The Forestry Commission has published plans for “new opportunities” in the Mortimer Forest to the south of the town. It promises “benefits for day and overnight visitors, including new and improved paths, trails, natural play, habitat enhancement and a viewpoint for all to enjoy.” That will include 68 holiday chalets in the heart of the forest and a £2.8 million boost to the local economy. I am concerned that this will spiral into a Centre Parcs for Ludlow. The case for the development is overstated.
“Recommendation – do not approve.” That’s the view of the highways consultants retained by Shropshire Council to examine the traffic impacts of plans for 200 homes south of Rocks Green. They join conservationists, ecologists and Highways England have also objected to the current scheme for the site.
There is little doubt that homes will be built on this site at some point. At the moment though, it is looking like the submitted plans might not get approval. The developers might have to radically revise them or withdraw the application and submit a new set of plans.
Plans for 200 homes south of Rocks Green have met significant objections. Highways England has ordered that the scheme is not approved for at least three months while its concerns over analysis of traffic impacts are addressed. Shropshire Council’s conservation team has objected to the plans, which it describes as “disappointing”. The council’s ecologists have recommended that the development is refused unless more information on the impact on protected species is provided.
I want to argue the case that we should plan big for Ludlow. That would mean we get it right and have new developments we can be proud of. We should plan for a garden suburb between Rocks Green and Sheet village. That’s maybe 1,000 houses. We shouldn’t rush this. After all, we have yet to build out the 700 Ludlow homes currently in the pipeline. But we need to plan for our town’s future now.
Shropshire Council is consulting on its revised local plan. It doesn’t involve 1,000 homes in Ludlow. That’s my gambit.
Join us at the Elim Church on Thursday night, 6.30pm to debate the options.
The Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC) is to hold a special meeting on 30 November to discuss Shropshire Council’s draft local plan. This sets out ambitious policies to expand housing and employment across the county.
Ludlow councillor Andy Boddington is chairman of the LJC, says:
“This opportunity to debate our ideas about the future of the county. Shropshire Council’s new plans aim for economic growth and building nearly 1,500 homes a year across the county. Much of this will be in the north and east of the county but we also need to work out what is best for the more rural areas, including Ludlow.”