The West Midlands countryside is under threat from proposals to build massive distribution depots to deal with the growing number of imported goods, campaigners have warned.
A study commissioned by the regional assembly has proposed five of these logistic sites for the West Midlands which would need some 330 hectares of land in total - about one square mile.
The proposed depots would be connected to highways and railway networks, with the most likely sites being areas of south Staffordshire and Warwickshire.
The West Midlands Regional Logistics Study said the depots, which should be created by 2021, would help replace jobs lost as a result of a decline in manufacturing.
Campaigners claim dozens of depots for food and goods have already been created on greenfield sites across England in the past two decades and have become a major threat to the countryside and wider environment.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England said that, while out-of-town development for superstores and shopping malls was tightly controlled, the giant depots tended to be sited on greenfield out of-town sites because of their size and the need to be closely connected to the motorway network.
Developers also want to site them close to large towns and cities, making it easy to recruit workers and campaigners claimed this would leave designated green belt land under greater threat.
According to the report, the West Midlands has become a national leader in providing depots but it needs more if it is to maintain its competitive edge.
Paul Farrelly MP (Lab Newcastle-under-Lyme) said his constituency was already overrun by " massive warehouses".
He said he had gained assurances from Local Government Minister Jim Fitzpatrick that the area would not become one of the logistic sites recommended in the study.
" I and other MPs and everybody else in North Staffordshire are very strongly opposed to the area being used as a dumping ground for more massive sheds and warehouses," said Mr Farrelly.
"I recently debated in Parliament with the Minister over our objections to being chosen for a West Midlands regional logistics site and since then he has written back to me to assure us that North Staffordshire is now not among the favoured options."
The CPRE claims each depot would have a few large, six-storey-high warehouses, each with up to 100,000 sq metres - or one million sq ft - of indoor floor space, equivalent to 14 football pitches.
The Midlands already has several distribution depots, such as Hams Hall on the eastern side of Birmingham.
Gerald Kells, CPRE West Midlands' regional policy officer, said: "With so few brownfield sites which are big enough and close enough to motorways and railways, we must challenge the policy of ever larger warehouses and depots and concentrate on more environmentallyfriendly solutions to freight issues.
"Large-scale warehousing has a huge impact on the countryside, damaging its tranquillity, adding to congestion problems and increasing emissions of climatechanging carbon dioxide."
Chris Crean, of West Midlands Friends of the Earth, said: "These are huge sites and the issues link into the whole international trade agenda.
" These sites are used because we are transporting over longer distances, which goes against supporting local economic development."
The study will feed into a revision of West Midlands planning policies - the Regional Spatial Strategy - which is now under way.
David Carter, Prosperity for All lead officer for the regional assembly, said the CPRE was jumping the gun by suggesting areas were under threat.
He said: "This is a consultants report that we commissioned. It does not reflect the views of the assembly or the local authorities. It is one of many technical reports that is being carried out."