West Coast Main Line
Lichfield constituents will now have to go online to book an appointment with their MP Michael Fabricant through the National Rail Enquiries website.
Previously only available by written application penned with a swan’s quill on the finest vellum and handed to a barista at Caffe Nero, these surgery appointments have proven to be rather too bothersome. Mr Fabricant explained:
‘It was proving just too popular, some weeks I’d have see up to three plebeians pleading their worthless causes. It was outrageous, turning up to interrupt my long-weekend break with moans and groans about trivial parochial issues – no health provision in Burntwood; appalling social housing conditions in the Dimbles; or, best of all, the sell-off of the Friary Library, what a joke, they can’t even read.
‘Well, local issues affecting people who don’t vote for me are of no interest and frankly it’s an unwelcome distraction from my camp Twitter innuendo sessions with a piping hot grande Americano.’
Our local member expects that the new booking arrangements, managed by National Rail Enquiries, will ensure that only issues relating to rail travel to and from London Euston on a Thursday afternoon and a Sunday evening will be raised. Mr Fabricant elaborated:
‘Constituents can go online, type in their West Coast Mainline or HS2 concerns and National Rail will book a reservation with me on the London/Lichfield line. But remember, it’s first come first served – there’s only one 2 minute slot available per journey. And at a ticket price of £250 I think that’s real value for money.’
Mr Fabricant regularly challenges @LondonMidland on matters of grave concern to his constituents, he has tweeted:
“Is vaping allowed on @LondonMidland trains? On Sunday, there were thick white fumes in my part of the train. Ugghhh!”
“Intensely irritating getting the message that @LondonMidland 14.46 EUS > Crewe is boarding then left on platform!”
The Lichfield MP has also called for a new HS2 station to be located by his home on The Close and for the new line to link up with Eurostar. The vociferous Brexit campaigner commented:
‘HS2 ought to have a complete rethink. The route is completely flawed. If it joined up with Eurostar we could deport migrants much more efficiently. What you have to ask is, if he had been in charge what would Hitler have done?’
Local planning officers are celebrating another victory over their arch enemies on the Planning Committee of Lichfield District Council.
Despite planning officers recommendation to grant Revelan Group’s proposals for 77 homes on land off Eastern Avenue, the application was unanimously rejected by the Planning Committee in February.
Revelan appealed and the Planning Inspectorate has now overturned the Council’s decision. Development is now expected to start on site in 2015.
Simon Hawley of planning consultants Harris Lamb, acted on behalf of Revelan, he said:
‘This former industrial site has been vacant since 2007 and despite the Council’s belief that it would be the subject of intense interest from potential business occupiers we have managed to sign-up not a single tenant.
‘Now that we have residential planning we’ll be completing the sale of the site to a national house builder by Christmas.’
Chair of Lichfield District Council’s Planning Committee, local car mechanic Councillor Helen Fisher said:
‘We’re obviously disappointed that the Inspectorate chose to support the professional planning officer’s recommendation to grant consent, but just without the £300,000 contribution to local schools that Revelan would have paid if we had granted the application in the first place.’
The company proposed a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing with an affordable housing provision that is likely to appeal only to railway enthusiasts and those who appreciate natural water features in their living room.
The Council’s rejection of the plan hinged on it’s concern about loss of “employment land” but LDC’s own Employment Land Review had actually revealed the district has an excessive quantity of suitable employment sites. Councillor Fisher commented:
‘Yep, they got us banged to rights with that one. Are they out of time to make an application for costs?’
Dick King, Lichfield District Council’s Strategic Director of Democratic, Development and Legal commented:
‘I’m delighted that I am always right, but you’ll have to excuse me, I need to focus on another round of compulsory redundancies for council staff.’