The Birmingham Road multi-storey car park
The Birmingham Road multi-storey car park

Councillors say potential opportunities created by the planned demolition of a Lichfield car park could be missed.

Lichfield District Council has submitted formal proposals to knock down the Birmingham Road multi-storey.

The local authority hopes the move will kickstart the redevelopment of adjacent land which had first been earmarked for the Friarsgate project more than a decade ago.

The council is also planning to introduce a “meanwhile use” for the land once the demolition has taken place which would see the space used things such as an outdoor theatre and cinema, as well as pop-up retail and food opportunities.

But Cllr Colin Ball and Cllr Dave Robertson said the cabinet were not looking at the car park site as part of the wider needs of the city centre.

Cllr Robertson said:

“Just because the site is part of the Friarsgate area doesn’t mean you can forget everything else.

“We needed a plan for the car park, but we should really be using this space to fix some of the problems that the council has caused with their bungled implementation of pedestrianisation.

“There’s a chance here to create some disabled parking spaces and to find a way to connect them to the new cinema and the Three Spires shopping centre.

“The ‘meanwhile use’ suggested by the council seems to be a plan to create another market square 250 yards way from the one we already have.”

Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Ball said that while it was good to see progress on the redevelopment, the council could not afford to focus solely on that scheme.

“I am very glad that something is finally happening with the redevelopment of the city centre and particularly with the car park – we’ve already waited too long for the development to happen and this will hopefully bring it forward faster.

“But that alone isn’t good enough. Why not think about different parts of the city centre can support each other and think about how some blue badge bays here would benefit the businesses at that end of Lichfield?”

Cllr Colin Ball, Lichfield District Council

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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1 year ago

The council is also planning to introduce a “meanwhile use” for the land once the demolition has taken place which would see the space used things such as an outdoor theatre and cinema, as well as pop-up retail and food opportunities.”

But don’t we already have a big space, not far from this site at the ‘gateway to the city’, which could be used for similar activities – but simply isn’t/hasn’t been?
Ridiculous how LDC continue to pull the wool over our eyes & people continue to vote for these charlatans.

1 year ago

Why don’t we knock it down when we need to knock it down and not just when we feel like it and then try and figure out what to do later?

1 year ago

I can’t imagine anything more bizarre than planning to knock down a major car park right next door/connected to a new cinema/food development. The proposers of this say there are plenty of other carparks, and yes, there are, but some considerable distance away. For a ‘kick start’ to Lichfield’s bright new future this seems to be a massive retrograde step. The existing carpark should surely stay, renovated to access the cinema and to make visiting Lichfield easy.

Annoyed local
1 year ago

How about just giving it a face lift? I find it completely baffling they are demolishing this when they are opening a cinema / gym next it it.

1 year ago

Why oh why oh why?! For heaven’s sake use the derelict site we already have on Birmingham Road for the next stage of redevelopment. If this madness continues Lichfield city centre will soon resemble a series of bomb sites. One step at a time. No one can see into the future and predict with any certainty the future availability of investment funding. Get Birmingham Road sorted, let the developer, or whoever, sort out the Debenham’s site cinema, meanwhile plan to redevelop the multi-storey with something more meaningful than ‘pop-ups’ and ‘open air entertainment venues’. Please!

Carl Sholl
1 year ago

This is nonsense. The demolition of Tempest Ford and the police station failed to kick-start any development. What makes the Council think that the demolition of the multi-storey car park will? If they want a space for “meanwhile use”, there’s plenty available on the Tempest Ford site, which they’ve made no attempt to use. An easy way to provide disabled parking spaces with access to the new cinema would be to use the old Debenhams entrance directly from the car park. There are lifts just inside the old store to take wheelchair users to any level. The car park also provides vital access for disabled persons visiting the Garrick which was sorely missed when the car park was closed temporarily some years ago.

1 year ago

Where is the money to replace this car park coming from? The council are having to sell a training centre, to raise the funds to do remedial work on the Friarsgate site.

They are offering £5.5million, to any cinema operator willing to open a site in Lichfield and are unable to get any interest. Doug Pullen has said the council will make a profit from the site. The council have very little control over the development of the site.

They are desperate and the developers know it.

Doug Pullen and everyone involved in this project are destroying Lichfield, forever. My expectation is for the current Friarsgate site to become housing. There will then be an application from Three Spires to convert their land to housing. Stating it is no longer financially viable.

1 year ago

While they are at it demolish the Garrick it’s never been able to fund itself ,built with EU money ,subsadised by Lichfield
The shows are overpriced ,buildings an eyesore and let’s be honest a trip in to Birmingham and top productions are readily available ,to be fair I can see the cinema going to the dogs after a couple of months .
Archaic ideas from an out of touch council .

1 year ago

The game of course is to remove anything unsightly and undesirable that will reduce the potential development value of residential. Once the car park has gone only the bus station stands in the way. At which point the pressure and justification for removing the bus station becomes irresistible, as it is the last part of the site blocking re-development.

A report goes to cabinet and council carefully crafted by officers to leave the councillors with no other option but to approve. “Much as I don’t want to see the loss of the bus station I have to accept that this site has sat unused for so long and the scheme proposed unlocks the potential of the site. It is for that reason with heavy heart that I have to support the recommendations before us tonight” etc etc. See how it works.

Labour falls straight into the trap

Denyse P
1 year ago

This is a message to Doug Pullen: Why hasn’t the cinema operator been revealed yet? When you said that lack of progress at the Tempest Ford site would be on your shoulders what did you mean? Why are you still Leader of the Council when you have consistently failed to deliver?

Ken H
1 year ago

After the war garages appeared on bomb sites, perhaps they could put a garage on the bomb site they have created now
If they are trying to encourage businesses, they are not doing a very good job at present
They’ve closed a garage, cycle shop, cafe, which was handy for bus station also toilet block, which was handy for visiting coaches, replaced with a useless one not fit for purpose
When I visit places. I judge them on their
facilities and ease of visiting their attractions
Lichfield seems to be losing all that
Demolishing the multi storey car park on lack of use, could we have the figures for the use of the Friary Car Park over the same period
Never use it myself, always looks unfriendly, to far out, cost you how much to walk into and back from to city, on old system wouldn’t know how long to pay for, on new system get the shock when you get back as how much it as cost you

Carl Sholl
1 year ago

@Nick. The Garrick is a wonderful theatre, always highly praised by visiting acts, far cheaper than going into Birmingham to watch shows and benefits from very easy access thanks to the nearby multi-storey car park and the bus and train stations. It also has some very high class productions, as well as providing a stage for local theatrical groups. The building is also beautiful. The only kind of person who would not think so would be a greedy developer eyeing up the plot for more lucrative housing development, which is the last thing the centre of Lichfield needs.

1 year ago

Bonkers It is full for most of Sundays [£1 per day] & when the Garrick performances are on [Free after 6pm]. What precisely is going in its place for parking? I recall original plan was to knock it down & rebuild it with underground spaces as well. This was to be the 1st part of now redundant Friarsgate contract ondevelopers/ builders. Never happened!! so what PRECISELY is the plan now?

John Ogden
1 year ago

Why not demolish the whole of Lichfield and start again by building old peoples flats everywhere then Mr Pullen and Co will be very happy.