Cabinet agrees to include Green Belt sites around Burntwood for housing

Highfields Road site had already been rejected previously by the public but the Council are trying again!

Last night Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet agreed to include the Green Belt sites, off Coulter Lane, Burntwood (80 houses) and off Highfields Road in Hammerwich Parish (250 houses) in the consultation for housing sites in the Local Plan. This despite hundreds of letters, emails and a 900-name petition.

GBpledgeOn December 12th the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee also agreed to keep these Green Belt sites in the proposed housing allocation sites for consultation and recommended this to the Cabinet last night.

Interestingly the Inspector of the District Council’s Local Plan in 2015 noted that the Highfields Road site had already been rejected following the Review of Green Belt boundaries in 2013 but the Conservative Cabinet doesn’t seem to have accepted that consultation – a bit like the consultation on charging for brown bins when 70% or respondents said no!

Here is a link to the Inspector’s report and paragraphs 126 to 133 refer to Burntwood.

Steve Norman attended the meeting along with about 40 other members of the public.  He said: “Clearly the two cabinet members who represent these two areas were allowed to raise issues and vote against – knowing full well that the other six Cabinet members will vote to go ahead.   It is not an unusual ploy to allow an individual councillor to object  - providing the controlling Group is assured it will not lose the vote and I predict that this will be repeated at the Council meeting on the 11th of April.”




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Lichfield District’s Cabinet meets on Tuesday to consider housing proposals

Join them at 6pm on Tuesday 7th March if you want to show your concern over losing green belt land around Burntwood

Lichfield ‘s Conservative Cabinet will be deciding on the proposals for housing, Green Belt land and much more which will be put out for consultation later this year.  This will be an opportunity for residents that do not wish to lose the green belt south of Highfields Road in Hammerwich Parish and off Coulter Lane in Burntwood Parish to show their concern.

greenbeltDevelopers want to build (at least to start with) 80 houses off Coulter Lane and 250 off Highfields Road.

The 2013 Green Belt Review weakened the status of the Green Belt parcel of land (E1) which makes it more difficult, but not impossible, to oppose the developers.  In the case of Highfields Road this Green Belt parcel (S1) is still intact but the Council seems to be suggesting it should also be taken out of Green Belt and of course the Government has overturned local views as we have seen above!

In the Curborough case the land was not in the Green Belt but the Local Plan had gone through the legal process and Lichfield District Council had identified other sites to meet local housing needs.

You can view the Cabinet report here.  The relevant Appendix on housing is this one.

You should email your local district councillors:

For Coulter Lane (Highfield Ward): and .

For Highfields Road (Hammerwich and Wall Ward): .

You may also want to copy the Cabinet member responsible for the Local Plan: .

Your invisible MP, who has supported the National Planning Policy Framework that councils have to comply with can be contacted via his website (where you will find no reference to the Green Belt issue) or by writing to him at House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 1AA.




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Yesterday Lichfield, tomorrow Burntwood?

Local views rejected by the Secretary of State as he gives the go ahead for 750 houses on Lichfield boundary.

On the 19th May 2014 Lichfield District’s Planning Officer said to the Planning Committee: Conclusion: The site lies outside the current settlement boundary and does not form part of the Council’s spatial strategy. As such, it is contrary to Local Plan Policy E6.

On the 20th July 2015, in the High Court, The Hon Mr Justice Cranston said to the developers hoping to quash the District Council’s Local Plan: “I refuse the application”

On the 21st of March 2016 The [independent] Planning Inspector said to the Secretary of State: … the environmental harm in this case is significant. I have found that the need for the development is no more than marginal. In consequence, there are no public benefits from the proposed development which could outweigh that environmental harm.  I recommend that the appeal be dismissed.

On the 13th of February 2017 The Conservative Secretary of State said to the Developers: the social and economic benefits of providing affordable and market housing are of such importance that they outweigh the environmental harm, and that the proposal would thus represent sustainable development. Overall, therefore, [I conclude] that the material considerations indicate that the appeal should be allowed.

On the 15th of February the MP for Lichfield said:  nothing.

No. It’s not local people, judges or even independent inspectors who decide where houses should go anymore – it’s your Government and your local MP is it’s representative.




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