PLANS to build 103 new homes and 5,000sq m of employment units at the back of the Alexandra Hospital have sparked renewed fears of Redditch creeping ever closer to Studley.
The development would go right up to Green Lane, which is the border between the two counties, leaving only Studley Common – a mere 600 yards wide – between the new town and the Warwickshire village.
The planning application is from Barratt & David Wilson Homes with access via Nine Days Lane in Redditch and an ‘emergency exit’ onto Green Lane.
“This will bring Redditch right up to our doorstep and cause all sorts of problems,” Councillor Paul Beaman, chairman of Studley parish council, told a meeting on Tuesday night.
Coun Maureen Rickhards agreed: “I’m worried about this emergency access onto Green Lane. I don’t know how it would work unless there was a barrier and that would defeat the object of it as the emergency services wouldn’t be able to get in.”
Elsewhere the Eastern Gateway industrial development at Gorcott Hill is likelt to be built on nine hectares of Stratford district land while Redditch has earmarked land between Winyates Green up to the A435 for development, threatening Mappleborough Green, possibly all the way down to the Washford Mill.
Redditch borough councillor Brandon Clayton (Con, Astwood Bank, Feckenham), said: “It’s a concern as we seem to be building right up to the edge on every piece of land.
“We’re building on the periphery of the town when there is other land available, for instance at Brockhill, which isn’t impacting on our neighbours.
“I can understand the concern; if Redditch builds up to the A435 there will be a temptation for Stratford to build up to it too and the two areas will more or less merge.”
The leader of Redditch council Coun Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) said: “This scheme is not likely to come to committee until August or September and the officers will make a recommendation based on their findings.
“We have an number of emergency access points in Redditch, they’re usually of raised bricks which a fire engine could easily go over but an ordinary vehicle would find difficult if not impossible.”
Studley parish councillors agreed to object to the plans on the grounds that they were part of Redditch Local Plan 4 which has yet to be approved by the planning inspector, its environmental impact, the danger of coalescence, and increased traffic.