11th Dec, 2017

Stratford planners put Redditch Eastern Gateway plans on hold over traffic concerns

Ross Crawford 7th Dec, 2017 Updated: 7th Dec, 2017

CONCERNS over traffic flow and the height of the warehouses has put a temporary stop on the massive Redditch Eastern Gateway project.

The deferment decision, by Stratford planners, comes just two days after Bromsgrove planners cheerfully gave the 78 hectare scheme the thumbs up.

Unlike their Bromsgrove counterparts, Stratford councillors were alarmed at the lack of detail in the routing plan for juggernauts leaving the site, the traffic flows of commuters working there, and the domineering height of the 21metre high warehouses.

They also felt the £200,000 road alterations bond from the applicant, Redditch Gateway Infrastructure Ltd, was too little to pay for any major work that might need doing.

The developers had assured the committee that HGVs leaving and approaching the site would not do so via the A435 through Coughton, Studley and Mappleborough Green, however district planners were concerned this could not be enforced.

It was also apparent the developers hadn’t fully taken into account the routes staff working at the site would take to get there.

The A435 is already at at bursting point with traffic, carrying more than 16,000 vehicles a day.

Councillor Justin Kerridge (Studley North, Mappleborough Green) who spoke at the meeting said: “If the road planning is going to work then that is excellent, however all we have is a vague idea of it and no evidence it will work, and no plan if it doesn’t work.

“My argument was that the A435 through Mappleborough Green and Studley is already at breaking point – you cannot pour more into a jug that’s already full.

“You cannot solve an existing problem with new development and also you cannot add to it.”

Committee members were also alarmed that any failure by HGV drivers to adhere to the correct route would fall on the district’s shoulders to enforce.

They also questioned the dominating shape of the giant warehouses which would tower over homes in Winyates Green.

“This is supposed to be a high quality business park increasing the employment offer for Redditch and storage and distribution does not do that,” said Coun Kerridge.

“Nowadays warehousing and distribution are often in the same building as research and development, fine, but I do not want to see a blank box on the horizon. These warehouses do not need to have such an impact.”

Coun Paul Beaman, chairman of Studley parish council, who also spoke at the meeting said: “The committee’s decision is not a victory, it’s a deferment but it’s a step towards more improvements.”

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