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Dudley will “go it alone” on housing and employment plan

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Council bosses in Dudley have pulled out of a regional plan to identify housing and employment land in a bid to “listen to local people” on the use of green belt.

Dudley Council leader, Councillor Patrick Harley, says the council will draw up its own plan after cutting ties with the Black Country Plan.

Earlier this year, almost 20,800 people across the Black Country responded to consultation on the plan in the form of individuals, organisations and group responses and a further 18,000 people signed petitions. The vast majority were from Dudley.

Following the enormous feedback Dudley leaders have since said they would pull two sites from the plan – land south of Holbeach Lane, Kingswinford, and land in Swindon Road, Wall Heath.

But after the Black Country authorities failed to come to agreement on how the plan would progress, Councillor Patrick Harley said he could not allow the “overwhelming” feedback from the public to be ignored and therefore would be recommending to Dudley Council’s cabinet that the authority should withdraw and draw up its own plan.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

At every stage of this plan we have made it clear that it must be led by the people who live here. I simply cannot stand by and allow decisions to be made which are contrary to the overwhelming feedback we have already received. This is clearly a very emotive subject and people feel very strongly about it. I must reflect that in the decisions I make for the people of this borough. We will therefore look to go it alone and look at what is needed to support a Dudley specific plan and setting out the timescales for that. A lot of the work we have carried out to date is still very relevant so it is not a matter of starting from scratch. There’s a huge amount of feedback already from residents in Dudley borough and it is important we use that moving forward. But rest assured we will listen to local people and put them first at every stage of this plan.

Further details and timings will be announced at a later date. 

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