The Lichfield City Neighbourhood Plan (LCNP) referendum takes place on 22 February 2018. Details of the development of LCNP including a summary document and the complete LCNP can be found here.
A number of questions have been raised about the Neighbourhood Plan and the referendum, the FAQ's below reflect those questions asked so far. If you have a question that is not answered below please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work. It adds another ‘layer’ to the adopted Local Plan to help inform Planning decisions and local priorities.
Why do we need a referendum?
By law, the finalised LCNP must be accepted by a majority of votes in the parish of Lichfield City before it can be adopted.
What question will the referendum ask?
The question asked at the referendum will be: "Do you want Lichfield District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Lichfield City to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"
What happens if the majority vote in favour?
If the majority vote in favour the LCNP is adopted. It then becomes part of the formal Development Plan for the area, with legal force, and helps shape the direction of future employment development in the City.
The City would also retain 25% rather than 15% of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
What is CIL?
CIL is a planning charge paid to local authorities by developers and helps deliver infrastructure improvements and developments. It is money for the City to be spent on the City and in consultation with local residents. The more CIL we retain, the more we can deliver as a Parish.
What happens if the majority vote against?
If the majority vote against the LCNP then it has no legal force and the City would retain only 15% of CIL monies, meaning less money to spend on CIL led improvements and developments. The policy priorities and enhancements outlined in the LCNP will have no bearing on Planning policy.
Have you consulted on this?
Yes, there have been several consultations and regular updates in the local press and on social media. Lichfield District Council also undertook a consultation late in 2017. The key consultation activities are detailed here
Are you going to demolish B&M and develop Bird St car park? I read something in the Mercury...
No. The LCNP does not initiate development, it seeks only to improve developments that may come forward by adding considerations and conditions. B&M/Bird St car park is currently the largest area of potential development in the core of the City and its redevelopment has been discussed previously and is part of an area of potential development identified in Lichfield District Council's Local Plan. It was therefore prudent to add some conditions and considerations to this area over the Plan period (to 2029). These conditions include the retention of car parking on site, which is not mentioned in the District Council's Local Plan.
Any such development would not be led by the City Council, it does not own the building or car park (both are owned by the District Council) and would not have the resources to even consider such a scheme.