Day: 8 June 2016

Welcome to the new ugly Ludlow – Henley Hall solar farm appeal gets the go ahead

Sometimes it is better to write blogs that reflect the mood you are in. At other times it is best to wait. On this occasion I am spitting so much blood in anger so I think it is better to publish. The planning inspectorate in Bristol has approved a huge solar farm off Squirrel Lane on the edge of Ludlow. I am appalled by this decision. It will industrialise the gentle rural edge of Ludlow. I am sorry to say that this is typical of decisions taken by the planning inspectorate in Bristol. They come here for a few days and make hasty judgements on what should or should go ahead. The planning inspectorate will probably never come here again to look at the consequences of this decision.  There will never be a reality check on the damage they have done to the countryside on the edge of town. No one in Bristol will look at the long effects on tourism or ever come back to try to understand the impact of their decisions.

Plans to redevelop One Stop at 9 Tower Street are to be updated after heritage concerns

The main concern with redevelopment of the One Stop is the future of the post office. But we are also concerned about the heritage aspects of this important site. Following concerns raised about the remains of the Tower Street goal between One Stop and the Renaissance Centre, the architect Trevor Hewitt is revising the plans for redeveloping the site. The stone wall is not a listed building. It should be and I don’t know why it is not. I have asked Shropshire Council’s conservation team and Historic England whether the remains can be listed.

Shropshire Council should step up to the plate and hold a referendum on council tax, says Ludlow’s mayor in showdown

The story is headlining on BBC Radio Shropshire right now and I guess we’ll see it in the Shropshire Star when it is published around 9.30am. I think that when Shropshire Council leader Malcolm Pate demanded that town and parish councils agree to take over a range of services by September this year, or they would be scrapped, he didn’t expect such a strong reaction. Local councils are not rolling over and playing dead. They are insisting on more time to put staff structures and finance in place. And, led by Ludlow’s mayor, they are demanding that Shropshire Council holds a countywide referendum on raising council tax above the 1.99% allowed without a vote. (To this, you must add the 2% adult social care tax.). Councillor Pate and his staff have been running ahead of themselves on service transfers. They are constantly correcting the list of services to be transferred and arrangements for making the transfers. The process has been so rushed with so few staff to support it that it has been more chaotic than managed. The press release from Ludlow Town Council, reproduced below, says it just right.

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