An image capturing preparation work on the new housing development in Lichfield. Picture: Staffordshire Birdseye View Photography
An image capturing preparation work on a new housing development in Lichfield. Picture: Staffordshire Birdseye View Photography

A councillor has admitted there is “an awful lot to do” to safeguard nature and biodiversity on new developments across Lichfield and Burntwood.

It comes after Lichfield District Council’s cabinet backed plans to make a Nature Recovery Declaration.

The move will see the local authority obligated to take “targeted actions which make a real difference to nature locally”.

Cllr Angela Lax, cabinet member for ecology and climate change, told a meeting of the cabinet group that it was a balancing act between ensuring Government housebuilding targets are met and ensuring biodiversity is protected and enhanced.

“We must factor in our legal requirements under the Environment Act ensuring that any new development has a net biodiversity gain of 20%.

“The aim is that you minimise losing any biodiversity on the development and require developers to remediate – the last ditch line if they can’t because areas have been identified for development in the Local Plan, then you’ve got to have carbon offset elsewhere in the district.

“We will endeavour to push the carbon reduction issues, the biodiversity as much as we can, but we have to stay in the parameters of our legal obligation otherwise we’ll be open to challenge from developers.

“There is an awful lot to do. The aim is to ensure we have green spaces on developments.”

Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Andy Smith, cabinet member for leisure, said he supported the declaration but wanted to see detail about what steps would be taken.

“I like the fact we’re doing it with partners who are passionate about this.

“But the important thing is we actually make sure there’s a plan of action so we actually do something.”

Cllr Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council

But Cllr Lax said the issue was a complex one and would see a number of factors at play.

“There’s not an all embracing action plan. If we go at everything all at once I’d worry about when we’re going to achieve it.

“It’s taking everything and deciding when we’re going to do it and how we’re going to do it effectively.

“Part of ecology is the nature cycle. So for example, verge-mowing is a hot topic, but that will require getting operations involved with our ecology expert to be able to say when is the best time to do it. Different habitats require different approaches.

“There’s things we can do straight away, such as the request that all of our papers and policies have an assessment to address the impact on ecology and climate change which we haven’t had previously.”

Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council

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  1. It’s about time LDC ring fence land around Lichfield, buy it from the farmers etc and create nature sites, least this way future housing would not continue the sprawl over the City ? Would provide greater green spaces etc.

  2. LDC is only interested in rolling out the red carpet to every developer to concrete over any available space and to hell with the consequences for the rest of us. The ripping up of hedgerows and building on greenfield sites such as the one on the Birmingham Road and around Waitrose is just the latest in a long line of damaging developments. The identikit boxes being built are not green and continue to be built without any requirement for solar panels, battery storage or heat pumps using materials which release huge amounts of CO2 in their manufacture. Councillors are out of touch refusing to allow additional chargers for EVs as they wanted to wait and see if there is a demand… The recent changes to recycling seems to be pushing more people to just send everything to landfill in their black bin. LDC is probably the most environmentally unfriendly council in the UK.

  3. Mr Mr you’ve got more chance of pigs flying than that ever happening. LDC have chosen to turn Lichfield into a housing sprawl. Other options were available, including creating a new sustainable settlement. But that wouldn’t have suited their developer mates, so instead we get urban extension after urban extension with very little benefit in return.

  4. With all this new development going on around Lichfield may I ask if the developers are asked to build a school, a Doctors, dentist to help with influx of new neighbours
    Our facilities are already over stretched.

  5. Well I read it twice to be sure I hadn’t missed the good news.
    The reality is that you cannot destroy green space and make it 20% better. The old chestnut of planting a few trees (20 years plus to have even minimal effect) to offset the carbon produced is a developers lie. It would require a forest to help at all and even that is questionable. With the pace of global warming the time scale would be thirty years too late.
    It is patently obvious that there is no plan. Our council is gutless and clueless. We are and will all pay the price for their incompetence. They have imperative responsibility for our children and future generations. If you are not up to this responsibility then stand aside.

  6. Pamela LDC has got money from the developers (section 106) but chose to give £260k to the Canal charity (which Fabricant happens to be involved in) rather than spend it on local services and improvements. Whilst it’s a nice thing to bring back a canal it’s not a priority for many and local services most take a precedence.

  7. Revs33
    Mr Fabricant is a name on a long list of high profile celebrities and doesn’t have any part in decision making, the canal is used by ever increasing numbers of people, provides a green corridor/country walk stretching from Pool road to Darnford park the canal society has planted thousand’s of trees hedges and shrubs, provided opportunities for over 100 Duke of Edinburgh award participants and has provided on site experience for over 100
    apprentice bricklayers, I think the £260k is money well spent.

  8. When Deanslade was sold to an American living in the Chanel Islands it was on the understanding it was not for building on, that soon got forgotten same as the canal bridge

  9. You get what you voted for in Lichfield. Have heard all these complaints about the council for 12 years that I have lived here but they still get voted in. Plan. Move out or vote out. Councillors and Fabricant have no morals.

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