PLANS to build 103 new homes and employment units at the back of the Alexandra Hospital have sparked renewed fears of Redditch creeping ever closer to Studley.
And the worry is that if the plans go ahead, taking development right up to Green Lane, which is the border between the two counties, only Studley Common – a mere 600 yards wide – would stand between the new town and the Warwickshire village.
The planning application is from Barratt & David Wilson Homes for a hybrid mix of residential and business premises with access via Nine Days Lane in Redditch but with an ’emergency exit’ onto Green Lane.
Nine Days Lane is already a difficult road to turn right and the development would dramatically increase the traffic on Woodrow Drive.
For Studley the fear is the ever onward creep of Redditch and the potential for the emergency exit onto Green Lane becoming a short cut for householders.
“This will bring Redditch right up to our doorstep and cause all sorts of problems,” Councillor Paul Beaman, chairman of Studley parish council, told a meeting on Tuesday night.
Coun Maureen Rickhards agreed: “I’m worried about this emergency exit onto Green Lane. I don’t know how it would work unless there was a barrier and that would defeat the object of it as the emergency services wouldn’t be able to get in, which would open it up to other road users.”
It’s not just at the back of the Alex that Redditch’s neighbours are under threat.
The Eastern Gateway at Gorcott Hill will be built on nine hectares of Stratford district’s land while Redditch has earmarked land between the back of Winyates Green up to the A435 for development, threatening Mappleborough Green, possibly all the way down to the Washford Mill.
Redditch borough councillor Brandon Clayton, who lives on Winyates Green said: “It’s a concern as we seem to be building right up to the edge on every piece of land.
“We’re building on the periphery of the town when there is other land available, for instance at Brockhill, which isn’t impacting on our neighbours.
“I can understand the concern; if Redditch builds up to the A435 there will be a temptation for Stratford to build up to it too and the two areas will more or less merge.”
Studley parish councillors agreed to object to the plans on the grounds that they were part of Redditch Local Plan 4 which has yet to be approved by the planning inspector, its environmental impact, the danger of coalescence, and increased traffic.