A new but not revised application has been made for three houses and garages at Linney House (17/00230/FUL). The applicant says: “The intention of the application to secure a consent for a further 3-years to facilitate on-going negotiations with the Council to secure an alternative scheme for this sensitive site.”
I don’t think this is the right approach. The developer should either get on with building or submit a completely new application. In any event, this new application must be determined from scratch. In the light of current planning policy, I can’t see any reason for approving it.
The site (red dotted line)
The original application was made in May 2012 (12/02275/FUL). Ludlow Town Council objected to the original application in July of that year, withdrawing its objection in September. Ludlow Civic Society originally supported the scheme, then objected. English Heritage also objected.
The then councillor for Ludlow North, Rosanna Taylor-Smith agreed with the planning committee chair that the application should be determined by officers, not the South Planning Committee. I am surprised at that. Critically for the approval, the Environment Agency did not object after examining the developer’s Flood Risk Assessment.
Before and since approval the application was subject to several amendments to take on board comments on design, conservation and flood protection. This included a reduction in the number of the houses from four to three.
Planning permission was given on 26 June 2014, meaning that it will expire on 25 June this year. Permission was given at a time when the local plan SAMDev had not been adopted and Shropshire did not have a five-year land supply, both factors that made it harder to resist speculative housing developments.
These houses lie within metres of the Corve. Plot 2 is surrounded by Flood Zone 2. Plot 1 lies mostly in Flood Zone 2. Mitigation will be put in place but my view is that we should never build in flood zones unless there is an overriding necessity.
There is no overriding necessity for these houses. We don’t need three more executive style homes in Ludlow, let alone houses that are partially in a flood zone.
By reapplying for planning permission, rather than getting on with building, the developer will avoid paying any contribution towards affordable housing due to a government imposed change of rules. The original scheme would have had to pay 13% of the development cost towards building affordable homes.
The site is not allocated for development and it lies outside the SAMDev boundary for Ludlow. It lies in Ludlow Conservation Area. Sufficient planning permissions have already been given to ensure that Ludlow exceeds its housing guideline as set out in SAMDev.
I can see no benefits for Ludlow in development of this site and several disbenefits. I have asked for the application to be called in to the South Planning Committee for a decision.