NEWS that jobs have been secured with the potential for 1,000 more to be created as part of Bosch’s plans to relocate across the motorway has been welcomed.

Key figures in Worcester and Wychavon have backed the company’s plans, which could see more businesses move onto the Worcester Technology Park in the future, despite the fact there are still major concerns about how Crowle, Tibberton and an already overloaded junction six will cope with the extra traffic.

Paul Middlebrough is leader of Wychavon District Council, which will make the final decision on the planning application.

He said: “Strategically, Wychavon recognises the absolute necessity to retain Bosch and formulate its expansion in the Worcester area. In this difficult and probably deteriorating time, the fact that Bosch are going to expand is good for everybody. The proposal will provide opportunities for more employees to move into a prime location, which places us in a good position to promote jobs for local people as the economy recovers.”

Worcester’s Labour MP Mike Foster said he organised a meeting between top Government officials and Bosch’s bosses from Stuttgart, Germany, so both parties could reassure each other about their positions and visions for the future because there was a possibility the company could have left the city.

“That was a real fear but I’m delighted that hasn’t happened,” he said. “This is exactly the sort of fillip we need to boost people’s confidence about the future. What Bosch are doing is showing a long-term commitment to Worcester and safeguarding British jobs.”

Marie Eastwood, chairman of Crowle Parish Council, was less enthusiastic.

“Clearly it puts this village and Tibberton, I suspect, in real difficulties traffic-wise and presumably means we are going to have to have extra housing etcetera, none of which we have got the infrastructure to cope with,” she said. “Why not put it where there is road access and all the rest of it?”

Tibberton Parish Council chairman Chris Hartwright agreed, and said there were also concerns about the impact on the scenery.

Conservative Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, who is chairman of Parliament’s business and enterprise committee, said: “I understand there may be some concerns about traffic implications and development on this location generally but I believe this is positive and deserves the wholehearted support of the community.”