New plans submitted for T-Junction on A49 for Foldgate Lane housing development

Crest Nicholson has submitted a planning application to create an access from the A49 to the proposed development of 137 homes at Foldgate Lane. To meet national road safety guidelines, the A49 must be widened by 1.7 metres to accommodate a ghost island for traffic turning right into the development. An extensive visibility splay is needed for traffic leaving the site.

The main casualty of this is more than 100 young-mature and semi-mature trees. There is a plan in place for replacement trees but these will take some time to mature, during which time at least a dozen homes will suffer undesirable traffic noise and air pollution.

Any tree removal is likely to be controversial in the current febrile debate about the growing practice of hedge netting. If this development is to go ahead, and many people wish it would not, it seems there is no other option other than removal of the trees. But that must not happen until the nesting season ends.

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Bird netting at Rocks Green in Ludlow ripped away – a bad move ahead of a planned protest

The green netting put in place to prevent birds nesting at Rocks Green has been pulled away. This was not an act by the developer or the landowner. It was an action by eco-protesters. But this is a stupid way of protesting. A demonstration was organised next Sunday against this scheme and in support of the growing national campaign against hedge netting. But there is no longer a backdrop to the banners. The media are now unlikely to turn out.

The developer has confirmed that new netting will not be reinstalled.

I don’t approve of netting except under the most strictly regulated circumstances. Those regulations don’t yet exist and I have asked Ludlow’s MP Philip Dunne to attend a debate in Parliament to insist on better controls.

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Petition against hedge netting passes 200,000 signatures. Ludlow protest planned. RSPB takes tough stance against netting. Please write to your MP

Last night, the petition against the growing practice of netting hedges and trees to prevent birds nesting passed 200,000 signatures. It is still growing.

Campaigners are to meet to protest against the hedge netting at Rocks Green at 11am on Sunday 14 April, SY8 2DS. More than 6,000 people have joined the Facebook group, Nesting not Netting!

Ecologists and the RSPB have issued a new statement advising against netting and, should it be deemed necessary, for inspections every three hours.

I have written to Ludlow’s MP Philip Dunne asking him to act and attend the forthcoming debate in parliament.

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Sidney Road bungalows – Shropshire Council backs dissenting officer’s case in evidence to planning appeal

Housing group Connexus is appealing against the South Planning Committee’s rejection of its plans for five bungalows on the green at the bottom of Charlton Rise. The committee refused the scheme twice. In its evidence to the planning inspectorate, council planners revealed that they were divided on whether the scheme should be recommended for approval. One officer wrote a dissenting report which said that the scheme should be refused because of the loss of the Norway Maple, the reduction in open space and poor design.

The South Planning Committee had no knowledge of this report when it rejected the application for the second time. But it said the plans must be refused because of the loss of the Norway Maple, the reduction in open space and poor design.

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Shropshire Council’s April Fools Day joke

I was tied up with meetings and business yesterday and only spotted Shropshire Council’s April Fools Day joke late in the day. The council celebrated its tenth birthday and no doubt there was much back slapping. The press release says everything about Shropshire Council. It pleads that it has had a few difficult years. Those difficult years were created by the Conservative leadership which became obsessed with stripping everything out of the council and either transferring functions to its company, ip&e or closing them down altogether. The council company of course failed. The council has improved and in its press release yesterday it boasted a suite of achievements, all of them in Shrewsbury.

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