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Plans to make temporary travellers’ site permanent

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The temporary travellers’ site in Coseley could be made permanent after the site proved to be a success with a significant drop in the number of illegal encampments across Dudley borough since it opened.

The site in Budden Road removes the need to camp illegally and gives Dudley Council and police greater powers to deal with those who do set up illegal encampments. It means that encampments can be moved on from council land quickly and more efficiently. It also enables the council to provide more effective support to private landowners.

In the two years before the site opened (June 2018 – May 2020) there were 44 incursions on council land totalling 457 days, taking an average 10 days to evict.

Since the transit site opened (June 2020 – May 2022) that figure has dropped to 11 incursions on council land totalling 37 days, taking an average three days to evict or relocate, with six of the 11 incursions relocating to the Budden Road site.

Elsewhere in the borough, since June 2022 there has been just one incursion at Ketley Fields, Kingswinford.

Due to its success, a planning application will be submitted by the council to make the site a permanent fixture.

Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing and communities, said:

We were very clear at the time that the site was very much needed to tackle the number of illegal encampments and the cost to the taxpayer in moving them, and I am delighted that this has been proven right. The number of incursions has dropped sharply and that is all down to the Budden Road site which I am sure will be welcome news to everyone. The planning application will determine whether or not we can make this a permanent site and build on the excellent results to date and, if approved, will ensure we can continue to put the needs of local people first.

The current 40-pitch temporary site was granted planning permission in September 2018 before opening two years later. That permission expires in August 2023 prompting the latest application to make it permanent.

An application has been made to the Department for Levelling Up and Communities to make improvements to the site, but there are no plans to increase capacity at the site.

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