Members of the South Planning Committee yesterday asked for plans for up to 215 houses in Ludlow to be revised and clarified before they will consider granting outline planning permission.
Referring plans for the site off the Bromfield Road back to officers, councillors said they wanted to know more about plans for a new roundabout on the A49. They were concerned about safety because the railway cuts through the site. They also spoke of their concerns that rainwater running off the roofs, roads and driveways of the new development will lead to flooding of existing houses in the town.
The planning meeting had not started well. The planning committee had tried to visit the site in the morning. Council officers had contacted Network Rail for permission to cross the railway line near the leisure centre. Permission was refused. So the planning group, attended by the developers and members of the town council, did not at any point see the site in its entirety. Neither did they visit Fishmore View. This was another reason that committee wanted to defer the application. They are demanding to visit the site to view it in full.
Under Shropshire Council’s constitution, I cannot vote on a planning application in my division. I followed procedure by making a statement to the committee and then withdrawing to the audience.
The committee made the right decision to defer the application. In severe storms, this site will lead to a huge amount of extra water rushing towards the River Corve. Over and above the run-off from the pasture we get now, there will be enough extra water from the new housing to fill an Olympic Swimming pool every forty minutes. The developers say they can hold back this water but I am not convinced that their plans stack up. There is every danger that the housing will lead to extra flooding at Summerfields, Brook Cottage and along lower Corve Street.”
If I wanted to flood Ludlow, I can think of no better site build housing on. This development should not be given outline planning permission until flood concerns are resolved beyond doubt.
I also want the bridge over the River Corve to Fishmore View removed. It serves no useful purpose and is totally opposed by residents who fear it will turn Fishmore and Corve View into a car park for dog walkers
Given the current shortage of housing, under current planning rules I am sure that housing will eventually be built on this site. I am not objecting to that. But we must ensure that the housing does not increase the risk of flooding and that the impact on existing communities is reduced to a minimum.