In his formal response to the West Midlands Regional Assembly Report on
the ‘Regional Spatial Strategy’ which determines the house building
programme for Staffordshire and the rest of the west midlands, Michael
Fabricant has said a resounding ‘No’ to the construction of 16,000 new
homes in Lichfield District.
In his response to the Regional Assembly, Michael Fabricant says "While
I recognise the need for additional housing, Options 2 and 3 proposed by
the Strategy are wholly unacceptable and would destroy the quality of
life currently enjoyed in Lichfield District". Option 3 calls for
77,900 new homes to be built in Staffordshire (excluding Stoke) of which
16,000 (21%) would be built in Lichfield and Option 2 calls for 67,900
new homes to be built in Staffordshire (excluding Stoke) of which 11,000
(16%) would be built in Lichfield.
Option 1 calls for 51,300 new homes to be built in Staffordshire
(excluding Stoke) of which 6,500 (13%) would be built in Lichfield.
Michael Fabricant has told the Regional Assembly that Option 1 "is an
acceptable and realistic building programme that would not have a major
impact on the environment in Lichfield".
Commenting on his response, Michael now says: "Taking into account
completions of house building since 2001 and current building
commitments, Lichfield already has completed an existing programme of
5,500 homes. So the acceptance of Option 1 offered by the Regional
Assembly would mean, in practice, that the District would have to find
sites for 1,000 homes. Although this seems considerable, I understand
that they could be accommodated on brownfield sites and through
"My concerns are that these sites are chosen sensitively to ensure that
Lichfield City does not encroach onto greenbelt separating the City from
the Birmingham conurbation and that ‘brownfield’ does not mean the
Government’s definition which includes large back gardens.
"Lichfield has a unique identity and we will lose it all if we are
swallowed up into Birmingham’s characterless urban sprawl".