“MY door is always open and the telephone is always on” – that was the message to Redditch residents from Borough Council Leader Matt Dormer after demonstrators greeted councillors arriving at the Abbey Stadium for the full council meeting on Monday.
Some 50 banner waving protesters had gathered at the front of the building to make their feelings known over plans to put a cemetery on Ipsley Meadow, build more than 230 homes off Winyates Green, and over the major developments off Foxlydiate.
There was also some political chanting directed at councillors from the ruling Conservative group as they passed the group.
“It’s hardly a peaceful protest when you bring in party politics,” said Coun Dormer.
“It devalues the whole thing, otherwise I would have hopefully engaged with them.
“Anyone can talk to me but they have to come up with ideas, constructive criticism is welcome but in doing so they have to provide alternatives.”
Protesters were voicing their anger at a number of issues.
Pam Oldfield of Winyates Green Residents Association said: “If the development at ‘Mappleborough Woods’ goes ahead there were will be a huge loss of wildlife.
“The woods will be chopped down when we’re meant to be planting more trees, there’s no infrastructure to support schools, and neither is there capacity at the hospital or local GP practices.
“The traffic is potentially going to be horrendous.
“At the moment the trees form a barrier and provide a habitat for wildlife, if they go and there’s all the noise as well, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Carol Lynn from Batchley spoke out about the developments at Foxlydiate. She said: “Yes, we have a shortage of homes, but in making new ones on green land we’re destroying the homes of wildlife already there.
“Why can’t they use brownfield sites? It breaks my heart to see the land torn up like this.”
Plans for both Mappleborough Woods and Ipsley Meadow have yet to go before the council’s planning committee.