Gravityscan Badge Villagers in race against time « Alrewas Neighbourhood Plan

Villagers in race against time

Villagers in race against time to have their wishes met over housing plan | Lichfield Mercury.

Alrewas Petitioners

Alrewas Petitioners

ALREWAS residents opposed to plans for 140 new homes on land at the north edge of the village are appealing for Lichfield District Council to refuse the application and consider their views on the area’s future development.

The village has spent the last 18 months producing a draft Neighbourhood Plan (NPlan), and conducted a survey, which reflects the opinion of the majority of residents.

It is soon to be submitted but is subject to a six-week consultation period to ensure legal requirements have been met.

An independent examiner would then provide a recommendation as to whether the plan should go forward to a referendum and, if there was a majority vote, it would be adopted by the district council.

However the application by Lioncourt Developments is due be heard by LDC’s planning committee this month and residents fear it may be given the green light before their plan can be taken into consideration.

A petition has been drawn up by villagers in favour of the neighbourhood plan and objecting to Lioncourt’s proposal, but the deadline for public submissions is Monday (July 14).

A spokesman for the villagers said: “Having spent two hours with Lichfield planning department last week, it is clear that LDC doesn’t intend to give any attention to the Neighbourhood Plan or, indeed the wishes of the majority of the village as recorded by our extensive village survey.

“We believe that the only way that both sides of the issue can be given a fair hearing is through a public review by an independent examiner.

“That is an integral part of the Neighbourhood Planning process as established by central government and given the advanced stage of the NPlan, in our view it is not democratic for Lichfield to deny us that opportunity, particularly because that process is only weeks away.”

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and development, said: “Alrewas’ Neighbourhood Plan has a number of stages to go before it can be adopted and form part of the Development Plan for the area.

“This includes a six-week public consultation held by the district council.

“The plan will then be considered by an independent examiner who will assess it against set criteria. If it meets requirements, it will then proceed to a local referendum and, if the majority vote in favour, it will be approved and form part of our Local Plan.

“We know it must be frustrating for Alrewas Parish Council and local people, having worked so hard on the plan, but we can only assess planning applications against current guidance.

“Any comments received in this application’s consultation will of course be carefully considered when determining the application.”

■ Arrangements are being made for drop-ins in the village so residents can fill out the petition over the weekend. Visit http://alrewasplan.co.uk or call 07803 955913.

Where the 140 houses would be bulit

Where the 140 houses would be bulit

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