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Scrutiny recommends green belt removal from plan

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Councillors are recommending all green belt land in Dudley borough should be removed from a planning document following a rigorous scrutiny process and huge feedback from the public.

The Black Country Plan was again under the microscope at the Future Council Scrutiny committee last night (Weds).

The plan looks at future housing and employment needs across the Black Country but has received massive opposition to the proposal to include green belt sites.

An eight-week consultation resulted in 19,500 responses – 13,500 of which related to Dudley borough sites. It included letters, forms and petitions calling for green belt land to be removed from the plan.

And at last night’s scrutiny committee, councillors recommended that all green belt land should be removed from the plan. The recommendation from scrutiny committee will now go before the council’s cabinet when they will be asked to consider the Publication Plan – including which sites should be retained or removed.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

 

This shows clearly that we are listening to the views of local people. The scrutiny process has been rigorous and vital in leaving no stone unturned in making sure local people shape this plan.
We are the only Black Country local authority to scrutinise the process while it is ongoing which shows how seriously we take this and how much we want to make sure we get the process right.
I would like to thank local people and scrutiny for giving this plan the attention it deserves and look forward to a report being drawn up for cabinet.

The four Black Country authorities hope to publish the consultation responses online within the next month. 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.

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