RESIDENTS in Winyates Green have slammed Stratford planners after hearing they will just have six minutes in total to speak against the Redditch Eastern Gateway proposal.
The hybrid planning application for the 78-acre site is slated for approval by both Stratford district council, which hears it on Wednesday, December 6, and Bromsgrove planners, who consider it two days earlier on Monday, December 4.
“To give us just a total of six minutes to speak against a planning application as draconian as this is outrageous,” said Kathy Skermer, who lives in Longhope Close which will be overshadowed by the development.
“This is supposed to be a democracy – how can we get our point across on such an important issue?”
The application – from Redditch Gateway Infrastructure Ltd – is for land in both Stratford and Bromsgrove districts as well as Redditch borough.
Residents in Winyates Green say they will be dominated by the site’s 21metre-high warehouses while residents in Mappleborough Green and Studley fear they will have to endure increased traffic, particularly juggernauts, on the already busy A435.
A 500-strong petition against the proposal has already been lodged by Winyates Green residents against it while the parish councils of Mappleborough Green, Studley and Sambourne have also objected, backed by Stratford District Councillor Hazel Wright (Lib Dem, Studley & Sambourne).
They fear the lasting impact of the development, increased traffic, more pollution, more noise, fears of flooding, and further development of green spaces.
Warwickshire and Worcestershire Wildlife Trusts and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England have also objected.
The papers put before Bromsgrove planners say the Gateway is ‘to meet the employment needs of Redditch’.
The £85million project has been identified as one of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s ‘game changer’ sites and is also seen as a key economic growth and regeneration project in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Strategic Economic Plan.
The planning approval us subject to the applicant, who submitted a potential HGV routing strategy to prevent juggernauts going through Mappleborough Green and Studley, paying £200,000, to be held for 15 years, to allow for any mitigation work caused by juggernauts on local roads.
The Eastern Gateway grew out of an employment land review which found Redditch required 27.5 hectares of land which couldn’t be accommodated within its boundary.
A study identified land at Winyates Green, to the south of the A4023 and Gorcott Hill to its north as the best option to meet this shortfall.
The southern part was outside the green belt but only 12 hectares in size. As a new access of the A4023 was required the development wasn’t viable unless both areas were made available.
Consequently the northern parcel of land was removed from the green belt.
The planning application is expected to be before Redditch planners on Wednesday, December 13.