Do we need payphones anymore? BT wants to axe 13 local phone boxes

BT wants to close 214 payphones around Shropshire. Thirteen of these are in the Ludlow and Clee area. One is the second most used phone on the countywide closure list and is used on average once a day. But, in an age of mobile phones, do we still need phone boxes? I think we do as several of these phone boxes are in mobile phone not spots.

Shropshire Council is consulting on the removal of these and other payphones around the county. It is asking for views by Monday 28 November 2016. Please send your comments to

Here is the list of payphones in the Ludlow and Clee area that are proposed for closure.

Continue reading “Do we need payphones anymore? BT wants to axe 13 local phone boxes”

Changes of ownership to Bromfield solar farm

An application has been made to split the solar farm into two ownerships. The smaller part of the array, which has already been constructed, will remain in the ownership of Bromfield Sand and Gravel.This is currently powering the gravel works.

The rest of the array will be owned by Ludlow Solar Ltd.

I am told by the promoters this is a “technical matter” and the scheme is still on track to complete the entire solar farm later this year.

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Major grain store proposed for Kings Head Farm in Bromfield village

Plymouth Estates has submitted a planning application for a 4,100 tonne dry grain store (16/01438/FUL). A grain intake and grain drier will be incorporated within the building. Six grain silos are planned on the south side.

This is a big complex. It stands off the A4113 at the west edge of Bromfield village.

I haven’t yet taken a view on this application as a whole. I think we need to facilitate local farming businesses when we can. But I will wait to hear local views before making a formal comment. I am not convinced by the colour scheme proposed for the building.

Continue reading “Major grain store proposed for Kings Head Farm in Bromfield village”

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”

Bromfield solar farm approved after zero objections – is that unique?

I can’t recall a case across England where this has occurred before. The Bromfield solar farm has been approved without a single protest or objection. We have recently seen lively and well organised protests against solar farms at Whitton, Henley Hall, Neen Sollars, Acton Scott and Sheriffhales. Although the latter two had a good measure of local support, they also faced strong opposition.

It was different with the Bromfield solar farm. Save South Shropshire Countryside, which was established to oppose solar farms in the countryside, said it had no objection. The Campaign to Protect Rural England and others supported the scheme. There was not a single objection.

When this 5MW, 9.2 hectare scheme was first proposed in May 2014, I asked a number of questions. The promoter of the scheme listened carefully, made modifications and produced a sensible planning application that I could fully back. Continue reading “Bromfield solar farm approved after zero objections – is that unique?”