Lichfield District Council Local Plan Examination in Public - Day Two
Photo courtesy of paulwoolrich Flickr
26th June 2013
Inspector Robert Yuille is conducting an examination of the Local Plan for Lichfield District. Public hearings are taking place over the next twelve days starting Monday 24/June. Mr Yuille will determine whether the Local Plan is “sound” and whether it complies with all the legal requirements.
On the second day of hearings landowners and developers were given the opportunity to argue that the Council’s housing target of 435 new homes per year should be increased. It was not a good day from the Council’s perspective. The developers pointed out that the Council plans to build fewer houses than its own evidence requires. The Council tried unsuccessfully to argue that some of Lichfield’s housing target would actually be built in Tamworth and Cannock Chase. It was then pointed out that signed agreements between Lichfield, Cannock Chase & Tamworth Councils required Lichfield to take their overspill housing, not the other way round.
As the hearing dragged on the Council’s explanations became increasingly complex and confusing with many present casting doubt of the Council’s arguments and saying that it did not fit with their knowledge of the local property market. Some developers argued that the housing target should be raised substantially so that Lichfield could catch up after the slump in house building since 2008. Other developers said that the target should be raised to meet pent up demand from Birmingham. Helpfully Mr David Carter, representing Birmingham City Council, said that raising the house building target unilaterally was likely to encourage outward migration and that Lichfield should wait until all of Birmingham’s neighbours had committed to an agreement on how best to deal with overspill housing.
Inspector Yuille adjourned the meeting to gather his thoughts. When discussions resumed it was agreed that the Council and one of the developers would prepare a joint note which attempted to reconcile the council’s house building plans with the evidence and with its obligation to meet in full the housing needs of the District. A further hearing session would be arranged to pick up the loose ends.
The agenda for Hearing Session Matters (19th June 2013):
Matter 5 – Housing Supply – Wednesday 26th June 13 AM
Matter 9 – Greenbelt – Wednesday 26th June 13 PM
Matter 3 – The Strategy – Thursday 27th June, Friday 28th June, Monday 1st July, Tuesday 2nd July
Further information is available on how this is important to the Sutton Coldfield green belt 10,000 homes development. Read: Rail Infrastructure and A38 Highways Report
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