Gateway site improvement works to start in new year
From a new car park and coach parking, to a refreshed bus station and landscaping, a site off Birmingham Road in Lichfield is set to get a new lease of life in 2020.
Lichfield District Council is pleased to announce that the short-term improvements to the Birmingham Road site will get underway in January 2020. They will improve the look and feel of the area, as well as prepare it for later development, and provide a better route into the city from the train and bus stations.
The council has appointed The Coleman Group to carry out the works, which will be completed in the following phases:
- Fencing will go up and the site compound will be set up. This will include fencing off the former police station and the car parking spaces at the front of the building. A tree next to the building will also be pruned to protect it from the trucks that will be accessing the construction site from Frog Lane.
- The interior fittings of the former police station will be taken out, including asbestos removal, before the demolition of the building. This is expected to take around nine weeks.
- Street furniture will be removed from the bus station and the bus station car park. This will be followed by the closure of the 50-space bus station car park, expected towards the end of January/early February. This space will be turned into new coach parking. Temporary bus stops will be in use while the area is re-tarmacked and the bus station is refreshed. The bus station will remain open throughout the works, although parts of it will close in phases. While the car park is closed, the council is recommending nearby car parks, including on The Friary and Lombard Street. For the city centre car park map, visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/carparkmap.
- Following the demolition of the police station, the replacement 56-space car park, footpaths and street furniture will be installed. New Healthmatic temporary toilets will be opened, ahead of the demolition of the bus station shops and toilets. The former sites of the police station and bus station buildings will be landscaped.
- The fencing will come down and the replacement car park and improved site will be launched.
Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Investment, Economic Growth & Tourism, said:
“We know everyone is keen to see more than empty lots and boarded up buildings as the entrance to Lichfield city centre. I am really pleased to see something happening with the old police station and improvements to the bus station and coach parking being delivered.
“The works will help us make a better first impression for anyone visiting the city, particularly if they have come by train or by bus. By demolishing the derelict buildings, opening out the space and ensuring modern toilets continue to be provided, we will be making the area safer and preparing the site for our future long-term development, which we are working on through our master-planning exercise.
“The scale of the works means they will take a little bit of time to complete and we expect they will be finished in the spring. We would therefore ask that residents, workers and visitors bear with us while the works are taking place. There may be some concerns over the temporary loss of the 50-space car park, but we want to reassure everyone that there is plenty of capacity in nearby car parks, including the multi storey on The Friary, which is a long-stay car park.”
The improvements are a step towards improving the Birmingham Road site, while the long-term masterplan is completed, which will shape the future growth of Lichfield city centre.
In partnership with David Lock Associates, the council is running a public consultation on the draft masterplan from 6 January to 3 February 2020.
This will include an online survey, the launch of a consultation app, and two public drop-in events. These will take place at Lichfield Library on Friday 17 January between 9am and 5pm and on Saturday 18 January between 9am and 4pm.
“The draft masterplan sets out proposals for the long-term future of the Birmingham Road site and its interaction with the overall city centre.
“It envisages a mixed use of the site - from public buildings, open space, places for business and leisure activities, as well as a cinema, a new car park, and housing to reflect city centres are changing from just being single focus.
“We would encourage everyone to get involved with the masterplan consultation, as we want to hear the feedback from our residents, visitors and stakeholders in the new year on what they want Lichfield's city centre to look like for the future,” continued Cllr Eadie.
To find out more about the improvement works and the masterplan consultation, visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/citycentreplan.