A councillor says new targets should see an increase in affordable housing on offer across Lichfield and Burntwood.

Lichfield District Council has outlined its Local Plan 2040 document in recent weeks.

As well as identifying that more than 9,000 new homes will be required over the next two decades, the plan also covers aspects such as demand for certain types of housing.

Cllr Colin Ball, Labour representative for Curborough ward, told a meeting of the council this week that an increased number of affordable properties were needed on new developments.

Colin Ball

“I’d like to commend the cabinet for accepting my suggestions about having minimum levels on schemes – 20% on Strategic Housing Allocation and brownfield locations and 35% minimum on Greenfield between 10 and 500 dwellings.

“This will mean a significant increase on affordable housing across the district – our current average is less than 20% – we’ve had 5% and 10% in previous years.

“These minimum standards now means we will see an increase in affordable housing going forwards. That’s only going to be a good thing for residents.”

Cllr Colin Ball, Lichfield District Council

Some members of the Conservative cabinet at Lichfield District Council had previously called for the Local Plan to be delayed.

Cllr Andy Smith had told a cabinet meeting earlier this month that the results of a further consultation should be considered by the council as well as a Planning Inspector as part of the plan process.

“I get the results go to the inspector, but we have to ask ourselves why we are here – it’s because we care significantly more about our district, the people and the places than some Government planning inspector.

“I remember the Curborough development that we were against. It got voted out at planning, went to appeal, we won the appeal and then the Government inspector said ‘no, they can do it anyway’.

“That’s why I want our council and cabinet to go back to the democratic process and listen to what our local people in our district have to say on the matter.

Cllr Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council

But Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group, said the local authority had a duty to push ahead with the document.

“We cannot delay the Local Plan – we may not like it or all aspects, but any delay is dangerous because that’s when developers have been successful at appeal.

“We really need to make sure we get on with this.”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

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  1. Affordable housing? Pull the other one. Have you spoken to any young people lately. Like for example the couple both working but not in professional jobs, who have the average 2 children, both still very young, all 4 living in a 2 bedroomed rented flat with no garden (how are they managing during this pandemic it beats me. I so empathise). Saving hard for to buy a house with a garden. Whose friends ‘bought’ a house on one of these schemes, who recommend not to buy, who tell the tale that the mortgage schemes and “affordable” are misnomers, who say “they” are having a laugh. The problem is the property market itself. And the increased house prices which are totally unreasonable putting potential new house buyers out of the picture. Until something is done about the property market, house prices and the accompanying mortgages not many will be able to afford the “affordable” housing whatever sticking plasters you put on it. And goodness gracious me who will help those who have lost their jobs or are at risk of losing their employment in these trying times.

  2. And as I commented elsewhere on the city centre planning, who wants to live in an open air prison. At least prisoners “inside” have a yard to walk around.

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