Lichfield Mercury —10th Feb 2011

WE REFER to your article concerning plans to build 8,000 homes between 2006 and 2026, and quoting Lichfield District Council as saying it has “solid local evidence” to support this need.

I encourage the council to publish this evidence because central government is issuing conflicting data. Forecasts for the Lichfield District, compiled by the Office of National Statistics, suggest that residents aged 65 and over will account for 82 per cent of all household growth between 2006 and 2026.

This demonstrates a much smaller need for family homes, with only 18 per cent of all growth coming from the under-65 age group.

How many retired people would want to downsize to one of the new developments, located on the outskirts of the city, knowing that financial pressures are forcing councils to reconsider bus subsidies and that the free bus pass may also be under threat?

It is also curious that the council can propose adding retail space in Lichfield's city centre while adding housing on the outskirts when it claims to have a policy objective to create local sustainability and reduce travel!

Peter Rear – Chairman, Beacon Street Area Residents' Association