Good news today. The Feathers Hotel has agreed to reduce its late opening hours by one hour. The owners, Crest Hotels, had applied to be open to walk in customers to serve alcohol until 1:00am on weekdays and 2:00am on Friday and Saturday (plus 30 minutes drinking up time). This is too late an hour – or early a morning – for our town centre. We have a lot of residential properties around the Feathers and we do not want this area to become a potential source of antisocial behaviour. The Feathers has now agreed to stop serving alcohol to walk in customers at midnight on weekdays and at 1:00am on Fridays and Saturday. That’s fine and resolves all my objections.
The CCTV system in Ludlow’s town centre has long needed an upgrade. Dating back to 2003, the current cameras are low resolution. Faces cannot be recognised on the recordings. Discussions have been underway for a while about replacement cameras. Now Ludlow Town Council is ready to go ahead. First, the scheme needs planning permission and an application has now been lodged with Shropshire Council (19/04207/FUL). This is a like for like replacement meaning there will be no impact on the town centre’s historic landscape.
Ludlow town centre is a low crime area compared to the centres of Shrewsbury and Oswestry. But it is not crime free. Last May, 42 crimes in the town centre were reported to the police. Fifteen of these were classed as “violence or sexual offences”. An upgrade of the town centre’s CCTV is overdue and welcome. It will help keep Ludlow a low crime town.
Refurbishment of Ludlow’s Feather Hotel is nearing completion and the new owners Crest Hotels have applies for an alcohol licence for the new bar, which will be located where the reception was before. Eyebrows are being raised at the application, which proposes selling alcohol, including off sales, until 2:30am at weekend and 1:30am during the week.
This looks like a standard application put in by the company’s legal team to cover every option. I very much doubt that Crest will want to become an early hours boozer full of people who leave other pubs at closing time. I wish the Feathers well but this licence application should be resisted. The hotel’s management could change and the Feathers could easily become a focus for antisocial behaviour.
We have been discussing the loss of trees in Ludlow a lot of late. Only yesterday, someone came up to me and said: “You can see it walking along the Breadwalk. Looking back to the town, there is much less tree cover than ten years ago.” I have no doubt that we are losing tree cover in the conservation areas in Ludlow. We are also losing a lot elsewhere in Ludlow too.
Some new trees have been grown but a study of tree felling in Ludlow’s conservation areas over the last five years shows that applicants planned to replant only one fifth of the 218 trees they wished to fell. At the same time foliage was reduced on more than 300 trees.
There are very good reasons for felling and managing trees. What we lack in Ludlow and across Shropshire is any system for ensuring that we get a net increase in tree cover and biodiversity.
Update 23 September 2019
The consultation has now been launched. It closes on 3 November.
The new parking regime has had a lot of “teething troubles”. Adjustments to car parking have already been made in Shrewsbury. Now more changes are about to go out to consultation. The changes were set out in a paper approved by cabinet last Wednesday. For Ludlow, the main proposed changes are:
- Possibly two on-street parking residents permits for each property
- A change in boundaries between the Red Zone and Blue Zone to move College Street residents into the Red Zone
- One digital on-street permit for each holiday let property
- A different way of capping the number of season and resident permit in Galdeford car park
These changes are welcome. But they are not likely to implemented until next spring. Other essential changes such as the high cost of on-street parking in the Red Zone will not be discussed until a promised review of the car parking regime in November.