THE council has admitted it prevented online retail giant Amazon from opening a huge distribution warehouse in a city business park.

Worcestershire County Council is said to have prevented the global firm from setting up one of its warehouses at the Worcester Six Business Park off the M5 motorway.

The admission came during a full council meeting on Thursday (September 10) when cabinet member Councillor Ken Pollock said Amazon had asked the council for permission to open at the flagship business park only for it to be turned down – potentially stopping hundreds if not thousands of jobs becoming available in the city.

During the meeting, Cllr Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure at the council, said: “I don’t know that it is a secret but on the other hand it is worth remarking on the fact that they [Amazon] had approached us about Worcester Six and they wanted to put in a really big shed and it would have been of the nature of low-tech jobs, probably some of them zero hours, and things of that nature. And we turned them down.

“On the other hand they have come forward with a much smaller and more regional operation at Redditch Gateway and our agent, Stoford, have accepted that and we have also, as a board, accepted that it is a reasonable development.”

County councillor Richard Udall said it was a “disgusting” decision to prevent hundreds if not thousands of potential jobs coming to the city.

“To put it bluntly, I would imagine that lots of people would be shocked to find that we had an opportunity to have the world’s largest retailer come to our city and the council said no.

“This was an opportunity to bring lots and lots of local jobs for people who are now suffering and struggling due to Covid.

“It is an opportunity that we have clearly missed. I think we need to have a thorough explanation as to the reasons why this happened and a public apology to the people who have been denied jobs.”