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Angry residents slate decision over Coseley travellers transit site

By George Makin | Coseley | News | Published:

People living near a new travellers transit site in Coseley have expressed their fury after councillors pressed ahead with the plan.

The land off Budden Road, centre, is the location for the new travellers transit site is close to homes and businesses

Householders living on Martin Close, who will be just yards from the 40 plot caravan park in Budden Road, have reacted with anger and surprise after Dudley Council announced it will begin building this spring.

The news has led to claims the Conservative-run authority has betrayed local people after assurances were given that the council was looking for a new site for the scheme.

'We don't want it'

Jane Norton, who has lived in the area for 52 years, said no-one supported the proposal.

She said: “Everyone around here doesn’t want it.

“It’s been talked about for years now and last year they said they cancelled it and now they say they’re going to build it but ask anyone around here and they will all tell you they won’t want it.”

Her views were echoed by James Morrison who said hundreds of people in the surrounding roads had signed a petition opposing the plan.

Budden Road will be the location for the travellers transit site

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“I don’t want it,” he said. “I’ve not got anything against travellers but this is just not the right sort of place for it.

“Look at them on the council, they won’t want it at the back of them. There are probably other places that they could put them rather than here.”

Clarence Walters, aged 86, said he lived in the area for over 50 years and residents’ experience of travellers in the past made them wary of a new site.

“Years ago we had dozens of caravans on this land and they left it in a complete mess with rubbish all over the place but a second group were really nice people and when they left they took away all their rubbish, so you don’t know who you will get.”

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Dudley Council says it wants to stop illegal encampments such as this in Dudley town centre last August

His neighbour, Mike Brooks, said he was worried about possible anti-social behaviour. “I’m totally against it and as the father of three young children I’m concerned about the impact on them,” he said.

The latest decision to build the temporary transit site comes after three years of local opposition which has seen the scheme granted planning permission in 2018 but was then blocked by the Labour Party when it took control of the council.

In May last year the leader of the Conservative group, Councillor Patrick Harley said his party was working with Labour councillors to identify an alternative site.

The announcement this week they scheme now will go ahead has led to claims the Conservatives have gone back on their word.

Explaining the decision, Councillor Harley said in a statement: “We really have exhausted every alternative in a bid to find the right site, and that is Budden Road.

"What is important now is that we monitor the site closely throughout the two years and listen to the views of local people in that time, before reviewing the future of the site at the end of its tenure.”

George Makin

By George Makin
@GeorgePMakin

Local Democracy Reporter covering Sandwell and Dudley.

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