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Councillors insist Lichfield won’t be dumping ground for new homes

Councillors have issued a ‘hands off’ warning to other areas thinking about using Lichfield and Burntwood to meet their own house building targets.

Cllr Ian Pritchard

Cllr Ian Pritchard

The ruling Conservative group on Lichfield District Council made the comments after discussing the area’s Local Plan.

The document outlines the local authority’s allocation of land for new housing across the region in the next 20 years.

But despite recognising that the scale of growth planned for Lichfield and Burntwood will shock some residents, the councillors say they are ready to fight off vultures from other areas.

Cllr Ian Pritchard said: “Lichfield District has already accepted growth from Cannock and Tamworth and the planning inspector has acknowledged how well we have co-operated with them on this matter.

“But as other neighbours like Birmingham and the Local Enterprise Partnership start to eye our open land for further development, they should be clear that they will have a fight on their hands.”

And as rumours grow of other authorities plotting to push developments on land in the area, Cllr Pritchard has urged them to look closer to home.

“Birmingham has many previously developed sites – they should use those first before they come knocking on our door,” Cllr Pritchard said.

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  1. Sutton Coldfield Rural Campaign

    12th November, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Birmingham City Council’s strategy to export its 33,000 housing shortfall into neighbouring boundaries does not follow that sustainable development is achieved regionally by requiring every Local Authority to significantly boost housing supply while retaining employment within its own boundaries.

    Planning should encourage and not act as a barrier to sustainable growth. The approach taken by Birmingham City Council seems to act as a constraint upon economic growth locally. This is contrary to the Government’s expectations set out in the National Planning Policy, [Para 19] which states that the planning system should do everything it can to support sustainable economic growth. As a consequence, significant weight should be placed on the need to support economic growth locally providing a balance of land uses within their area so that people can be encouraged to minimise journey lengths for employment, shopping, leisure, education and other activities.

    The requirement for Birmingham City Council to significantly boost housing supply is a national policy objective NPPF [47].

    Sutton Coldfield Rural Campaign suggest Birmingham City Council consider more commercial to residential land conversions within its own boundaries so that it can offer a more attractive, balanced mix of residential and employment land to neighbours which will boost their local economy.

  2. Cynic

    13th November, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Or to put it more bluntly – you have them you keep them!

  3. BSARA

    13th November, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    This appears to be a statement by the Conservative group controlling Lichfield District Council (LDC). It would be helpful if the Council itself could clarify its position.

    As far as the Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association (BSARA) is aware, LDC is already engaged in a joint housing study which will propose options to distribute Birmingham’s 30,000 spillover homes among its neighbours. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) are leading this study which is due to report in the spring of 2014. So LDC and Birmingham City Council are already contributing money and officer time to this project.

    Furthermore, in January 2014, Birmingham City Council is expected to commence a six week public consultation exercise regarding its Local Plan. This will set out Birmingham’s view regarding the maximum number of homes that can be accommodated within its boundaries.

    So there appears to be ample opportunity for LDC to contribute suggestions, not only in identifying additional sites for housing within Birmingham’s boundaries but also the most suitable locations for the 30,000 spillover homes in neighbouring local authorities.

    The examination of our District’s Local plan is incomplete and Inspector Robert Yuille has only issued his ‘Initial Findings’. BSARA would urge our senior Councillors to choose their words carefully at this sensitive time. What is to be gained by prejudging the outcome of the GBSLEP joint housing study? The GBSLEP members (Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Solihull, Tamworth & Wyre Forest) should ensure that the discussion is broadened to sharing employment opportunities and development grants and to create jobs and build transport infrastructure.

  4. Cynic

    13th November, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    IF they (30,000) are working what can they gain by adding the cost of travel time – higher cost of buying/rent to their overheads?
    IF unemployed – they have more prospects of employment in a large city.
    ARE they UNEMPLOYABLE – we don’t want the extra cost thank you.
    Let Birmingham build on their own land – parks and brown field sites plus they can use the empty properties which are too numerous to ignore.
    They can also build up wards – or they can think like me – we already have too many people and I do not want them to take even more of our valuable farm land.

  5. Rob

    13th November, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Brownhills had the misfortune to receive metropolitan slum-clearance in the late 1960s, necessitating the high-rise ghetto springing up opposite The Warreners.
    What a blessing that was!

  6. Cynic

    13th November, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    There is nothing wrong with multi level flats/apartments .
    Look at some of the most expensive property in the world .BUT if you put pigs in a mansion within a week you have a pig sty.
    In Lichfield we had nice flats ruined until they sold them to nice people and then they were fit to live in!