CRADLEY councillor Richard Body is set to defy the Dudley Council Labour group and fight controversial £18m retirement village plans.

After years working with the Friends of Homer Hill Cllr Body can not bring himself to back the plan which will see a road built through the park.

Midland Heart wants to build 130 apartments in the retirement village on the former Cradley High School site which would employ 40 people.

Cllr Body said: “We need to be protecting the park for our children and not splitting it in two by building a highway through the middle of the only green space we have in Cradley.

“The park is somewhere that children can play and have fun away from cars and lorries but these plans will ruin the park.”

He added: “Over the years we have worked hard to rid the park of scooters and cars and now this will encourage vehicles to drive through the park.

“I am not against retirement villages but the former Cradley High School site is cut off from the rest of the community and any other access point would cause huge traffic problems.”

Cllr Body would like Dudley Council to donate the former Cradley High site for public use but the money raised by the sale for redevelopment rules this out.”

A number of other complaints about the proposed development were raised at a meeting last week by residents including increased traffic problems and high powered lights disturbing local homes.

The Friends of Homer Hill Park have called another public meeting to draw up action plans to stop the retirement village.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday at 7pm at Providence Church, Windmill Hill and both Cllr Body and Harry Bloomer will be speaking.