building

A Successful Campaign to Protect Burntwood’s Green Belt???

At Lichfield District Council (LDC) Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday 19th September the Lead Planning Officer Reported on the result of the Consultation on the Local Plan Land Allocations; he stated that the plan to put 80 homes on the Green Belt off Coulter Lane had been removed from the Plan but the Plan still proposed 375 homes East of Burntwood Bypass.

Unfortunately we misinterpreted that statement and believed that the 375 homes he referred to were the 250 homes planned for the site South of Highfields Road, increased to 375 and re-named East of Burntwood Bypass.

Subsequent questioning of the Planning Officer has revealed that the draft revised Plan removes all proposals to build on Burntwood’s Green Belt.

Sincere apologies to members of Burntwood Action Group (BAG) who were sent an email with the wrong information.

BAG welcomes the proposed changes to the Plan and acknowledges that LDC has listened to the thousands of Burntwood residents who opposed plans to build on the Green Belt.

HOWEVER we are not celebrating yet because:
  • the Draft Revised Plan has to be ratified by LDC Cabinet and Full Council.
  • a revision to the Plan is already scheduled for 2018-19.
  • LDC is under pressure to accommodate some of Birmingham’s housing allocation.
  • until poorly situated Industrial brownfield sites, in the middle of Burntwood’s housing, are re-sited to appropriate sites on the periphery of Burntwood and the land re-allocated to housing our Green belt will continue to be under threat.
Please help us maintain the pressure on the Council by joining us (as spectators) at:
  • LDC Cabinet meeting Tuesday 7th November 6:00 p.m. LDC Offices, Frog Lane, Lichfield.
  • LDC Full Council Meeting Tuesday 19th December 6:00 p.m. LDC Offices
(No commitment other than support of our mission to protect Burntwood’s Green Belt)
BAG Public Meeting 8:00 p.m. Wednesday 15th November  St. Matthews Club
This meeting is planned to:
  • bring Burntwood residents up to date with the current situation.
  • outline what is required to move forward.
  • Inform residents about the Better Burntwood Group and facilitate the formation of a Better Burntwood Committee.
Burntwood Neighbourhood Plan
Based on the outcomes of numerous public consultations Burntwood Town Council commissioned the production of the Plan and representatives of BAG have provided a significant input to the latest draft. It now provides a realistic yet ambitious vision for the future of Burntwood.
The Plan is scheduled to go out for Public Consultation on Saturday 4th November (between 10:00hrs & 14:00hrs) at the Old Mining College, Chasetown and Burntwood Library. Please go along and leave some feedback.
Burntwood Town Deal
This brings together representatives of Lichfield District Council, Staffordshire County Council, Burntwood Town Council, Developers and other interested/influential parties.
BAG’s Chairman attended their meeting on 15th September and is pleased to report that the Group’s objectives are very closely aligned to the wider vision of BAG to:
  1. provide a town centre development which improves the Town’s retail offer.
  2. improve health facilities.
  3. provide the appropriate housing mix for the Town, which allows older people to keep their independence and allows family size properties to be better utilised.
  4. provide better transport links
  5. exploit the opportunities for leisure, health improvement, tourism and business opportunities presented by the close proximity of Chasewater.
From that meeting it was noted that:
  1. the proposed Greenwood House Health Centre is now very close to being signed off – with a forecasted completion date of 2019.
  2. investigations are underway, with an organisation called Back the Track, to convert the disused rail link between Chasewater and Lichfield to a footpath/cycle track. The site of the old Hammerwich Station would be Burntwood’s closest access point.
  3. there is constructive movement to develop the Blue Hoarding site by Morrisons.
Thank you all for your continued support
Vic Chamberlain, BAG Chairman <[email protected]>

Become a member of the Burntwood Action Group to help support our work. Just click here to join.

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 0 comments

Become a Burntwood Action Group Member, online.

As mentioned recently we need now to prepare for our representations to the Government Inspector’s Hearings. For this, we’ll need to collect evidence of the opposition support.

If you can’t print our slip, we now also have an online form to fill in. This will add you as a member, and strengthen our argument against the proposals.

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 1 comment

Tuesday 31st January – Join us and learn more

Anyone interested in learning more and possibly joining our renewed campaign please come to the PUBLIC MEETING at:

St Matthews Social Club on Tuesday 31st January 7.30 p.m.

A draft of Lichfield District Council (LDC)’s Local Plan Allocations document is now in the public domain. Extracts of the parts relevant to Burntwood and its Green Belt are printed below. Sites highlighted in brown were previously industrial land and those in green are on land which LDC proposes to take out of the Green Belt.

Policy B1: Burntwood Housing Land Allocations

Along with the Strategic Development Allocations identified within the Local Plan Strategy the following sites, shown on the adopted local plan policies map, are allocated for residential development within the Plan period, subject to the ‘Key Development Considerations’ set out below. ‘Key Development Considerations’ are not all encompassing, other matters may arise during the planning application process that applicants will need to address.


Changes to the Green Belt boundary will be made to the south of Burntwood to accommodate the residential allocation (Site B14) to assist in meeting the housing requirement for Burntwood.

Changes to the Green Belt boundary will be made to remove the St Matthews estate from the Green Belt, as set out in Policy Burntwood 1: Burntwood Environment (Local Plan Strategy) and accommodate residential allocations (Site B15) to assist in meeting the housing requirement for Burntwood.

Site B14 (Burntwood 14): Land south of Highfields Road

Site area (Ha): 11.8
Approximate dwelling yield: 250

The site is currently in agricultural use and is located to the south of Burntwood immediately adjacent to residential development on its northern and western boundaries. To the south of the site is the M6 Toll which provides a significant barrier between Burntwood and the major urban area. To the west of the site beyond Burntwood Bypass is Chasewater Country Park.

Key development considerations:

The SFRA identifies that the site is adjacent to areas of high flood risk (Flood Zone 2 & 3) although the site itself is in Flood Zone 1. Consequently consideration and implementation of suitable measures to manage the potential impacts of flooding and to manage surface water run off.

Potential ecological impacts should be considered due to the greenfield nature of the site and its proximity to designated sites.

Potential measures to mitigate the impacts of road noise from the M6 Toll to the south of the site.

Scheme should be designed to take account of the edge of settlement location and manage the transition from urban to rural. Areas of open space to the south of the site will remain within the Green Belt and must be designed to maintain the openness of the Green Belt.

Site B15 (Burntwood 15): Land east of Coulter Lane, St Matthews 

Site area (Ha): 3.3
Approximate dwelling yield: 80

The site is primarily in agricultural use and is located between to the built up area of St Matthews estate to the east and Coulter Lane to the west.

Key development considerations:

Potential ecological impacts should be considered due to the greenfield nature of the site and its proximity to designated sites.

Scheme should be designed to take account of the edge of settlement location and manage the transition from urban to rural.

Tree preservation orders within the site boundary will need to be considered and accommodated within the design of any proposals.

Summary of the development of the Local Plan over the past 5 years and our concerns:

  • The Inspector of the Local Plan Strategy asked for changes to the Plan to meet the need for additional homes. This resulted in the number of new homes planned for Burntwood (in period 2008 – 2029) to be increased to 1350. Allowing for homes already built and those being built or planned there is a shortfall of 656 homes (Total shortfall for District: 1827).
  • LDC commissioned a Supplement to the Green Belt Review to find sites for the additional homes. This Supplement divided all the Green Belt around existing settlements into parcels of land and assessed each one, for their importance to the Green Belt, against certain criteria. Of the nine parcels around Burntwood all were classed as important except one: Burntwood E1, the parcel bordered by Coulter Lane, Nether Lane, Rugeley Road and Church Road.
  • We deemed the criteria to be severely flawed and their application so prejudiced as to make the Review worthless. It appeared to us that the criteria and their application had been written to identify previously chosen land to be classed as being of only moderate importance to the Green Belt. 
  • In our response to the consultation on the Modifications of the Local Plan Strategy we made detailed objections to this Supplement to the Green Belt Review and its use to classify Burntwood E1 as of only moderate importance to the Green Belt
  • In its consultation (Autumn 2016) on the proposed content of its Local Plan Land Allocations document LDC invited interested parties to comment on the proposals. In the list of “Issues to be addressed by that document was: “Consideration of Green Belt boundaries including the integration of the developed area of the former St Mathews hospital into Burntwood and development needs beyond the plan period.” 
  • Linking these two items in one sentence led us to believe that LDC would use its questionable assessment of parcel of land Burntwood E1 as of only moderate importance to the Green Belt to remove it from the Green Belt. We responded to that consultation, again pointing out the flawed Supplement to the Green Belt Review and stressing the importance which residents of the old Burntwood village attached to the role of that land in maintaining the rural aspect of Burntwood. We also stressed how the surrounding infrastructure would not cope with a large development in the area. 
  • Most of the respondents to that consultation were developers promoting particular sites for housing development. Bloor Homes used the assessment of parcel Burntwood E1 as part of its argument for taking the land between the St Matthews estate and Fulfen School/ Fulfen Farm out of the Green Belt. They provided detailed plans for 80 homes on the St Matthews side of Coulter Lane and 400 homes on the western side. The 80 homes appear in the draft Land Allocations document and the document could try to ‘safeguard’ the land west of Coulter Lane for the 400 homes in the future.

If, like us, you don’t want that to happen join us on 31st January at St Matthews Social Club or indicate your interest by email: [email protected]

www.burntwoodactiongroup.co.uk

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 0 comments

What the building of houses could do to our local wildlife

In Burntwood alone there is a wide variety of wildlife ranging from badgers to raptors (Birds of prey). The building of these houses would cause a noticeable decline in these species. This is because Burntwood is a prime spot for mammal species to live and create a habitat in. These mammal species would include insectivores like hedgehogs, shrews and moles. But also voles, badgers, red foxes, mice and lagomorphs (hares and rabbits) would be affected. All of these mammals would see a noticeable decline in numbers if the houses are built because of the destruction of their habitat which is fields, woodland as well as your garden environments.

Following this destruction of mammal habitats you would see a significant decline in birds of prey because the fields that harbour these mammals would be lost. These fields are prime hunting grounds for birds of prey, and because their food source would disappear, so would they. Locally the birds of prey would include buzzards, kestrels, tawny owls, barn owls, goshawks and sparrow hawks but you would get many more birds that would be affected like lap wings for example.

I personally have had the privilege of watching kestrels nesting and rearing their young and also seeing the chicks successfully fledge. A lot of the wildlife I have listed is either vulnerable, declining or some endangered and these houses, if built, would be catastrophic to the numbers of these beautiful creatures and it needs to be stopped!

By stopping the houses being built you are helping to keep and conserve the local wildlife and green belt which is really something to be proud of and something that should be treasured for our future generations.

Please take time to view our photos on the website as this beautiful countryside, with all its trees, is what we may lose!

From Charley Scattergood (age 14)

Please support us! (Burntwood Action Group. B.A.G)

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 0 comments