A DECISION on whether to controversially build thousands of new homes on land near Foxlydiate Lane and Pumphouse Lane has been delayed by Redditch planners.

Plans for the erection of up to 2,560 homes were discussed at a Redditch planning meeting this evening (November 13).

The council’s planning committee unanimously agreed to a delay over concerns about access for construction traffic in order for the council to negotiate an alternative with developers Heyford Developments Ltd And UK Land And Developments Ltd.

Councillor Gareth Prosser said the plan was a “disaster waiting to happen” and the council and the developer should go back to the drawing board.

Cllr Bill Hartnett called for the deferral of a decision and said access roads should be built before any homes were built.

Cllr Gemma Monaco said the access road needed to be completed from Birchfield Road and not Foxlydiate Lane before any work started.

She had “so many concerns” about the plan particularly the disruption for existing residents and the extra traffic generated from people moving in and construction traffic. She said the council should not be held to ransom by the developer and proposed changing the number of homes that could be built before an access road is built from 200 to zero.

Council officers said the access road from Foxlydiate Lane would only be used to build the new access from Birchfield Road. They also said building a new access from Birchfield Road straight away would be difficult.

Cllr Michael Chalk, chairman of the planning committee, said he had a “nightmare” of initial construction traffic bringing busy roads in Redditch to a standstill.

He said: “If you are going to have a development of this size then initial access is so so important and I do believe this is something that should have been picked up much earlier.”

The homes would be built on land which has been considered for development on several occasions over the last 30 years.

As well as new homes the plans also include building a local centre including a number of shops, health and community facilities, a school and play areas.

This plan for thousands of new homes was approved despite Redditch’s forecast requirement for new homes falling from a projected 337 a year to just 181 and only some of the homes actually sitting in Redditch.

Redditch will receive none of the council tax or New Homes Bonus money which will go to Bromsgrove.

The homes were backed by planners in Bromsgrove at a meeting in October.The application, which received almost 150 public comments, many of them strongly objecting to it, went before Bromsgrove council chiefs last night.

Many raised concerns about public safety, infrastructure, while many others have said the traffic plan is "seriously flawed" and needs reviewing.

Some have even called the application "frightening" that a large housing development is being considered when the land has not only a high pressure gas main, but also a petroleum pipeline running through it.

Councillor Peter Whittaker, who represents Tardebigge on Bromsgrove District Council where much of the homes would be built, said thousands of new homes were not needed now housing supply calculations for Redditch had changed. He said the homes were in an unsustainable location for Bromsgrove and the plan was premature.

Cllr Whittaker, who is vice chairman of the planning committee in Bromsgrove but was barred from the debate in October, said the feeling that the site had been chosen due to its lack of objection and it was already a done deal would not go away. He criticised his colleagues in Bromsgrove for the lack of debate over the application.