The housing market is always changing. The Foldgate Lane housing scheme is limited to 137 dwellings under its planning permission. Developer Crest Nicholson has decided the current market demands smaller two or three bedroom homes. It has reduced the size of homes in the first phase of the development and increased the number of market dwellings from 14 to 21. To keep within the cap of 137 homes, the later phases will have larger homes than previously planned.
Under emergency coronavirus legislation, Crest Nicholson has been given permission to work until 7.30pm on weekdays and 5pm on Saturdays.
Work has yet to restart on the site following the lockdown.
These changes to housing size are sensible and not controversial (20/03165/VAR). Ludlow needs smaller dwellings not four or five bedroom ‘executive homes’. Although Crest Nicholson is currently saying it will keep within the 137 dwelling limit in the outline planning permission, I would not be surprised if it brings forward plans to increase the number of homes in the later phases of the development. If the homes are smaller, it would be difficult to object to an increase providing the overall design of the scheme and the planned areas of green space are not changed.
Crest Nicholson also wants to extend working hours on the site. This would not normally be allowed but the Business and Planning Act 2020 – part of the government’s emergency coronavirus measures – allows extended construction hours until the end of March 2021. The Act aims to allow construction work until 9pm, Monday to Saturday and says longer hours may sometimes be justified. Crest Nicholson applied for permission to work until 9pm. After negotiations with Shropshire Council planners, working hours have been limited to 7.30pm on weekdays and 5pm on Saturdays. This is limited to August 2020 initially but the expectation is that the permission will be extended until the end of March.
The nights are drawing in but artificial lighting will be not be allowed on the site without the consent of Shropshire Council. A complaints procedure will be in place through Shropshire Council customer services.
There is no work on site currently. This looks to be down to final negotiations with Highways England on the access road from the A49. Planning officers have asked Crest Nicholson when work is expected to restart.