The growth of Lichfield continues with news of plans for a 450-home development on land that – for now at least – represents the outskirts of the city.

The plans include a retail element, a community development and associated footpaths and cycle routes.

It will effectively see developments pushing further into the green areas between Lichfield and Shenstone to the south and the proposal has already generated a fair amount of criticism.

Lichfield’s MP has entered the fray by calling for greater balance in such schemes, between the need for Lichfield to take advantage of opportunities for growth and safeguarding the city’s heritage.

There’s little evidence of preserving character and heritage in this part of Lichfield. Ye olde Mega-Tesco is ugly.

Michael Fabricant wants to ensure that developers do not damage the city’s character as they look to meet the area’s housing needs. And I wholeheartedly agree.

Unfortunately, it can be argued that a dangerous precedent has already been set with various schemes that have been completed in recent years. From the Darwin Park residential explosion, to the eyesore that is ye olde Mega-Tesco, there has been little evidence of this delicate balance between progress and protection.

In fact, everything seems to have been tipped in favour of the developers to date with little consideration given to the existing city, its residents and its heritage.

In order to strike the balance the MP is calling for, a fair amount of weight needs to be added to the historic side.

Quite who will supply that weight is open for debate, along with these latest proposals for further development.

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