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By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 17 April 2014 Updated: 23/04 10:42
THE OWNERS of a children’s play centre have moved to calm fears about plans to create an abattoir near to their business.
Parents have expressed concerns over whether the proposed application for the site on the 100-acre Windy Bank Farm in Astwood Lane will have an impact on Imagination Street.
But co-owners Matt Jinks and Kevin Grubb have rubbished claims children would be exposed to the abattoir’s activities, saying it would not be possible to see or hear anything from their play area.
The proposals, which are still being processed by officers and are expected to come before Redditch Borough Council’s planning committee later in the year, would see buildings of almost 1,000 square metres placed on the site while a total of 15 full time employees will be needed for the abattoir, compared to one full time and one part time person currently employed at the farm.
Mr Grubb, who himself used to work at an abattoir, told the Standard: “There will be no change for us, there will be the same animals in the fields there have always been and the process won’t be seen or heard by us.”
He added it would be no different to having any meat-processing plant nearby and from his own experience he knew it was one which would not be visible to them.
His business partner Mr Jinks added: “We really don’t feel this will affect our business. We employ 50-odd people in Redditch and make a lot of children very happy and that won’t be changing.”
But one resident, who did not want to be named, told the Standard she thought the idea was ‘immoral’ and ‘insensitive’.
“Residents close to the area have not been notified and only a couple have found out via hearsay and are extremely upset over this,” she said.
“I for one would not want to take a child to Imagination Street if this is allowed and I know of many parents who feel the same. The road is also not fit to serve that volume of HGV traffic and is already covered in potholes and constantly floods.”
In the application documents, planning consultant Dr Malcolm Bell said applicant Terence Simpson was already the director of a large-scale abattoir at Kenilworth as well as a livestock dealer.
“He has, for a number of years, felt that livestock are being transported on unnecessarily long journeys in order to reach an abattoir,” he said.
“This is not ideal for a variety of reasons including animal welfare, fuel usage, traffic movement, food miles and sustainability. In addition it is contributing to the rising cost of food production and, subsequently, the cost of food.”
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