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Work on Coseley traveller's site delayed by coronavirus crisis

By Jamie Brassington | Coseley | Environment | Published:

Plans to build a controversial temporary traveller's site have been delayed by three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Contractors on site at Budden Road

Work was set to be completed on the Dudley Council facility on land at Budden Road, Coseley, by late spring.

But the borough's council leader Patrick Harley said said the deadline has now been pushed back to August.

He said: "The work on the temporary transit travellers site in Budden Road is progressing well despite the obvious impact of the coronavirus restrictions.

"In the light of the Government’s gradual lifting of restrictions, we expect to have completed the work on site by August.

"Once it is open, it will have a huge impact on our ability to tackle illegal encampments across the borough, which every year costs taxpayers thousands of pounds in legal and clean-up costs."

However Coseley East ward councillor Susan Ridney said she was angry to see work starting.

She has supported residents who have fought against the plans since they emerged in 2017.

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Contractors on site at Budden Road

They have raised concerns about contamination under the grass there from previous industries.

Diggers are currently modifying the soil next to the road while a metal fence perimeter has been installed around the site.

Councillor Ridney said: "I'm as angry as when the plans were first announced.

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"I thought we fought a very good fight. We put forward objections that were very clear.

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"At no point did we attack travellers. It was all about the land being contaminated and it was supposed to be for housing."

She continued: "They have assured us the contamination has been cleared up. The last set of plans for the transit site was supposed to be a concrete base and hard standing.

"Those have been changed. Once they [vehicles and caravans] come off the slope, they will come onto the grass.

"One of the council officers said to me 'if it is heavily raining, those caravans are heavy and all the grass will get churned up. What contamination is left is still there underground'."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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