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Coseley travellers site moves closer as government leaves decision to Dudley Council

By Luke Bartlett | Coseley | Politics | Published:

A controversial travellers holding camp in Coseley – among the first of its kind in the Black Country – will go-ahead after a last ditch bid to stop it failed.

Travellers in Dudley last year

The Government has said it will not call in the plans for a temporary travellers site in Budden Road, Coseley, despite outcry from hundreds of people and a personal plea from Wolverhampton MP Pat McFadden.

Now it is poised to be built by next year with work expected to start within months. Lord Bourne – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – has said that he will not intervene in the plans.

In a letter to Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden the Government official said he was satisfied the application should be decided by Dudley Council and not at national level.

Lord Bourne said: “I have decided, having had regard to this policy, not to call in this application. I am satisfied that the application should be determined at a local level.”

It comes after Mr McFadden had been lobbied by residents and members of the Coseley Focus campaign group to support their objections to plans for the site.

Dudley Council agreed to approve the planning application for the site, expected to cost the authority around £200,000, earlier this year following a consultation.

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Dudley Council leader Patrick Harley said he ‘welcomed’ the decision.

He added: “We are continuing to have illegal encampments in the borough, which demonstrates more than ever that we need this transit site.

“Each time it costs us and the Dudley taxpayer thousands of pounds in legal fees and clean-up costs, which is why it’s now time to take action and put a stop to this.

“We are now in a position to progress our plans and I look forward to it being in operation early next year.”

Campaigner Craig Jones said the fight would go on despite the decision.

The camp would act as a transit site for travellers enabling council officials to move camps on quicker.

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via luke.bartlett@expressandstar.co.uk.

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