Burntwood campaigners remaining vigilant over green belt developments

A Burntwood group campaigning to prevent new housing developments being built on green belt land say they are remaining vigilant despite being optimistic about the new government’s stance on the issue.

Burntwood Action Group (BAG) are one of a number of organisations across the region who were fighting proposals to create thousands of new homes across Lichfield and Burntwood.

But following the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition’s replacement of the Labour administration, new Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“The previous government gave the green light for the destruction of the green belt across the country and we are determined to stop it. We’ve promised to use legislation to scrap top-down building targets that are eating up the Green Belt but I’m not going to make communities wait any longer to start making decisions for themselves. That’s why I have written to all councils to let them know that from today they can make planning decisions in the knowledge that Regional Strategies will soon be history.

“It will no longer be possible to concrete over large swathes of the country without any regard to what local people want. From now on communities will be trusted to make the right decisions.”

There has been no official response from Lichfield District Council on how the change in Government will affect its plans for local housing development – leading BAG to confirm “the champagne corks aren’t popping yet”.

A spokesperson for the group explained:

“The threat to Burntwood’s surrounding green belt came from the previous government’s pressure on the West Midlands Regional Assembly to set a high target for the number of new homes to be built in Lichfield district over the next 16 years. The new coalition government appears to have a completely different approach to how the country should satisfy its need for new homes in the foreseeable future.

“Despite this apparent good news, some landowners are out to make a quick buck and developers find it easier to build on green fields than on previously developed land. For these reasons we must remain vigilant and the Action group will remain in existence to monitor development plans and fight any that threaten our surroundings. We will, however, continue to work constructively with Lichfield District Council to help to identify previously used land which could be used for new homes.

“The champagne corks aren’t popping yet but we are now much more confident that Burntwood’s surrounding greenbelt is less threatened than it was a few weeks ago.”

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Chapman

    16th June, 2010 at 5:57 am

    On behalf of Hammerwich Action Group I believe that LDC must now quickly consider the impact of the Coalition Mandate in words and deeds. The LDF must now be progressed without the use of green belt submissions and based around available land that satisfies existing PPG2 requirements. The sooner that the 3000 plus local people who have objected to the original plan are notified – the better.

    Paul Chapman – Chairman BHAG