After effective negotiations and some successful appeals, the overall business rates bill for Ludlow has gone down. The town had been facing above average increases after the revaluation of properties last year. It is still facing above average increases but more than seventy businesses have had their rates bills reduced since the increases were announced. One in nine Ludlow businesses will see a reduction in rateable value and the changes have moved three local businesses out of the business rate regime altogether. The reduction in rateable values for those businesses that pay rates under the current rules amounts to £120,000. That’s a 10.4% reduction and good news for local companies and traders.
Pickstock Homes has submitted a planning application for 200 homes behind the Nelson Inn. The application is a so-called hybrid application. It is in outline for the full site and a full planning application for 68 of the homes. The site is allocated for housing in the local plan, SAMDev. The scheme is essentially the same as that presented to the town council and Ludford parish council last summer. It is expected to take six years to build.
Shropshire Council has published its draft plans for development in Shropshire up to 2036. This is an old-fashioned plan based on hopes and dreams rather than the realities of being a rural county. It looks north to an HS2 hub at Crewe, hoping to spill development associated with that railway junction into Shropshire. It looks east to Wolverhampton. It is desperate to extend the West Midlands conurbation beyond Telford across the green belt into the fields that make our county so attractive.
Shropshire Council has published its draft plans for development in Shropshire up to 2036. In its consultation on preferred scale and distribution of development, the council is proposing that 28,750 dwellings are built between now and 2036. Ludlow will be expected to provide 1,000 new homes over that period, a build rate of 50 homes a year, along with space for an additional 11 jobs a year for the growing population (other jobs will be created in existing employment space). We will only need to find land for an additional 146 homes because large unplanned developments have been approved at Foldgate Lane and Bromfield Road, and hundreds more are at various stages of planning. Our problem in Ludlow is that we can’t get homes built.
Yesterday, I encountered a single strand of green wire, strung across a right of way near Steventon, on the outskirts of Ludlow. I immediately reported this to Shropshire Council, which is responsible for ensuring that landowners maintain rights of way. I also filed a report with West Mercia Police. It is a criminal offence to block a right of way but I was more concerned that this was incredibly dangerous.
Below, I give detail of this blockage and how you can report similar obstructions.