Funding bid to tackle eyesore sites and reduce pressure on green belt

Dudley Council has launched a bid for a £55,000 grant to help bring eyesore brownfield sites back into use and reduce the pressure on the green belt.

Local authority bosses last year identified a shortlist of 20 derelict sites across the borough that could potentially be used for new housing developments.

The application has been submitted to Homes England. If successful, it will be used for surveying and legal advice on shortlisted sites where there has been little progress in bringing them back into use. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

"We have always been a brownfield-first authority, and want to make sure we use every inch of available land before we even start to look at the green belt.

"A big part of our brownfield policy is to try and bring land back into use which is derelict and has become an eyesore. We identified a shortlist of 20 possible sites across the borough. Some are progressing very well, such as in Colley Gate and the planned housing development in Enville Street in Wollaston.

"But on several there has been little progress made, which is frustrating and not for the want of trying on our part. It is mainly on sites that are in private ownership where we have not been able to come to an agreement with the landowner, or in some cases even make contact with them.

"This money, if we get it, will be used to get expert advice on how we support landowners and the powers available to us so we can get these stalled sites moving.

"It is in Dudley Council’s interest to work with site owners to ensure vacant sites are brought back into functional use and kept as tidy as possible, so they are not eyesores for residents living close to them."

As part of the drawing up of the new Dudley Local Plan, council bosses have started the “call for sites” process. Borough residents are being invited to put forward land they think may be suitable for development.

The Dudley Local Plan will focus on housing and employment needs which will inform developments and planning decisions in the future, whilst also reflecting local people’s views on the use of green belt land.

The ‘call for sites’ process runs for six weeks until March 17 and sites can be put forward at

Following this, officers will assess the sites. Those sites which are considered as being suitable for development will be included in the draft Dudley Plan, which will be published for a six-week public consultation over the summer.


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