BREAKING: Lichfield District Local Plan – Examination in Public – Day three
Photo courtesy of paulwoolrich Flickr
2nd July 2013
[This hearing session took place on Wed 26/Jun. This blog post has been held back because of confusion regarding the Council’s policies on the Green Belt]
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.
The third day of hearings started with a review of housing land supply. The Council was asked to show it had identified enough land to meet its development needs and that there was nothing to prevent the land from being developed when the Plan said it was required. The developers set about undermining the Council’s evidence of a 5-year housing land supply. If successful the Developers would gain a significant advantage over the Council. The developers also tried to boost the housing delivery targets by claiming that more houses had to be built because of an “under delivery” of homes in the past. The Lichfield Alliance said the arithmetic was silly because the “shortfall” would evaporate if the start date of the plan was moved either forward or backwards. The Inspector said that he would look into the matter.
The afternoon session covered the implication of the Plan for the Green Belt. The Inspector asked if the Plan required encroachment into the Green Belt. If this was the case, ‘safeguarded land’ would no longer be protected. The published plan did not propose any Green Belt development, so the Council suggested that this was a minor decision which could be deferred. The Council wanted to adopt the main plan first and review the Green Belt boundary later.
After complicated legal discussions the Inspector asked the Council to send him a note confirming whether they had the legal powers to defer modification the Green Belt boundary to a later planning document or whether the matter had to be dealt with in the Local Plan which the Inspector is currently examining. The Council have written back to the Inspector saying that Green Belt boundaries can only be altered in exceptional circumstances and that this must be done through the preparation or review of a Local Plan. Accordingly the Council will be writing to the Inspector suggesting modifications to the Local Plan so that it complied with national policy. This will preserve existing Green Belt boundaries and remove any suggestion that they will be changed in a later document.
Letter DCLG Written Ministerial Statement Green_Belt Planning and travellers
Green belt land needed to tackle 'major housing crisis' says city planning chief
Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Comments Form - Part C: Comments on the duty to co-operate and legal compliance
Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Completing Comments Form - Part B Comments on soundness
Everybody needs good neighbours: Invitation to Brum's neighbouring LA's to comment on the Birmingham Development Plan 2031
Green Belt campaigners conclude the Birmingham Development Plan 2031 (Pre-submission version) is unsound
Pressure mounting on infrastructure providers as Draft Birmingham Development Plan released
Important rail link construction hits the buffers
Public sector housing contribution at fault for Birmingham’s housing shortage
Up to 19,000 new homes proposed near busy Lichfield to Birmingham rail route
Calls for Birmingham City Council to review housing levels as green belt targeted for new homes
Council targets green belt homes while thousands of houses stand empty across Birmingham
Sutton Coldfield Rural Campaign challenges Council’s housing projections
A38 commuter route puts Birmingham Local Plan in reverse