The leader of Lichfield District Council has denied claims the authority is capitulating to demands from other areas for help to meet their housing needs.

Cllr Doug Pullen’s comments come after a former cabinet member said too many houses were being proposed over the next 20 years as part of the Local Plan.

Cllr Liz Little, who resigned from the cabinet over concerns about the plans, said the council was damaging the heritage of the area by pushing ahead with an agreement for more than 9,000 new homes.

“I do not think we have pushed back enough on the numbers we have allocated from our neighbouring authorities – it is a duty to cooperate not to capitulate.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

But Cllr Pullen said the numbers did not support Cllr Little’s claims, with the Local Plan 2040 outlining how around 2,600 homes will be built to help meet the needs of other areas rather than 4,500 originally deemed appropriate.

Doug Pullen

“If you look at the numbers alone there’s evidence that we’ve pushed back.

“Our own evidence base gives a number around 4,600 homes that we could take under the duty to cooperate, but we’ve reduced that right down to the 2,600.

“We’re absolutely pushing back while also acknowledging the fact that if we don’t cooperate then the plan will be found unsound which potentially creates open season for developers and we lose all control about how we shape the future of the district.

“The reduction in numbers from what our evidence base shows we can take to the number we have arrived at demonstrates that we are not capitulating yet we are cooperating.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

As new housing developments go up across Lichfield and Burntwood, Cllr Pullen said that given many of the targets are set using national guidance, the focus should not just be on the numbers of homes being built.

“While the Local Plan looks at housing numbers, what it doesn’t look at is how we build communities.

“How do we translate the numbers determined nationally and that are, by and large, imposed upon us? How do we taken them and translate that into communities in our district that people want to live, work and play in?

“That really needs to be our focus as an organisation.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

The Local Plan 2040 will be discussed at a meeting of Lichfield District Council’s cabinet on 7th December.

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5 Comments

  1. If that is the case can the leader advise why when questioned in the February cabinet meeting his deputy leader advised the cabinet that these numbers were maximum numbers yet an officer told a planning committee meeting on 6th September that these were minimum numbers, this was later then confirmed by his deputy leader…these numbers are minimum numbers and we are simply opening opening up our district notably our greenbelt to the lowest bidder…this plan is full of inconsistency and time is running out to save our district

  2. FAR more worrying is once the local plan is approved it is the planning department NOT the elected members that will ultimately have the greatest influence over the numbers.

  3. Duty to cooperate! That’s a joke. The consultation response from Tamworth Borough Council states that they do not agree with the allocation of 800 homes on its border in greenbelt at Mile Oak and appropriate mitigation is needed for existing cross border developments before any more are considered. Highways evidence to justify SHA2 is also not available. But LDC can choose to just ignore this and the hundreds of other objections?!!! Talk about pandering to developers at the expense of its residents.

  4. Can someone please explain to me why there is almost a 3000 house buffer in this local plan which means we’re releasing far more land than we need to, or does nobody know? No other Council I know of has such a huge buffer in case other developments don’t come forward quickly enough.

  5. @Alastair Little… Too true! At all planning meetings I have attended few councillors speak and invariably accept the backroom advice. At the Cricket Lane development the proposal was passed unanimously in spite of considerable opposition from many individuals and local groups. Perfidiously even the St. John ward councillors voted for it. Just who do they represent?
    You are correct in that the council nods their heads but the planning department runs the council.

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