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MP urges rethink on Coseley travellers' site

By David Cosgrove | Coseley | News | Published:

An MP has urged council bosses to 'think again' about the location of a controversial travellers's site.

Hundreds of campaigners have opposed the plans

Dudley Council's planning committee approved plans for the site near Budden Road in Coseley.

That has sparked MP Pat McFadden to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government asking if the scheme can be reconsidered.

Mr McFadden, the MP for Wolverhampton South East, said he was disappointed by the council's decision – describing bosses as being 'unwilling' to listen to opposition for the scheme and fixated on building it in Coseley.

He told the Express & Star: "I think the council has been unwilling to listen to representations from residents, from ward councillors and from me.

"They seem to have made a decision that the site must be in Coseley and they won't consider anywhere else.

"Most people's response to this isn't there shouldn't be a site anywhere – but simply this is the wrong place for it.

"The council should think again about the location. I think that's what should happen and it's a great pity that the ruling group on Dudley Council council has been so stubborn.

"They seem to have had a pre-determined decision about the location of this site and I don't think that was the right way to go about it."

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He said his decision to write to the Government came 'following requests from the people of Coseley'.

Protester Tony Sheldon, of the 500-strong Coseley Focus Group, was one of those opposed to the plans.

He said: “One councillor was up in arms a few weeks ago over a traveller incursion on Buffery Park that was 100m to the nearest homes.

"This is less than half that distance. Why is that unacceptable but this one not?”

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The planning committee made their decision after a deferment to visit the site.

The meeting heard that any contamination would be revealed during the building process and remedial work could be taken at that stage.

Some committee members said it would make better financial sense to abandon the scheme and find a permanent site.

The proposals will see a temporary travellers' transit site built with a total of 40 caravan pitches provided for a period of three years.

A decision was expected to have been made about the future of the site on May 8 but it was unanimously deferred.

The development is due to cost the council £280,000 and chiefs said it will help reduce the number of illegal sites springing up around the borough.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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