THE Studley on the Map project has hit its £35,479 target – thanks to a bumper £5,000 donation from Redditch Eastern Gateway developer Stoford.
And although eyebrows might well be raised at the source of the cash – a company whose plans could result in thousands of more traffic journeys through the village – Studley on the Map campaigner and District Councillor Justin Kerridge insisted the cash came with no strings attached.
“This is something Stoford didn’t need to do as they already had all they wanted,” he said.
“Of course I am aware of how it might look, but I am very keen that this is taken in the right way by the public as a no strings attached donation from Stoford, who now have a long term interest in the local area and want to contribute where they can.”
He said this could include other projects affected by the development, which will see the construction of huge 21metre high warehouses on either side of the A4023 Coventry Highway in Redditch, just off the A435 at Gorcott Hill.
“This contribution from Stofords is great and frankly it’s above and beyond – but this is a really positive story, and it’s positive that we have achieved the target for the Studley on the Map project,” said Coun Kerridge.
He went on to pay tribute to all who had contributed sums, both large and small, to the fund, including transport giants Allelys who put in £2,000 and the family of Trisha Wellings who collectively put in more than £1,000.
The project, piloted by Studley Business Forum, aims to create a village-wide website to highlight all that is great about Studley and put up signposts and fingerposts pointing people to the attractions it becomes less of a place to drive through to get somewhere else but a destination in its own right.
Stofords have received outline planning permission for the Eastern Gateway site, which covers an area of roughly 52 football pitches and which is predicted to create 2,500 jobs.
The development has caused widespread alarm, particularly for Winyates Green residents who will live in its shadow, and for people living along the A435 in Mappleborough Green, Studley and Coughton who could face a massive increase in traffic on their streets.
A traffic routing plan proposed by Stoford was thrown out by Stratford District planners with the company asked to come up with something better.
Councillors are demanding that HGVs serving the site should either use the A435 north to the M42 or go through Redditch to avoid their villages.