Burntwood Neighbourhood Plan under pressure from developers wanting to build on our Green Belt

On Monday the Burntwood Neighbourhood Plan committee meets to consider the consultation responses to the Draft Plan.


Lichfield District falls within the Greater Birmingham Housing Market Area (GBHMA).  There is an outstanding minimum shortfall of 28,150 dwellings to 2031 and 60,885 dwellings to 2036 across the Birmingham HMA according their report produced by GL Hearn.

Not surprising then that potential developers refer to this in their responses.

Image result for salesman free clipartAlso, most of these development/consultant companies are “trying it on” with Lichfield District Council in their responses.  They would like the Neighbourhood Plan delayed for the next phase of the Local Plan.  They also want to alter the Green Belt boundaries which is not remit of a Neighbourhood Plan but through the Lichfield Land Allocations Plan!

Barton Willmore on behalf of the Church Commissioners

Would like to build 375 houses on their land West of Stables Way – in the Green Belt.

Their Ethical Investment Policy states: “The National Investing Bodies expect companies in which they invest to manifest sustainable environmental practice, fair treatment of customers and suppliers, responsible employment practices, conscientiousness with regard to human rights, sensitivity towards the communities in which they operate and best corporate governance practice.”

Planning is political of course so there is no reason why residents cannot lobby their Church of England representatives including the Parochial Church Councils.


Support rejuvenated Town Centre – but believes increased footfall needed by building more homes – oh yes and houses are expensive to build on brown field sites so what other solutions are there I wonder?

Wallace Land Investments

Such development can facilitate positive infrastructure improvements to the Town that for the benefit of new and existing residents alike.  Release of Green Belt land is essential to provide for a deliverable range and scale of new development appropriate to Burntwood. and  It is evident from the emerging Local Plan Review that Green Belt Land release will be needed in order to meet the needs of Lichfield DC and the unmet needs of the wider GBHMA.

Pegasus on behalf of Bloor Homes

This may require development beyond the existing urban area, where a range of CoulterLanesigntechnical evidence will be considered, including landscape quality and importance of land against the Green Belt purposes.

The benefits associated with the development of land at Coulter Lane represent an opportunity, as referred to within the Vision, to assist in the delivery of the identified objectives of the Neighbourhood Development Plan.

GVA on behalf of Metacre Ltd.

Our Client has recently agreed terms with the Bradshaw family for the promotion of its land at Bleak House Farm for housing.

Our Client’s objective is to secure the release of the site from the Green Belt, and its allocation for development, through the Local Plan review.

After this meeting the Neighbourhood Plan goes to Lichfield District Council then to the Indepedent Examiner and then to you, the public, in a referendum.


Close run thing for Lichfield’s Neighbourhood Plan. What can we expect for Burntwood?

Lichfield City residents were clearly divided last week over their Neighbourhood Plan (NP) with one of the closest results ever seen  for a Neighbourhood Plan.  Most referendums result in a 90% vote in favour, unsurprisingly as the NP is the result of numerous consultation events, with 84% minimum support – until now.

Only 57% voted in favour in Lichfield with 43% against with the lowest turnout for a NP in the district.

Lichfield NPHow will Burntwood’s Neighbourhood Plan be received – if it ever gets to the stage where it can be presented to residents in a referendum?

Other Plans in Lichfield District followed the normal experience in other parts of the country.

 Other results in Lichfield District

Whittington and Fisherwick 90% in favour, Stonnall 92% in favour, Shenstone  89% in favour and Little Aston 89% in favour.

Secretary of State can overrule local views

Yesterday the High Court confirmed that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government had the power to overrule local residents, the District Council and the Independent Planning Inspector in giving the go-ahead for 750 dwellings near Lichfield.

Sajid Javid

Whilst Lichfield District Council was able to defend the Local Plan in the High Court against developers in July 2015 it is a different situation now.

The previous blog described the threat to the Local Plan if Lichfield District Council lost the fight although it may mean less pressure on the Green Belt around Burntwood.

Planning Permission for 750 homes in Curborough means 750 are not needed elsewhere – at the moment.  But we must not be too relieved in Burntwood because this means the Local Plan could be overruled by the Government again in the future and there is a pack of developers waiting to pounce.  In the future, after this initial period, Birmingham still needs land for their population increase.

What is the current situation?

Lichfield District Council officers and Cabinet members are having to consider the judgement and the 5000 representations from residents and developers to the consultation over the Housing Allocation sites two of which are within the current Green Belt boundary.

Coulter Lane pic
Coulter Lane

It has been reported elsewhere that the Coulter Lane site earmarked for 80 dwellings has been taken off the list but that is not so.  Officers are still to submit a detailed report to Cabinet – probably on the 5th of December.

Who sent in representations and who didn’t?

You will not be surprised to see that Lichfield’s MP did not write to support the Green Belt in and around Burntwood in the Consultation Report.  Of course had it been a Labour Secretary of State he would have asked questions in Parliament and lobbied the District Council but in fact he supports their policies whilst trying to kid protesters in Burntwood that he is on their side!