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17 Jul 2017

Have your say on where new Black Country industry should go

The equivalent of more than 300 rugby pitches worth of land needs to be found in the Black Country for new industry over the next 20 years, it has been revealed.

People are being urged to have their say on where it should go to ensure jobs are provided for our growing communities and support is given to business growth.

Unlike rugby pitches, the land doesn’t have to be green – but it could be. One of the key questions in the consultation asks whether parts of the green belt should be released to make the space.

Residents living in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton have until September 8th to have their say on how the Black Country Core Strategy should be updated.

It is a planning document which will map out development across the four authorities from now until 2036, including where new homes should be built.

It says there is a need to find 300 hectares of new land for industries and businesses in order to create new jobs.

As part of the consultation, there is a "Call for Sites” where people can put forward areas of land they feel may be suitable for development.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

"This document will shape the Black Country for a generation and it’s absolutely critical that people have their say on it.

"Making the most of brownfield land is a high priority for us and one of Dudley Council’s main objectives in our work with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

"However, clearly at some point in the coming decades we are going to run out of these kind of sites as our population and our economy continues to grow.

"That’s why we are launching a consultation, along with the other three Black Country authorities, to enable people to have their say. It’s important people tell us what they think and we would urge them to get in touch.”

The Black Country Core Strategy outlines how many homes need to be built and how to plan for the number of extra jobs needed for a growing population. It also decides where new homes and businesses should be located.

The consultation document says nearly 80,000 new homes need to be built in the Black Country before 2036. It says sites have already been earmarked for around 60,000. But new plots of land need to be found for nearly 22,000 properties as the population and economy of the area continues to grow.

The original document was launched six years ago and covers the period up to 2026. The public consultation will be on a review of the document to take it up to 2036.

The information from the consultation will be collated and used to produce a proposed review document, which will again go out to consultation next year.

People can find out more about the consultation and take part at blackcountrycorestrategy.dudley.gov.uk or pick up a leaflet from a local library or request one by calling 01384 814136.

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