Western Power apply to move out of Sandpits to a site by the Eco Park

This application has long been expected. Western Power Distribution (WPD) has operated from an unsuitable location in The Riddings, Sandpits for decades. Its 1960s depot is behind a new row of housing built on the site of the former tax office. WPD maintenance trucks must travel along St Margaret Road and Parys Road to leave the depot. Worse, they often travel past Ludlow Infants School when children are arriving or leaving.

Now the company is applying to move to a plot between the Eco Park park and ride and Western Power Distribution’s substation on Squirrel Lane. This is a good move. Vehicle access will be through the Eco Park spine road. That’s also a good move.

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Could social housing provider could change its mind on destruction of Sidney Road green space? We hope so

I was not expecting this. South Shropshire Housing Group and its successor Connexus had ruthlessly driven through the application for five bungalows on the much loved green at the bottom of Charlton Rise. The housing association had felled one tree, planned to fell another, and take up half the green with bungalows.

But Connexus has had a change in attitude. We heard this at Ludlow Town Council last night. Driving schemes through against the wishes of the community is no longer on the agenda of this housing association. The officers from the housing group said they needed to hear local views to make a reasonably informed decision about whether they should take this development forward or not.

That’s a change of tune and it’s very welcome. We are a long way from halting the unwanted development but just when we thought there was no hope at all of saving this community green space, we have renewed hope.

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Hedgehog highways and swift bricks must be installed in new developments, ministers say as they rush out announcements

New national planning guidance published on Sunday by communities secretary James Brokenshire orders developers to do more to protect wildlife. Ludlow Swift Group will welcome his insistence that developers install swift bricks in new homes. Pricklebums Hedgehog Rescue and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society will welcome the obligation for developers to install hedgehog highways. There is more to this guidance which strengthens requirements for developers and councils to seek a net gain in biodiversity when developments are built.

This is a welcome announcement but there is wriggle room in the guidance and a lot will depend on local interpretation. Wildlife groups and communities will need to lobby Shropshire Council to ensure that its forthcoming local plan has the strongest measures possible to protect and enhance biodiversity. Those measures might include a “greening factor”.

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Here is the first look at the redevelopment plans for Budgens on Upper Galdeford – shops, apartments, no beer and maybe knickers (updated)

Morris Properties have teamed up with local architect Trevor Hewett to produce a scheme for redevelopment of the former Budgens (Co-op, Summerfield) site on Upper Galdeford. This scheme is now at pre-application stage. That means that the developer is seeking views from the town council, conservation committee, Shropshire Council planners and members of the public on the scheme prior to submission of a full planning application which is expected in the autumn.

The scheme is designed to fit in with the streetscape of Tower Street and Upper Galdeford along the approved redevelopment of One Stop. The treatment is modern at the back where the development faces onto the Library.

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Severn Rivers Trust wants to remove half of Linney Weir to promote fish migration on the Corve and Teme

Severn Rivers Trust has applied to remove part of the Linney Weir structure on the River Corve “to allow full and safe fish passage for migratory fish up and down the River Corve and Teme.” The trust aims to remove a nine metre section from the 18 metre stone weir. The stonework removed will be used as rip rap to protect the remaining weir and the banks of the Corve (19/02540/FUL).

This application is just in. There is no information about the impact of this work. The Linney Weir in within Ludlow Conservation Area and an assessment of heritage impact will be needed. The weir has been in place for at least two centuries. Taking out half the weir will increase the flow from the Corve to the Teme. That could help properties in Lower Corve Street. But will there be any consequential impact downstream on Temeside? Will the well-used footbridge over the Corve next to the weir be closed during the works and if so, for how long.

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