Proposed Development at Sandford Street

An application as been made to Lichfield District Council for a mixed, commercial and residential, development at the junction of Sandford Street and Swan Road. The site is significant by virtue of its location and the adjacent buildings - members may wish to form their own views on the proposal and advise the Council accordingly.

The following are the Society's Views:

Application No: 11/01319/FULM - Land at Sandford Street

This is a somewhat disappointing design owing to the somewhat corporate appearance that lacks any distinctive character that says "Lichfield". It will fail to key in with the surrounding historic buildings, though the Society would always hope that new buildings will be representative of contemporary concepts in design and not a mere pastiche of past forms. This is particularly relevant to older buildings in Sandford Street and Queen Street.

The design is resolutely bland and there is an over-use of same coloured cladding that only goes to emphasise the monotony of the fenestration facing Swan Road, being mainly composed of windows identical in their size and proportion set in an unbroken same-colour background.

There are many examples of individually designed and sympathetic mixed use developments that represent the best of current architectural thinking being reported in the architectural press. This is not one of them. At best a reconsideration of surface areas and window proportion and distribution would help to rescue an otherwise undistinguished design.

Alan Thompson
January 2012