Saved! Redditch withdraws plans to demolish old railway bridge - The Redditch Standard

Saved! Redditch withdraws plans to demolish old railway bridge

Redditch Editorial 2nd Apr, 2020   0

PLANS to demolish the old railway bridge over Green Lane between Redditch and Studley to build two new homes have been withdrawn by Redditch Borough Council.

In a remarkable victory for people power, the application was pulled by the authority – in the face of a wave of objections – just days after it was formally advertised for comments.

Reacting to the news Save the Bridge campaigner Ed Thomas from Oakenshaw, who helped pull protesters together, said: “This is fantastic news, absolutely brilliant and a credit to all those who picked up this issue.

“I still don’t trust the council though and we’ll have to keep an eye on things for the future.”

Plans to demolish the bridge, now part of a traffic route for pedestrians and cyclists, first came to public knowledge on September 10, 2019 at a meeting of Redditch’s all powerful executive committee.

The original aim was to bulldoze the blue brick structure, level the embankment, straighten the road, demolish a void property nearby and build two new four bedroom homes.

The path would be re-routed to cross Green Lane at street level.

Reported in the Redditch Standard, it brought an immediate reaction from local residents who started a campaign group.

Although owned by Redditch, the bridge is in Stratford District and so any planning application would have to go to that local authority.

Objections also poured in on both sides of the county border, from Studley Parish Council and Sambourne Council as well as from local representatives on Stratford District Council.

Stratford saw it as development in the Green Belt, as did Studley, which said it was a heritage structure. Councillors also feared with the bridge gone Green Lane would become a rat run for HGVs at the Eastern Gateway development.

Campaigners insisted the safest way to cross a road was a bridge while both Worcestershire and Warwickshire County Councils, as the Highway Authorities also raised concerns.

District Councillor Peter Hencher-Searafin (Lib Dem, Studley and Mappleborough) said: This victory is down to perseverance and everyone’s help, from the residents who campaigned to the local authorities who objected, and the work of Couns Neil Edden and Clive Rickhards.

“It’s a marvellous, and the result of people coming together with intelligence and commonsense and we will be keeping an eye on this to make sure it doesn’t come back again.”

Coun Matt Dormer, the Leader of Redditch Borough Council said: “It brought an awful lot of objections and we have to go away and have a re-think about what we want to do.”

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