Part of the Birmingham Road Site once earmarked for Friarsgate
Part of the Birmingham Road Site once earmarked for Friarsgate

The style of buildings which could one day occupy the former Friarsgate site will be unveiled this weekend.

Lichfield District Council and Create Streets have been working on a design code over the past 18 months for the land now known as the Birmingham Road Site.

It has been drawn up following online and in-person sessions.

The new code will be on display at The Hub at St Mary’s between 11am and 3pm tomorrow (18th November).

A second chance to view it will be at Lichfield Christmas Fayre in the city centre between 12noon and 4pm on Sunday.

Create Streets’ Ed Leahy said:

“We’ve had a fantastic response from Lichfield residents over the past 18 months, who have given us a strong direction for how the site should be look and feel.

“Do come and see how we’ve turned those discussions into a design code this weekend.

“Design codes are a great way to capture what residents want to see from new development, which too often consists of generic, low quality, ‘could be anywhere’ buildings. 

“It’s been a privilege to work alongside Lichfield District Council talking to residents about what they want from development on the site, and we’ve put it to paper in this code.”

Ed Leahy, Create Streets

Although much of the land has sat empty since the failure of the Friarsgate scheme to materialise, part of the former Tempest Ford garage has been granted approval to be converted into a temporary three year overflow car park for the nearby council offices.

The code will provide rules and design requirements for what can and cannot be built on the land going forward. It will apply only to the Birmingham Road Site.

Cllr Janice Silvester-Hall, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for high streets and visitor economy, said:

“We would like to thank everyone in the district who has given their views to help develop a design code for the Birmingham Road Site. 

“It is set to be exhibited in the city this weekend and we are again appealing for people to come along and give their feedback.

“It will be really useful in the formation of plans for the site.”

Cllr Janice Silvester Hall, Lichfield District Council

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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Paul M Nicol
18 days ago

This land has been standing fallow for years then three years a car park, another two years planning, 18 months building just realised ill be dead by the time we actually see anything. But thank you for your amazing work on this LDC, hope i don’t have to put up with your incompetence on the other side.

Alica Fibmerchant
18 days ago

Housing. That’s what the report will say. Both Conservatives and Labour councillors would like to see housing on this site as soon as possible as they’ve no imagination or desire to give residents something innovative. All they care about is hitting targets and bringing in revenues. So it will be housing. They know it. We know it. Stop messing us about and get it over with.

We deserve better than these terrible set of red, blue and even yellow councillors. Awful.

18 days ago

In view of the controversial nature of this Friasgate / Birmingham Road site I wonder if Lichfield Live might publish the plan? This would make it available to far more people. The time scale given seemes a little restricted to me….. for whatever reason?!

18 days ago

Well the site is in the existing conservation area. Does this mean that a code is been developed to circumvent the conservation area restrictions. I dread to think what they have planned for opposite St Johns Hospital. Grey plague, cruise liner balcony look, steel rsj look. Take a look at the Ego building, ok modern building but totally wrong for the location.

18 days ago

What’s the point of this? Will it ever have any relevance to what happens with the site? It’s over six years since Tempest Ford was forced to close because work was about to start on redevelopment of the site so why is only now being decided what style of buildings could occupy the site? LDC have strung the public along with dreams and visions and contradictory statements regarding adequate parking for six years and recently effectively announced that nothing will happen for at least another three years. It’s going to be a minimum of a decade between forcing businesses off the site and any development happening. Why don’t they all resign in shame. And still no announcement of the cinema operator.

Cinema insider
18 days ago

… One day…

Grumpy Old Man
18 days ago

Build another car showroom, or flatten the area and lawn it

Carl Sholl
18 days ago

If they could just keep the bus station and multi-storey car park and fit a leisure centre into the parameters of the design code, a lot of people would be very happy. I’ve yet to hear any ordinary residents calling for housing on this site.

Boring CIty
18 days ago

Incompetent council

Alasdair Brooks
18 days ago

I have a copy of the Create Streets [CS] design code.

I’ve seen it in my multiple capacities as a Lichfield resident, CEO of a Staffordshire-based heritage regeneration charity, and current president of the Europe-wide Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, but the code’s been drawn up the basis of extensive consultation with Lichfield residents, and CS have been working on it for over a year. The code outlines how the site can serve as a gateway to the city, and foregrounds ensuring the site is sympathetic to the city’s heritage fabric, with a focus on Georgian architecture. Writing as a heritage professional – and leaving partisan politics entirely aside – I think CS have done an excellent job; and, as the article notes, they’ll be in the city centre this weekend to engage in further consultation with interested residents. Why not go and have a look for yourselves?

18 days ago

Alica, I agree but you forgot to add ….. retirement living homes…. because that’s what they will be, after all there is a shortage of those in Lichfield.

Carl Sholl
17 days ago

Alasdair, I’ve no doubt you are sincere in your praise for CS’s work, but it’s not a matter of style, it’s a matter of substance. Most people don’t want the site used for housing, but the Council is ignoring them. Most people would also prefer to keep the bus station where it is, and an awful lot of people use the multi-storey car park that the Council intends to demolish and has no plans to replace. The Council is also determined to build the new leisure centre on Stychbrook Park, where nobody wants it. A lot of people would prefer to have it in the city centre, and the Friarsgate site would be ideal.

17 days ago

Nothing is going to change LDC minds, they have made their decision on what they want. Personally I would have liked to see a M&S store with parking now they are not interested in Trent Valley.

Alasdair Brooks
17 days ago

Carl Sholl, I sense from the BTL comments in this thread that there’s some misunderstanding of what a design code is, and what Creative Streets’ role in this process is.

The planning decisions on how to use the Birmingham Road site, including the loss of the bus station, are wholly down to the Council. This has nothing to do with the design code

The design code is a document (oversimplifying given comment character limits) outlining what the site is going to look like: maximum building heights, pathways through the site, architectural style, etc.

I understand the strong feelings about the location of the bus station and the other issues you raise, but those are planning decisions by the council, and are completely separate from the Creative Streets design code. It’s wholly possible to acknowledge the strengths of the latter separately from concerns over the former.

17 days ago

Have CS been paid for their design code? I would be interested to know how much the council have paid yet another firm of consultants.

16 days ago

@Alasdair Brooks.. From your contribution it is fair to assume that while it might not determine the layout it, as a code, says the nature and appearance of housing on this site which predetermines its use. In fact it was such designs which were a major factor in the public input sessions held at the council officers.
The council just cannot get it into its head that the rate paying public do not want more housing. Was this not what the council promised when it scrapped the local plan?
The council is so out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent one wonders what is motivating them. What with the cinema, bus station, leisure centre and loss of the Friary (amongst much more) it seems they are on a mission to reduce Lichfield to a mediocrity.
A referendum would best indicate what the public want. We have, after all, spent millions on this FRIASGATE site (of our money!) and have nothing but a private council car park to show for it!