THREE locations in Kingswinford are being eyed up to host a transit site for travellers after plans to put the site in Coseley were scrapped, the News has learned.

Dudley Council chiefs have been drawing up plans to find a new site since throwing out a scheme to create a transit park for up to 40 caravans in Budden Road, Coseley, but they have so far kept any new possible locations secret.

The News, however, understands three sites in the Oak Lane area of Kingswinford are in the running to potentially accommodate a caravan park where police could order travellers to move to should they set up unauthorised camps in the borough.

No specifics have been revealed but Kingswinford South councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley's Conservative group and ex-leader of the authority, has described latest efforts to find a suitable site as “a dog's breakfast”.

It is understood the sites being looked at in Kingswinford are not owned by the council and there are suggestions one may not fall within the Dudley borough.

Cllr Harley said: "It’s sheer incompetency to suggest a couple of sites we haven’t got ownership of and one might even be in South Staffordshire.

"If we don't own the land and the owners are not prepared to sell - nothing will happen."

He said the Conservative group was "happy to support a site anywhere in the borough" and he added: "I'm not precious about Budden Road - I just want a site that works for residents who are fed-up of having parks and open spaces trashed."

The possible sites are believed to only be big enough to accommodate around 20 caravans, rather than the 40 proposed at the Coseley site. But Cllr Harley said that would potentially be acceptable, adding: "The average incursion is around 15 caravans."

But he added: "It's absolutely bonkers to have officers working on a set of proposals that are never going to materialise. It's incompetent to pursue this at haste.

"This has got the potential to descend into a farce."

Dudley South MP Mike Wood added: "They clearly haven't thought this through.

"There’s no chance of it being ready for when we need it. The traveller season starts in a few weeks.

"The council’s completely betrayed the interests of residents right across Dudley and is putting its own political interests ahead of securing our parks and green spaces.”

Councillor Qadar Zada, leader of Dudley Council, has said there are legal issues that need to be overcome before the council can reveal its favoured site.

He told the News the council has been liaising with a third party landowner and added: “We can’t compromise those discussions

“We set out our criteria for a smaller site, not close to residential and ok for access and deals with all the things we said we would resolve. I’d gladly say this is the site but my hands are tied by ongoing discussions. Discussions with landowners are live, they are happening as we speak. I’ve asked officers to try and conclude those discussions.

“We do want to make sure people are very clear this is one of our biggest priorities – we have made progress and identified sites and agreed across both parties.

“I think people thought we were not going to sort it.

“People need to know we are committed to a transit site – we have sites identified.”

He confirmed three sites were being looked at and added: “Not all are in council control.”

But he refuted claims one was not in the Dudley borough.

He said talks have also been taking place with neighbouring local authorities about the possibility of agreeing on a site “which may not be in Dudley to sort this nonsense out about everybody having a site” but he stressed: “These discussions are completely separate.”

The plans will be discussed further by the council's cabinet at a meeting tonight (Wednesday March 20).