An investigation will be launched after an agreement was made to sell Lichfield District Council-owned land for development without the knowledge of the local authority’s cabinet.

Lichfield District Council House

Chief executive Diane Tilley confirmed to an overview and scrutiny meeting that steps were being taken following the controversy surrounding the land at Leyfields and Netherstowe.

Lichfield District Council’s leader Cllr Doug Pullen revealed he had been left in an “impossible position” after it emerged a deal had been agreed to sell the land without his knowledge.

Although development on these sites could still be scuppered after a planning committee report said housing plans should be rejected, the chief executive – who has confirmed she will stand down later this year – told the meeting that a review would be taking place.

“An external investigation has been commissioned to look into the processes and the issues surrounding that to make sure any lessons learned are captured and built into future constitutional rewrites.”

Diane Tilley

The admission came as part of a discussion around the future committee structure at the council.

Cllr Joanne Grange had asked that the issue of delegated decision-making powers also be considered.

“I’m thinking here against the backdrop of the Leyfields and Netherstowe situation.

“For whatever reason that outcome was not what anyone was hoping it might be in terms of contracts being signed.

“It feels like that’s the result of a process going wrong or something going wrong in how those delegated authorities are set up.

“As part of the review of committees we need to make sure that scheme of delegation is in line and that we are all happy with what is being delegated and what is not.”

Cllr Joanne Grange, Lichfield District Council

The outgoing chief executive has previously revealed that none of those involved in the agreement to sell the land are still working at the council.

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8 Comments

  1. Do we get to know who is carrying out the external investigation commissioned by the council? If we have lost faith in the decision-making process at LDC then in the interests of full transparency I would have thought that was an essential piece of information.

  2. Have Bromford applied for planning permission? If so LDC can still act to redeem the gross incompetence.
    It is simply not believable that LDC Senior Management did not know the unfortunate mechanics of this saga. The external inquiry will never be made public as all those involved will need to resign joining those no longer employed by LDC. Thankful CEO is going – hopefully the rest of the turkeys could go by Christmas too

  3. Since when has LDC EVER been transparent when it really mattered?? They close ranks, pull some BS excuse about why am meetings and hearings have to be heard in private….and everyone forgets about it.

    I’m UTTERLY UTTERLY SICK OF THIS INEFFECTIVE council, and its cronies. It’s sickening.

  4. I’ll volunteer my services as an external investigator on a consultancy basis.
    Pay me what you pay the MasterPlan consultants and I’ll write whatever type of report you want.

  5. Agree completely with The Scribbler, and why are all the people that were involved in the agreement no longer working for the council? Who’s interests are we looking after here? Also could I make a suggestion that the council and Bromford look into building more social housing on the other side of Lichfield rather than squashing it into small pockets of land, which are used by locals for walking, playing etc on the northern side.

  6. LDC don’t listen to the people. I invited Cllr Pullen to explain the loss of disabled parking in Lichfield city centre for the second time in this publication, but the silence has been deafening.

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