THERE is growing anger over the secrecy surrounding a potential tenant for a massive warehouse planned for the Redditch Eastern Gateway, with residents fearing it could be a mammoth Amazon-like distribution company.
The site, off Gorcott Hill to the north of the A4023, is so big it replaces six smaller warehouses on the original plans.
At the last count the building has docking bays for 121 heavy goods vehicles and parking for 127 more, plus parking for 475 cars and 28 motorcycles.
The site is so big it even has three bus stops.
However the name of the possible tenant is missing from the planning documents to be considered by the three local authorities involved – Stratford District Council, Bromsgrove District Council, and Redditch Borough Council.
“It’s an Amazon type company, we guess and I cannot see how councillors can make a decision like this in a vacuum,” said campaigner Len Quartly of Winyates Green Residents Association.
“The councillors are meant to be our representatives – if they know the full facts why can’t they tell us?”
The land in question sits in Bromsgrove District and their planners will rule on the issue on Monday, March 11.
They’ll be followed by Stratford planners on Wednesday, March 13 with Redditch planners making their decision on Monday, March 18.
Campaigners are also concerned over the use of the word ‘insignificant’ to describe HGVs leaving or approaching the site from the south and having to drive through Redditch using the A448 Slough Road to the A435 at Spernall Ash just south of Studley.
“It may be avoiding Mappleborough Green and Studley but it takes absolutely no account of the people of Coughton or Kings Coughton,” said Len.
“Imagine all the lorries belching fumes going up Rough Hill Drive in Redditch too.
“And even if the ‘majority’ of HGVs go north to Junction 3 of the M42 that too will need re-working.”
There is also concern that despite the promised use of numberplate recognition technology to prevent HGVs going through Mappleborough Green and Studley it will be impossible for Stratford District Council to enforce.
“What if 100 HGV drivers say, sod it, we’re ignoring the cameras, what’s Stratford going to do then?” said Len.
Both the planning meetings in Redditch and Bromsgrove start at 7pm. The Stratford one at 6pm at its headquarters in Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford, CV37 6HX.
A spokesperson for Redditch Borough Council said: “From a planning perspective we have to look at ‘what’ the development will look like rather than ‘who’ the potential occupiers could be.
“If development proceeds, the landowner would be subject to the same planning regulations no matter who they are.”
A spokesman from Stofords, the agent for the site, said the name of the potential tenant was confidential ‘and would remain confidential for some time’.
n Len Quartly interview on the Redditch Standard Podcast – visit www.redditchstandard.co.uk/podcasts/