Green light given for temporary travellers site in Coseley

Work on the temporary travellers transit site in Coseley is expected to get underway in the next couple of months, ready for early next year.

The local planning authority agreed to approve the planning application for a temporary travellers transit site in the borough earlier this year following a consultation with residents.

The plans were developed in response to the increasing number of traveller incursions which have taken place on public open spaces in recent years, Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Councilcosting taxpayers around £150,000 in clean up and legal costs per year since 2015.

Before works could go ahead, the council was waiting for confirmation from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local government about whether the planning decision would be called in for consideration. Now, the decision has been made that the planning application should be determined by the local Council and not “called in” to the Planning Inspectorate. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

"We welcome the decision from the Secretary of State. We are continuing to have illegal encampments in the borough, which demonstrates more than ever that we need this transit site. Each time it costs us and the Dudley taxpayer thousands of pounds in legal fees and clean-up costs, which is why it’s now time to take action and put a stop to this.

"We are now in a position to progress our plans and I look forward to it being in operation early next year.”

The site is expected to be ready in early 2019 and will be in place for three years, giving the council time to identify a permanent site during this time. A transit site is a dedicated short stay site, for which travellers pay rent to cover costs of power, water and waste disposal. Stourbridge MP, Margot James, added:

“Following my letter to the Minister, I am delighted that approval has been given to allow the Council to push on with the establishment of the transit site. It is a proven way of preventing travellers from occupying our local green spaces and denying local residents access to such amenities.

“I hope that work at the site will commence soon to ensure that we do not have any repeats of the issues that my constituents have been facing, particularly in the Withymoor area.”

Once operational, the site will enable Police to direct illegal encampments to move to the transit site within two hours, or be asked to leave the borough completely.

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