CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new storage warehouse and production unit in Washford were given the go-ahead after a heated hour-long debate at Redditch Council.

Despite Mappleborough Green residents' fears about noise, traffic and noxious fumes, councillors voted unanimously in favour of the development in Claybrook Drive, Washford.

The decision now means a two-storey extension will be built in addition to refurbishing the existing centre at the former BKL site.

Council planning officer Sharron Williams said traffic on the nearby A435 Alcester Road was the main source of noise in the area and an investigation revealed noise from the development would be unlikely to increase to detrimental levels.

She added three-metre high "acoustic fences" would be erected as close as possible to the source of any noise from the warehouse.

But Mappleborough Green resident Donald Hattersley claimed the survey was incorrect and failed to present an accurate view of the noise effects.

He added: "This factory has been the bane of everyone's lives and we're not convinced the meagre amount of time and funds spent on investigation is enough to prevent noise and air pollution."

A spokesman for the applicant, Permitobtain Ltd, said noise from the development was below levels required by European regulations but would be reduced further with additional cladding on buildings.

He said: "We want to ensure there is minimum disturbance and will ensure the development has as little impact on residents as possible."

But he added: "This site is in a central employment zone and has been idle for too long."

The development was granted full planning permission.