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Hundreds sign petition calling for action to prevent homes being built on Green Belt in Burntwood

More than 600 people have signed an online petition calling for greater protection to keep Green Belt land in Burntwood out of the hands of developers.

Concerns have previously been raised by councillors about the impact new homes will have on local services in the town.

But now decision-makers are being urged to ensure brownfield sites are used for new housing instead of the Green Belt.

“Residents of Burntwood and Hammerwich are concerned about the potential loss of the Green Belt land that surrounds the area and is under threat of destruction through development,” the petition says.

“While recognising that there is a need for extra affordable housing and associated infrastructure in the town, we call on the Conservative led town and district councils to work to protect the Green Belt and ensure that housing development primarily takes place on brownfield sites, of which there are many throughout the wider Lichfield district.”

Campaigners have previously battled to protect areas of Burntwood and Hammerwich from development.

The petition will eventually be handed over to Lichfield District Council and Burntwood Town Council.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Cabinet member for economic growth, development and environment at Lichfield District Council, said the land earmarked for development would be outlined next month – and added that he understood residents would be “passionate” about the issue.

Cllr Ian Pritchard

Cllr Ian Pritchard

“We are working on our Local Plan Allocations, which will cover numerous issues, from housing and employment land allocations through to reviewing planning policies used to determine planning applications,” Cllr Pritchard said. “As part of this, we are carrying out more detailed assessments about where the housing numbers we identified in our Local Plan Strategy could be developed, including Burntwood.

“It is possible that on some of these sites we may be able to deliver more homes that previously thought and on others we may not be able to fit in as many homes. This could be for a number of reasons, for example because landowners no longer want to release their land.

“Where a settlement is unable to meet its requirement within the urban area there may be a need to propose allocations  beyond the settlement boundary.

“In March, subject to Cabinet approval, we will publish our site allocation recommendations and hold a public consultation, which we will publicise widely.

“While we know people are passionate about where housing could go in the future, we’re encouraging local people to wait until the consultation is live before sending in any feedback. This is because any comments made now cannot take account of the supporting evidence we will publish along with a formal draft plan, because these have not been finished.

“When making comments it is important to consider the whole picture, which is impossible to do at this point.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.