Dudley opens long-awaited new travellers’ site

Dudley opens long-awaited new travellers' site

Dudley opens long-awaited new travellers’ site

Dudley Council bosses now have tougher new powers to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments after work was completed on a temporary site in Coseley.

The travellers’ site in Budden Road is complete and fully operational after plans were first put forward three years ago.

This means any unauthorised traveller incursions in the area can now be moved on quicker and more cheaply.

Under the new rules, travellers arriving in the Dudley borough will be immediately directed to the new site.

If they refuse, the police and Dudley Council officers can move them on quicker than ever before.

Council bosses today hailed the completion of the much-discussed site as a major boost.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: “We made a very firm commitment to get this site up and running to help protect public land and the public purse from unauthorised encampments, and I am delighted that we have delivered on that promise.

“The proposals for a temporary transit site have been fully scrutinised at every step and I am pleased it is now complete.”

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing, communities and residents’ welfare, added: “The new site is very much a deterrent. People who come here are charged for its use, but it also gives us greater powers to move unauthorised encampments on quicker and cheaper which has to be good news.”

She added: “We will be closely monitoring the site as we are keen to reassure local residents, who have previously expressed concerns, about the site moving forward. That is very important to us.”

Sandwell already has a site in place and Wolverhampton and Walsall are also looking at potential sites – increasing pressure on Dudley Council to avoid a displacement of unauthorised encampments from elsewhere in the Black Country.

The council is currently spending around £150,000 a year on legal fees and clean-up costs.