Changes to Lichfield District Council’s flagship city retail and leisure development, Friarsgate, announced.
At a meeting on Tuesday 3 February 2015, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet reviewed a number of proposed changes to the Friarsgate scheme, and has given the developer, Development Securities PLC, the go ahead to progress the revised plans.
Cabinet Members were presented with a number of changes to the plans for the flagship retail and leisure development. These include phasing the development, with the first phase featuring 18 shops, up to 11 cafes, bars and restaurants, a cinema, 65 apartments, a new bus station and a 500 plus space multi storey car park.
The second phase would see further retail units developed, including a department store, as part of the scheme.
Following the presentation, Cabinet agreed to extend the developer agreement with Development Securities PLC, who will continue to shape the plans, which will be submitted to Lichfield District Council’s Planning Committee later this year.
Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “The economic climate has changed radically since we first started planning Friarsgate. However, the need to revitalise the Birmingham Road area in a way that will link up to and complement the rest of the city centre still remains. This is why we believe a phased development is more achievable and sustainable and will bring forward the development and regeneration sooner.
“If approved by our Planning Committee, the scheme promises to deliver a wide range of shops, eateries, city centre apartments and the eagerly anticipated cinema. We are also hopeful to have further retail units as part of the second phase of the scheme. If there is a gap between the phases, the area set aside for phase two will be landscaped as a temporary public space, which could be used for community activities. Development Securities PLC will be asking for local people’s views on how best this new city space could be used and set out as part of a public consultation later this year.
“Overall, the planned development will have a huge impact on our local economy, and projections are that it will create up to 750 jobs and contribute £211 million into the local economy over a ten-year period.”
The next stage will see Development Securities PLC submit a planning application later this year, at which point local residents and businesses will be invited to view the draft plans and designs.
Speaking on behalf of Development Securities PLC, Richard Upton, said: “We’re delighted that members of the Cabinet have chosen to extend the development agreement, and remain committed to delivering a landmark development for Lichfield.
“We have an exciting opportunity to redevelop Friarsgate, delivering a project that creates new jobs, adds to the life and economy of Lichfield and places the city firmly on the map as a shopping, leisure and food destination.
“We are confident that our revised scheme is the best fit for Lichfield and we look forward to progressing our plans alongside Lichfield District Council and the local community.”