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Euro MP horrified by 'Son of EcoTown' development planned for Fradley Park / Curborough

July 18, 2008 6:23 PM
Liz Lynne MEP (c) discussing the plans with Richard Holloway, chairman of FACT

Liz Lynne MEP (c) discussing the plans with Richard Holloway, chairman of FACT

Regional LibDem Euro-MP Liz Lynne has announced she will back the growing campaign to stop the huge 'Curborough Town' housing development planned for a site at Fradley Park north of Lichfield.

The MEP, Employment and Social Affairs Spokesperson in the European Parliament for the LibDem group, visited the site on Friday July 18th and met local LibDem councillors and campaigners from independent Fradley Against Curborough Town (FACT) action group.

The revived plan for 5000 houses on the former proposed eco-town site is one of the largest proposed developments in the region. 85% of the area covered is a green field site.

Liz Lynne said: "In most parts of the country - such as in Warwickshire - the Eco Town proposals being pushed by government are old planning applications dusted off with a green coat of paint. Staffordshire seems to be getting the opposite, with a discredited Eco Town proposal being revived as a straightforward plan to tip 5,000 houses out of the sky onto a largely green field site, with barely a pretence of environmental sustainability. This is the equivalent of several market towns in many parts of my regional constituency.

"I am very concerned at the immense scale of this proposal, when what this district needs is small scale appropriate development to meet clear local needs.

"This plan if it goes ahead will instead draw in new residents from outside the area who are likely to be commuting long distances to their jobs. It has no rail link and does not fit the infrastructure of local services in Lichfield District. It will do nothing to provide homes for local families at the lower end of the scale. It would use up 5,000 out of the total allocated to the district of 8,500 units by 2025.

"As a regional Euro MP I am anxious to stand up for a sustainably managed response to housing needs. I have objected to the Eco Town proposals and I would be minded to object to this plan."

Local LibDem councillor Marion Bland (District & City Councillor for Chadsmead ward) said: "We were pleased that Liz Lynne came down to meet the residents' action group and to hear our views on this ridiculous and unpopular proposal. We do need some new housing in the district, but not like this."

ENDS

PHOTO: Liz Lynne MEP (c) discussing the plans with Richard Holloway, chairman of FACT