15th Dec, 2018

'Lip service' - anger grows over Eastern Gateway steering group

Ross Crawford 31st Aug, 2018

A KEY figure in the steering group representing residents affected by the Eastern Gateway development has accused it of ‘paying lip service’ to local concerns.

Mappleborough Green Councillor Maureen Berry said residents’ views ‘kept being shot down’ at its inaugural meeting in Stratford.

“I came away from the meeting very disappointed,” she said.

“I feel we were being paid lip service just because Stratford District Council planning committee said they had to have a steering group.

“I was at that meeting and saw the sympathy those councillors had for us and I am sure this was not what they had in mind.”

The steering group is made up of local residents and councillors, officers from both Warwickshire and Worcestershire county councils and representatives from the developer Stofords, under the chairmanship of Worcestershire County Councillor Dr Ken Pollock, who coincidentally also chairs of the board progressing the Eastern Gateway development.

However Coun Pollock (Con, Tenbury Wells) stands by his neutrality and has insisted there is no conflict of interest between his two roles.

With detailed planning permission for the Eastern Gateway site still in the pipeline, attention has been focused on traffic flow and pollution.

“What if HGVs arrive early for their unloading times – what happens if there are no places for them on the site – where do they go, are they going to be parking in Alders Drive and Far Moor Lane?” said Coun Berry.

“I raised the issue of putting a number plate camera on the A4189 Henley Road, they hadn’t thought about traffic using that route to the M40 – and they’re meant to be the experts.

“As for fining drivers if they break the traffic routing rules, the companies are just going to pass that cost on – it’s ridiculous.”

With a second meeting planned for October Coun Berry said she would like to see a focus on air pollution, speed limits and how enforceable regulations would be on HGVs coming through Studley and Mappleborough Green.

“We have a 200-plus room hotel opening next year in Studley and our roads are already at saturation point,” she said.

“The intention of the steering group was to oversee the development and lessen its impact on local residents and that is what it should do.”

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