Work starting soon on Coseley traveller transit site after plan backed
Controversial plans for a £280,000 temporary travellers site in Coseley were voted through by councillors by just two votes at a meeting.
Work is expected to start on creating the transit site off Budden Road in the coming days despite concerns from nearby residents.
The move came at Dudley Council's full council on Monday night.
Tensions also ran high at the meeting during a separate part when climate change protesters disrupted proceedings.
Dudley Council will go ahead with the Budden Road plan almost a year after it was shelved by the previous ruling authority.
Labour councillors sitting on the council's place scrutiny committee had called in decision for scrutiny over concerns the site had already been considered and rejected.
It has come amid strong opposition from residents in Coseley over issues of alleged contamination at the site.
But it was brought back to Dudley Council's meeting – and was voted through by 35 votes to 33.
It was voted to raise "no objection to the decision" and that it be "implemented with immediate effect".
Contractors are expected on site within the coming weeks – with the site ready by late spring.
But campaigners say the fight is not over – and have labelled the scheme a "complete farce".
One campaigner, Tony Sheldon, said: "I think it is all a complete farce. We are all devastated and all the hard work we have put in. We can't understand why it has been passed when it contravenes their own Government guidelines.
"I have been in contact with the Home Secretary and have received an email from their office which pointed me in the direction of their guidelines which states no transit site can be built on contaminated land.
"It is a complete utter farce and Patrick Harley has got his own way. The fight is still on, there is lots of issues."
Welcoming the decision Dudley Council leader Patrick Harley said: "I feel like 18 months has been wasted due to Labour's dithering and delay. This whole episode has dragged on for so long.
"If Labour had the political courage to name a preferred site then we could have had agreement a long time ago. They state they want a transit site, but in reality have failed to support setting one up time and time again.
"The site will provide respite for our residents who are sick and tired of their parks, open spaces and school playing fields being trashed by illegal encampments year after year.
"Tax payers are also thoroughly fed up with the thought of spending £150,000 a year in clean up and other associated costs in dealing with this issue.
"I understand contractors will start very soon and the site will be ready for late spring."
Dudley Council announced in January that they would press ahead with the Budden Road site, nearly a year after it was shelved.
Residents and businesses in the Coseley area have been fighting plans for the site in Budden Road since they were first discussed in 2017.
Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.