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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]>

 

 

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 0 comments

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

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.

Posted by David Rathband in Burntwood Action Group, 0 comments

A request to Burntwood Town Council

Following the Burntwood Town Council Meeting on Thursday 26th January, Burntwood Action Group has issued the following..

 

STATEMENT/REQUEST FROM BURNTWOOD ACTION GROUP

Madam Chairman, Councillors

Burntwood Action Group, on behalf of the resident of Burntwood, seek Burntwood Town Councils help in preventing Lichfield District Councils planned serious loss of substantial areas of “greenbelt” in Coulter Lane and Highfields Road, to housing.

The LDC Local Plan – July 2012 allocated 1350 homes to be built on “brownfield land” in Burntwood over approximately 20 years.

Unfortunately now the LDC Plan Allocations document [ which is now in the public domain] has identified a shortfall of 694 homes.

This is largely because of the apparent inability to bring forward the planned homes on the brownfield site at Mount Road Industrial Estate.

Burntwood Action Group are fully aware that the LDC Allocation document does not go out for public consultation until the end of March/early April.

However prior to the consultation process commencing, the Allocations Consultation document is to be approved by the LDC Cabinet and the LDC Council

In this respect we believe that our Councillors can make representations at the forthcoming Lichfield District Council Cabinet and at the LDC Council meetings to modified the document prior the commencement of the consultation.

On the grounds that any building on greenbelt is unacceptable as it’s totally against Burntwood Town Council’s stated policy.

This is further reinforced by continued lack of infer-structure in Burntwood.
In particular our local Schools are full to capacity, Our Health Centres are not coping, and our roads are totally inadequate to cater for the current traffic and our Sewage/`drainage systems are operating at capacity.

Further more the proposed building of homes on greenbelt land, will be very detrimental the local fauna & flora, as outlined on Burntwood Action Groups website.

But more importantly any building on “greenbelt its totally against the wishes of Burntwood’s residents

Burntwood Action Group are so concerned with the current threat, that we have requested a meeting with the Leader of the Council and the Chairman of the Planning Committee.

This is in order to ensure they fully understand the implications of the LDC Allocations document and the weight of public feeling to the proposed green belt development.

Burntwood Action Group believe It’s worth noting that 2 of Burntwood Town Councillor make up 25% of the LDC Cabinet and that 14 of our Councillors serve on the Lichfield District Council. This means that Burntwood is well represented at both levels in the District Council to ensure that the wishes of the Burntwood’s residents are properly represented.

Our Councillors should also note, that reports in the National Press are indicating, that Government Ministers are preparing to abandon plans to release greenbelt land for housing

Burntwood Action Group will again be campaigning to save Burntwood’s greenbelt and to that end we have called a public meeting to be held on Tuesday 31st January. It would be nice to be able to advise concerned residence at that meeting that we had the support of Burntwood Town Council and that Councillors have undertaken to be pro-active all levels within the Town and District Councils.

We appeal to our Town Council not to allow Burntwood to sleepwalk into this unwanted significant erosion of our precious greenbelt. If we do, we all will be responsible for loosing a major part of Burntwood’s unique character.

We look forward to confirmation of your support

Thank you.

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