Planners say plans for eight homes at Linney House are likely to be thrown out because of damage to the natural and historic environment

In March, a new proposal was submitted to build eight homes of modern design in the grounds of Linney House. Now Shropshire Council’s planning officers have said the plans contravene planning policy and are likely to be refused. A letter sent to the site developer eight days ago is a lengthy 14 pages. But the message it conveys is clear. The environmental damage and harm to the Ludlow Conservation Area from the proposed scheme would be unacceptable. At most, three houses can be accommodated on the site and there is already permission for this. Shropshire Council is likely to reject the current application to increase the number of houses to eight.

The planners’ letter does not mark the end of this seven-year attempt to build in woodland in the garden of the Grade II listed Linney House. The developer must decide whether to withdraw the current application or press ahead regardless. If the plans are turned down, he might appeal to the planning inspectorate. He would also be within his rights to go to planning inspectorate for a decision without waiting for a formal decision from the council. Or he might opt to build the scheme for three large houses approved in 2014 and 2017.

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Ludlow Aldi wants to extend delivery hours on Sundays to 7am to 10pm to the detriment of residents

Aldi wants greater flexibility in delivery hours. On Sundays and bank holidays, it is permitted deliveries for six hours from 8am and 4pm. It wants these hours more than doubled to allow deliveries between 7am to 10pm. The application comes with a detailed noise assessment for the store area but this takes no account of noise created as delivery vehicles arrive and depart along Gravel Hill and Henley Road. I don’t think residents should be disturbed by 7am deliveries on Sundays when the store doesn’t open until 10am. Aldi is seeking to extend delivery hours at several of its stores. But Tesco’s delivery hours in Ludlow on Sundays and bank holidays have been 9am to 4pm since 2013. If Tesco can thrive with those hours, so can Aldi.

There has been a suggestion that Aldi and Tesco use a different route for deliveries into Ludlow rather than along Gravel Hill. I would welcome views on that.

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A plea to Ludlow bus passengers – please keep seated on the town buses until they stop

I have been on buses in other towns and cities a lot of late. One thing I have noted is that people sit in their seats until the bus has come to a halt at a stop. This doesn’t happen much in Ludlow. Passengers in our town, many elderly, stand up well before the bus stop despite the “Stopping” sign having been illuminated. This is dangerous and completely unnecessary. Passengers should remain seated until the bus comes to a halt at the stop. It is time to ditch this dangerous habit. We don’t want anyone injured. We want our bus services to run smoothly for the benefit for everyone in our community.

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Linney House development runs into trouble from heritage, highways, ecology, and a potential threat to otters

It is rare that an application for permission to build houses is straightforward. In Ludlow, it seems that is almost never the case. The application to build eight homes in a modern style in the grounds of Linney House is a case in point. This has been a much abused site over the years with permissions given that would not get through the tougher planning system in place today. Trees on the property have been felled without consent. This application, submitted to Shropshire Council last February, has now hit new stumbling blocks (19/00826/FUL). The scheme was already subject to an energetic complaint from the council’s tree officer. Highways officers said several matters must be resolved before planning permission is granted. Shropshire Council’s ecologists now say they are not happy with the plans. They are demanding more information to be assured that protected species are not damaged. They are concerned about disturbance to otters. The council’s heritage team want the scheme thrown out unless significant improvements are made, including a reduction in the number of houses.

This is tough talk from officers and I am not expecting approval of this scheme anytime soon.

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“A beautiful, historic boutique hotel in the heart of Ludlow” – plans for Castle Lodge to be aired

Castle Lodge, which sits outside Ludlow Castle and just off the Market Square, is about to get a makeover, if planning permission and listed building consent are granted. For years, this Grade II* building has been a rather curious museum of curiosities. With the main structure of the building dating back to Elizabethan times, it has been waiting for someone with a deep pocket to invest in its future. According to a report in the Shropshire Star, it was sold in 2018 for £650,000.

Now, a group of entrepreneurs have come forward with plans for its future. They plan a venue that is:

“Open to all. A great place to celebrate… or relax and sample everything the town has to offer. More than a hotel, also a tearoom, bar, family venue, lounge and an activity centre.”

The plans will be presented to Ludlow Town Council tomorrow night, 16 October, at 7pm.

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