Tag: Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council plans to pulls down Shirehall in favour of a Shrewsbury civic centre – it should devolve more to the market towns

Shropshire Councillors are to discuss demolishing the unloved Shirehall and replacing it with a civic centre in the Shrewsbury Loop. The Shirehall site will be sold, presumably for housing. The potential location of the civic centre has not been revealed (I think Riverside would be a good location). More details may be given at the Shropshire Council meeting on Thursday morning. There is a lot of sense in this proposal. Staff and councillors are now largely working from home. Shirehall is a vast, unwelcoming, energy inefficient, concrete monstrosity. A smaller, more accessible civic centre makes better sense. But it should be called Shropshire Civic Centre to reflect its county wide role, not Shrewsbury Civic Centre which makes it sound like a town facility. Council leaders are asking councils to give permission for a further £1.15 million to look at the case for a civic centre. At this point I get nervous. The council allocated £1.5 million to look at refurbishment of Shirehall. That proved to be a waste of money. We can’t waste any more.

Roof terrace overlooking Church Walk would damage setting of St Lawrence’s Church and the Reader’s House

I have objected to plans to extend a third floor flat above Joules and the hospice shop, 9-10 King Street, with a north facing roof terrace. The balcony, which will be 10.5 metres (34ft) above ground level, would break up the established roofline. Residents or holidaymakers in the flat will overlook the bedroom windows of two of the new almshouses. They will gaze over the roof of the almshouses to St Lawrence’s Church and the 17th Century Reader’s House, both Grade I listed. Looking from Church Walk, the balcony will be in full view. It will also be seen from Tower Street. Legislation and case law make clear considerable importance and weight should be given to preserving the setting of listed buildings when making planning decisions. That is why this application should be rejected.

Shrewsbury shopping centres plummet in value by two thirds – Shropshire Council shrugs off the loss

The devaluation of the Pride Hill, Darwin and now defunct Riverside shopping centres within the Shrewsbury Loop will be a surprise to no one. But the collapse in value from £51m to £17.5m– 66 per cent – over three years is bigger than expected. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, retail devaluation seen anywhere in England in such a short period. Shropshire Council has shrugged this off as an expected devaluation. Deputy Council leader Steve Charmley said: “We were aware of the possible downturn in the fortunes of the high street – an issue compounded by COVID-19 – but it’s for exactly that reason that the purchase was made – so that we could manage and mitigate any downturn.” The Shrewsbury shopping centres are expected to provide a profit to council tax payers of just £434,000 this financial year. Less than one per cent return on the original investment. The council could have better spent our money on social housing.

Car park charges back in Ludlow from Tuesday but no plans to reinstate park and ride service

Without any consultation with councillors, Shropshire Council is to reintroduce car parking charges across the county on Tuesday 14 July. This could not be worse timed. Ludlow is beginning to recover from lockdown but it is a long haul ahead. Social distancing is a challenge everywhere but more so in a historic town with narrow streets and pleasantly ancient pubs, restaurants and cafes. Free parking in the Galdeford and Smithfield car parks should be part of Ludlow’s offer over the summer. We councillors have been told that officers are “looking at how Park and Ride may support more fully and proposals are in development.” But there is no timetable for this. Not even an indication that the council is thinking about Ludlow’s park and ride service, which is unusable at present. There should be no additional car park charges this summer and certainly none until the park and ride is fully functional.

It’s a farce – Shropshire Council’s Norwich crew closes Ludlow roads for unnecessary work on ‘Super Saturday’

Yesterday, contractors drove 200 miles from Norwich to resurface Dinham and Linney. That’s despite the council’s commitment to using local contractors and to becoming carbon neutral. The works also began on a day when King Street was closed and pubs and cafes reopened. The work was four days later than scheduled. No one in Shirehall seemed to know this was happening. Or of they did, they didn’t care about the disruption to traffic and trade on the most important day for Ludlow this year. This work was not necessary. The residents of Dinham and Linney don’t think the work should have been done. But a mile away, Parys Road is collapsing. The recent patching on this road will not survive next winter. This problem is not about broken roads. It is about a broken highways operation in Shropshire Council. The council has embarrassed itself this weekend. But I don’t think it cares so much as a pothole.

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