not high density. The building since does not meet acceptable standards.
    I agree with Mr Mr. If you have to sell the project on the strength of a short walk or cycle track then you have a poor argument.

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