Burntwood campaign group ready to renew housing development fight

Building site. Pic: Ian Britton

Building site. Pic: Ian Britton

A Burntwood campaign group has said it won’t give up the fight should a report recommend an extra 2,000 new homes need to be built in Lichfield district.

The West Midlands Region Assembly is expected to decide whether to accept or reject a Government Inspector’s insistance on the extra new homes – as well as 8,000 already agreed – to be built in the area by 2026, at the end of February.

But a spokesman for Burntwood Action Group (BAG) admitted that any decision would not alter their stance:

“We are ready to fight any revised plans which threaten our surrounding green land. In this eventuality we will again seek support of residents by asking them to write letters of objection as previously. This could happen in two or three month’s time.”

The decision could have an impact on the amount of new housing likely to be built in the area BAG represents.

The Draft Core Strategy which was put out in 2008 by the council for public consultation made provision for 750 new homes to be built in Burntwood and Hammerwich from 2006 to 2026.

The BAG spokesperson added:

“With the overwhelming support of residents we strongly opposed it because of its use of greenbelt. Since 2006 around 300 new homes have been built or planned in our area. This leaves 450 new homes which, we believe, can be accommodated on previously developed land.”

Despite the recommendations expected to be made by March, local MP Michael Fabricant has claimed the election of a Conservative Government could mean housing development figures may need to be revised.

However, in a letter to BAG members, the group warned residents not to rely on this. A spokesman explained:

“We are wary of promises made by politicians which could be difficult to fulfil in the challenging economic climate following a General Election.

“We must make sure that we lobby candidates of all political persuasions to support our case for no development on Burntwood’s greenbelt. We must be on the lookout for any planning applications for development on greenbelt during and after the election campaign.”

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