LOCAL MP Marco Longhi has stepped into the fight against controversial plans to build a housing development on contaminated land in Woodsetton.

The project has faced fierce opposition from residents, and they along with Mr Longhi and local councillors have met several times to plan their fight against the plan for 79 new homes.

A previous bid to build on the former landfill site sparked 500 objections and residents are once more uniting against the proposal.

The area earmarked for development is 6.5 acres and is surrounded by houses in the area of Elmdale Road, Bourne Street, Cedar Avenue and Hockley Road.

The developers want to create a looped estate road with 2, 3 and 4-bed semis or detached houses with one terrace in the middle.

But Dudley North MP Mr Longhi said: “Just the history of this land should be enough to put any developer off building family homes.

“I have written to the Environment Agency because I am very concerned about this site and the danger of old toxic material being released from the ground should the site be developed.

“Despite the contamination it has become home to an abundance of wildlife, including badgers, hedgehogs and bats. It is vital that we protect local biodiversity for our environment.

"Rather than homes I would like to see this form part of an urban forest for the whole community to benefit.”

The developers say the contamination would be dealt with and the estate would have plenty of green spaces.

But Mr Longhi says the development’s proposed layout is poor and the Coal Authority have advised ‘it is a high risk area and intrusive site investigations will be needed before any building takes place.’

He said there was ‘a long history of toxic waste being disposed on the site.”