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Call for new Lichfield councillors to revisit new housing figures

A group of Lichfield residents have urged councillors to review new housing proposals once the local elections are over.

With the new District Council set to be determined at the ballot box on May 5, the Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association (BSARA) believes housing should be top of the agenda when the newly-elected councillors take their places.

The group claims that previous estimates of housing requirements by the authority are “mistaken”.

A spokesperson for BSARA writing in the group’s Spring newsletter said:

“When upwards of 8,000 proposed dwellings are added, generating a 20,000 population increase, how will arterial streets like Beacon Street cope with the extra 30 percent plus vehicles all seeking those precious parking spaces? The answer is that they won’t. Queuing traffic can already be seen at peak times and this will get considerably worse, with the likelihood of Birmingham Road being frequently blocked.

“Lichfield District Council is mistaken in assessing a ‘need’ for 8,000 new houses over the next 20 years. This forecast is based on a five year period leading up to the credit crunch. During this period reckless lending fuelled an unprecedented property boom, bringing the UK banking industry to its knees and lumbering all of us with higher taxes and cuts in public services.

“Why would any sensible person use this period as a basis for forecasting Lichfield’s future growth? While it is hard to believe, this is exactly what the housing requirement forecast in Local Development Framework is based on.

“We hope that our local councillors will use the period after the local elections to review the LDF and align it more closely with the requirements of local people.”

New housing development figures have been a red-hot issue across Lichfield with campaign groups from across the region debating the figures proposed.

However, BSARA believes the new homes would not achieve their aims.

A spokesman explained:

“The tragedy is that the proposed homes will not help the young people of Lichfield to get a foot on the housing ladder. Nor will it help those who want to downsize their property at retirement age, to find suitable accommodation.

“Developers can make the most money by building big houses on Greenfield sites. This attracts commuters from Birmingham, clogs our streets with traffic and puts new houses beyond the reach of those working locally.”

For more information visit the BSRA website.

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14 Comments

  1. Royston Evans

    5th May, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Will the Councillors involved with the proposed development of 8,000 houses in Lichfield, please indicate details of the infrastructure which they will implement, by submitting these details in a Press Statement following the election today.

  2. Alice

    5th May, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    A timely reminder to Lichfield Councillors that they are out of step with reality and the needs of our communities. The Lichfield Alliance has persistently pressured LDC to think again and has presented a compelling case to prove that our Councillors are creating a vision for Lichfield that will fail to enhance and perpetuate its finest characteristics.

    Streethay is particularly vulnerable due to the worst of the internal unpleasant machinations of the Councillors.

    The whole of the LDF framework has been distorted by this and, in particular, the change in the economic circumstances.

    If you are not happy with the way things are shaping, this should be represented in the voting process.

    Can LDC pull back at this stage and present a sensible and suitable vision of the future? Let’s hope so!

  3. Fiona

    5th May, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    The evidence base cited by LDC is at least four years out of date, the RSS is no longer in force, LDC have a five year supply of housing and the present Government is looking to local people to have a greater say in their area. As both District Councillors for Streethay were uncontested in today’s elections, disgruntled Streethay residents have not been able to replace their District Councillors with ones who show an interest in their constituency and work to protect it. I therefore look to the whole council to review housing numbers with a view to protecting Lichfield from over development with inadequate supporting infrastructure.

  4. Alan White

    6th May, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I am a regular reader of the Lichfield Blog so that I can keep abreast of a wide variety of issues of concern to the residents of the District, and I have taken note of the contents of this article and subsequent comments.

    However, I am astonished by Fiona’s contribution.
    Fiona, you have just had the opportunity to put your name forward at the District elections and not done so. Why not?

  5. Andre Hefer

    6th May, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I note that Alan White is more interested in scoring a political point about the latest election than explaining what the District Council has achieved regarding infrastructure planning! Anyone who has visited Darwin Park recently will have witnessed the results.

  6. Alan Cope

    6th May, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Alice, Fiona and Andre, I totally agree with your comments and submissions. Perhaps Alan White will now take the time to write to all the Streethay residents outlining his views on the number of proposed houses to be built or as a reader publish these on the “Blog”

  7. Ross

    6th May, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for commenting Alan and it is good to hear you are a regular reader. It’s a shame, however, that you didn’t choose to engage with our questionnaire to candidates.

  8. Alan White

    6th May, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Political point scoring…..how?

  9. Rab

    6th May, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I fully agree with Alan White…….. Fiona you had your chance to stand for the District why didn’t you if you wanted to have your voice heard ?

    Part of the problem with todays society is that there are to many NIMBYS about. Houses are desperatley needed, be it in Lichfield, Streethay, Fradley or wherever.

  10. Streethay Resident

    6th May, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Rab, i think we would all agree that SOME houses are needed in the area, the problem is when housebuilders build houses they are there to make money and therefore you end up with the wrong type of houses (Not enough “Social Housing” and “Affordable Housing” out of the price range of first time buyers) Trust me on this, I have been seling to the major housebuilders for the past 20 years

  11. Rab

    6th May, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Streethay Resident.

    I didnt see them having much problem selling the houses on the Walsall Road Darwin Park Estate and there doesnt seem to be much ‘Affordable Housing’ on that Development?

  12. Fiona

    7th May, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Alan White – Although not relevant to this blog but as you asked, I didn’t stand for District Council elections because I had thought that, as usual, other political party candidates would be standing. Had it occurred to me to stand, I would have had to have stood as an independent candidate without the backing of a political party and with a young family, time consuming job and voluntary work commitments, standing would have been too much to take on at this time.

  13. Sidney Jones

    11th May, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t think anyone in Lichfield want another new housing estate with 1000’s more houses. If people want affordable housing don’t live in Lichfield. That’s why we have Burntwood and Inner city Birmingham.

  14. David Quinn

    12th May, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Sidney, you don’t want new housing in Lichfield “that’s why we have Burntwood”. I think you’ll find that smug attitude will find more than a little resistance from Burntwood!