Work begins on Foldgate Lane housing but its not a great start – 100 trees to come down this week

Contractors moved onto the Foldgate Lane site last Monday. They are setting up a construction compound ahead of felling more than 100 trees from tomorrow (Monday 9 December). A couple of dozen heavy trucks have already driven along Foldgate Lane to deliver stone, machinery and cabins. This is in breach of planning permission, which states clearly that the lane cannot be used for construction access.

This is not an impressive start to this development which has been controversial from the moment the application was submitted. There is no need to fell over 100 trees along the A49 because an alternative access could be used. Officers have told Crest Nicholson that the tree trunks cannot be taken off site along Foldgate Lane.

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Success after plan to construct housing using haul road along Foldgate Lane is abandoned

Representatives from Ludford parish council and Ludlow Town Council, along with Viv Parry and myself, met with Crest Nicholson on 3 October to discuss temporary construction access to the Foldgate Lane development. The housing developer has planned to create a haul road entered from Foldgate Lane to begin construction on the site. This was opposed by all councillors at the meeting. Now, Crest Nicholson has abandoned that plan. It will instead construct the site from an access from the A49 as set out in the original planning permission. Details of that access are not yet available.

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Alternative construction access proposals for Foldgate Lane housing development debated at site meeting

Representatives from Ludford parish council and Ludlow Town Council, along with Viv Parry and myself, met with Crest Nicholson on Monday to discuss temporary construction access to the Foldgate Lane development for a period of up to two months. There are three competing proposals. The developer favours access along and across Foldgate Lane. Ludford parish council wants access from the A49 through an underpass. Viv Parry and I have suggested moving the proposed T-Junction further south on the A49 to make it easier to build. Ours is a more complex proposal but it would be a more satisfactory long term solution. However, the developer does not wish to engage again with Highways England which has proved to be a difficult organisation to deal with. The Ludford proposal makes a lot of sense.

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Foldgate Lane housing development gets (almost) final approval – we can still improve the scheme and save dozens of trees

Yesterday, Shropshire Council planners approved the details of plans for 137 houses at Foldgate Lane after nearly five years of discussions (18/02413/REM). But the development cannot go ahead without yet another application to allow construction traffic to access. The housing is due to be accessed from a T-Junction on the A49. But due to the gradients on the site, this access cannot be built other than by construction traffic thundering along Foldgate Lane. Viv Parry, the Shropshire Councillor for the area, has said this is unacceptable. I agree. The lane is totally unsuited for construction traffic and we will oppose any application to allow this.

But we want to be constructive. By moving the T-Junction a short way south, the problem with gradients is resolved. Our scheme would also save much of the tree belt, where more than 100 trees are currently slated for felling. In our proposal, the T-Junction would be left turn only on leaving the site, reducing the risk of accidents on a high speed section of the A49.

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Foldgate Farm housing application runs into trouble over heritage, ecology and trees

Shropshire Council’s conservation team have called for a redesign of the development of five detached dwellings in the orchard of Foldgate Farm on Foldgate Lane because the applicants have not followed advice given before the application was submitted (19/01940/FUL). Ecologists at the council have called for the scheme to be rejected for failing to meet local and national policy requirements. The council’s tree team have called for the scheme to be rejected or revised because it ignores pre-application advice and does not comply with local and national policies.

That is a hefty set of criticisms. The plans will need to be revised or face a risk of rejection. We are already seeing extensive destruction of a biodiverse landscape along the A49 with the Crest Nicholson development. More trees will be planted to compensate but they will not become a biodiverse environment for a couple of decades. If this development is to go ahead, it must reduce its impact on heritage and the environment.

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