THE newly-formed Winyates Green Residents Association has got off to a storming start.
The idea of local householder Julie Mackintosh, the response from residents was so great the inaugural meeting had to be delayed to give time for everyone to get into the community centre in Furze Lane.
And Julie said it wasn’t just the looming arrival of the Redditch Eastern Gateway which prompted such a massive response.
“The response was fantastic and I don’t think we could have asked for anything better,” she said. “People want to build a community here, come together, and yes, have a moan, but also do positive things for all of us.”
At the meeting it was agreed to set up a sub-committee – Winyates Green Action Group – to cover the Redditch Eastern Gateway issue.
Backed by both Conservatives and Labour, the £85million Gateway scheme, piloted by developer Stoford, will cover 32 hectares of land on either side of the A4023 Coventry Highway on land between Winyates Green and the A435 at Gorcott Hill.
A promised ‘hi-tech’ park is now more likely to be a business and distribution centre, with outline planning permission for warehouses up to 21 metres high.
However, concerned Stratford District Council, which owns half of the Gateway land, has insisted Stoford set up a steering group of local residents and councillors to oversee progress of the work.
It has also asked Stoford to come up with a viable traffic routing plan to ease fears of juggernauts venturing on to local roads.
“I feel a lot of people don’t fully realise what is about to happen on our doorstep with the Eastern Gateway,” said Kath Skermer, from the Action Group.
“However, our biggest concern at the moment is who from Redditch Borough Council will sit on the steering group.”
The meeting uncovered an army of volunteers and she said with so much goodwill, much could be done.