The idea of a “new settlement” to help meet housing needs across Lichfield and Burntwood should not be discounted, Lichfield Civic Society has said.

The draft Local Plan 2040 has outlined where Lichfield District Council’s cabinet sees new homes being built over the next two decades.

Strategic housing allocationsApproximate number of new homes
Land to the north-east of Lichfield3,300
Land West of Fazeley800
Land off Huddlesford Lane, Whittington75
Land off Hay End Lane, Fradley500

But the document did not include the Whitemoor Lakes proposal at Alrewas, land which has already been earmarked for a new, 1,500-home ‘garden village’.

An illustration of how the new community could look
An illustration of how the new Whitemoor Lakes development could look

Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, questioned why the scheme had not been included to avoid sites such as the green belt land at Mile Oak and Fazeley being included.

At a meeting of the cabinet, Cllr Iain Eadie – the member responsible for the Local Plan, said the sites included on the strategic housing allocations list were “more favourable and sustainable” than the Whitemoor Lakes scheme.

He added that the proposals were aligned to the aims of expanding existing residential areas rather than creating entirely new ones.

“It would be difficult to see Whitemoor Lakes as an urban extension of Alrewas as they are separated, and always will be, by the A38 and the railway line, which is why I would view it as a new settlement location in the future when we are in a position to consider new settlements.”

Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

But Lichfield Civic Society said the current plans risked damaging the character and appeal of the city.

“We have consistently argued that the option of a new settlement in this general area should be looked at through the Local Plan reviews.

“The council just wants to add more housing to the edge of the city which undermines its historic character.

“Where’s the vision?”

Lichfield Civic Society spokesperson

30 replies on “New settlement rather than expansion of existing residential areas should be considered to avoid destroying character of Lichfield, civic society says”

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  1. Please build new houses with proper gardens, not the tiny yards that they all have. Why squeeze them all in such tiny spaces? It’s degrading, disheartening and disrespectful expecting people to live like that.

  2. What character?! Seriously, what has Lichfield got to boast about? We have a few pretty streets and a cathedral in the centre…then what…..the rest of Lichfield is made up of urban housing developments with no soul – Darwin park, Streethay, and even Boley Park…all lacking any character – and believe me, I live on on one these estates and it always feels like we’re ‘looking in’ on the city centre, pretending to be part of this historic community. We were sold the dream of being part of this ‘character’, when all we are is another form of income for the council and yet they will not even adopt our roads. We have to accept, what character there was has been destroyed. This isn’t Oxford, it isn’t Bath, it’s a city that has had inept decisions made for it by a council for too long now. I for one cannot wait to move away, because Lichfield is simply turning into a mass housing estate.

  3. Well it’s not for want of trying Ed. The Civic Society, Town Council (NOT District Council) and local groups like BADRA, have all tried to restrain a capitalistic District council Hell bent on destroying the historical basis on which Lichfield is founded. The market is tiny and there are few features that make a day out. As for shops… Well what shops? Amongst the attractions they site the Arboretum well outside the city and the sports centre at Burntwood. That illustrates the lack of anything tangible. We, of course, always have the hope that a magnificent centrepiece will materialise on the Friarsgate site. My bet is it will be part of the future housing blanket proposed for the coming decade. I suppose they could organise guided trips around the retirement villages and care homes; that would take up a day or more. Democracy works best when people take an interest. If they don’t the predators take over. Lichfield is being asset stripped.

  4. I moved from the centre of Birmingham nearly 18 years ago and every day I counted myself lucky to escape the city and move to the country but in the past couple of years I have noticed bit by bit it’s all disappearing. More recently my drive from tamworth to beautiful Litchfield either through weeford or through hopwas is now also going because they have started to clear the way for the folly that is HS2, it was so disheartening to see the large beautiful trees and ancient hedgerows being chopped down, as I said bit by bit the lovely countryside around tamworth and Litchfield is disappearing due to the so called relentless march of progress and we will all be the poorer for it when our green spaces have gone forever

  5. Ed, I agree with some of what you say.. but plenty of towns our size have neither pretty streets nor a superb cathedral. We enjoy low levels of crime and decent transport connections to Birmingham and London.

    Nowhere is exempt from progress, and I’d imagine the houses you and l live in were built on previously-unoccupied land.

  6. Gina O’Hara, I share your view and pain on this but unfortunately that will never happen and quite honestly will be the opposite. Newer houses will have increasingly smaller and smaller garden space, as it means developers can build more houses. Bear in mind as a country we’re lucky compared to the liked of mainland China ot Japan where apartments notch bigger than a few beds are the norm. I think come another 50 years most uk towns and cities will have very little space left. Fortunately I’ll be dead by then, but I feel sorry for my children.

  7. Ed. When you leave Lichfield do not come to Burton as it is as bad. And today I read that band D houses could all have their council tax increased to 2k minimum (10 councils done it already) even after extra revenue is paid by these new build, thousands of houses.

  8. Destruction of the countryside and all the nature benefits that surround Lichfield is not acceptable Presumably all these council pipedreams are prior to any environmental impact assessment have been made Developments in the town centre create character not destroy it Amenities need to be created in the town to serve all of the existing housing estates not create more houses without a heart or the facilities to create community

  9. I just hope that, wherever new houses are built, they don’t look like the rest of the monstrosities that have been erected next to Waitrose. Lichfield District Council and the planning dept. should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such outdated, ugly, unimaginative boxes to go ahead. This is the 21st century, time to look to the future, with innovative ways of building and consideration of climate change, clever design and infrastructure. The only people benefiting from such poorly considered housing are the construction companies. It’s time to stop and think. Wise up Lichfield councillors, you’re destroying the very thing you’re trying to promote.

  10. The character of Lichfield went a long time ago, before we know it Lichfield will be joined to , Fradely, Elmhurst, and Shenstone, and later to Tamworth!, Think I’m wrong? We’ll watch this space !!!!

  11. Well what about the risks of flooding? If we have little or no green areas left all covered with concrete – where does all the rainfall go? The drains are never enough as they always get clogged up with litter, fag-ends, leaves etc.. but the developers don’t think of that do they? They get the money and don’t have to stay around to see the end results! Also why do so many “apartments” look the same? reminds me of that song – ‘They’re all made of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same” !!

  12. There is nothing so soul destroying as masses of housing estates with no green spaces for residents to rest, relax, enjoy themselves and find time to mingle. Even enjoy some community enterprise such as growing vegetables and flowers and having a barbecue or the occasional get together as a bonding exercise. Or a community festival to celebrate life and living. Masses of brick built structures and the tarmaced roads that go with them will just add to the isolation that people feel when living in concrete jungles. It’s just not the same. Projects without a heart, inspiration or even as the Civic Society says, a vision. Which would you rather have?

  13. Lichfield will grind to a halt.
    No infrastructure.
    Building houses by main trainlines is unforgivable.sole destroying & dangerous to mental & physical health

  14. I notice people agreeing with me in general. But let me just clarify, that I have lived in Lichfield since I was a child, and despite moving away for a short period, wanted to come back to my old beautiful home. But over the last decade, I have seen such a change with these new estates popping up. I am just as guilty as I was forced to move onto one, the rising prices of Lichfield forcing me into an area I would never normally dream of. And whilst I see the need for housing to keep the young of Lichfield here, all we are actually doing is building more and more houses, at extravagant prices and questionable quality, to attract people from outside of Lichfield – or even the county – to move in….all of my neighbours are from outside the area and most work away in London. I do believe in progress, but I really don’t see why towns and cities have to expand beyond their means. Lichfield cannot cope with its current infrastructure, why can’t we just accept that we have hit our natural size and there is simply no more room? Why expand and merge into other areas? Why destroy beautiful countryside? How about focussing on who is living here now and building on the woeful infrastructure to support these people?

  15. I’m seriously thinking of setting up a Facebook group or website to showcase the planning horrors of Lichfield. It would display photos of the buildings that have been erected and shame LDC and the planning department. People could send in their own photos and we could all build a gallery together. It may go viral and bring Lichfield back on the map… “Come visit the cathedral and gastly planning disasters of this historical come ugly city”.

  16. You say there is low crime in Lichfield,that will change,no police station and nothing for young people to do, l have always loved lichfield,but now l would love to move

  17. P, Go for it, might open a few eyes to what we have going on around us, as we are not always aware of the finished item once it has gone away from the planning arena

  18. The quoted development in Whittington is undeliverable due to the only 2 access points being either a single track lane leading to a blind junction or by knocking down existing housing. This latter option also leads onto the same already overloaded junction. Madness

  19. There is a common and very real concern amongst almost ALL people I speak to in Lichfield, and it’s the direction that LDC – Ian Eadie in particular, is taking us. His pursuit of a “concrete jungle” is worrying. This isn’t progress, it’s retrograde – and despite what Eadie claims, his hands aren’t tied. A good example of this is his recent decision to not make developers build carbon neutral estates. Eadie had the power to mandate this, but personally chose not to as “it may jeopardise houses being built”. He appears to care more about the plight of housing developers, than the city itself.

    It’s a real worry because he seems unshakable in his ideas, despite the overwhelming concerns of residents and the Civic Society. You get the impression this is more of a personal crusade for him, than it is a viable plan for Lichfield.

    Then we have the current infrastructure issue. I feel that Lichfield is already at full capacity, in terms of schools, doctors, dentists, roads/traffic in the city centre, recycling, Leisure facilities ((which were very nearly shut (Friary Leisure Centre), thanks again to LDC)), etc. None of these things feature in Eadie’s new world order. Just houses. More and more houses. Infrastructure is an afterthought. An inconvenience.

    We need a wholesale change of approach. I really like Doug Pullen but, I 100% disagree with Eadie’s vision of Lichfield.

  20. @P Destrian

    That old chestnut. “Lots of towns our size don’t have our pretty streets”

    Lots of towns our size do, too.

    “ Nowhere is exempt from progress, and I’d imagine the houses you and l live in were built on previously-unoccupied land. ”

    I hear this comment from certain Councillors. It’s a ridiculous statement to make. Firstly – ALL HOUSES ARE BUILT ON PREVIOUSLY UNOCCUPIED LAND…!! Secondly, just because someone may have bought a new build 15 or 20 years ago, doesn’t mean they’re now not entitled to have an opinion on proposed housing plans?? Using that logic, where does that logic take you? It takes you to a point where nobody is able to comment…..

    Ahh – maybe that’s the point…

  21. Ed, similar situation with me. In returning to Lichfield I am coming to believe that I have entered another dimension. I cannot believe the changes that have been made in the last 10 years or so. It is such a pity to see what has happened with the lack of vision and foresight. Someone once said to me that you have to live away from your home to see it properly and get a good perspective. If you never leave the bubble how do you know what the reality of the bubble is so to speak. Yet change doesn’t have to be bad and ill thought out. If done properly with proper care and attention given to the town, the City and the rural areas Lichfield can still be a wonderful place to live and bring up families if that is your intention. It just takes a bit of ‘loaf’.

  22. Carol – Try as I might, I can’t see where I have said that people can’t have an opinion. Thus far it’s been (for me at least) an interesting exchange of varying opinions and viewpoints. That’s how forums work without, if one is lucky, any offence being made or taken.

  23. Good keep building and building we need more houses. Merge Tamworth Cannock and Rugeley. Give Lichfield a borough status and make it the second largest settlement in Staffordshire. Progress is key 🔑

  24. The developers and Planning Committee should be building the new settlements on the huge swathes of land owned by the Golf Clubs. And focus their leaders minds in Government on making the purchase of that land compulsory. Fair’s fair. Leave our local Green spaces alone Councillor Eadie. We want our Green spaces. If anyone wanted to destroy a country all they have to do is destroy it’s soul. The enemies inside. It cannot be allowed to happen. This has to stop before it goes any further. It has to stop and it has to stop now.

  25. So Staffordshire becomes one huge housing estate. No way. As I have said previously mass housing with more green spaces is soul destroying. Destroy the soul you destroy the heart that keeps it ticking and the infighting begins. Perhaps this is the aim. Someone made a comment elsewhere about planning that the Planners must not like Lichfield. When I say Lichfield I include the rural surrounding areas. It seems it’s not just Lichfield it’s the whole of Staffordshire. So.. change the planners. No need for enemies outside the door when they are inside. It has to stop and it has to stop now. We need sensible planning decisions that take into account the needs of all the residents. Local residents need to be consulted, play a part in the process. We need the LDC planning officers and the committee to stop the pressure from developers. We are supposed to be a democracy. Let’s make it one.

  26. Of course I meant mass housing estates with NO green spaces is soul destroying. Excuse the typo. I reiterate that this kind of disaster planning has to stop.

  27. @ P Destrian.

    My point is, it’s utterly worthless saying “let’s remember – many of us live
    In houses built in previously occupied land”, as if that is meant to somehow disarm us against not wanting more housing.

    It’s a tactic that doesn’t work, I’m afraid. Enough is enough. Lichfield is unrecognisable to how it was 10 years ago, and what infrastructure has been added exactly? None. Our schools are full, our roads are full, our doctor’s surgeries are full, our Leisure Facilities are minimal……and what does Eadie think is a way forward? – build more houses. It’s baffling to me and everyone I speak to so, either everyone else is wrong or, maybe, just maybe, Eadie and LDC are wrong.

    And let’s honest, their track record on being right isn’t great is it????

    I don’t know a single person (other than Ian “I love concrete” Eadie who actually thinks the plans for Lichfield are a good direction. Not one person.

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