9th Aug, 2020

'No-strings' donation from controversial developer will put Studley on the map

THE STUDLEY on the Map project will go ahead after hitting its fundraising target – but the donation which got it over the line could raise eyebrows.

The project, which aims to encourage more visitors to the village, has reached its £35,000 goal following a £5,000 donation from Redditch Eastern Gateway developer Stoford.

The developer has received outline planning permission for the Eastern Gateway site, which covers an area of roughly 52 football pitches, and which is predicted to create 2,500 jobs.

But the development has caused widespread alarm in the area and villagers in Studely fear it could lead to a massive increase in traffic.

A traffic routing plan proposed by Stoford was thrown out by Stratford District planners with the company asked to come up with a better alternative.

Councillors are demanding HGVs serving the site should either use the A435 north to the M42 or go through Redditch to avoid surrounding villages including Studley.

But Studley on the Map campaigner and district councillor Justin Kerridge insisted the cash came with no strings attached.

He said: “This is something Stoford didn’t need to do as they already had all they wanted.

“Of course I am aware of how it might look, but I am very keen that this is taken in the right way by the public as a no strings attached donation from Stoford, who now have a long term interest in the local area and want to contribute where they can.”

He went on to pay tribute to all who had made donations, large and small, to the project, including transport firm Allelys which gave £2,000, and the family of Trisha Wellings who put in more than £1,000.

The scheme, which is being piloted by the Studley in Business group, will see the introduction of a website featuring news about about events, shops, and tourism, together with new signposts and information boards highlighting heritage, walks, shops and local attractions such as the nature reserve.

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