Housing and Employment Plan moves to the next phase

Monday, 23rd June 2014

Plans for future development of housing and employment sites across Tamworth will now move on to the next stage, following approval by the Borough Council’s Cabinet.

This follows a six week consultation which took place with the public, developers and other interested parties – including English Heritage and the Environment Agency – on the Draft Local Plan which includes proposals for future land allocation.

Almost 300 members of the public attended eight drop-in sessions where staff were on-hand to discuss the proposals and 133 people and organisations submitted comments.

All comments made on the plan should be based on evidence. For example, if someone objects to a potential development site, there must be valid planning reasons for it not to be considered.

Issues raised included: more housing should be delivered on brownfield sites; greenbelt land should be protected; concerns over the redevelopment of the golf course, support for potential town centre housing; impact of HS2;  more social housing is needed and existing traffic problems.

More than 60 sites across the borough underwent in-depth studies to assess their suitability for future housing which was reduced to 24 potential sites.  There are eight proposed sites for employment development.

The three strategic housing sites presently are: Anker Valley with a capacity 500 dwellings,  Tamworth Golf Course with a capacity for 1100 dwellings and Dunstall Lane with a capacity of 700 dwellings

Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economic Development said: “I would like to thank everyone who attended the drop-in events and submitted their comments.

“Future development is often a contentious issue. The range of views expressed show that there are a number of contradictory opinions on the scale and nature of Tamworth’s future development. A significant number are already addressed by the plan and the evidence base which underpins it.

“We spent a lot of time ensuring we had explored all the different sites for suitability and reduced the final number from 60 to 24. Development of employment and homes is essential to both Tamworth’s economic future and ensuring we can provide good quality homes for our residents.”

 “The next stage of the plan will see it tested for soundness before it is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.”

As a result of some of the issues raised during the consultation, some changes to the plan will now be made before the next phase of consultation takes place. This could include changes to how policies are worded and supporting text to add clarity to the Local Plan.

The evidence base for the Local Plan shows that Tamworth Borough Council needs to provide at least 6,250 homes over the lifetime of the plan – approximately 170 new homes a year – to meet needs across the borough. The council believes that approximately 2,000 of these new homes will need to be provided outside of the borough.