Dudley Greenbelt sites to be removed from Black Country Plan

TWO greenbelt sites in the Borough of Dudley are excluded from a major planning document and others are under review.

Dudley planners are working on the borough aspect of the Black Country Plan following a major consultation which saw more than 20,800 people respond and another 18,000 sign petitions, with the majority calling for sites to be removed of the green belt of the document.

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

The authority says it was able to take immediate action at both sites because they are located on council-owned land, but council bosses are continuing to review all other sites.

Councilor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “We have received clear feedback from residents of Dudley and we are already taking action where we can.

“As these sites are on communal land, we have been able to remove them from the next version of the plan and will await further evidence through ongoing work at the other sites before making a decision on whether to remove or retain them.”

Councilor Nicolas Barlow, Dudley’s cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: ‘News of these greenbelt sites being removed from the Black Country Plan will be welcomed by thousands of people who appreciate really their green spaces and have shown in large numbers that they do not want to lose them.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly made people appreciate the environment they live in even more than before as people have had the opportunity to explore the outdoors and I welcome this firm decision to remove sites from the plan.”

The four authorities of the Black Country should soon publish the responses to the consultation and the updated plan will be published in the fall.