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Councillors in Burntwood are warning that the town’s facilities are struggling to cope with a rising population.
The comments came in a formal response from Burntwood Town Council to Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan consultation.
In the document sent by Cllr Rob Birch, the town council’s chair of planning and development, the local authority is warned that continuing development was putting key services under severe strain.
“The main concern for residents of Burntwood is the lack of investment in infrastructure, which has been prevalent over many years with investment being clearly seen in other local areas such as Lichfield and Cannock.
“In comparison to those nearby areas, Burntwood appears to have seen a degradation over the years with facilities locally failing to keep pace with the increase in population and respective increase in housing allocations.
“Health care facilities are significantly reduced, retail allocation is limited and school places are coming under increasing pressure.
“Public transport is now non-existent in some areas of the town and significantly reduced when compared to the level of service provision some years ago and elsewhere in the area
“Burntwood is also lacking in a clearly identifiable and well-developed town centre which could be seen as the location of community focus for events and facilities.”Cllr Rob Birch, Burntwood Town Council
“The threat of urban sprawl”
The Local Plan will outline Lichfield District Council’s strategy for the development of the area going forward.
But it has already drawn criticism from campaigners in Burntwood over plans to move some areas out of the Green Belt, a step which some residents say would lead to further housing development.
Burntwood Town Council’s response also warns of the threat of “urban sprawl”.
“Future areas earmarked as suitable for housing development are also of primary concern.
“Burntwood is a discreet but significant town, separated from the surrounding conurbations by Green Belt specifically to guard against the threat of urban sprawl.
“The Green Belt also provides a number of secondary functions in addition to and incidental to maintaining the boundaries of the town. It helps to provide open space that enhances the amenity and leisure opportunities for the residents and visitors to Burntwood.
“It also acts as a significant haven for wildlife and the development of the Green Belt does not occur without significant environmental and ecological detriment, as well as the social and leisure impact.
“For this reason, the response from Burntwood Town Council will reflect the overwhelming wish of Burntwood residents that the Green Belt boundaries surrounding the town should remain as is, with there being no exceptional case clearly identified for change with the evidence currently being put forward.”Cllr Rob Birch, Burntwood Town Council