AN ancient county boundary between Warwickshire and Worcestershire could be replaced by a line drawn on the floor of a new warehouse given the all clear by one of three councils considering the application.

The boundary issue follows changes to the Redditch Gateway development on land next to the A4023 Coventry Highway so that it can accommodate a company looking for a 31,000 sqm warehouse.

That has led to an amended site layout with the new building being sited over the centuries old Blacksoils Brook which forms the county boundary.

A report from the archaeological team at Worcestershire County Council to the planning (west) committee of Stratford District Council – the matter will also be considered by Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove District Council as the land covers all three areas – said that the boundary had ‘significant antiquity’.

It explained: “The boundary is clearly of significant antiquity and is marked here by the brook, a bank and associated hedgerow. The total loss of this section of the boundary constitutes substantial harm to the undesignated heritage asset.”

The new plan will see the ancient brook redirected but councillors felt it important to highlight where the county boundary was.

Planning officer Alice Cosnett explained some of the options by saying: “If we can keep a physical marker there then it lessens the harm. It may be that we retain some of the hedgerow or a structure or line on the floor to show that it is the location of the historic county boundary along with signboards giving information.”

And Cllr Molly Giles (Con Shottery) added: “To me, I do think the removal of the hedgerow and the county boundary is a harm. I would like to see some creative solutions to properly mark the loss of that historic county boundary line. It is a loss because physical features are important in helping us understand our history.”

Representatives from Studley Parish Council and Mappleborough Green Parish Council also spoke at the meeting expressing their traffic worries and ward member Cllr Justin Kerridge (Con Studley with Mappleborough Green) said the design of colour of the building should be looked at to reduce its impact on an area which is on the edge of green belt land.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the application.