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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Foldgate Lane housing has been approved on appeal – it’s the worst of planning decisions

Today the planning inspectorate announced that it has given approval to controversial plans to build 137 houses off Foldgate Lane.

I am knocked breathless by this decision. The inspector has shown total disregard for our local plans. He says that we are building enough housing and have allocated enough sites for development. Yet he thinks that we need another 137 houses stuck on the edge of Ludlow.

This is dangerous decision.

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Foldgate Lane housing inquiry ends on a cliff hanger

Update 9 October 2016

The planning inspectorate has said a decision will be made on or before 21 November.

I am glad that decision is not going to be dragged out. This appeal is not just about 137 houses on the edge of Ludlow. The whole future of planning in Shropshire depends on this decision. Are developers like Richborough going to be allowed to build anywhere they like, regardless of local wishes and our local plan? We need to win this appeal. I think the council has made a good case. But the final decision will be down to the planning inspector.

Main article 6 October 2016

The Foldgate Lane inquiry has concluded. Developer Richborough Estates wants to build 137 homes on green fields on the edge of Ludlow. A quarter of the homes will be affordable. When the inquiry closed yesterday afternoon, the result was too close to call. Shropshire Council put forward a strong case but Richborough put forward a strong team. As its barrister reminded us yesterday, the company has a reputation for winning nearly all of its planning appeals.

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