Update: The Southern Planning Committee decided it would have rejected the application.
The Southern Planning Committee will meet online next Tuesday afternoon to decide on whether or not it supports the development of eight homes at Linney House. The site is on the banks of the Corve within Ludlow’s conservation area. The committee decision will only be advisory as the developer has already submitted an appeal to the planning inspectorate. But it is an important decision.
Should we build schemes like this in Ludlow’s conservation area? Should we build in an area that is not identified for development in the local development plan, SAMDev?
Shropshire Council planners are recommending that the planning committee indicates that it would have rejected the proposal. I don’t take it as given that committee members will accept this recommendation.
If you want to address the committee, the deadline is 12 noon this Friday. In a virtual age, you must submit in writing.
The site lies outside the development boundary for Ludlow. It will increase traffic pressure on the Linney, though it will also provide improvements to allow vehicles to pass more easily. The scheme is well designed. But will it become another gated community?
I have written extensively on this scheme and its predecessors. I summarised the complex planning history of this site in an article last April. Although the design of the development is good this is a plot of land that should not be developed.
I always believed the initial planning permission was granted under duress. Not from the developer, but from the government’s planning rules. Those rules insist Shropshire Council identifies enough land for five year’s housebuilding. Back in 2014, the council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply and felt obliged to approve the scheme for three suburban houses. It has not been called in to planning committee by my predecessor as a councillor and was decided by officers.
I do not have a vote on this scheme under the council’s constitution. I will be submitted a prepared statement by midday Friday. If you want to comment, you must do the same. I publish below an extract from the new rulebook for addressing planning committees to explain the process.
The developer, James Hepworth, has two options if the planning inspectorate turns down this scheme of eight homes.
He could continue with the approved application for three suburban style homes (12/02275/FUL). This development has been commenced. Only a small area of garage foundation has been dug but that is sufficient for the planning permission to continue indefinitely.
Alternatively, Mr Hepworth can hope that the latest scheme for four homes is approved by Shropshire Council or, if he choses to go the planning inspectorate, a planning inspector in Bristol (19/05519/FUL).
Addressing the planning committee
Extract from virtual planning committee rules.
As with the non-virtual process this will work on first come first served basis. Public speaking requests should be made by email and by 12 noon on Friday before a Tuesday planning committee meeting and must include a written transcript of the public speaking statement of no more than 550 words. This is a word count equivalent to the 3 minutes provided for non-virtual meetings.
Public Speaking comments from the Local Councillor and Town or Parish Council must also be received in writing, by email and for the Parish or Town Council must be a maximum of 550 words– and for Local Councillor must be a maximum of 900 words (equivalent to 5 minutes). The Local Councillor will be able to join the meeting to read out their public speaking comments if they wish, otherwise these comments will be read out by the solicitor. These submissions must also be received by 12 noon on Friday before a Tuesday Committee.
Email submissions to email@example.com.