The Urban Capacity Study - 2002

What's happening with the old Leavesley's garage site ?

Not an uncommon question about this site and indeed many others throughout the City and the District - normally no one knows until a planning application is made.

The Lichfield District Council, as required by Government, has carried out an Urban Capacity Study that provides a likely answer to my original question and in doing so raises some significant matters for the Society to consider. The background of this Study is that Central Government "requires local planning authorities to prepare urban housing capacity studies to assist the process of identifying sites [for housing] to be allocated in local plans". The purpose is to promote the use of brownfield land for development in sustainable locations as a priority over the use of greenfield land - a purpose I would suggest the Civic Society applauds.

The sites considered are listed in Appendix A of the Study - a total of 44 sites of which 26 are within the City and will therefore have a significant bearing on future residential development within the City. Each site is considered from the point of anticipated housing yield, current developer interest and the probability of housing development actually taking place.

The sites considered in the City include: the old Leavesley's garage where it is considered "highly likely" development will take place; the old Magistrate's Court - "highly likely"; land at rear of Friary Avenue - "highly likely"; Redcourt Car Park - "likely"; Swan Hotel - "highly likely" and Bison car park - "unlikely". I give these examples only to indicate the range of sites with the current view on the probability of development and to highlight the significance and hence, the implications.

Members of the Committee will shortly be assessing the Study and its implications for each site and its broader baring on the City of Lichfield itself and will report its views to the membership through the Newsletter. Our observations will, of course, be forwarded to the District Council.

Your views on this document, its contents and its implications are also important - the document can be purchased at the Council Offices for 5.00 or may be viewed at the offices without charge. If you have any comments or views on the Study as a whole or an individual site that you wish to bring to the attention of the relevant Committee members please write to me - your opinion matters.

David Duffy
January 2002