REDDITCH Labour candidates have penned an open letter urging the borough council to unequivocally scrap plans to build a cemetery on land off Ipsley Church Lane.
It comes after the ruling Conservative group invited residents to suggest alternative sites for the new burial ground, following mass objections over the Ipsley proposal.
However, the controversial planning application has remained live on the council’s website.
This has led many to believe that the authority is putting on a facade knowing that May local elections are looming.
Council leader Matt Dormer said the application was still live as it is an ‘important part of assessing the viability of any site’.
Labour candidates Andrew Bevan (Matchborough), Sharon Harvey (Winyates) and Joanna Kane (Lodge Park) are backing local campaigners in their fight to keep the meadow a recreational green space for local people to enjoy.
Andrew Bevan said: “We stand with the residents of Matchborough and the wider community of Redditch in their opposition to these plans.
“It’s not acceptable to expect members of the public to do Coun Dormer’s job for him.
“How will residents be able to identify alternative sites without specialist information, and how will we know who owns which piece of land?
“If Coun Dormer really is listening to residents, he will stop the planning application immediately.
“Arrow Valley Country Park belongs to all of us and this proposal should never have been put forward.”
Sharon Harvey added: “The existing Edgioake Cemetery could be extended and improved, instead of spending money creating a new cemetery.
“If public transport is the issue, then the council must lobby for better links to this area, which would be to the benefit of Astwood Bank anyway.
“We would also like to see Coun Dormer and his colleagues work constructively with Bromsgrove District Council to identify a potential site for residents from both towns.”
To have your say, visit http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk and select ‘view and comment on planning applications’.
The reference number for the application is 20/00863/FUL