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Burntwood Action Group – Annual General Meeting

BAG Chairman, Vic Chamberlain invites all residents of Burntwood and Hammerwich to Attend:

Burntwood Action Group (BAG)’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Tuesday 6th March 8:00 p.m.  at St Matthews Social Club, WS7 9EP

Following BAG’s rapid increase in membership and the necessity to demonstrate that BAG is a bona fide organisation, representing a large proportion of Burntwood’s residents, we adopted a formal constitution last year. It is now a requirement that we hold an annual general meeting (AGM).

This, our first AGM, will focus on strengthening the committee to continue the fight to protect Burntwood’s Green Belt and to pursue its vision for a healthier, more attractive and more sustainable Burntwood.

AGENDA

 

  • Welcome and introduction by the BAG Chairman.
  • Apologies
  • Chairman’s report
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Review of the situation regarding Burntwood’s Green Belt.
  • Review of BAG’s involvement in producing the Burntwood Neighbourhood Plan and the campaign to create a BETTER BURNTWOOD.
  • Election of Officers:
  • Chairman
  • Vice Chairman – Green Belt
  • Vice Chairman – BETTER BURNTWOOD
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Publicity Officer
  • IT Consultant / website
  • Membership List and data protection
  • Newsletter distribution
  • Committee Members.
  • Any other business

 

Please follow this link to see the Burntwood Action Group constitution and this link to download a nomination form

Please return all completed nomination forms to:

Vic Chamberlain, 35 Farewell Lane, Burntwood, WS7 9DW.

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Newsletter January 2018

BAG’s Response to the Consultation on Lichfield District Council (LDC)’s
Revised Local Plan Allocations Document

It is likely that you will have received a letter from LDC inviting you to respond to the Revised Allocations Document. Following a meeting of Burntwood Action Group (BAG)’s Committee and representatives of Hammerwich Action Group, both organisations advise you to DO NOTHING AT THIS STAGE.

Representatives of BAG and Hammerwich Action Group have been invited to meet LDC’s leading Planning Officers on Monday 29th January to discuss our response to the Revised Document. Following that meeting we will be in a much better position to advise you how to respond. There will still be 3 weeks left of the Consultation Period.

The objections from 4000+ residents of Burntwood and Hammerwich, to plans to build 330 homes on Burntwood & Hammerwich’s Green Belt, was a highly significant factor in those plans being removed in the revision of the Allocations Document.
Both Action Groups are delighted with this outcome and endorse the revised document but there are still hurdles to overcome:

  • The Plan has to undergo public examination by a Government Inspector and developers are very likely to pursue arguments for the release of our Green Belt for housing development.
  • To fulfil its statutory duty to cooperate with its neighbours LDC will have to respond to Birmingham’s likely request for Lichfield District to accommodate some of its housing requirement.
  • In anticipation of this request LDC is planning a complete revision of its Local Plan and commissioning a new Green Belt Review and Sustainability Appraisal. Our experience makes us very suspicious of these documents, which can be ‘tailored’ to achieve whatever outcome LDC Planning Officers require.

We have no plans to distribute this information through a printed and delivered newsletter so if you know of any interested parties who cannot access emails please pass it on.

Thank you all for your continued support; we will contact you again after 29th January.

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Lichfield District Council Meeting – Update

At last nights LDC Full Council meeting the revised Local Plan Allocations Publication document was passed with out any opposition. The revised plan removes the two previously allocated greenbelt sites from the housing Allocation, thus maintaining all of Burntwood’s remaining greenbelt.

Thank you all for the wonderful support you have afford BAG through out our campaign.

In the New Year we will be publishing a newsletter detailing what we need to do next to retain our greenbelt, together with improving Burntwood infrastructure and facilities

On behalf of Burntwood Action Group we wish you all a very happy Christmas and a great New Year!

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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.

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Burntwood Action Group – Newsletter 4

Phase Two of Campaign to protect Green Belt comes to an End

On Friday 12th May Vic Chamberlain (Burntwood Action Group (BAG) Chairman) presented Ian Pritchard (Lichfield District Council (LDC) Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Development & Environment) with BAG’s response to LDC’s Consultation on its Local Plan Allocations.

Also pictured are Mike Wilcox (left) Leader of LDC and Jack Gillespie (2nd left) Treasurer of BAG.

A few minutes earlier Ashley Baldwin (photo averse), Spatial Policy & Delivery Manager was presented with:

2330 letters of response from Burntwood residents.

On 9th May (as reported in Lichfield Mercury) representatives of Hammerwich Parish Council and Hammerwich Action Group presented LDC Officers with 1966 response letters from Hammerwich residents.

BAG is now confident that the total 4296 letters of objection to LDC’s Plans to build houses on Burntwood and Hammerwich Green Belt will have a significant effect on the outcome of the Consultation.

A big THANK YOU to all those of you who took the time to complete one of BAG’s response letters or submitted your own response to the Consultation.

Thank you also to those volunteers who did a fantastic job in:

  • delivering and collecting Consultation Response letters.
  • standing outside local stores and schools accosting shoppers, parents and passers-by to complete Response letters.

BAG’s Response to the Consultation contained:

  • The case for preserving all of Burntwood’s Green Belt.
  • Analysis and objections to LDC’s Green Belt Reviews.
  • Analysis and objections to LDC’s Sustainability Appraisal.
  • BAG’s Vision and plans for the Regeneration of Burntwood:
  • Supporting documents
  • Response from Sajid Javid MP to request for information.
  • Press coverage – BAG Public Meeting.
  • Coulter Lane Photos.
  • Staffordshire Ecological Record:
    • Endangered Species Map (sightings 1990 – 2017) 2km radius of Coulter Lane)
    • Species list (sightings 1990 – 2017) 2km radius of Coulter Lane).

Phase 1 ended when LDC Cabinet Members refused to accept BAG’s proposal to remove plans to build on the Green Belt from the Consultation.

Phase 3 We are now into a ‘waiting game’ whilst LDC Officers analyse all the responses to the Consultation but BAG’s work goes on:

  • Preparing our case for the preservation of Burntwood and Hammerwich Green Belt to present at the Inspection Hearings (Phase 4) should LDC choose to submit their Plan for inspection without amending it.
  • Contributing to the Burntwood Town Deal Working Group to move forward with plans for the regeneration of Burntwood, including re-development of brownfield sites to negate any need to build on Burntwood’s Green Belt. BAG urges LDC Leaders and Officers to initiate meetings of the Working Group so that rapid progress can be made towards BAG’s vision becoming a reality.
  • Monitoring the progress of:
    • the re-location of businesses from the Mount Road Industrial Estate to Burntwood Business Park to release land for housing.
    • the development of the blue hoarding site south west of Morrisons for a new health centre and affordable homes.

 

As indicated, in the reports below, a united Burntwood Town Council and Leaders of LDC have committed themselves to supporting BAG’s plans for the regeneration of Burntwood. Along with the support of thousands of Burntwood residents BAG is confident that its policy of engaging with all interested parties and developing positive, exciting and realistic alternatives to building on the Green Belt will be successful.

However, to prepare for our representations to the Government Inspector’s Hearings on the Local Plan we need to collect evidence of the strength of support for BAG’s opposition to proposals, in the Plan, to build 330 homes on the land off Coulter lane and South of Highfields Road, Chasetown.

YOU CAN HELP us to achieve this by completing the slip within this document and becoming a member of Burntwood Action Group. This will not commit you anything except a formal declaration of your support for our campaign. Please print the newsletter here and return the slip to one of the addresses listed.

Unfortunately the response slips completed at our public meetings did not specifically commit people to membership of BAG.

Thank you all for your continued support

The BAG Committee

Vic Chamberlain <[email protected]>

 

 

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Phase Two of Campaign to protect Green Belt comes to an end

On Friday 12th May Vic Chamberlain (Burntwood Action Group (BAG) Chairman) presented Ian Pritchard (Lichfield District Council (LDC) Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Development & Environment) with BAG’s response to LDC’s Consultation on its Local Plan Allocations.

Also pictured are Mike Wilcox (left) Leader of LDC and Jack Gillespie (2nd left) Treasurer of BAG.

A few minutes earlier Ashley Baldwin (photo averse), Spatial Policy & Delivery Manager was presented with:

2330 letters of response from Burntwood residents.

On 9th May (as reported in Lichfield Mercury) representatives of Hammerwich Parish Council and Hammerwich Action Group presented LDC Officers with 1966 response letters from Hammerwich residents.

BAG is now confident that the total 4296 letters of objection to LDC’s Plans to build houses on Burntwood and Hammerwich Green Belt will have a significant effect on the outcome of the Consultation.

A big THANK YOU to all those of you who took the time to complete one of BAG’s response letters or submitted your own response to the Consultation.

Thank you also to those volunteers who did a fantastic job in:

  • delivering and collecting Consultation Response letters.
  • standing outside local stores and schools accosting shoppers, parents and passers-by to complete Response letters.

 

BAG’s Response to the Consultation contained:

  • The case for preserving all of Burntwood’s Green Belt.
  • Analysis and objections to LDC’s Green Belt Reviews.
  • Analysis and objections to LDC’s Sustainability Appraisal.
  • BAG’s Vision and plans for the Regeneration of Burntwood:

 

  • Supporting documents

 

  • Response from Sajid Javid MP to request for information.
  • Press coverage – BAG Public Meeting.
  • Coulter Lane Photos.
  • Staffordshire Ecological Record:
        • Endangered Species Map (sightings 1990 – 2017) 2km radius of Coulter Lane).

 

  • Species list (sightings 1990 – 2017) 2km radius of Coulter Lane).

 

 

Phase 1 ended when LDC Cabinet Members refused to accept BAG’s proposal to remove plans to build on the Green Belt from the Consultation.

Phase 3 We are now into a ‘waiting game’ whilst LDC Officers analyse all the responses to the Consultation but BAG’s work goes on:

  • Preparing our case for the preservation of Burntwood and Hammerwich Green Belt to present at the Inspection Hearings (Phase 4) should LDC choose to submit their Plan for inspection without amending it.
  • Contributing to the Burntwood Town Deal Working Group to move forward with plans for the regeneration of Burntwood, including re-development of brownfield sites to negate any need to build on Burntwood’s Green Belt. BAG urges LDC Leaders and Officers to initiate meetings of the Working Group so that rapid progress can be made towards BAG’s vision becoming a reality.
  • Monitoring the progress of:
    • the re-location of businesses from the Mount Road Industrial Estate to Burntwood Business Park to release land for housing.
    • the development of the blue hoarding site south west of Morrisons for a new health centre and affordable homes.

 

As indicated, in the reports below, a united Burntwood Town Council and Leaders of LDC have committed themselves to supporting BAG’s plans for the regeneration of Burntwood. Along with the support of thousands of Burntwood residents BAG is confident that its policy of engaging with all interested parties and developing positive, exciting and realistic alternatives to building on the Green Belt will be successful.

Thank you all for your continued support

The BAG Committee

Vic Chamberlain <[email protected]>

http://www.burntwoodactiongroup.co.uk

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 1 comment

Burntwood Action Group Press Release 10/04/17

MP supports “common sense” plans for Burntwood

After seeing a presentation of Burntwood Action Group (BAG)’s plans for the regeneration of Burntwod, Michael Fabricant MP said he was “totally behind a proper plan for Burntwood” and “supportive of Burntwood Action Group (BAG)’s proposals.”

The plans have also been presented to Leaders of Burntwood Town Council and Leaders of the Labour Group and both Groups have indicated their complete support.

 

Background to BAG’s proposals:

  • The draft Neighbourhood Plan for Burntwood, does little more than mirror the Local Plan of Lichfield District Council (LDC), which now proposes to put 330 houses on Burntwood’s attractive Green Belt.
  • Despite these proposals receiving universal condemnation from Burntwood’s residents and Councillors LDC has insisted on carrying them forward into the current Consultation on its Local Plan Land Allocations document.
  • LDC’s Local Plan Strategy, published in 2012, proposed a new Burntwood Town Centre on land south west of Morrisons on Milestone Way. Despite that site being separated from the current Town Centre at Sankey’s Corner and no interest from developers in submitting plans for its regeneration, LDC insists on retaining it for a new town centre in its Strategy. The site has been hidden behind blue hoarding for many years.
  • Burntwood is the only part of Lichfield District which has regularly met LDC’s targets for new housing despite negligible investment in its infrastructure.

 

BAG’s proposals have been developed to satisfy four main criteria:

  • All proposals for new housing should contain plans for a large proportion of ‘affordable’ homes.
  • All redundant or dilapidated brownfield sites should be reclaimed for housing before Green Belt is considered.
  • Plans for the redevelopment of Burntwood Town Centre should be realistic and implementable in the foreseeable future.
  • Improvements to Burntwood’s infrastructure are needed to make up for many decades of neglect and should precede or accompany any further housing.

 

BAG also seeks to persuade LDC that, when all available brownfield sites within Burntwood have been exhausted, they  should look to non-Green Belt land in other parts of the District before planning to destroy more of Burntwood’s Green Belt.

 

Public Meeting: Wednesday 26th April 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthews Social Club, St Matthews Road:

BAG will present its plans to the public, Burntwood Town Councillors, representatives of Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council and invited members of the press.

 

The presentation will be visual and will illustrate how, with a bit of imagination, cooperation and joined up thinking, all of these criteria can be met. It will show how:

  • a re-developed  town centre at Sankey’s Corner could be attractive and traffic free.
  • the regenerating of the Town Centre at Sankey’s Corner could release the ‘blue hoarding’ site for a much needed new health centre and affordable housing.
  • the Mount Road Industrial site could accommodate many more than the 96 homes, currently planned and suggest how landowners, leaseholders, planners and developers could be persuaded to work together.

 

Questions will be welcomed and BAG hopes that everyone will leave the meeting feeling confident that Burntwood can escape the dictates of Lichfield and take control of its own destiny.

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Burntwood Action Group Public Meeting

Wednesday 26th April 7.30 p.m.
St Matthews Social Club

Update on Local Plan Land Allocations Public Consultation

A vision for a “Better not bigger Burntwood”

Please attend our public meeting and see Burntwood Action Group’s Town Plan Vision:

Regeneration of our Town Centre, improvements to infrastructure, affordable housing and the protection of our Green Belt.

Come to see a full presentation of our plans and have all your questions answered.

Our Town Plan Vision is a common sense alternative to the Lichfield District Council (LDC) proposals and we are already receiving very positive feedback from residents and united cross party support from our Burntwood Town Councillors.

The meeting will be attended by Burntwood Town Councillors, representatives from Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council. It is a great opportunity for you to have your say, object to building on Green Belt and to be part of our vision.

Our Consultation Response letters will be available for you to complete. Those of you who have received and completed the letters can return them to us at the Meeting. They will then be forwarded to LDC.

You can also return completed response letters to 10 Farewell Lane

Extra copies can be printed from: www.burntwoodactiongroup.co.uk

Many thanks to Burntwood’s Town Councillors for pledging to support our campaign and very many thanks to the huge number of Burntwood residents who continue to support us.

HAVE YOUR SAY

AND LET’S UNITE FOR A BETTER BURNTWOOD

SEE YOU ON WED 26th APRIL.

This time we will make sure you can hear!

Please address any queries to: Vic Chamberlain, 35 Farewell Lane,  01543 686975 OR Adrian Scattergood, 10 Farewell Lane, 07908226092

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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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