Footpath diversion proposed as Foldgate Lane housing development picks up pace

The developers behind plans for 137 houses off Foldgate Lane have applied to divert the footpath that current leads to the site from Steventon Road, across the railway. The right of way will be diverted to follow the rail line from the railway bridge on Foldgate Lane. Heading south, it crosses a new footbridge and swings east before returning to the rail line. The new route then heads south east again to join the Tinkers Hill road close to the road bridge over the A49.

This curious route makes sense when it is superimposed on the development plan for the site.

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Shropshire Council speaks out on why it will not challenge Foldgate Lane housing

A statement was issued this afternoon from the planning services manager at Shropshire Council. He says that the decision to allow the housing off Foldgate Lane is wrong but he is not going to do anything about it. He has the backing of Mal Price, the cabinet member for planning and the director of planning and places. None have visited the Foldgate Lane site.

Here is the statement.

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Our town has been let down after Shropshire Council refuses to appeal Foldgate Lane housing decision

The announcement has not been made but this is news that cannot wait. Planning officers agree that the planning inspector’s decision to grant approval for 137 homes at Foldgate Lane is flawed in almost every respect. But the council is about to announce that it will not challenge the decision.

This is the worst of decisions by Shropshire Council. It is being sneaked out at the last moment just before Christmas, at the very end of the six week period allowed for a legal challenge.

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An inspector approved 137 houses at Foldgate Lane – his decision can be challenged

Can the inspector’s decision to approve 137 homes off Foldgate Lane be challenged? Yes, but it is not easy.

Shropshire Council, parish councils or residents could launch a judicial review against the decision by the planning inspectorate. This must be lodged within six weeks of the appeal decision on 10 November. I think Shropshire Council should launch a judicial review.

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Why a planning inspector approved housing at Foldgate Lane – and why he was wrong to do so

This is a detailed examination of the inspector’s decision. I can’t pretend that it is exhaustive but I hope it shows why this decision is one of the worst I have seen for a long while.

Last Thursday, an inspector from the Bristol-based planning inspectorate, approved plans for 137 homes on Foldgate Lane. This article examines in detail Cullum Parker’s appeal decision.

I have read a lot of planning appeal decisions over the years and this one perplexes me more than many others. I don’t think it makes sense, even under the planning regime we have been working under since 2012.[1] Planning rules say decisions must be made in accordance with the local development plan, in our case the core strategy and SAMDev. Only if there are strong reasons, material considerations in planning jargon, can the plan be overruled. But Mr Parker barely acknowledged our local plan. He didn’t even mention the policy for Ludlow.

That’s why his decision is flawed.

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