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Two green belt sites will be axed from Black Country Plan

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Two green belt sites in Dudley borough will be thrown out of a major planning document with more under review.

Dudley planners are working on the borough’s aspect of the plan following a major consultation.

Almost 20,800 people across the Black Country responded to the plan in the form of individuals, organisations and group responses and a further 18,000 people signed petitions with the majority calling for green belt sites to be removed from the plan.

The leader of Dudley Council has also voiced concerns about the potential use of green belt and declared Dudley a “brownfield first authority” in its bid to find land for housing and employment needs.

Now it has been confirmed that two green belt sites will not be included in the next version of the plan - grazing land at Wollaston Farm and land at Guys Lane, Lower Gornal.

The authority has been able to take immediate action on the two green belt sites as they are located on council-owned land but council bosses are continuing to review all other sites.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

We have made it very clear that we are listening to local people and acting on the concerns they raised. We have received clear feedback from Dudley residents and we are already taking action where we can. As these sites are on council land we have been able to pull them from the next version of the plan and will await further evidence through ongoing work on the other sites before making a determination on their removal or retention from the plan.
We have to make sure this plan is led by local people and that is exactly what we are doing.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said:

The news of these green belt sites being removed from the Black Country Plan will be welcomed by thousands of people who really do value their green spaces and have shown in huge numbers that they do not want to lose them. The last couple of years of the pandemic has undoubtedly made people appreciate the environment they live in even more than they did before as people had opportunity to explore the outdoors and I welcome this firm decision to remove the sites from the plan.

The four 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.


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