The Premier Inn in building in Lichfield
The Premier Inn in building in Lichfield which was highlighted by Lichfield Civic Society

Concerns over recent developments and buildings standing empty have been raised as part of a review of the Lichfield City Centre Conservation Area.

The issues were highlighted by Lichfield Civic Society own comments to consultants who are looking at aspects such as the boundaries and future management plan for the area.

A spokesperson for the civic society said the group had pointed out a number of concerns with the current scope of the conservation protection, including recent developments and long-standing issues.

“The conservation area plays a vital role in protecting Lichfield’s heritage and preserving the character of the city but, perhaps inevitably with the passage of time, some gaps in that protection have become apparent.

“Some recent decisions made by the district council on important sites within, or directly adjacent to, the Conservation Area seem to ignore the development policies.

“One can only assume that the gain from new development – or fear of a successful appeal – was felt to outweigh the previously saved policies.

“For example, the main approach to the city from the south, The Friary, is now dominated by the overlarge Premier Inn development and, sadly, an equally large building is now being constructed in Sandford Street adjacent to the Grade II listed 19th Century house at number 28, ignoring the established roof lines nearer to Beacon Park.

“On the north of the city, the development of residential units on Cross Keys is far from attractive and the very recent re-use of the 1930s Regal Cinema site, although long awaited and welcome in principle, has been allowed to introduce a lift shaft that breaks the roof line on the Tamworth Street frontage.”

Lichfield Civic Society

The civic society also said it had concerns over the historic fabric of some buildings being eroded in recent times.

A boarded up building in Lichfield city centre
A boarded up building in Lichfield city centre

“Despite earlier success in persuading McDonalds to amend their corporate style for Lichfield, several examples of overlarge plastic fascia have appeared – often in bold rather than pastel colours.

“The latest issue is the council’s slow reaction to the loss of the historic pub sign at The Scales’ public house, which has now been rebranded as ‘No 24’ with an overlarge, mainly black, hanging sign in place of the historic scales sign.

“There is a different issue with the former listed premises at 4 Bore Street. This was once the Prince of Wales public house, before later becoming La Feria.

“But it has lain empty for over ten years – what a terrible advertisement to greet visitors to the city.”

Lichfield Civic Society

Full details of the civic society’s response to the consultation are available online.

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11 Comments

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  1. “But it has lain empty for over ten years – what a terrible advertisement to greet visitors to the city.”

    Only ten years! You were lucky. In Burntwood we’ve had an empty pub in a prominent area for at least 27 years.

  2. Steven Norman how can you criticize that when Burntwood nearly three times as bad, how long have you been a councillor, what have you done for us

  3. I am sorry for the civic society, because they do not seem to have been able to alter much over all the years, from a council that doesn’t listen to people’s views.
    But at least you know where they want to put the bus station

  4. Has any member of the Civic Society noted the increasingly derelict appearance of Davidson House, one of Lichfield’s historic buildings?
    Who owns it?
    Why is it being allowed to deteriorate?

  5. Hundreds of years if not more is disappearing, buried with modern buildings.
    A beautiful historical city and not enough is promoted about the history. Look at the old monastery all that remains is the archway and the rest is covered over by the college and other surrounding buildings. I work in the centre regularly and the amount of comments from visitors who are visiting saying how disappointed they was to see nothing of value is worth visiting, that saddened me to hear. History is being wiped out in Lichfield and not enough is been done.

  6. @Hans Sachs.. It is a common tactic to allow a building to deteriorate to a level where it becomes untenable. What follows is redevelopment in one form or another. Of course not all buildings have historic interest or even a pleasing edifice but, like you, I think Davidson House is well worth saving. Sadly I suspect it will become another Lichfield historical casualty.

  7. Ann S,, until it is passed being saved, it is either costing a fortune, to keep it in a reasonable condition or being left to deteriorate with no maintenance, like looking at the gutters is what’s happening

  8. I think they they have enough empty building of their own without worrying about others.
    The eyesore at Friarsgate would be better levelled off, with a bit of grass, paving and benches, at least it would be useable, we could even have a proper toilet block.
    The pictures on the hoardings don’t represent what was going to be built anyway

  9. How did they get the Premier Inn passed planning, completely out of character with Lichfield, like sleeping on a time bomb with car park there.
    There’s a Premier Inn in Porthmadog Wales, blends in with the surrounding and incorporates some local materials, would not mind spending a week there.
    Why couldn’t Lichfield’s have been built like that

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