DUDLEY Council is hunting for a developer to start work on the biggest regeneration project in the borough.

At their meeting on Wednesday December 13, the authority’s cabinet was told progress is being made in the proposed delivery of leisure facilities including an ice rink, shops, bars and around 400 new homes on the Portersfield site near Flood Street.

A number of site surveys have been completed, a public consultation has taken place and negotiations have been going ahead with partners in the project.

Council leader, Councillor Patrick Harley, told the meeting: “This is the biggest site in Dudley and there is real progress. We are very close now and will look to see who can develop the site.

“We have just had an in-depth public consultation. A lot of the responses were positive which shows we are on the right track.”

The council owns 44 percent of the site and a further 27 percent is owned by Developers Avenbury (Dudley) Ltd, the remainder of the site is owned by other organisations.

Cllr Harley added: “It is clear Avenbury wants to move on Portersfield, not as a building partner but as a landowner.

“It is important we get this right, it is the largest site in the borough for development.”

The cost of developing the site has been given at more than £80m and councillors insist the private sector will foot the bill with very little cash coming from Dudley’s coffers.

Cllr Harley told the meeting: “Our contribution will be the land.”

Negotiations will now continue with Avenbury and the other landowners with a target of getting an agreement by the end of 2023.

At the same time council planners will create a design brief to present to potential development companies.

The site previously included the Cavendish House office building which was demolished in 2020.