Leader adamant “views of thousands cannot be ignored”
Almost 20,000 people have had their say on plans to build on green belt across the Black Country prompting the leader of Dudley Council to warn “they cannot be ignored”.
More than 19,500 people responded to the Black Country Plan consultation across the region – with more than two thirds coming from Dudley borough residents alone and the vast majority objecting to plans to build on the green belt.
The consultation, which ran for eight weeks last year, asked for views on future housing and employment developments across the Black Country.
The vast majority of feedback called for a number of proposed green belt land developments in Dudley borough should be taken out of the plan.
Councils across the Black Country are currently sifting through the data but a report into Dudley’s findings, so far, is due to be discussed at the Future Council Scrutiny committee on March 2.
Today, the leader of Dudley Council said the response was “extremely encouraging” and has “sent a clear message” on any proposals to build on green belt land.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
The people of this borough in particular, have sent a very clear message that proposals to build on green belt land will be met with strong objection.
The huge level of response is really helpful as it should help provide clarity as we go through the next stages of this process. I am grateful to everyone who took the time to have their say on this important document.
The views of thousands of people cannot be ignored that plans to build on the greenbelt in Dudley borough should be thrown out.
The majority of the objections cited potential transportation issues and impact on our road network as reasons for the sites to be discounted and we are currently awaiting detailed transport modelling evidence over the coming weeks when we may be presented with even more evidence allowing us to reconsider these sites.
We have already made it clear that we are a brownfield-first authority and this feedback from the consultation means we have to accelerate that.”
In Dudley 13,490 of the 19,500 relate to Dudley borough sites. In addition, seven of the 10 petitions were from Dudley borough and contained 7,888 signatures.
The four Black Country authorities hope to publish the consultation responses online within the next month. The updated Black Country Plan will be published this summer (2022) when all Black Country authorities will be asked to approve an eight-week consultation on the new plan.
The committee will meet at the council house on March 2, from 6pm