U+I submit planning application for the Friarsgate development in Lichfield city centre
New mixed-use scheme will create 900 jobs and inject £283m into local area
Leading property regeneration company U+I, formally known as Development Securities PLC, has submitted the planning application for the proposed Friarsgate development in Lichfield. The long-awaited mixed-use scheme will create a major new destination in the city centre, complementing the existing retail, leisure and residential offering whilst preserving the historical and traditional feel of the city.
A truly mixed-use scheme, Friarsgate is forecast to create 900 new jobs , the equivalent to 600 full time jobs, and will inject £283m in Gross Value Added (GVA) over the next ten years into the local economy. The leisure offering includes a state of the art multi-screen cinema, a new gym, up to ten new restaurants and approximately 25 shops. It will provide 82 apartments, 11 townhouses and a brand new landscaped public area for visitors to enjoy. The development will also enhance transport connectivity within Lichfield, delivering a new bus station for the city near to the railway station, as well as 500 safe and accessible car parking spaces.
The planning application submission follows an extensive and well attended public consultation held in the summer of 2015. The key matters raised by residents of both Lichfield and surrounding areas have been incorporated into the revised design for Friarsgate which was presented to MADE, an independent design review panel of leading architects and industry experts. Further design improvements were made based upon the panel’s comments.
The final planning submission gives full consideration to comments raised during the consultation. This includes a sympathetic design of the residential apartments on St John Street that is in-keeping with their historical surroundings, improved access into the new development from the train station, and opening up views of the cathedral’s spires from the development’s main shopping street. The proposed materials that will be used to construct the development will be high quality and respect the city’s historic feel. This was led by the appointed architects, Group Ginger.
Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I said: “Today is an exciting day for U+I. After an extensive public consultation, we believe we have designed a scheme that will enhance the leisure, retail and residential offering in the community, with a design that preserves and respects the unique history and culture of Lichfield. This is another great example of U+I’s expertise in unlocking complex town centre development projects.
It has taken a number of years for the proposal to come together, but we were determined to get the project right and are confident that our plans will deliver a development that enhances Lichfield and that becomes a cherished part of the city centre. U+I is passionate about providing schemes that add value to the local area, whilst instilling a sense of community. We believe we have struck that balance with Friarsgate, and are excited to hear the outcome of our application.”
Richard King, Strategic Director of Democratic, Development & Legal at Lichfield District Council, commented: “We are pleased to have received the Friarsgate planning application. It will be considered by our planning committee in spring 2016. Local people can find out more about the planned scheme, view the full plans and comment online at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/friarsgate.”
A decision on the planning application is expected to be made by spring 2016.
 900 full and part-time jobs, the equivalent to 600 full-time jobs