Coulter Lane

Burntwood Action Group – Press Release

Press release from Burntwood Action Group regarding Lichfield District Council Cabinet Meeting 7th March 2017

“A Better not Bigger Burntwood”

Quoting these words from a concerned Burntwood resident Councillor Helen Fisher ended her impassioned address to the Cabinet of Lichfield District Council at their Meeting on Tuesday evening (7th March).

Following an equally impassioned address from Hammerwich Councillor Doug Pullen, Cllr Fisher was trying to persuade her Cabinet colleagues to modify the Local Plan Land Allocations document before it was put out for public consultation at the end of March.

Councillor Fisher stated that she was representing the views of the many Burntwood residents who had emailed her and the 900 who had signed a “Protect our Green Belt” petition demanding that the Allocations document should not plan to destroy attractive Green Belt sites when dilapidated, underused Brownfield sites, could house all the homes which Burntwood will need in the foreseeable future.

She went on to say “There are many common threads running through the emails I’ve been sent including the obvious infrastructure issues, road condition, traffic & speeding problems, local parking restrictions, lack of shops, worries about school places & traffic issues around schools, wildlife & environment issues, sewerage & drainage problems BUT the one that everyone mentions is that we are being let down by our lack of health care provision. It can take at least 2/3 weeks to get to get a doctor’s appointment and when you do get one some people are missing them because they can’t park!”

When questioned about the efforts made to bring one large Brownfield site forward for housing one of the Planning Officer’s hesitant response made it clear that minimal effort had been made. Residents now assume that Planners have succumbed to pressure from developers and taken the easy option of taking land out of the Green Belt instead.

In response to Councillor Fisher’s question about the number of new homes (1350) planned for Burntwood. Planning Officers stated that they were sticking rigidly to numbers determined in the Local Plan Strategy (2015). They stated that Burntwood, being a sustainable settlement will: “have to accept this number and Green Belt will have to be allocated if enough previously used land cannot be found.” Burntwood Action Group feels that this rigidity is ridiculous when there are many other suitable Brownfield sites throughout Lichfield District which are more sustainable than the site, close to Christ Church, Burntwood, which the Allocations plan proposes to remove from the Green Belt.

Councillor Fisher’s motion to modify the Local Plan Allocations document before putting it out to public consultation was defeated by 5 votes to 2.

Burntwood Action group is now planning how it can best help residents respond to the Consultation at the end of March. It is determined to show that there is sufficient previously used land to accommodate all the houses which Burntwood needs and persuade many thousands of residents to oppose plans to build houses on attractive Green Belt. It feels confident that a huge majority of Burntwood residents want a better not bigger Burntwood.

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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

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Continuing the fight..

The second part of the Local Plan for Lichfield District is known as the “Local Plan Allocations” document. This has revealed that Burntwood and beyond is still under the threat of further development. Information is available on the Lichfield DC website, and the “Call for Sites” lets individuals, organisations and builders suggest sites for development and future adoption.

Details can be found on the links below, which show the areas in question. Primarily we’ve been made aware of plans concerning the land behind Fulfen Primary school on Rugeley Road. This stretches to Coulter Lane, Nether Lane and Church Road. Details of this can be found in this PDF document.

Another area which is declared an “area of interest” is land south of Highfields Road, which is located here. Further details of this plan can be found in this PDF document.

We also have a list of all the proposed Burntwood sites. These can be viewed in this Word document.

NOTE
It is important to note the following comment from the file above…

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.

We will have more news shortly. Please do head back here for more information.

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