Lichfield District Council’s illegal adverts around the Friarsgate site

Lichfield Distrct Council’s illegal adverts next to a Grade 1 Listed Building

I have discovered that the District Council never applied for planning permission for the £23,000 adverts surrounding the hoarding round the Friarsgate site in Lichfield.

They will now have to advertise them in the normal way – as the rest of us are supposed to do.  This means seeking the views of statutory consultees and then assess the principle, visual, heritage [cue civic society they are opposite a grade 1 listed building] and highways impacts.

I don’t think it will be as costly as that other ‘oversight’ the failed sale of open space land in Lichfield at Leyfields and Netherstowe that finally resulted in a £117,900 compensation bill – all because the law was not followed.

In fact, the Council, as the planning authority, could bring a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court for an offence under section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Can’t see that though, can you?

I am told that the planning department will deal with them “as an advert rather than development which would require planning permission, albeit the process is similar in that we would still advertise the application”.

Behind the hoardings

When they appeared in December 2019, I said that the pictures used on the hoarding for the failed Friarsgate site in Lichfield were disappointing as I had believed that the £23,000 cost was for artworks rather than commercial advertising poster images.

I also said: “I don’t think I was alone in thinking that these would be paintings of some kind rather than the confusing jumbled up posters they appear to be.  36 images in fact at a cost of £638 each.

“The so-called ‘enabling works’ for the site has increased by £185,000 to £3,180,000 and is already over budget.

“It is not a great start to 2020 but at least Lichfield City is getting more money thrown at the project that has been 20 years in the making whilst Burntwood Town’s council taxpayers wait for their share.”


Author: Burntwood

Lichfield District and Burntwood Town Labour councillor for Chase Terrace Ward. Leader of Lichfield District Council's Labour Group.

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