Any developments which could impact on the future use of a former railway line in Lichfield will not be permitted under proposals due to be debated by councillors.
The draft Local Plan 2040 document will be discussed by Lichfield District Council’s cabinet next week.
The document outlines the vision for the future of the area over the next 20 years, providing guidance on the way land is utilised going forward.
Among the items included are measures to protect the former Lichfield to Walsall railway line – despite the last passenger services running on the route more than half a century ago.
Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan 2040, if adopted, would safeguard any future possibility of reopening the route.
“As part of the drive towards sustainable transport, the district council has considered the need to protect certain infrastructure where it has the potential to help deliver tangible benefits in future, be they social, environmental or economic.
“In this respect, the plan will safeguard the Walsall to Lichfield rail line where it falls within the district boundary.
“Development proposals which would prejudice the future use of the route as a continuous sustainable transport corridor will not be permitted.
“Any future development proposals along this corridor should positively contribute to sustainable transport and not impair reinstatement, improvement or reconstruction and must retain existing associated features from its former rail use.”Lichfield District Council’s Draft Local Plan 2040
Known as the South Staffordshire Line, the route continued to be used for freight until 1983, with some usage of the tracks as part of the former Charringtons oil depot on the A5 at Burntwood before the site closed.
The line also included a station at Hammerwich which closed when passenger services were axed in 1965 as part of the Beeching Review.
Plans have since been drawn up to convert the route into a walking and cycling path between Lichfield and Burntwood, but none have yet come to fruition.
A local musician has also used the former line as the backdrop to a music video.
Andy Starkey said:
“I chose this location as I’m hoping to restart the conversation about it getting opened to the general public again and turned into a walking route.”Andy Starkey