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Lichfield MP calls for rethink on Streethay housing development plan

The site of the proposed housing in Streethay

The site of the proposed housing in Streethay

EXCLUSIVE: Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has backed campaigners who are fighting against plans for an 850-home development in Streethay.

The Streethay Against Development group has been formed by local residents who believe such a large-scale development – representing a 400 per cent rise in homes in the area – would ‘extinguish’ the village.

And now Mr Fabricant has said any large-scale housing should be delayed until after the next election.

He told The Lichfield Blog:

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

“While this is not such a damaging development as the now defunct eco-town at Fradley with many thousand proposed homes, the size of Streethay would mean that 800 new homes would be just too much for Streethay to sustain.

“Like the development being considered for Hammerwich, I would ask the Council to think again. They are being forced by directives from Birmingham and Whitehall in the shape of the so-called Regional Spatial Strategy to provide an additional 8,000 new homes between 2006 and 2026.

“That would change the face of Lichfield for ever.  But those directives could be scrapped after the next election. In Government, Conservatives will revoke all Regional Spatial Strategies including the regional building targets of 8,000 new dwellings in Lichfield.

“If a Regional Spatial Strategy has already been implemented, a Conservative Government will allow councils to revise, in whole or in part, their existing local development frameworks to undo the changes that regional spatial strategies have forced upon them.”

Mr Fabricant admitted that Lichfield would need new housing in future, but believes that such large-scale developments were not the best way forward. He said:

“In the event that the Conservatives are elected in 2010, Lichfield will not necessarily have to go through with either the Streethay or Hammerwich developments or to the same scale, because the Council will no longer have a Regional Spatial Strategy and regional building targets to satisfy.

“That is not to say that new homes will not be built.  They are needed.  But they won’t have to be in the concentrations that are currently being explored.  Local councillors will have full say over the number and location of new housing developments.

“My advice to Lichfield District Council is to stall on any future development.  Make no irrevocable decisions until after the result of the General Election is known.  All could change!”

Residents at the Streethay Against Development meeting

Residents at the Streethay Against Development meeting

A recent meeting of the Streethay Against Development campaign group heard how the village has been earmarked to accomodate for around 34 per cent of the city’s new housing target.

Residents were also told how Lichfield District Council are planning to consider the Streethay area as urban rather than rural.

Lichfield District Council officials told Mr Fabricant:

“LDC have to find the levels of housing and employment growth set out in the Regional Spatial Strategy.  Accordingly, the Council have a number of issues to consider including identifying our most sustainable locations, opportunities and constraints to growth, and the need to provide not just housing but related employment and a range of social and community facilities.

“In the case of Lichfield City, Streethay is recognised as one of the most sustainable locations to accommodate growth, being the main centre in Lichfield District and one that has a range of existing infrastructure.

“At the same time it is acknowledged that outward expansion of the city has to be carefully appraised and then if confirmed, managed.  LDC are looking at two main directions of growth – south of the city and to the north east (Streethay).  The scales and directions of growth reflect the above considerations complemented by detailed assessments of the ability of the locations to assimilate development into their surroundings.”

Mr Fabricant has joined Councillor Michael Wilcox (Cons, Alrewas & Fradley), who told The Lichfield Blog how he also believed Lichfield District Council should reconsider their housebuilding strategy.

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6 Comments

  1. Kris Asson

    23rd April, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Whats wrong with streethay having more houses? You can’t call it a village its a housing estate on the edge of lichfield!! I dont recall the place ever having a shop or anything like that so how can it be a village? Lichfield needs more houses and what ever place they choose the locals will complain the house builders will never win!

  2. Alice

    24th April, 2009 at 9:41 am

    If only it was so simple! The content of the message is so simplistic and lacking in understanding of the critical sense of community that is being brushed aside so often in the race to submit to Government building targets, which are coming under scrutiny more and more. Think a little more about our heritage and the intrinsic value of our countryside. We can achieve an effective and proper balance, which is what Streethay residents are calling for. Simplistic unsubstantiated throw away comment does not help.

  3. Nick Brickett

    24th April, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Kris Asson: “…Lichfield needs more houses…”

    Lichfield will only be ready for new housing developments when the current road infrastructure is improved. Getting through Lichfield between 8am and 10am and between 4pm and 7pm is an absolute nightmare at the moment.
    Our single-lane, poorly traffic-signalled roads are at capacity as it is, we don’t need another 400% of motorists coming from Streethay down the packed Trent Valley Rd

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  5. Alan Cope

    25th April, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Kris Asson: “…Lichfield needs more houses…

    Streethay is not a housing estate on the edge of Lichfield!. Records as far back as 1327 show that Streethay developed from two hamlets Streethay and Morughale (the later no longer existing) It is only right to try and keep our “village” heritage whilst also remaining a separate area on the outskirts of Lichfield and this will only be maintained by natural development not massive imposed housing.

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