PLANS to build an extra 42 houses at the back of the Alexandra Hospital have been given the green light, despite the land being originally designated for employment purposes.
The application was approved by Redditch Borough councillors at the planning committee on Wednesday (September 12).
Full permission was granted for the development and delegated powers have how been granted to the authority’s head of planning to ensure a number of conditions on the application are carried out.
The plan will mean the new homes are built alongside the old railway line, which is now a cycle route and footpath.
Before the decision was made, members of neighbouring Studley Parish Council reiterated their objections to the development.
Coun Neil Edden, from Studley Parish Council, said: “The application is unsustainable.
“By not using the land for commercial purposes it puts further pressure on the Eastern Gateway development.
“I believe the site should remain as employment purposes only.”
Sian Griffiths, director at RCA Regeneration Limited who represented one of the objectors, backed Coun Edden’s argument and urged the planning committee to reconsider.
She said: “Ambulances will need to go on longer journeys to get to their destination and it will put a massive strain on the Alexandra Hospital which needs an easy access route for emergency vehicles from the main development behind the hospital on to Green Lane.”
But their concerns were rejected by Redditch Borough Council planning officer Helen Plant, who believed the application was thought out carefully.
She said: “I can reassure you that the new homes will not cause traffic problems for residents or workers at the hospital and we will continue to monitor the area to make sure it stays that way.”
The development will consist of 29 houses – four two-bedroom homes, 16 three-bed and nine four-bed and 13 affordable homes.