Council chiefs say they “do not roll over” when it comes to housebuilding across Lichfield and Burntwood.

The cabinet at Lichfield District Council backed the submission of the Local Plan which outlines how thousands of new homes could be built over the next 20 years.

The meeting was told that mandatory figures from the Government meant there was little the local authority could do to prevent new housing being built.

Of the total dwellings due to be built, more than 2,600 are earmarked to help councils in the Greater Birmingham and Black Country areas meet their own housing needs.

But deputy leader Cllr Iain Eadie said the local authority was placing restrictions on the number homes being built as part of the legal duty to cooperate with neighbouring authorities.

“We do not roll over – if we were, we’d be allowing 4,500 homes for neighbouring authorities.

“We are certainly not doing that.

“We do not let developers get away with building anything without consequences. We ensure that we seek Section 106 contributions or now Community Infrastructure Levy money which is effectively a tax on development.

“This money is used to deliver infrastructure. Recently, we took a decision to allocate money to help with the canal restoration and build a new community centre.

“There is more Community Infrastructure Levy money to be allocated in the future and that comes to us when the houses have been built. We’d all prefer to have it in advance, but we do receive it when it is built and it is therefore on us to ensure that money is passed on to communities to deliver infrastructure they rightly demand.”

Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

The Local Plan identifies were future housing will be built at strategic allocation sites in the period covering 2018 to 2040.

SettlementNet completed dwellings (1st April 2018 to 31 March 2020)Committed supply of dwellings (at 1st April 2020)Strategic housing allocationsTotal
Lichfield city7413304page78image378481491233007345
Burntwood172400 page78image37847842400572
East of Rugeley0800page78image37847547520800
North of Tamworth83100001083
Armitage with Handsacre-42040200
Fazeley, Mile Oak & Bonehill7130800937
Other rural1402620402
Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan 2040 housing delivery plan

The council’s target for housing to meet the district’s own growth needs has been provided by the Government.

Cllr Eadie said this, combined with the actions of previous administrations, meant the local authority was limited as to where construction could and couldn’t take place.

“We are obligated by Government, so it doesn’t matter who is sitting here, it’s a requirement to provide homes – the number is mandated.

“The choices we have are the strategic sites as they were set before this council was formed when it was decided to achieve this through urban expansion.

“In an ideal world we’d all choose not to see further development because we all know the issues it creates in terms of demands on infrastructure and the impact on roads and the highway network, but we do find ourselves in a situation where Government says we must.”

Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

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  1. I’m sorry Cllr Eadie but this is a complete cop-out. You’re a Tory Council and we have a Tory Government. So why can’t more pressure be applied above to ensure (i) that house building targets are more realistic so we don’t lose every bit of green space we have; (ii) developments are more attractive, imaginative and appropriate given Lichfield’s character, not just identikit, high density, ugly housing estates everywhere. We should insist on something better for Lichfield; and (iii) proper infrastructure and facilities are included in the developments. I mean, can somebody tell me when the last secondary school or GP practice was included in one of these developments? Yes, it might not be LDC’s responsibility exactly, it might be Staffs CC and the NHS, but given they’re giving the green light to all these developments, what exactly is LDC doing to put pressure on these other authorities and central Government to say enough is enough, no more building until more investment comes into this area so it can remain a decent place to live?

    Simply saying, sorry, not our fault, isn’t good enough Cllr Eadie and Lichfield deserves much better representation. How about fighting for us a little rather than your constant defeatist attitude?

  2. I’d like to know what the end game is with house building in this country, and Lichfield District specifically? Or does nobody bother to look ahead, look at the direction of travel and plan anymore? Is the eventual plan to build on all the countryside in the Lichfield District, save for leaving a gap between Lichfield and Birmingham? Can somebody tell me what the strategy is at LDC? When will the Lichfield District be full in their view?

    If the District is going to be turned into housing sprawl until there’s little countryside left I think people would want to know that was the plan now, because will all know this won’t end after this current plan period. They’re going to keep building. So has anyone actually decided where the end is for this area? Birmingham clearly think they’re reaching theirs hence the Lichfield District and other surrounding areas is having to make up their shortfall.

  3. Although, Eadie did take the decision to not make developers sign up to the green carbon neutral scheme…….which he could have.

  4. The main access to this site via Watery Lane into the bypass is totally inadequate, especially by the narrow railway bridge; as are the lanes leading past the sewage works in the other direction. Will these be upgraded and, if so, at whose expense? This must surely be the responsibility of the developer, otherwise they will be causing great danger. It will also require adequate street lighting. Has this been discussed at planning?

  5. No matter who we vote for, many, many people here don’t trust this council when it comes to house building.
    The estates are not future proofed and Lichfield & Burntwood are becoming unrecognisable from just a few years ago.
    There’s limited expansion of necessary infrastructure as well.
    Grow a pair metaphorically and denounce the govt plan and become a model for sustainability for the future if your hands are tied with building houses.

  6. All these NEW houses being built in the Lichfield area and I’ve yet to see any solar panels on the roofs to help our environment ? What a dreadfull own goal by our learned friends in the planning dept of Lichfield Council ? NO simple solution by our council to insist on environmental issues before planning is approved ? As an OAP it doesn’t bother me but I worry about the youngsters future by the council’s inaction for their future ? SAD 😢

  7. Yes, Grumpy Old Man, but in the case of the two recent developments on Eastern Avenue, and no doubt many others, they have got lovely fake chimney stacks perched on their roofs. Have a close look next time you go by. Let’s hope the occupiers don’t try installing wood burners!

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