Taxpayers will pick up a $100,000 bill for the planning inquiry which resurrected plans for a Black Country mosque, it has been revealed. The cost of the four-day hearing will be met by Dudley Council after the Government’s planning inspectorate overturned its decision to reject the $18 million proposal. The authority was forced to hire security staff to police the summit at the inspector’s request – but will not receive a penny from Whitehall to cover costs. The decision to allow the appeal for the project in Hall Street, Dudley, was this week announced after the public inquiry in June. Dudley Council boss David Caunt described the decision as a “sad day” for local democracy saying it ignored the 22,000 people who signed a petition in opposition. And Councillor Caunt said that the $100,000 bill rubbed salt in the wound. “I’m very frustrated that a one man government-appointed judge and jury can turn up, listen to the arguments for four days and drive around the borough before coming to the conclusion that he knows better than the locals. The councillor added: “And then we have to pick up the bill for it.

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