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21st Oct, 2021

Redditch sets aside £200k for 'talks' on future of Green Lane bridge

A SUM of £200,000 has been set aside by Redditch Borough Council for ‘negotiations’ over the future of the old railway bridge in Green Lane.

Council efforts last year to have the bridge demolished to save money failed after a planning application lodged with Stratford District Council was turned down.

The bridge is the responsibility of Redditch although it lies in Warwickshire, a legacy of the development corporation.

The council says the blue brick bridge, which once carried trains south to places likes Weston-super -Mare but which is now a peaceful wildlife haven and traffic free bike and pedestrian path linking Studley and Nine Days Lane – is in a poor state of repair.

However investigations by neighbouring Studley Parish Council discovered that it is in fact inspected every two years by engineers working for Warwickshire County Council, and although in need of some cosmetic work, is ‘good for another 100 years’ say campaigners to save it.

Speaking at last week’s executive committee meeting of Redditch Borough Council, Councillor Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) expressed surprise that the controlling Conservative group was still assigning money to an issue he had thought ‘had gone away’, only to discover it was for ‘negotiations’ on the future of the bridge.

He asked: “What specifically are we negotiating – because this came to committee six months ago and then it sort of hit the news and I thought it had gone away, but it looks like it’s come back.

“What is the £200,000 for and what are the planning negotiations for and with whom?”

Coun Brandon Clayton (Con, Astwood Bank and Feckenham), portfolio holder for environmental services said: “The negotiations are with Stratford District Council because the first application was turned down and we are in discussions with them whilst looking at other options, also with Warwickshire County Council.

“It depends how the negotiations go as to what we actually do with the budget.”

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