By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 18 October 2012 Updated: 18/10 23:44
THE BOROUGH'S planning chief has dismissed speculation a new industrial estate could be created in Winyates, insisting development would not be allowed which would 'ruin people's lives'.
Land known as the Winyates Green Triangle, which forms part of the 'Eastern Gateway' into Redditch, has been earmarked for development for several years as part of Stratford-on-Avon District Council's core draft strategy - as the land is owned by them rather than Redditch Borough Council.
In 2008, council officers said it should be used for employment purposes and earlier this year the land was again identified as potential employment space for Redditch.
But fears have grown factories may be placed on the site following an overview and scrutiny meeting where Coun Greg Chance, responsible for planning on the borough council, confirmed it would be used as employment land, although no planning applications have been submitted.
Coun Chance told the Standard development would only be supported if it was 'good quality' and did not negatively impact on residents living nearby.
"Redditch has got one of the biggest ratios of open space and we would like to keep it like that but at the same time we are looking to attract business to Redditch," he said.
"Obviously people are concerned about that but we will take account of the impact on neighbours. It's always been employment land and there is nothing in the pipeline about putting a big massive factory on the site.
"Our position is we will support development if it does not ruin people's lives and brings opportunities to the town."
Coun Juliet Brunner, chair of the overview and scrutiny committee, pledged to fight against any future planning applications which would see the site used for industrial purposes.
"I am horrified at the thought of an industrial estate on Winyates Green and I have grave concerns about how the infrastructure will cope. This will be a disaster for Redditch, what will it say about our town if when entering visitors are met with huge factories?"
A Redditch Borough Council spokeswoman confirmed the intention was to create a 'high quality gateway employment development' in the area with access from the Coventry Highway.
"A range of types of jobs could be created there, but at this early stage there are no finer details."
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