More green belt sites excluded from plan
Green belt sites which had been earmarked for potential housing developments in Dudley borough look set to be removed from plans.
Two sites initially included in the Black Country Plan in the Wall Heath and Kingswinford area known as the Holbeache and Triangle sites are “expected” to be excluded from the next version of the plan due to transport concerns.
Full transport modelling work is still ongoing in relation to all green belt sites included in the initial plan across the Black Country and is unlikely to be published before the summer. But early indications of the modelling baseline work in respect of the sites in Kingswinford, appear to confirm that the network is already saturated and that it is unlikely that there are viable, affordable and sustainable transport solutions available to overcome these concerns.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
I am not at all surprised that local transport intelligence is already supporting the view that thousands of campaigners have held that these sites are not at all suitable for development.
A final conclusive decision can only be made once full transport modelling data is back with all Black Country authorities but I think most people who know these locations have been raising transport concerns as it’s quite obvious it would create serious issues.
I fully expect recommendations to come before us in due course to formally remove the sites from the plan before the next stage of consultation gets underway.
The anticipated removal of these sites follows quickly on the heels of two other green belt sites in Wollaston Farm and Guys Lane, Lower Gornal, being removed last week by Dudley Council as they were located on council land. Transport modelling is ongoing across all sites included in the plan and the leader of the council offered reassurance to campaigners against all green belt development.
Councillor Harley added:
The overwhelming response from the public in relation to protecting the green belt simply cannot be ignored. Slowly but surely we are now starting to see earmarked sites drop from the plan and it will need a very compelling case to convince me and thousands of others that development on any of the green belt land identified can proceed and as further evidence and data comes to light, I would not be at all surprised if all borough green belt sites are removed over the coming months.
Transport Modelling is being undertaken across the Black Country to assess the impact of the proposed sites along with any proposed transport improvements upon the wider network.
Black Country authorities are shortly due to publish the consultation responses on the Black Country Plan website. The updated Black Country Plan (the Publication Plan) is expected to be published in autumn 2022 when all Black Country authorities will be asked to approve a final consultation on the new plan.