Developers insist major new housing and retail scheme will create “a genuine community”

Developers behind a major new development in Lichfield say it will create “a genuine community”.

IM Properties have been given the go-ahead for 750 new homes, a primary school, care village, shops, a community centre, playing fields and public open space on land at Curborough.

A map of the proposed development

A map of the proposed development

The scheme was approved by Secretary of State Sajid Javid over-ruled local planners who had rejected the development off Watery Lane in 2014.

IM Land’s strategic land director, Jonathan Dyke, said he was extremely satisfied with the decision.

“This is nearly three years of extremely hard work and significant resources to get to the point where we can deliver a scheme which will have a positive impact on the area,” he said.

“We believe the proposals will create a genuine community, with the playing fields, the public open space, and the care village to enable local people to thrive and support economic growth in the region.

“There are still a lot of discussion ahead with Lichfield regarding the detailed design of the scheme, but we are going in with an open mind about what we can do for them, and the people in this area, to enhance their infrastructure.”

Residents had objected to the proposals back in 2014, with one saying the area was unsuitable for a major development.

They said: “It would damage the countryside and wildlife, have a negative impact on the businesses in the area that thrive on it’s rural location and would increase the traffic on the already overused and unsafe Watery Lane.”

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9 Comments

  1. Chris Evans

    15th February, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Watery Lane is not suitable for this development. It is used as a “Rat Run” now so add another 750 houses at two cars per household due to the “Rural” location and you have 1500 more cars using a small lane.
    Sajid Javid ought to drive to these locations and spend a day there observing before rubber stamping developments. The developers have no concern for the community only their profits. It would appear that some are not happy with those of us who choose to live in a rural area and want to concrete over our countryside. There are plenty of true brownfield sites where our shrinking industry used to be.

  2. Jake

    15th February, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Ok no just hold the house here. No one has thought out the location that this has proposed. I can’t say I am an expert in the field of housing development however I do understand that you have to do make a new development correlate to the existing town or city. This proposal does not do this. I am all for seeing new housing developments spring up in Litchfield due to the amount of housing that the Litchfield needs. How ever I do not agree that we should just start building at any point to the location for the sake of the council getting the money for the land and the approval. Litchfield already has many housing schemes either to or could be in development. This development will only cause more congestion to the city and the city centre. If the council want more housing schemes like this to be put forward they need to fix many other problems such as roads, bus services, train services and many other things before developing large housing schemes. And time isn’t an issue it is currently in the 21st-century and we need to start building for the long term instead of the short term. Also is it a HS2 going to be like right through it ?

  3. Matt

    15th February, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Good decision by the council, bad decision by the government.

    Would be interested in our MPs comments on this one.

  4. Steven Norman

    15th February, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Good luck with that one Matt.

    On the 19th May 2014 Lichfield District’s Planning Officer said to the Planning Committee: Conclusion The site lies outside the current settlement boundary and does not form part of the Council’s spatial strategy. As such, it is contrary to Local Plan Policy E6.

    On the 21st of March 2016 The [independent] Planning Inspector said to the Secretary of State: … the environmental harm in this case is significant. I have found that the need for the development is no more than marginal. In consequence, there are no public benefits from the proposed development which could outweigh that environmental harm. I recommend that the appeal be dismissed.

    On the 13th of February 2017 The Conservative Secretary of State said to the Developers: the social and economic benefits of providing affordable and market housing are of such importance that they outweigh the environmental harm, and that the proposal would thus represent sustainable development. Overall, therefore, [I conclude] that the material considerations indicate that the appeal should be allowed.

    On the 15th of February the MP for Lichfield said: Nothing.

    I predict that the Council will not challenge the Secretary of State in the High Court and that whilst this site was not within the Green Belt the Government’s recent White Paper makes the District – including Burntwood – even more vulnerable to developers.

  5. Steve

    15th February, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    How will the local Councillors and our MP be punished for the systematic destruction of Lichfield, Burntwood and surrounding areas?

    Voted back in for 5 more years. That’s how.

    There is no improvements in local infrastructure. Just developers making promises, throwing up houses, taking the money and running as far away as they can.

    Any local problems, the council will say speak to the developers. Developers will say, not us, it’s the council you need to speak to.

    Should we get angry, annoyed, frustrated? Yes.

    Will it do any good? No.

    Developers win every time. They use the jobs, the need for housing, community arguments…… all they really want is their profit.

  6. Roy Appleby

    15th February, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    If your asking the Lichfield District Council and the Staffordshire County Council for any Help “Forget it” they are useless.I know where my vote is going in the next local,county,national elections.
    http://www.l-a-g.co.uk

  7. Steven Norman

    15th February, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    None of your Labour representatives voted for this government (and its planning policies) or its MP (and his lack of support for local people).

    This Government, supported by its MP, has reduced the Revenue Support Grant to nothing over a number of years so that councils’ have to rely on business rates or a payment for every house built (the New Homes Bonus)- although some of that has been taken off districts like Lichfield and given to the Counties because the government itself does not want to pay for social care out of (fairer) taxation.

    And you don’t have to wait four years to “punish” your Conservative representatives. County Council elections are on May 4th so look out for them then!

  8. Roy Appleby

    15th February, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    I’ll vote for the party that represents me.That’s probably none of them.

  9. Nightwatchman

    17th February, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    It is interesting to note that this development – which runs completely counter to the approved local plan – is promoted by IM Properties whose parent company is owned and run by the Edmiston family, major past contributors to Conservative Party funds.

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