Farming, countryside protection and affordable housing up for debate at Bitterley meeting on 16 June

Farming, countryside protection and affordable housing will top the agenda at the next meeting of the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee on 16 June.

Committee chair Councillor Andy Boddington says:

“We are lucky live amid the glorious countryside of South Shropshire. People come here to visit and to retire because the Ludlow area has great beauty, great people and superb places to eat and drink.

“We should never forget that this is a working landscape. We grow food on our beautiful fields. The countryside is full of small enterprises. Yet it increasingly hard for many people to find somewhere to live in rural areas, particularly if they are young and on a low income.

“At the meeting on 16 June, we’ll be debating the future of farming, the problems of affordable housing and the future of the Shropshire Hills area of outstanding natural beauty.

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Shropshire Hills AONB threatened by council cuts – updated

Update 3 May 2015

There is good news from the area of outstanding natural beauty. Currently, the AONB is managed from within Shropshire Council. Two weeks ago, the members of the AONB Partnership unanimously agreed to pursue independence. That approach has now been supported by Shropshire Council. A threat to make the AONB manager redundant has been withdrawn.

This is a good move. Both the Chilterns and Cotswolds AONBs are overseen by conservation trusts. These have proved to be strong, independent voices on behalf of the landscape and the people who live and work in it.

Main article 16 April 2016

It is our task to look after our fragile planet and landscapes for future generations but at times this task is not easy.

Take solar farms. They help us in our battle against climate change but can despoil precious landscapes. That’s why I am disappointed that a planning inspector approved a solar farm at Acton Scott in the heart of the Shropshire Hills area of outstanding natural beauty. It is better that these developments are on brownfield sites, like the solar farm being built at Bromfield.

There are greater threats to the AONB than incongruous developments. Shropshire Council is planning to abolish the post of AONB manager. It believes the nationally designated landscape, which covers a quarter of Shropshire, can be overseen by an officer who will also have other duties across the county.

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