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Temporary traveller's site finally built in Coseley

By Jamie Brassington | Coseley | News | Published:

A temporary traveller's site has finally been built in Coseley after plans were first mooted three years ago.

Councillor Laura Taylor at the site

Dudley Council has confirmed the site, in Budden Road, is fully operational.

The project has faced several delays since plans were revealed in November 2017 due to strong opposition from the local community.

It means the local authority now has tougher eviction powers to deal with illegal encampment in the borough.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the Conservative-led administration, said: "We made a very firm commitment to get this site up and running to help protect public land, and the public purse from unauthorised encampments, and I am delighted that we have delivered on that promise.

"The proposals for a temporary transit site have been fully scrutinised at every step and I am pleased it is now complete."

The council currently spends £150,000-a-year on clean-up and legal costs around illegal camps.

Dudley Council followed neighbouring Sandwell Council in building a site and Wolverhampton and Walsall councils are looking to build their own.

The completion of the transit site has also brought to an end a long running saga with the local community, who have strongly opposed the development over concerns the land is contaminated.

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Work taking shape on the site earlier this year

Plans for the site were previously delayed after they were tabled by the council's former Labour administration in 2019.

They were also halted in 2018 when Labour's Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden called them for a review by the Government.

Constructions was delayed a few months this year due to Government's lockdown restrictions over coronavirus.

Welcoming the opening of the camp, Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing, communities and residents’ welfare, added: "The new site is very much a deterrent. People who come here are charged for its use but it also gives us greater powers to move unauthorised encampments on quicker and cheaper which has to be good news.

"We will be closely monitoring the site as we are keen to reassure local residents, who have previously expressed concerns, about the site moving forward. That is very important to us."

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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