A blueprint setting out development in the Black Country over the next 20 years wants to make it easier for people to get around.

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Should there be more large scale schemes for public transport, such as the multi million pound Wolverhampton Metro extension? Should there be a focus on improving the roads and motorways to ease bottlenecks for cars? Or should the emphasis go on health, and encouraging more people to walk and cycle?

Residents living in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton have until 8 September to have their say on how the Black Country Core Strategy should be updated.

It is a planning document which will map out development across the 4 authorities from now until 2036, including where new homes should be built.

Transport is a key theme of the Black Country Core Strategy, with people being urged to have their say.

The Core Strategy review document says there is also a need to find 300 hectares - the equivalent of more than 300 rugby pitches - of new land for industries and businesses in order to create new jobs.

As part of the consultation, there is a "Call for Sites" where people can put forward areas of land they feel may be suitable for development.

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: "This document will shape the Black Country for a generation and it's absolutely critical that people have their say on it.

"We want to make it easier to travel into and around the Black Country, using our public transport and road networks. Whether you travel by bus, rail, Metro or road, we want to make it simpler for you to get around.

"To help us, we need your views on where we could do things better.

"That's why we are launching a consultation, along with the other 3 Black Country authorities, to enable people to have their say. It's important people tell us what they think and we would urge them to get in touch."

The Black Country Core Strategy outlines how many homes need to be built and how to plan for the number of extra jobs needed for a growing population. It also decides where new homes and businesses should be located.

The consultation document says nearly 80,000 new homes need to be built in the Black Country before 2036. It says sites have already been earmarked for around 60,000. But new plots of land need to be found for nearly 22,000 properties as the population and economy of the area continues to grow.

The original document was launched 6 years ago and covers the period up to 2026. The public consultation will be on a review of the document to take it up to 2036.

The information from the consultation will be collated and used to produce a proposed review document, which will again go out to consultation next year.

People can find out more about the consultation and take part at blackcountrycorestrategy.dudley.gov.uk, or pick up a leaflet from a local library, or request one by calling 01384 814136.

  • released: Wednesday 2 August, 2017