Plans have been submitted for 25 homes at Stone House, the former district and unitary council offices on Corve Street, and the site of Ludlow’s now disused nuclear bunker. This looks a good scheme overall but some details need to be resolved, especially about archaeology (15/05509/FUL).
Purcell Developments have provisionally purchased our former council offices at Stone House. They are proposing to replace the uninspiring 1980s office block with 25 homes, three of which would be affordable (12%). This is an ideal location for housing on the edge of the town centre. Residents here will have less of need of cars for their daily needs than those that live on the edge of town developments currently being proposed for Ludlow.
The design and access statement talks through how this scheme has evolved with contributions from Shropshire Council planners and the Ludlow Area Advisory Committee. These discussions led to five dwellings being dropped from the scheme to reduce its density and create a central courtyard.
The development will range in height from 2 to 3.5 stories:
- 3 one bedroom apartments (50sqm each)
- 6 two bedroom apartments (69sqm)
- 12 three bedroom houses (116.5sqm)
- 4 four bedroom houses (145.8sqm)
Existing trees will be retained and the housing will be built around a central green space. This green space is not as large as required in Shropshire Council’s draft policies. Despite this, I would not like see less housing on this site. We should build to high densities at central locations in the town where people can rely on walking rather than using cars. It is also an ideal location for housing for rail commuters.
The last of these views shows the proposed pigeonnier, a cunning disguise for the waste and recycling bins.
I might have preferred a modern development. I am not opposed to mock historical architecture but I don’t warm to this style.
There is some work to do on the details of the scheme. There is no plan for archaeological investigation. Given the location of the site, I would prefer to see text pits dug before building commences. At the very least, we must have a watching brief on the construction work.
I am not convinced about the housing backing onto the back of Station Drive. It is too close to existing houses.
. The local affordable housing tariff for Ludlow is 15%, so it looks to me like this scheme needs to add one more affordable property.
. Under Shropshire Council Open Space Interim Planning Guidance adopted January 2012, all development should provide a minimum of 30sqm of public open space per bedroom. This equates to 2,010 sq metres of this development. The open space to be provided at Stone House is 1,130 sq metres, 56% of the draft requirement.