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Labour candidate accuses Tories of taking their eye off the ball over Green Belt housing plans

A Labour candidate for the forthcoming county council elections has accused the Conservatives in Burntwood of taking their eye off the ball over plans to build on Green Belt land.

Lichfield District Council has earmarked sites in the town to accommodate new homes in the future.

Steve Norman

Steve Norman

But Steve Norman, who was previously head of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee on Burntwood Town Council, said local representatives had failed to get their house in order in time to fight the area’s corner.

“There was an almost year-long delay with the Neighbourhood Plan when the Conservatives won control of the Town Council in May 2015 and in the meantime the district council were looking at housing sites in the Green Belt,” said Mr Norman, who will contest the Burntwood South seat.

“The Government’s rules state that neighbourhood plans and orders should not promote less development than set out in the Local Plan or undermine its strategic policies.

“Lichfield District Council’s Strategic Housing Land Assessment accepts that the Green Belt sites do not wholly comply with current development plan polices in the Local Plan, but the reality is we are up against Conservative Planning policy at both National and Local Plan levels and the delays have not helped Burntwood.”

Current Labour representatives on Burntwood Town Council have also criticised progress on the area’s neighbourhood plan, claiming progress has “completely stalled”.

Cllr Helen Fisher

Cllr Helen Fisher

But Cllr Helen Fisher, leader of the Conservative controlling group on the town council, denied her group had not fought against the plans for development in the Green Belt.

She said: “Anyone who attended the recent Cabinet meeting at Lichfield District Council will have seen how vociferously I have defended the Green Belt, particularly around Burntwood, and I have since been thanked publicly by Burntwood Action Group for my efforts.

“Unfortunately this politicised attack by Labour looks like nothing more than desperation prior to some important local elections.”


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  1. Burntwood First

    23rd March, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Again with this topic.

    You listen to both parties. You see them sling mud. You see the Bwood council (as a whole) say “Not on our Greenbelt”.

    But what is your counter-offer?

    It’s all good and well to say no, and to preserve the area’s greenery, but what happens in 10, 20, 50 years time when we need to expand somewhere. You can not just keep saying no, without offering some sort of plan.

    In my view, I’d like the council to publish a clear protection/progression plan that shows which area in the Greenbelt Blockage will be the most suitable for possible conversion (ie Social Housing, a new school or a hospital).

    Seeing as Hammerwich has already took the South of Burntwood into their town, why don’t we bridge the gap between our 2 tiny towns and form the Burntwood/Hammerwich Town.

    We can’t go North (The Gshaw-Common), We Can’t go South (Chasewater/ M6 Toll). East is to Lichfield (1 road in and out) and West is to Cannock (our old district).

    My point is; What is your plan for the future?

  2. The Teach

    23rd March, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Cllr. Fisher has made no mention of her so-called opposition to Green Belt development in her campaign material for the forthcoming SCC elections, she has not even signed the petition calling on LDC to re-think their plans! Her performance at the Cabinet meeting on 7th March was worthy of an Oscar, perhaps she has missed her vocation!

  3. Sj

    23rd March, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Politicians and councillors all put in an act to get our vote I think we all need to vote based on best performace they’d days rather than political or local content ,oh sorry it seems we all ready bow down to party rhetoric ,get a grip Lichfield vote them out

  4. Toast

    23rd March, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    F**k me, Burntwood used to be in Cannock District? Now there’s a move we can all get behind.