Ludlow architect Trevor Hewett has drawn up plans to rebuild the One Stop store in Tower Street as a restaurant and ten two bedroom apartments. In an exhibit currently in Ludlow Library, Mr Hewett says:
We are preparing a planning application seeking change of use of the ground floor to restaurant use or retail use. New upper floors will contain ten two-bedroom apartments.
The stone building currently housing refuse bins will become the entrance to the apartments. New upper floors over the stone building will contain a two-bedroom town house.
Any development on this site will be an improvement on horrid building that currently stands at 9 Tower Street. But I have my doubts about the scale of the proposed building. I think it is too tall. I am also concerned about the future of our main post office.
Trevor Hewett says:
The site lies on the edge of the central conservation area at an important gateway to the historic town. The existing low building does not sit comfortably in the streetscape.
The proposed building will repair the street frontage and, with a varied roofscape of clay tiled roofs and gabled, lime-rendered elevations will harmonise with the surrounding buildings. The important vista of the tower of St Laurence’s church will be preserved, framed by the new building.
The detailed plans: Proposed Redevelopment of 9 Tower Street Ludlow
These plans have not been submitted to Shropshire Council. This is a preapplication consultation. Comments should be sent to Trevor Hewett, architect, by 11 June: email@example.com. There will be a further opportunity to comment once formal plans have been submitted to Shropshire Council.
Please also let me know your views in the comment box below.
The plans will be discussed at a meeting of Ludlow Town Council’s Representational Committee on Wednesday 1 June, 7pm at the Guildhall. Members of the public are welcome and can speak at the beginning of the meeting.
Almost any development on this site will be an improvement on the ugly building that currently stands at 9 Tower Street. This is an attractive proposal but I have my doubts about the scale of the new building. The roofline is 2.4 metres – nearly 8 feet – above that of the Co-op store. I think this is too high for the location.
I don’t know whether we need a new restaurant in Ludlow. A McDonalds would be popular but outlets for multinational fast food companies will not fit well with the historic character of our town. A more upmarket restaurateur might widen the variety of food on offer in the town but could also undermine the viability of existing restaurants.
I am also concerned that we are drifting towards a town where you can buy a cup of coffee but not a shirt for your back. We need to serve food and drink to tourists and visitors, as well as residents who want to eat out. But it would be a sad day for Ludlow if we can’t buy everyday essentials in the town centre. We are not at that position yet. But we should ask the question of every planning application: “Will this change the character of the town centre.”
My greatest worry is for the future of the post office. Its current Tower Street site has proved ideal for customers travelling on foot, by bus or by car. The survival of the post office should concern us all. I would like a reassurance that the post office will remain at 9 Tower Street or have a new home in the town centre that is at least as convenient. Central Ludlow has one of the oldest populations in the country and older people need easy access to post office services. I would not like any redevelopment of 9 Tower Street, no matter how much it is needed, to threaten the future of this essential service.