An artist's impression of the new Beacon Street development
An artist’s impression of the new Beacon Street development

Councillors have decided to back proposals for a new development in Lichfield.

A report to the planning committee at Lichfield District Council had recommended the Friel Homes scheme on Beacon Street be rejected.

The development would see new homes and a boutique hotel created on land surrounding the former Angel Croft Hotel.

However, concerns over the impact on nearby historic sites within the conservation area had been raised by planning officers.

But Cllr Andy Smith, Leomansley ward representative on the council, told the meeting that a balance needed to be struck.

“I’ve never seen such support for a development in the heart of the city.

“There have been no objection letters. The main reason for refusal appears to be our own heritage officer and Historic England – but the question is balance.

“Historic England say the authority needs to weigh up heritage concerns with the public and economic benefit of the development.

“I think our planners have failed to take that balance into account. – I urge the committee to move the scales back in the correct direction.

“This will replace a pot-holed, unmaintained car park with an excellent development that fits in very well.”

Cllr Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council

“Any harm is outweighed by the public benefit”

An artist's impression of the new Beacon Street development
An artist’s impression of the new Beacon Street development

Other councillors also questioned whether the balance between the historic nature of the city and the need for new developments had been struck.

Cllr Paul Ray, Chadsmead ward councillor, said:

“Conservation issues are important especially in an area like Lichfield, but I don’t see the harm here to those heritage assets from this development.

“Any harm is outweighed by the public benefit. Towns and cities have to progress, develop and innovate in an aesthetically sympathetic way.

“This development does that.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council

Following a lengthy discussion on the proposals – and the planning officer’s report – councillors voted unanimously to approve the development in principle, with some conditions still to be decided at a further meeting in March.

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  1. This development really needs to go ahead so hopefully the “conditions” in March will be approved.
    The planning officers fear about Lichfield heritage is a bit of a joke when you consider the enormous carbuncle being erected next to the Horse and Jockey in Sandford Street and also the Huge Monstrosity being built where Guardian House was. Yes that old building was an eyesore but it was in keeping with the type of building then but this new structure is just so big and towering.
    Where is the Heritage question there?

  2. I look forward to seeing the development completed as planned. It will certainly improve the present situation in a beautiful part of our city.

  3. Councillors back public opinion and ignore their own officer’s report?! Can this be true? LDC listens to us? Whatever next, our MP deletes all his social media accounts and holds a constituency surgery?

  4. I think John Silver’s comment demonstrates just who has been behind this campaign to encourage Lichfield District Council to ignore its own advisors.
    ‘Bill’ will undoubtedly be delighted.

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