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.
Ludlow people and businesses have a huge pride in the beauty and character of our countryside. They sell this when they engage with people and in the way that they invite people to visit our locality. This ugly development is far more visible that the inspector noticed on his quick trips around the area in his car. The planning inspector didn’t understand this because he was only passing through.
The planning inquiry team at the Eco Park
It is time for the planning inspectorate to be abolished. It does nothing useful for our county. If bad decisions like this are to be made, it is better that they are made locally where decision makers are democratically accountable.
When I calm down, I’ll do a detailed examination of the inspector’s reasoning. If his judgement stands, Shropshire Council’s policy CS5 has been all but destroyed. This is the most important policy we have to protect our countryside. CS5 blocks industrialisation of the countryside but allows farm diversification. The inspector failed to address this issue in any respect at the inquiry or in his report.
This is a bad decision for Ludlow and a bad decision for coherent planning in our county.