The Conservative Government’s national planning guidance, which councils have to follow says early on:
“At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.”
It’s not just Burntwood suffering the threat to our Green Belt
which shows it is Government policy – and why our MP has kept quiet about it.
From chapter 19 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on Green Belt land:
5. When defining boundaries, local planning authorities should:
● ensure consistency with the Local Plan strategy for meeting identified requirements for sustainable development;
● not include land which it is unnecessary to keep permanently open;
● where necessary, identify in their plans areas of ‘safeguarded land’ between the urban area and the Green Belt, in order to meet longer-term development needs stretching well beyond the plan period;
● make clear that the safeguarded land is not allocated for development at the present time. Planning permission for the permanent development of safeguarded land should only be granted following a Local Plan review which proposes the development;
● satisfy themselves that Green Belt boundaries will not need to be altered at the end of the development plan period; and
● define boundaries clearly, using physical features that are readily recognisable and likely to be permanent.
That last bullet point is what the Conservative Cabinet at Lichfield District Council are using to justify using green belt land for housing off Highfields Road – the M6 Toll is a clear physical feature!
The Green Belt reviews took published in 2012, 2013 and November 2016. Did your Hammerwich or Highfield Ward district councillors speak up on your behalf then – when it was really needed? Ask them, we know your MP didn’t.