A PLAN to turn a former scrap yard on the outskirts of Lye and Quarry Bank into a site for travellers has been causing concern among nearby residents.

Documents have gone live on Dudley Council’s planning website showing plans have been submitted to turn the old Saltbrook Scrap Yard in Saltbrook Road, on the edge of Quarry Bank and Lye, into a dedicated site for travellers.

Proposals submitted to the council’s planning department say the former Saltbrook Scrap Yard, which backs onto the River Stour, would be converted into a site for travellers – with two residential pitches to include a touring caravan, mobile home and dayroom and six transit pitches with a utility block and parking facilities.

But the applicant behind the scheme has not been revealed.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, has told the News: “It’s certainly not a council plan.”

He said the council would now be pushing forwards with its plan to build a temporary transit site in Budden Road, Coseley, after the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, confirmed in a letter that the authority could proceed with the scheme which was approved by planners earlier this year but which had been on hold after MP Pat McFadden called for it to be reconsidered following objections from residents.

The council wants to create the site, at a cost of around £280,000, to provide pitches for around 40 caravans, so that when travellers set up an illegal encampment in the borough they can be ordered to move immediately on to the transit location or to leave the local authority area altogether.

Cllr Harley has pledged the Coseley site, which would have a three-year lifespan before the council selects a permanent location, will be up and running in early 2019.

News of the Saltbrook Road plan comes as residents at Withymoor, Amblecote, have been venting their frustrations following the arrival of travellers on playing fields opposite Sainsbury’s off Turners Lane.

Angry residents who have today received notification of the plan for the derelict former scrap yard site have already lodged objections on the council’s planning website.

One said: “The area of Lye is struggling enough – adding a traveller site will only make things worse.”

Another said: “I object to the plans to turn Saltbrook into a travellers’ transit site. We all know the trouble caused at Withymoor. I object to having my two young children growing up very close to this area and worrying with the what ifs.”

Community campaigner Mitchell Bolton, deputy leader of the newly-formed Black Country Party, told the News: “The amount of messages I’ve had about it this morning is unreal. It’s going to affect Cradley, Lye and parts of Quarry Bank.”

He added: “As if Lye hasn’t got enough problems without adding something else. It’s crazy.”