The scale of the proposal is huge. Some 260 Hectares (643 acres) of green belt would be destroyed to site the huge warehouses, with a new road, rail links and commercial parking. Thousands of additional heavy lorries and vans would clog the already bursting local road system. And the suggested thousands of workers at WMI would need to travel in from elsewhere. (South Staffs has virtually no unemployment).
If WMI gets the go ahead you can expect, miles of extra traffic jams pouring onto the A5 and A449, fourteen gigantic sheds up to 30 metres high (98 ft), Large lifting equipment, gantries and intense floodlighting, which are all part of the proposed scheme.
Those living very near by will experiance noise from HGV movements, reversing sirens, rail shunting, lifting cranes, together with the warning sirens used for industrial traffic… 24 hours a day.
This will be a major disruption to everyone living by, or using the A449 or A5.
I have repeatedly expressed my opposition to this potentially devastating and damaging proposal to build a rail freight interchange on green belt land.
As I have said many times before, I believe that the development would create a substantial increase in noise and air pollution, a massive increase in traffic and consequently have a huge impact on residents in the surrounding villages.
I have campaigned with local residents against this awful proposal and I will continue to do so until it is thrown out.
Both I and Gavin Williamson MP oppose the proposals. I have worked alongside residents and campaigners before to oppose this, and I am ready to do so again at this next stage of the planning process.
The proposal would greatly increase traffic on the A5 and A449 as well as building over a large amount of Greenbelt land. While they will create jobs, it is likely – given the location – that the people employed will come from a wide area, thus adding further to local traffic.
We would emphasise that, despite what you may have read elsewhere, no decision has yet been made on this application and will not be made until the end of the planning process. However, what is vital is that everyone takes the opportunity to have their say in the consultation, which will begin shortly. Having spoken to constituents, two of the phrases we are hearing are “It’s a done deal” and “The decision’s already made”.
Please be in no doubt, it isn’t and it hasn’t. The only way this planning application is a done deal is if the local community doesn’t take part and have their say, that’s why we need your help. Now is the TIME FOR ACTION.
The impact on our health due to the proposed massive increase in air pollution, should not be underestimated.
During the 50 years following the Clean Air Act 1956-1968 a more insidious form of air pollution appeared linked to the emissions from the increasing number of motor vehicles and other forms of transport on our roads, rail and sea that are all dependent on the combustion of petrol and diesel fuels.
Population based studies as well as modern biological science have revealed highly potent toxic effects of chronic exposure to ‘modern-day pollutants’, not only on the lungs but also on the heart and broader cardiovascular system. It is further being recognised that the systemic effects of pollutants extend beyond the cardiopulmonary system to affect many other organs, increasing the risk of disease that begins from conception and persists across the life course.
Air pollution plays a role in many of the major health challenges of our day, and has been linked to Cancer, Asthma, Stroke and Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, and changes linked to Dementia.
(Ref: Every breath we take – The lifelong impact of air pollution RCP Feb 2016)
The proposed development of The West Midland Interchange is not suitable because it will cause fragmentation and loss of valuable habitat as well as increased traffic which will lead to increased levels of air pollution.
These factors are certain to result in the further decline of many wildlife species that are already locally rare and nationally in decline. Development of the site will result in the removal of a locally-important mosaic of farmland and woodland habitats.
Furthermore, the positioning of the site will cause the fragmentation of an important area of wildlife corridor, obstructing the movement of a number of important species which will be injurious to the genetic health of such populations. Increased traffic and the associated air pollution will also increase the damage to local populations of a number of wildlife species.
Four Ashes ltd are proposing the monstrosity known as the West Midlands interchange, a SRFI (strategic rail freight interchange) to be built on 643 acres of greenbelt at Gailey, Calf Heath and Four Ashes.
The plans are so big they cover two MP constituency’s, Gavin Williamson and Jeremy Lefroy. (Both are against the proposals). We believe the site to be completely in the wrong location and therefore can not work effectively as a SRFI. Of the 14 huge warehouses proposed by Four Ashes Ltd, only 4 are rail connected, this is something that would never be allowed to be built on greenbelt.