Plans resubmitted for 20 retirement dwellings at Elm Lodge, Ludlow

Last November, Shropshire planning officers rejected outline plans for 20 retirement dwellings on the goods yard at Elm Lodge, Fishmore Road (14/00884/OUT). Now, the unchanged plans have been resubmitted with the applicants hoping for approval this time (15/01027/OUT).

The scheme

This is an outline application so we don’t know the full details of the development. The application is only to establish the principle of a retirement settlement on this site and the road access. If the application is successful, a full application will determine the details of the scheme. Continue reading “Plans resubmitted for 20 retirement dwellings at Elm Lodge, Ludlow”

Plans submitted for solar farm at Bromfield, Ludlow – I’m supporting the scheme

One of the real problems with solar farms in my book, windfarms too, is that they don’t supply power locally but plug into the national grid. That destroys the link between locality and renewable energy. That’s one reason why a solar farm proposed at Acton Scott was thrown out by the South Planning Committee earlier this week. It didn’t supply electricity locally, so why did it need to be in the AONB where the landscape has the highest levels of protection?

What I like about the proposal for a solar farm at Bromfield is that up to a quarter of its power will be used in the local quarry and the Ludlow Food Centre. It is also on old quarry land and on a site that can only be seen from the railway. It’s not in the AONB or visible from it. That’s why I am backing this proposal while I was resolutely against the plans for a solar farm at Acton Scott. Continue reading “Plans submitted for solar farm at Bromfield, Ludlow – I’m supporting the scheme”

Taking a long term view on planning in Ludlow – the potential housing sites

You will not have seen this plan of Ludlow before. I’ve put it together out of two very different planning documents. Much of this housing development is not due to happen soon and some may never happen, except you can’t ever say never in planning.

Ludlow_SHLAA_site_map_for_blog

The two documents I have used are SAMDev, which allocates development sites to 2026, and the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), which assesses sites with potential for development for homes. More details of the Ludlow area sites are in this document: Ludlow development sites identified in SAMDev and SHLAA.

The crucial difference between SAMDev and SHLAA is that SAMDev allocates agreed sites for development. The SHLAA is lists sites that Shropshire Council has assessed as suitable for development, both for SAMDev and for the longer term. ‘Longer term’ in this context means after 2026 when SAMDev ends, but sites could be brought forward if the council struggles to maintain a five year land supply.

Controlling development is increasingly difficult under the government’s five year land supply rules. That’s one reason why we need a neighbourhood plan for Ludlow and the surrounding parishes.

The core strategy local plan is set to be reviewed in 2016. At that point, the plan will be extended to cover development up to 2036. We might see at least some of these sites included during that review.

Superfast broadband coming to Bromfield, Ludlow – but not much of it

Shropshire Council today announced that superfast broadband will reach more villages and rural hamlets in Shropshire. That’s very good news, but it’s a partial picture.

This is the picture for Bromfield that’s given by the council’s Connecting Shropshire project:

broadband_map_bromfield

This map shows Bromfield parish as having superfast broadband available from spring 2015. That’s not quite right.

This service will be only be available to the main village and a short way beyond. It will not reach most of the hamlets and farms across Bromfield parish.

The superfast connections that are planned will be provided from a single cabinet in the village. That will serve businesses such as the Food Centre well. It is unlikely to be much help to people who struggle to get any internet connection at all on the farms and hamlets towards the Mortimer Forest, Whitbatch and High Walton. Mobile phone signals are also rubbish in those areas.

We increasingly rely on broadband for business, education and entertainment. In the near future, we are also likely to rely on the internet for healthcare. We must put more effort into mobile broadband to connect our remoter settlements that copper and fibre broadband will never reach.

Mind you, you can’t get 4G mobile coverage in Ludlow, let along out among the farmsteads. So I’m not holding out much hope that in the next few years.