COUNCIL chiefs say a plan to build 13 new homes off The Broadway in Norton will regenerate an "empty and disused" area of land.

Dudley Council is behind the proposal to build new bungalows on vacant land behind four blocks of flats.

The council aims to develop the site, which it owns, with affordable homes for rent.

Councillor Keiran Casey, Dudley's cabinet member for housing, said: "We are committed to building more council homes locally and ensuring that Dudley is a leader in providing good quality housing.

“We have built more than 300 new council homes in the last few years and plan to build on this success having recently applied to build a further 54 homes on five sites across the borough, including land off the Broadway in Norton. We are building homes of different sizes including a number of bungalows, which meet the needs of older people and those with disabilities.

“There is massive increasing pressure to provide affordable homes for local people, not only here in Dudley, but right across the country.

"This is also important because where there are pockets of disused land, developments such as these can not only contribute to providing new affordable and good quality housing which is needed for local people, but also regenerate an area of land which is currently empty and disused."

A number of objections have already been lodged on the council's planning website - saying the scheme will take away much valued open space and a widely used walkway which police have recommended should be closed if the scheme goes ahead to prevent the proposed cul-de-sac being a target for crime.

In a letter to planners West Midlands Police's design out crime officer PC Andy Hollies says criminals rarely target cul de sacs as they have only one route in and out but a footpath leading off would give potential crooks a hiding place and a quick getaway.

People have until Friday February 1 to submit comments or objections regarding the scheme.

What do you think?

Do you want to see more affordable homes built on empty parcels of council owned land or do you think open spaces within existing communities should be left for residents to enjoy?