Developer McCartney has published photomontages of two houses it wants to build on the last green space at the bottom of the Linney (14/04328/FUL). There have been three major objections to this scheme since its inception:
1) It removes the last green space in the Linney.
2) It damages important views towards Bringewood Chase.
3) The site lies outside Ludlow’s development boundary as defined in SAMDev.
The developer says it wants the new buildings to “make a positive contribution to the areas character and appearance.” It pledges to “protect and enhance a primary view-point within the Linney townscape of unspoilt rural landscape.”
A revised landscape and visual statement accompanies the photomontages. It states that the impact of the new buildings on the view to be “negligible”:
[The proposed houses will be] separated by a wide central open space to protect rural views through the site of floodplain pasture and wooded hillside of Bringewood Chase. The open space comprises formal grass lawns flanked by borders of low shrubbery not exceeding 900mm high, supported by a see through frontage of railings mounted on low brick walls with rear garden boundary of post and rail fencing.
These are quite reasonable looking buildings. They have been designed by local architect Trevor Hewitt, who has a sensitive eye for our historic context.
I think these photomontages understate the impact of these large houses. To get a full view of the Bringewoods you almost need to enter the garden between the houses.
If these houses were anywhere else in Ludlow, I would probably welcome them – even though they are not the sort of housing we need. We need affordable housing for young people and workers, not large houses for the relatively wealthy.
These new designs do not change my view that the only option under planning rules is to reject this scheme. A critical point is that this site is outside the development boundary as defined in our local plan, SAMDev.
A planning inspector recently threw out an application for a house at the other end of the Linney. The inspector made it clear that there have to be exceptional reasons to breach local plan policies that set out where housing should be built. There are no exceptional circumstances for this scheme. It is being built for no identifiable need other than commercial profit.