A Lichfield residents’ group is urging the district council to delay implementing any measures to build thousands of new homes in the area until after the next General Election.
Lichfield District Residents’ Alliance is opposing the new 10,000 target set for the period 2006 to 2026 and also wants the council to have a rethink on the previous total of 8,000. Chairman David Woods said: “The district council should never have accepted the 8,000 target in the first place. Other councils have challenged such targets – and won.
“It’s not too late to avoid these externally imposed targets. Caroline Spelman, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has contacted all Conservative-controlled councils suggesting that they delay any housing development plans until after the general election. If elected, the Conservative party has pledged to abolish the regional planning machinery and revoke the housing targets.”
Councillor David Smith, leader of Lichfield District Council, has responded to the independent inspector’s decision that the district should accept a total of 10,000 new houses by pledging to fight the 2,000 increase in the West Midlands regional spatial strategy.
“He complains that the increase from the 8,000 the council originally accepted would mean having to build on green field land in open countryside, yet he conveniently forgets that the council’s current proposals already involve building on green belt and green field land.
“The Alliance has campaigned against the 8,000 target in support of the majority of residents who really do love Lichfield and oppose this level of new building. We should all bear in mind that only some 3,000 dwellings are needed to cater for natural growth in the plan period.
“The solution is simple, Councillor Smith and Lichfield District Council should reject the 8,000 and 10,000 targets.”
The action group will be meeting with Burntwood Action Group, with which it has joined forces, to determine a unified response.
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