CONCERN has been raised about the amount of traffic that might be routed through Redditch as a result of the Eastern Gateway development.
The borough’s planning committee met on Wednesday night to discuss and eventually approve amendments agreed by Stratford planners who have already voiced concerns over traffic flow along the A435 to the development.
The £85million project is broadly supported by both Labour and Conservative councillors in Redditch who welcome the employment opportunities it will bring and its wealth creation potential.
The scheme has also been approved by Worcestershire and Warwickshire County Councils, the local highways authorities.
However planners heard of fears that HGVs travelling north to the site might go up the A448 Slough to the already congested Rough Hill Drive island before descending to the MacDonalds island, on to the Alvechurch Highway and then along the Coventry Highway.
“There is a concern a lot of traffic will go through Redditch, although Highways say that is not going to happen,” said Coun Michael Chalk (Con, Abbey).
“I’m no lorry driver and you simply do not know what their satnavs are going to say, but it’s certainly possible.”
Mappleborough Green parish Councillor Maureen Berry, who observed the meeting said: “It’s like they’re suddenly realising Redditch may have a traffic problem, particularly if steps are taken to prevent HGVs going through Studley and Mappleborough Green.
“Redditch will get all the hassle and none of the benefits.”
Coun Paul Swansborough (Ukip, Winyates) another observer said: “The County Councils are saying everything is going to be all right but anyone with commonsense will see the HGV drivers will take the easiest, quickest route.”
Planning committee chairman Coun Andy Fry (Lab, Lodge Park) said: “The Eastern Gateway will generate a lot of traffic but much of it will access the site through the Bromsgrove and Stratford part of it and not through the borough of Redditch.
“Worcestershire Highways Authority is quite satisfied and it is important to recognise that anything that does go through the town will not touch any estate.
“The the proximity of the development to Winyates Green has been of concern to us and with the help of Stratford District Council residents they have ended up with a better deal.”