Category: Shropshire Council

Council leaders worried that Shirehall will be listed by Historic England apply for immunity certificate (updated)

Without informing councillors, Shropshire Council has applied for a certificate of immunity to protect its Shirehall headquarters from being listed. Councillors only heard about this yesterday. The consultation by Historic England ends on Friday. Council leader Peter Nutting has said the decision to apply for a certificate of immunity is not controversial as the council decision in July on the future of Shirehall was quite clear. But councillors did not agree to demolish Shirehall. They agreed to stop work on the ambitious and expensive plans to remodel Shirehall and explore developing a new civic centre in Shrewsbury town centre. Demolition was not discussed. The secret move to get a certificate of immunity is typical of the current council leadership’s approach. Councillors are informed on a need to know basis and, in Peter Nutting’s opinion, most councillors don’t need to know.

Ludlow Town Council plans to axe tree on Station Drive for CCTV – a coherent tree management plan is needed for this area

Update Councillors have rejected the felling of the tree, saying they could not justify ordering the removal of a tree while criticising others for doing the same. Initially, the camera will not be turned on until a solution is found. Main Article Ludlow Town Council wants to remove or heavily cut back a tree on Station Drive to allow work on a CCTV camera and to ensure that the lens has a clear view. We need CCTV in the centre of town. But we also need trees and greenery. Over the years, the Ludlow centre has a lot of a green canopy and I am not happy about another tree going. The tree is close to the top of Station Drive and is owned by Shropshire Council. It one of best trees along the west edge of the road. I think it is a Whitebeam. It is not protected and probably not distinctive enough to qualify for a tree preservation order. If the tree must go, Ludlow Town Council and Shropshire Council should draw up a comprehensive planting plan for the narrow strip of land between Station Drive and the Galdeford car park. A decision on the tree’s future will…

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Good (ish) news update on the damage to Ludlow Buttercross and closure of King Street

The repairs to the Buttercross could be quicker than I first thought. Ludlow Town Council is meeting potential contractors on Tuesday to give them a briefing on tendering. Shropshire Council’s conservation team has confirmed that any like for like repairs will not need Listed Building Consent. The repairs must be of Grinshill sandstone, which is still available. On the advice of structural engineers, King Street must remain closed to create space for Heras fencing. That fencing was put in place yesterday evening to create a safety zone for pedestrians and prevent any further damage to the Grade-I listed building. King Street will be closed for several weeks to come as a result.

Approval of Church Walk balcony undermines Ludlow’s historic environment – it’s a bad undemocratic decision

The third storey roof terrace overlooking St Laurence’s Church and the Reader’s House has been approved. It is an appalling decision. The town council objected. Ludlow’s conservation committee objected. Ludlow Civic Society objected. I asked for the decision to be made by the planning committee. All this was to no avail. Planning officers approved the scheme yesterday.   This decision, which in my opinion ignores court rulings about protecting the setting of historic buildings, was made after a secretive meeting by planning officers and the chair and vice chair of the Southern Planning Committee. That meeting decided to delegate the decision to officers who immediately approved the scheme. Did the chair and vice chair visit the site before they made that decision? We don’t know because the process is shrouded in secrecy but I doubt they did so. Shropshire Council’s planning system must be overhauled to give greater respect to local representations and the historic environment.

Queue at Prices

It’s been a tough time for our high streets in Shropshire. They were almost deserted for months. Only in the last few weeks have they begun to spring back into life. Shropshire Council has launched a survey of businesses, councillors, residents and others asking how our town centres and high streets are performing as we emerge from lockdown. The council is asking whether there is more activity in your local town centre than last week. It wants an estimate or rough guess on what proportion of businesses are open. What would encourage more businesses to open? And two crucial questions. How confident do you think the public is in returning to the town centre? And what measures could be taken to increase public confidence? Please take part in the survey.

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