New developments on Linney housing schemes lack information

There have been two developments on planning applications for housing on the Linney in Ludlow Conservation Area.

One application for three houses has been approved, though there is little expectation these houses will be built rather than a further application submitted. I have never seen an application approved when the developer says it doesn’t want the scheme to be built. A second adjacent application for two homes has been substantially revised.

Neither application will deliver or pay a contribution towards the affordable housing this town desperately needs.

Linney House

Shropshire Council has reapproved a scheme for three houses in the grounds of Linney House, one of which is party in the floodplain. The council had said that it would approve this scheme, even though it lies outside the town development defined in SAMDev. But the developer has absolutely no intention of building these houses, even though the site has been cleared of a large number of trees. The planning application stated:

“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 can’t explain to you why the council has decided to approve this planning application as it has not published the decision notice and officers’ report for the decision, which was made two weeks ago (17/00230/FUL). But in all my years of observing the planning system, I never seen a planning authority approve a development that the developer states it does not wish to be built.

Land adjoining Castle Grange, Linney

These plans, like the Linney House application, have been controversial from the outset. They are for two rather grand houses on the grass field at the bottom of the Linney before it turns towards St Leonard’s.

The last iteration of the plans, first submitted in October 2014, still blocked views towards the Bringewood. Shropshire Council’s conservation team said the plans would “create harm” to the Ludlow Conservation Area. The Ludlow Conservation Area Advisory Committee said:

“A significant feature of the conservation area in this location is the open view across the flood plain to passers-by (in vehicles and on foot) going west along Linney in this location. This is a view to be valued and retained and it will be spoiled completely by the development.”

The new plans are rather different (14/04328/FUL). Instead of two houses facing each other, they are both now on the north side of the plot, facing south.

At first sight, this new arrangement seems to open up the vista towards Bringewood. But we lack photomontages that show the view from the Linney looking westwards. The only image supplied is looking from the footpath over the Corve towards the Castle.

We need to see more photomontages before taking a view on this latest revision of plans for the site.

Shropshire Council issued a reconsultation letter on Friday. I think it disappointing that we have a ticking clock with an 18 June deadline without sufficient information to judge this application.