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Campaigners find of 'evidence of contamination' at proposed Coseley traveller site

By Jamie Brassington | Coseley | Property | Published:

A community campaigner has uncovered what he says is ‘evidence of contamination’ on a planned temporary travellers’ site.

Jennie Watson and Tony Sheldon

Tony Sheldon, aged 71, made the discovery on a field off Budden Road, in Coseley, where the site has been earmarked by Dudley Council.

He dipped a stick into the grass and found a two-inch-layer of black pollution lying around three inches beneath the surface.

Coseley residents have complained that the land is contaminated from past industries and not fit for a traveller site.

They are fighting Dudley Council’s plans to build the site which is currently on hold while a review is carried out.

Mr Sheldon, from Coseley, told the Express & Star: “This just proves the land is contaminated and not suitable to build a transit site.

“I spoke to some travellers who were camped up in the Dudley borough recently and they told me they would never camp at a contaminated site.”

The plans, which were approved in May, were put on hold by the Labour party in September after they took control of the council from the Conservatives.

Since then the Labour-run council has been carrying out its own review into the plans. Council leader Qadar Zada said there ‘were concerns about how this was handled by the previous administration’.

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The Budden Road was chosen after the council, under the Conservatives, drew up a shortlist of 10 potential sites.

Coseley residents have complained that three of the optional sites were located in Coseley.

“And only one of the sites was in a Conservative's ward as well,” said Mr Sheldon.

He believes the council tried to build the transit site away from ‘leafy’ neighbourhoods in the south of the borough.

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The residents formed a community group called Coseley Focus on the back of the transit site plans.

Alan Lunt, deputy chief executive of Dudley Council, said: “A physical capping layer has been put on top of the contaminated ground at the Budden Road site.

“However, this is a key piece of housing land identified by the council.

"Further works would be required to fully decontaminate the site to a standard sufficient for permanent housing development, which is ultimately proposed for the site once any proposed temporary use comes to an end."

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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