MP calls for balance as Lichfield housing development plans are unveiled
Lichfield’s MP has urged developers to make sure the city’s character is not damaged as they look to meet the area’s housing needs.
Michael Fabricant spoke out after plans were unveiled for a new 450 home building project on land near Shortbutts Lane.
Local residents have already raised concerns about the impact of the scheme, which would also include a primary school and retail units.
However, Mr Fabricant has said that a balance needs to be struck between the demand for housing in the city and the impact such a scheme might have.
“I have always said that Lichfield’s special character must not be damaged by excessive housing construction or inroads into the green belt,” the Conservative MP said. “Housing prices in Lichfield are soaring and have hit the national news because the city is a special place in which to live. Over-development would destroy all that.
“Nevertheless, it is the duty of the council to provide for the needs of local residents and there is a major housing shortage in the district for local people. It is getting that balance right which will be the challenge. I shall be monitoring this closely.
“In the meantime, residents should be aware that the Shortbutts Lane development is a speculative application and it is still very early days.”
Mr Fabricant also urged residents to make their voices heard on such schemes when the opportunity arises.
He explained: “The Shortbutts Lane site is one of a number which have been identified by Lichfield District Council as a possible area for additional housing. Ultimately, this will be a local decision made by councillors, but any proposals must abide with the Local Plan.
“This is being drawn up at the moment by Lichfield District Council and will be published in draft form for local consultation around July. The public will then have six weeks to respond.
“This is a far cry from what prevailed before the last election when Birmingham set housing targets around the whole of the West Midlands. Decisions will now be made locally and local councillors will be answerable to the electorate.”
Local councillors declined to comment on the planned development until more details on the proposal became available.