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Lichfield District Council forced to reverse new boundary changes after delay in publishing details

Lichfield District Council is being forced to revoke changes to its conservation area boundaries after an administrative mix-up.

Lichfield District Council House

Lichfield District Council House

The process of introducing the revisions will have to be restarted after the local authority failed to advertise the proposed changes in the correct timeframe.

Over the past five years, the council has been carrying out a process of reviewing the conservation boundaries for nine areas:

  • Colton
  • Elford
  • Fradley Junction
  • Hamstall Ridware
  • Harlaston
  • Haunton
  • Hints
  • Hopwas
  • Mavesyn Ridware

By law, such changes should be advertised locally and in the London Gazette, as well as being communicated to Historic England and the Secretary of State – a process Lichfield District Council did not carry out until October 2017.

But now a planning agent has challenged the local authority with a potential Judicial Review due to the time that had lapsed between the adoption of the new boundaries by the council and the publication of the notices.

After taking legal advice, the council has now decided to “reverse the changes for the time being”.

Cllr Ian Pritchard, Cabinet member for economic growth, environment and development services, said: “We review conservation boundaries across the district on an ongoing basis to make sure they are appropriate and recommend changes if boundaries need to be altered.

“As part of this process we are required to advertise proposed changes in the press. Unfortunately we did not advertise nine of our recent boundary reviews in line with our protocols, so Cabinet is being asked to revoke the changes so we can make sure the proper procedure is followed.

“This will not affect the current adopted conservation area boundaries.”

The council says the changes were not implemented until the first of the adverts were published and insisted they had only been available for a “relatively short period of time” and insists no planning applications had been affected by the situation.

Cllr Pritchard added: “We are really sorry this has happened, and we have updated our procedure to make sure it does not happen again.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Concerned Citizen

    12th January, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Now a significant mistake like this must be down to someone not doing their job properly. What steps have been taken to discipline the perpetrator of the error? Or will this be another example of LDC brushing the matter under the carpet?

    Do we know yet what the council discussed when they had a ‘closed doors’ element to their meeting last month? Is a Friarsgate delayed again?