RESIDENTS from Winyates Green are hitting out at the proposed Redditch Eastern Gateway plan fearing it will cause choking pollution and damage wildlife.
The project, described as a ‘game changer’ for Redditch by Worcestershire County Council and North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration, is now facing strong objections from those living in Winyates – the closest area to the proposed new development.
Some residents are arguing that their voices have effectively been hushed by the way in which objections can be made.
A petition has been launched by Christopher Eden, to give those who have been unable to voice their concerns over the plans – whether due to age mobility issues or lack of computer literacy – a chance to comment.
He said: “A lot of the people living in this area are older people and pensioners. Many of them are not computer literate, or are unable to get out of the house to attend meetings.
“Their voices are not being heard in the online debate, but they are important people and deserve a say.”
The move has so far gathered around 500 signatures.
The petition highlights concerns including the impact of more cars and lorries on the road, the damage to local wildlife and the need to build the development in the first place, citing plenty of vacant units in Redditch itself.
“The triangle currently provides several acres of habitat for protected wildlife, including newts and owls, as well as a delicate ecosystem of rare wild flowers and grass meadow,” added Me Eden.
“How can these new plans be regarded as sustainable development if they result in the destruction of this precious habitat? Winyates Green will be then without its Green.”
Head of Planning Services for Redditch Borough Council, Ruth Bamford, said: “If residents have a view that they would like the councils to be aware of before making a decision then they need to write in and set out their concerns. To be a valid representation on a planning application it has to be a written response as this is a national requirement.
“Anyone who struggles with writing can get a friend, relative, neighbour or even one of our officers to note their views down for them. Providing the individual signs the letter to indicate that it is their view, it will be accepted.”
The 32-hectare site could bring up to 2,500 jobs to the town, but has sparked fury from nearby residents and those living along the A435 in Mappleborough Green, Studley and Coughton.
People have until October 27 to make formal objections. Comments received after this will still be taken into account and detailed in the Committee report. Any subsequent letters and details of any petitions received will also be reported to each of the three separate planning committees.
Anyone who would like to make contact can either email email@example.com or write to Planning Manager (Applications and Committee), Planning Services, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6HX.