The Bromfield Meadows housing inquiry – tough, tedious and at times temperamental

My annoyance could not be hidden in my closing remarks to the public inquiry. The planning inspector was getting a bit annoyed with me too.

I had really had enough by then. The developer, Tesni, has been heavy handed in pursuing this development from day one. Their public consultation was minimal, limited to a letter drop of nearby houses and an online consultation that few people knew about.

They had insisted on an adversarial public inquiry not an inquisitorial hearing. An inquiry is much like a court case with barristers concentrating as much on legal rules to stop arguments being made as presenting a case for or against a development. A hearing is a round table discussion, tightly controlled but less concerned with rules than discovering the merits or otherwise of a development.

The inquiry was held, appropriately, in the Ludlow Room in Shirehall. To my left was the Tesni team – a planning barrister flanked by Tesni’s agent and transport consultant. To my right, two council planning officers. I had a desk of my own as a Rule 6 party – a legal status I had taken on to ensure my arguments were fully heard. I faced the inspector at the head of the room.

Behind me was the public gallery, occupied by Councillors Glen Ginger and Colin Sheward – they spoke well. Beside them was a reporter from the Shropshire Star and two of the Tesni team. Also – and this was a surprise – John Acre from Turley Associates and Michael Jones from Richborough Estates. They are the promoters of the Foldgate Lane development that was thrown out by council planners in September. Continue reading “The Bromfield Meadows housing inquiry – tough, tedious and at times temperamental”

If at first you don’t succeed try and fail again – Elm Lodge housing rejected for a second time

Plans for around twenty secure over-55s bungalows at Elm Lodge off Fishmore Road have been rejected for a second time. The decision is correct in planning terms but once again points out that local planning in this town is potentially on the brink of descending into anarchy.

Shropshire’s chief planner Ian Kilby refused the plans because the site lies outside the defined development boundary for Ludlow in both the existing local plan and its replacement, SAMDev, which will be adopted shortly. This means the site lies in open countryside where housing development is not permitted except under a very limited set of circumstances, for example affordable housing. Mr Kilby also said the council had a five-year land supply for housing. This is an important consideration in deciding applications. If there is not a five-year land supply, national planning rules allow development to be built where local plans forbid it. Continue reading “If at first you don’t succeed try and fail again – Elm Lodge housing rejected for a second time”

It is dénouement for the plans for 215 houses off Bromfield Road tomorrow

Mostly I am looking forward to tomorrow. The whole day is allocated for a public inquiry into plans for 215 houses above the river Corve between Bromfield Road and the A49. But, unusually for me, there is a touch of nervousness too.

The reason I am looking forward to the event is that it will all but bring to a conclusion the long and complex debate over the plans for Bromfield Meadow. They have been thrown out by the South Planning Committee not once, but twice. The committee said the development was unsustainable and the benefits of new housing would be outweighed by the adverse impacts. The committee decided: Continue reading “It is dénouement for the plans for 215 houses off Bromfield Road tomorrow”

Details of inquiry into 215 homes off Bromfield Road announced – do you want to speak?

This morning the planning inspectorate announced final arrangements for the public inquiry into plans by Tesni Properties for 215 homes between Bromfield Road and the A49 – a development known as Bromfield Meadows (15/02192/REF).

The inquiry is at Shirehall. It is expected to last no more than a day, 27 October 2015. The inquiry will begin at 10:00am and will be overseen by planning inspector Brian Sims.

bromfield_road_revised_masterplan

Continue reading “Details of inquiry into 215 homes off Bromfield Road announced – do you want to speak?”

Plans for nearly 150 homes off Foldgate Lane refused by planners – will housing off Bromfield Road be rejected also?

Residents of Greenacres, Foldgate view and elsewhere will by breathing a sigh of relief at the news that plans by Turley and Richborough Estates for 137 homes off Foldgate Lane and the A49 have been rejected by planning officers (14/04608/OUT). But the battle is not over yet as the companies are bound to appeal the decision to the planning inspectorate.

Now this scheme is not coming to the South Planning Committee, I can speak freely about the plans. I have never liked this scheme. It is sprawl across green fields that we do not need as we have allocated housing sites elsewhere.

Continue reading “Plans for nearly 150 homes off Foldgate Lane refused by planners – will housing off Bromfield Road be rejected also?”