HUNDREDS of residents have objected against controversial plans to build a new cemetery on land off Ipsley Church Lane.
Redditch Borough Council earmarked the site, which is part of Arrow Valley Park, after spending years hunting for the right location for a new cemetery.
The cemetery by the Abbey is only two years away from being full, according to reports.
Polesworth Close resident John Browning said: “Whilst I understand the need for space for burial grounds, I just think this is a completely inappropriate choice.
“I’ve been walking around this field for 15 years and I’ve never been there alone.
“It’s used for mainly dog walking but people fly model planes there, kites, play ball games, have picnics and use it for exercise.
“And there is loads of wildlife around the area that people love to see.”
Covering an area of 11.5 acres, council officers estimate that the land, to the west of Icknield Street Drive, could be big enough as a cemetery to last 60 to 70 years.
Officers say that developing the land would be cheaper than buying a new site from an existing landowner.
Sarah Brasnell of Pitchcomb Close said: ” I object to this destruction – I can’t believe Ipsley Meadow is going to be turned into a burial site. There will be no greenery left in this town soon.
“I have mental health issues so sitting on the bench looking out across the meadow, even for just 10 minutes, makes me feel so much better in myself.”
Locals have also said that the ecological, historical, traffic pollution, and public wellbeing impacts would be massive.
Claire Mcafee, who didn’t disclose her address, added: “I assume that money has spoken all too loudly. I would be very interested to see how many people who have a vote on this have some sort of financial interest in the outcome.
“It seems to me that this has been put forward very quickly, with very little notice. There was one sign on a bus stop, hardly public notice.”
Councillor Brandon Clayton (Con, Astwood Bank and Feckenham) who’s environment portfolio covers cemetery services, said the problem in the town was the high water table and clay soil.
“The officers have carried out tests all over the town but these have all been turned down for various reasons,” he said.
“Now we have come up with a site in Ipsley that fits all the criteria.”