DUDLEY Council is set to spend more than £2m on luxury four-bedroom homes to rent out as council houses.

The deal, for eight homes in Crabourne Road, Dudley Wood, has come under fire from people living in the street who say they did not know the new builds would be for social housing.

The eight semi-detached homes, which have electric car charging points and heat pumps, were advertised for sale as ‘a stunning development of luxury homes’ with prices ranging from £305,000 to £315,000.

The council snapped up the houses, on the site of the former Bunch of Bluebells pub, leaving people nearby fuming.

Residents’ spokesperson Paul Dunn said: “How can DMBC justify spending over £2m on eight houses to this high specification when existing council tenants are waiting for essential repairs in properties that are borderline fit for habitation?

“How many void properties awaiting repairs could be made available with this amount of money.”

Permission for the development was granted in 2019 for three-bedroom properties but the homes were eventually sold with four bedrooms.

Residents say they had no chance to be consulted on having potentially more people living in the council’s latest des-res homes.

In a letter to the authority they say: “Residents feel we have been deceived and let down as we have not been given the chance to object and are now faced with a situation that has been imposed on us by what is supposed to be a democracy not a dictatorship.”

Dudley Council would not confirm the exact purchase price of the high-spec homes.

The authority offered them for rent on its website between January 25 and January 29 for £155.10 per week.

Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, Dudley's cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “As a local authority with housing responsibilities, we are always looking at the available opportunities to meet demand for housing, this includes the building and purchasing of new homes where appropriate.

“The housing budget is ring fenced, and does not form part of the council’s general fund, which provides for all other council services. 

“Each decision to build or purchase any new properties is assessed in line with our current demand, and we currently have urgent need for new family homes to ensure those families who are homeless or residing in temporary accommodation are housed as soon as possible. 

“We have been made aware of some concerns regarding planning on this site. 

“We would expect any developer, including ourselves, to fully comply with planning regulations and as such are currently investigating any issues and potential impact on the local community.”