On Tuesday, Shropshire Council’s Southern Planning Committee will take a view on the proposed scheme of eight homes at Linney House. The site is on the banks of the Corve and within Ludlow’s conservation area. See my previous article…
Below is my statement to the Southern Planning Committee. You may also wish to watch these two videos to view the site.
Statement to Southern Planning Committee on proposed housing for Linney House, Ludlow – 19/00826/FUL
Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North
This has always been a challenging scheme to judge. The planning history of the site is complex, even difficult. One scheme for three homes has been approved. Another application for four homes has yet to be decided by Shropshire Council. The scheme before you for eight homes is being appealed, which is why we are discussing it today.
This is an application where committee members would have benefited from a site visit, including viewing the site from the opposite bank of the Corve. To aid the committee, I have published a drone video. Members will have received the link prior to the meeting and members of the public can view the video on my blog.
The aerial images demonstrate how this site contributes towards a near perfect edge to Ludlow as a historic town. The burgage plots of the Linney and the redundant graveyard of St Leonard’s give way to a green edge of Linney House as the landscape falls steeply away towards the Corve.
The site is full of history. It was at one time a quarry. It was also a winter quartering for a circus. Later, it was incorporated into the grounds of Linney House. Many trees were then planted in the garden. In recent years, those trees have not been managed well. There has been extensive felling, though the number of trees lost remains a matter of dispute. Nevertheless, the site remains verdant in character. It is a site that should be nurtured as part of a green corridor along the Corve from Corvedale to the Teme SSSI. We need green corridors to promote biodiversity, reduce flooding risk and address the climate emergency.
We might not be discussing this application today if Shropshire Council had been able to demonstrate a five-year land supply at the beginning of 2014. It could not do so and the presumption in favour of sustainable development kicked into play. The presumption made it difficult to turn down most housing applications. That was why the scheme of three suburban style detached homes was approved by officers.
Even the developer seems not have liked that scheme. There is no evidence that he wants to build it. To the contrary he has said it is his fallback position should permission for this scheme or the subsequent application of four homes not be approved. Work on the three home scheme has legally commenced, but only to the extent of foundations for a garage.
The scheme being considered this afternoon is in my view well designed. The contemporary Nordic Woodland style is attractive. Much better than the scheme approved in 2014. But the development it is the wrong place. It will suburbanise an area that was a leafy garden.
This site lies beyond the development boundary of Ludlow.
We do not need more housing permissions in Ludlow. We have extant planning permissions for nearly 750 homes. We can meet our SAMDev and emerging local plan quotas. Shropshire has more than an adequate land supply to meet its local plan commitments and those set out under the government’s standard method.
I commend the officers’ recommendations to the committee and hope you will support them.