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Campaigners fighting to prevent land in Burntwood from being taken out of the Green Belt could push the problem of development on to the doorsteps of other residents, a report has warned.

Members of the Burntwood Action Group have held a public meeting over proposals to change the status of a parcel of farmland.

Hundreds submitted a response to Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan consultation calling for a rethink to the plan.

But a submission from Burntwood Town Council has warned that the issue of future housing developments cannot simply be left for other residents to deal with.

In his report, Cllr Rob Birch, chair of planning and development at the council, said:

Cllr Rob Birch

“Burntwood Town Council recognises the strength of feeling with regards to the apparent moves by developers and landowners to bring the land around Coulter Lane forward as areas of potential future housing development.

“There is rightly, particular opposition to this from the Burntwood Action Group (BAG) and the local residents in that area of Burntwood and we share those concerns.

“However, it is clear to the town council that many of the arguments put forward by BAG against developments in the eastern side of Burntwood are not necessarily balanced with the needs of residents in other parts of the town.

“There is an apparent push from BAG to see all development located elsewhere in Burntwood where it does not impact as significantly on those living in the area BAG members are predominantly based in the St Matthews and Church Farm Estate areas.

“This approach is biased against residents in other areas of Burntwood and this is not an ethos which is acceptable to Burntwood Town Council who need to emphasise that all areas of the town will need to see its fair share of development.”

Cllr Rob Birch, Burntwood Town Council

Tensions between the council and the local campaign group have been simmering in recent months.

Residents at the public meeting in Burntwood

The public meeting organised by the campaigners led to calls for a formal apology from Burntwood Action Group over accusations made against local councillors.

However, the group has claimed that the issue of the potential change of status for the farmland only came about because of their members’ “determination to expose and publicise this attempt by Lichfield District Council to surreptitiously make this land available for future development”.

“Do not sacrifice one area to appease objectors in another”

Cllr Birch’s report added that future provision should not be forced on one area in order to appease those complaining in another.

“The town council exists to serve the people of the whole town and will work to ensure the needs of all are met as far as is possible through the development and review of a town development strategy as expressed in the Neighbourhood Plan.

“This is of particular importance as it is imperative that Lichfield District Council take a balanced view of the needs of the whole town and do not sacrifice one area to appease objectors in another.

“Burntwood Town Council maintain the position that all of the Green Belt areas around the town are currently not suitable or appropriate for future development and that the locations of future provision – and in particular affordable housing – should be distributed across the town in suitable sites and not just on the western side of Burntwood.

“In order to create and sustain a good demographic mix within the community it is essential that opportunities are identified and then acted upon to provide affordable housing across the whole of Burntwood.

“This must also recognise the need of an ageing population to downsize their properties as well the requirement for younger people and families to have starter homes and affordable rental properties.”

Cllr Rob Birch, Burntwood Town Council

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

10 replies on “Council report warns campaigners risk pushing problem of new housing developments on to other Burntwood residents”

  1. And this from burntwood council who were in support when I attended the recent public meeting. Clearly showing their colours and failure to do anything since being voted in! They are just like the national party a laughing stock with no idea

  2. I think “Best Burntwood” (see what he/she did there?) hasn’t read the whole submission. The Town Council is fully committed to saving Green Belt land around the whole of the town but what we don’t want is for development to be pushed into other areas, already over-developed and under-resourced, which was mooted at the BAG meeting. May I also respectfully remind BAG members and supporters that insulting councillors is not conducive to good partnership working?

  3. I agree with Burntwood Bloke
    Yes Rubbish
    The area to be built on is the only palace left in burntwood, the roads around the proposed site are country lanes not able to withstand rush hour traffic.
    The amount of traffic using Woodhouse la now to get to St Matthews rd is increasing this road is almost single track road

  4. @Cllr Sue Woodward… If you are as good as your word and the council is ‘fully committed’ to saving? (Does it need saving. It is a national commitment?) the green belt then there is no issue. The reasons for its implementation have not changed. Urban sprawl has been the death sentence for many small communities and this is what the ‘Green Belt’ counters.
    The amount of housing developments are concerning to many citizens. Clearly the government has eased restrictions to accommodate this and the developers are taking full advantage. Such rapid development is not conducive to the supply of services and facilities. Surely your role as a councillor is to address this. The problems arising from what is happening seem to be self evident. What exactly is the plan for schools, transport, roads, doctors, shopping and leisure to balance the population growth of this area? I, in fact, live in Lichfield but am aware that Burntwood citizens think we are indifferent to their local circumstances. Be assured similar situations operate in our area too. In fact it seems to be an issue nationwide as brief reference to the internet confirms.
    Councillors should, of course, be respected for their commitment to society. They should also be transparent and forthcoming with reasons for the decisions they take.

  5. How these councillors believe they can justify reasons for using green belt is a mystery. How do they sleep at night? Is nothing sacred? Its below the belt to suggest we are pushing our problems onto other Burntwood residents. Oh dear. We must let them bulldoze our green belt to protect others. Laughable. Despicable.

  6. There should be a renewed drive for investment and more infrastructure in Burntwood rather then unnecessarily building on our beautiful Green Belt that we should protect. There are plenty of houses already allocated till 2040.

  7. Hopefully it will not come to Hammerwich, because this is a ghost village, no post office for the elderly, no club or amenities for the young. No local shop where you can buy bare essentials not even a bus, even the local bus scheme was closed down by Lichfield Council, we get flooded both ends of the village, thank goodness for local farmers who clear it if we waited for LDC. We could build our own boat. Very let down by this council indeed. Maybe a shake up would sort them out, I sometimes wonder why our council tax is so high, when we have no facilities to get out of the village if you are elderly, or young. We are very disadvantaged in Hammerwich.

  8. Paperweight yes!!!!! For the future generations especially. If need be tree houses can be constructed. Tongue in cheek here but what an opportunity for sight seeing, holidaying and conservation. Why more and more houses? Planning seems so blinkered. What! are they horses? hahaha. Take the blinkers off planners you will be amazed at what you might be able to see. The Future is before us. Deal with it now. Don’t wait. It might be too late.

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