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Burntwood group ‘cautiously optimistic’ homes won’t be built on Green Belt

A campaign group say they are “cautiously optimistic” that new homes won’t be built on green belt sites in Hammerwich and Burntwood.

But they warned residents that some development would need to take place across the region in order to meet local housing needs.

The comments came from the Burntwood Action Group (BAG) following comments from the Government-appointed inspector who examined Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan.

It is anticipated that 10,000 new homes will be needed across Lichfield District Council in the next 20 years.

However, the campaigners believe a “severe limit” will be put on development in Burntwood given the area’s “lack of amenities and poor infrastructure”.

“The inspector seemed reasonably pleased with the Local Plan,” a BAG spokesperson said. “But they have now asked Lichfield District council to reconsider the projected housing numbers and the sites where they should go.

“He will reconvene the examination of the Plan in September and if he is satisfied with the modifications he will pass the amended plan in December. There may be a further public consultation on these modifications before the final decision.

“We are cautiously optimistic about our fight to protect Burntwood’s Green Belt but the harsh reality is that sites for the additional homes will be needed somewhere within the district.

“Most of the Green Belt surrounding Burntwood was identified as developable in the council’s Strategic Housing Land Allocation and Government policy states that the Green Belt is ‘developable’ under exceptional circumstances.”

Among the sites examined by the inspector were those the BAG campaign is aiming to prevent from being developed, including Norton Lane, Highfield Road, Meg Lane, Pingle Lane and Overton Lane.

And local residents were warned that the battle to protect green space in Burntwood was going to be a tough one.

“It would appear that landowners, their agents and developers will fight until the end to ensure that Burntwood’s Green Belt is covered in houses,” a spokesperson added.

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