A leading conservation group has criticised a housebuilding scheme which could see homes built on green belt land in Lichfield.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has warned of the damage which could be caused across the West Midlands by the Government’s Regional Spatial Strategy, which would see local authorities forced to build 445,000 new homes in the region.
The CPRE’s submission to the public inquiry into the Regional Spatial Strategy claims that 5,000 acres of green belt land in the region – including Lichfield and areas of South Staffordshire – could be at risk, and follows Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant’s criticism of plans to convert farmland into new housing in Streethay.
The Birmingham Post reports that the CPRE’s submission says:
“We strongly oppose the changes to the green belt, which we believe are unjustified and contrary to government policy.”
Mr Fabricant told The Lichfield blog last week that he believes voters could have the power to fight off the Regional Spatial Strategy, and said that a Conservative Government would put power back into the hands of local authorities.
“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.”