“A beautiful, historic boutique hotel in the heart of Ludlow” – plans for Castle Lodge to be aired

Castle Lodge, which sits outside Ludlow Castle and just off the Market Square, is about to get a makeover, if planning permission and listed building consent are granted. For years, this Grade II* building has been a rather curious museum of curiosities. With the main structure of the building dating back to Elizabethan times, it has been waiting for someone with a deep pocket to invest in its future. According to a report in the Shropshire Star, it was sold in 2018 for £650,000.

Now, a group of entrepreneurs have come forward with plans for its future. They plan a venue that is:

“Open to all. A great place to celebrate… or relax and sample everything the town has to offer. More than a hotel, also a tearoom, bar, family venue, lounge and an activity centre.”

The plans will be presented to Ludlow Town Council tomorrow night, 16 October, at 7pm.

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Sidney Road Green is saved! The battle is over. A great early Christmas present for Ludlow

Ring the bells. Bang the drums. March the bands. The green space at the bottom of Charlton Rise has been saved! Social housing provider Connexus has told Ludlow Town Council that it will not proceed with its proposal for five bungalows on the green space on Sidney Road at the bottom of Charlton Rise. We must now move to protect this green space and its trees in perpetuity by getting it declared a town green. We should also plant a Norway Maple to replace the one that was felled three years ago.

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

Representatives from Ludford town centre 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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Shropshire Council says that a development of just eight homes on the Linney will lead to a loss of more than 600 trees – it is likely to be fewer

The numbers are shocking and I am sure they will be challenged by the developer. A calculation by Shropshire Council’s tree team suggests that around 644 trees will have been lost during the lengthy seven year saga to develop the site at the rear of Linney House on the banks of the Corve, if the current development of eight homes is given the green light to go ahead. This is a high end estimate. It more likely that only a third of that number will be lost without replanting.

The council’s tree team notes that only an indicative landscape plan for planting replacement trees has been submitted with the latest application. It now up to the developer to flesh out the details of compensatory planting. Even then, I doubt that the full number of trees can be replaced. Not for the first time recently, this raises the question about how developers can be obliged to compensate for loss of biodiversity.

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