PEOPLE clapped as the chairman of Warndon Parish Council’s promised to protest against the building of a distribution centre in the area.

Residents were packed into a meeting room at Lyppard Hub to discuss the city council’s approval of the mixed employment development of Parsonage Way, between the road and the M5.

Ray Morris, chairman of the parish council,  said: “We have taken legal advice about this decision and we can’t say yet what we are going to do, but I can say a protest is likely.

"Actually I can say, we are going to protest about this.”

The strength of feeling among the residents who attended was evident.

One neighbour, John Gordon, said: “A distribution centre was distinctly not in the South Worcestershire Development Plan for the area which said it was suitable for light employment.

“I don’t know how on earth anyone can make a decision like this [to approve the development]. It’s embarrassing. What’s the point of having a local plan if it’s going to be ignored.”

He suggested that the planning system seemed to be weighted in favour of developers and wondered whether planning committee members were more concerned about not being sued, or taken to appeal by rich developers.

Mr Morris responded that he felt the city councillors who approved the plans made the decision in good faith.

Another resident Bob Pudge said: “I think the committee thought that this would bring jobs, and we had to have jobs come whatever the cost.” Mr Morris said: “The developers told the committee that they had interest from a client - but this is a speculative development- there are no jobs guaranteed.”

Lucy Hodgson and Andy Roberts, city councillors for Warndon Parish South and both Conservatives, were at the meeting.

Mr Roberts said: “I support the parish council. My objection was that this development didn’t conform to the local development plan.

“This plan will bring precious few jobs, but plenty of traffic.”