26th Sep, 2020

Council gives campaigners just days to object to bridge demolition

Ross Crawford 27th Mar, 2020

PLANS to demolish the old railway bridge over Green Lane have been put forward for public comment by Redditch Borough Council.

Details of planning application can be found on the authority’s website here – jtype in the application number – 20/00116/FUL at the bottom of the page where it says ‘Enter a keyword, reference number, postcode or single line of an address’.

The Borough Council wants to demolish the railway bridge, which now carries a path for walkers and cyclists and realign the path so they have to cross Green Lane at street level.

The application also seeks outline planning permission to demolish the empty property at No65 Green Lane and build two new four bedroom houses.

The authority says all comments on the application should be made within 17 days its publication, which is today, Friday, March 27.

The Council’s plans for the site have been mired in controversy from the start.

Initially Councillors claimed the bridge was unsafe and motorists were at risk from falling masonry from it.

However an independent inspection and one by their own planning office found it to be in ‘good condition’ with only minor remedial work required.

In addition campaigners trying to save the bridge say the Council would be putting lives at risk by making pedestrians and cyclists cross Green Lane, a busy rat-run, at street level, when the safest way was via the bridge.

They say the Council, which claims to be ‘ahead of the curve’ on green issues, would be making a second breach in the traffic-free Sustrans route after the Borough gave the go ahead to build a housing estate behind the Alexandra Hospital.

They add that the route is also a recognised wildlife haven.

Studley Parish Council has also joined the chorus of objections.

It regards the bridge, which has stood for more than 100 years, as part of the local heritage and fear its demolition and building of two homes would further erode the Green Belt between Redditch and Studley – one of the core issues Stratford District Council has vowed to maintain.

The village further fears that, with the removal of the height restriction imposed by the bridge, Green Lane would become a shortcut for HGVs going to and from Redditch Eastern Gateway, which already has distribution giant Amazon confirmed as one of its tenants.

By using Green Lane they would bypass the bottleneck of Crabbs Cross traffic island but add to the danger of people on the Sustrans route trying to cross the lane.

Stratford District Councillor Peter Hencher-Serafin (Lib Dem, Studley and Mappleborough Green) said: “We are doing everything we can to save this bridge from demolition and I’d like as many people as possible to write in to Redditch Borough Council and state their objection to this plan.”

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