A planning appeal decision for housing in Wem earlier this week shows that Shropshire Council could have won a judicial review over the aberrant decision to approve 137 houses off Foldgate Lane. The council has never given strong reasons for not going to court. It has refused to publish the legal advice it received. I think it would have gone to court if Foldgate Lane had been further north in the county. The lead cabinet member and senor officers did not even bother to visit Foldgate Lane before making their decision.
Burway Lane is a narrow and quiet road that passes to the Cricket Club and a number of rather well appointed houses, before continuing as a track onto farmland to Burway House. In 2014, plans were submitted to Shropshire Council for four market homes and one affordable house. They were rejected in October 2015.
In May, the applicant appealed to the planning inspectorate. Now a planning inspector has now thrown out the plans, saying they are in an unsustainable location, will lead to ribbon development and will block views of the historic centre of Ludlow.
This is the right decision. If these houses had have been approved, the decision would have undermined the local plan for Ludlow, SAMDev. The development would have damaged important views towards Ludlow castle and St Laurence’s. We need housing in Ludlow but the need is for smaller, affordable homes within the town, not detached houses sprawling across green fields at the end of a long lane.
Update 25 May 2016
The applicant has now appealed to the planning inspectorate. I have submitted a detailed objection to the scheme.
Main article 3 October 2015
A year after they were submitted, council planners have rejected plans for five houses, four for open market sale and one affordable, on a greenfield site south of Burway Lane on the outskirts of Ludlow (14/04215/OUT). This is very much the right decision as only affordable housing for identified needs should be built outside the town’s development boundary. (One affordable house on the adjacent plot has already been approved.)
In rejecting the application, Shropshire Council said the development would be significantly harmful to the character and appearance of the area. It said, “Development of this ribbon like nature, and set at this particular location, would greatly affect this soft transition into the open countryside beyond.” The council continued: Continue reading “Plans for five homes on Burway Lane, Ludlow refused”
Residents of Greenacres, Foldgate view and elsewhere will by breathing a sigh of relief at the news that plans by Turley and Richborough Estates for 137 homes off Foldgate Lane and the A49 have been rejected by planning officers (14/04608/OUT). But the battle is not over yet as the companies are bound to appeal the decision to the planning inspectorate.
Now this scheme is not coming to the South Planning Committee, I can speak freely about the plans. I have never liked this scheme. It is sprawl across green fields that we do not need as we have allocated housing sites elsewhere.
This is the second of my articles on the more technical aspects of SAMDev, the plans that sets out development sites for Ludlow and the rest of the county. The first explained that a consultation has been held on the final draft of SAMDev. Among the responses to that consultation is an attack on planning rules designed to protect Ludlow’s heritage. Historic England has asked for these rules to be strengthened.