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.