Lichfield MP renews call for delay on new housing developments

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

Lichfield’s MP has urged the council to hold back on housing developments.

Michael Fabricant’s comments came following the release of information relating to how many new sites for development need to be found.

The figures released by Mr Fabricant show that 3,714 homes of the 8,000 total will need to be situated on land not already identified for development.

The full breakdown for the Lichfield district reveals:

  • Houses completed April 2006-October 2009 – 1,157
  • Housing under construction at October 2009 – 25
  • Existing planning permissions – 1,916
  • Land identified within current settlement envelopes as having the potential to accommodate housing – 1188
  • Housing for which additional land is needed to be found – 3,714

Mr Fabricant said:

“Local campaigners argue that no more than around 3,500 additional homes need to be built. If this number were agreed, and given the number of houses completed or under construction, together with the 1,916 homes already have planning permission, it would mean that 1,584 new sites would have to be found. I think we can live with that.

“As for the 8,000 homes allocated to Lichfield District by the Region which would result in 4,902 sites being found to reach this target over and above those areas which already have planning permission, the Conservative Party is advising all councils to delay the implementation of this as all Regional Allocations would be scrapped by an incoming Conservative Government.  It would then be up to individual district councils to allocate their own housing targets based on local need.

“I hope that councils will take the Conservative Party’s advice. Surely, it has to be better that local councillors exercise their own judgement about the number of houses that are needed and sustainable in their own districts?  After all, it is local councillors and not the Regional Assembly that are accountable to local electors.”

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6 Comments

  1. Unconcerned Citizen

    7th November, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Well – theres a debate about the number of houses to be built.
    The unelected regional assembly pulled 8000 out of its funfair tombola, whereas the also unelected local campaigners have come up with a possibly uneducated guess of 3500.
    Theres almost 2 generations of young adults that can’t get on the property market.
    Lichfield has a higher than avergae proportion of low income families (3 out of 5 compared to the national average of 1 in 3).
    We also have an average house price of 200,000 here.
    12,000 p/a being the threshold of defining ‘low income’.
    Are we back to the days of 25% deposit mortgaes? meaing a 50k deposit and 14 times salary mortgage.

    Its completely laughable.

    Many of todays home owners look at thier houses as ‘thier pension’.

    Unless some affordable housing comes along – Peoples ideas of preserving how lichfiled is – may really backfire in the future.

    60% of lichfield can’t invest into thier future.

  2. david woods

    9th November, 2009 at 10:53 am

    The figures quoted by the Lichfield District Residents Alliance for the number of dwellings needed for natural growth in Lichfield District were provided by Lichfield District Council planners at a public meeting earlier this year. As to the provision of affordable housing we sympathise with those having difficulty getting onto the housing ladder, but developers will always seek to maximise profit and Lichfield is a popular place, at least at present!

    The answer is in the Council’s hands, they should aim for a sensible housing target for 2006-2026, one that preserves the rural character of the District and its settlements and meets the need for natural growth. Then direct that sufflient affordable homes are provided within that total. The future of Lichfield should not be driven by externally imposed targets that bear no relation to real need. Why have a District Council if its local policy is dictated by central government and unelected quangos like the Regional Assembly?

  3. Unconcerned Citizen

    9th November, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    David Woods – thanks for that answer.

    “The future of Lichfield should not be driven by externally imposed targets that bear no relation to real need”

    Theres a real housing shortage – homezones 4 year waiting list is testament to this.
    Only meeting the need for ‘natural growth’ seems like a good idea -unfortunatly if housing isn’t provided for lichfields ‘indigenous’ popuation’ as well as for all the ‘outsiders’ that woul like to move to this popular place – we will still have a housing shortage.

    We need to cater for lichfields indigenous growth and the people that wish to move here.
    The number of houses needed is clearly more than the indigenous growth figures.

    Mr woods – have you seen the friarsgate plans? lichfields not rural anymore.

  4. Class Crisis

    9th November, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Given this http://classcrisis.org/?p=156 I don’t think we can accept any plans/ideas for development from Lichfield District Council until some answers have been provided.

  5. david woods

    10th November, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Developers will always seek to to maximise profit just as councils will always seek to maximise community charge revenue, hence the building of expensive houses largely purchased by ‘outsiders’. It is up to the Council to refuse planning permission for more expensive properties until the shortfall of affordable homes is cleared. This is unlikely to happen with the present council since such policy, whilst true to the needs of Lichfield people, would not support their ambitions for shopping centre development.

  6. Class Crisis

    10th November, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Their shopping centre development is dead in the water. I can only assume that David Smiths insists that it is “on track” because as far as he is concerned reality is something that happens to other people.