By Ian Dipple Thursday 07 March 2013 Updated: 08/03 15:46
THE BUILDING of almost 13,000 new homes in Redditch and Bromsgrove will require a £50million upgrade to the road network in the area, it has been revealed.
Transport bosses say the money, which will include redesigning roundabouts and junctions, better bus services and cycle routes, will need to be invested in both local routes and major A roads to avoid creating congestion.
Redditch Borough Council is suggesting building 6,400 homes up to 2030 - with 2,800 of those in the Webheath and Foxlydiate area - and 7,000 are planned across neighbouring Bromsgrove district.
The exact nature of the work required is still being drawn up and it is not yet known how it will be funded, although the majority is expected to come from contributions from developers, negotiated at the time individual planning applications are submitted.
Ruth Bamford, head of planning and regeneration for Redditch Borough Council, said: "Worcestershire County Council as highways authority is advising us on what transport infrastructure may be needed to support the local area up to 2030, taking into account all modes of transport and future growth requirements.
"This has included commissioning a report on our behalf to set out what works need to be done over that time, and the estimated costs. We have not yet seen the final report, which will cover both Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove District."
Transport bosses are already asking for over £600,000 from developers Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey as part of their plan to build up to 200 homes on the Church Road site in Webheath. If developers refuse, highways bosses will ask for the application to be turned down.
They also want £30,000 towards a project to remodel the junction by the Foxlydiate garage, should the wider Area of Development Restraint (ADR) in Webheath be developed.
But campaigners are concerned none of the money asked for will be used to upgrade local roads.
David Rose, chairman of the Webheath Action Group, said: "It appears this money is for the wider highway network not Webheath which is disappointing. All we have here is narrow lanes. We already have congestion around the school and accident blackspots and if you put more cars down them it's going to be dangerous and people are going to be killed."
As a result of the request by transport chiefs the Church Road application will not now be considered by the council's planning committee this month but at a date to be announced.
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