protect

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]yahoo.co.uk>

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

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