Castle View Terrace appeal – bloated claims on economic benefits clutch at straws

How can building six terraced homes generate £2.1 million mostly for the local economy as claimed by Berrys? There will be economic benefit from construction, purchase of materials and from the wages that construction and other workers spend. That amounts to £900,000 according Berrys and “every £1 spent on construction generates a total of £2.84 in extra economic activity, most of which is generated in the local area.” Nonsense. This a bloated claim that has no legitimacy. It is not even up to date with industry estimates. The £2.84 claim relates to all construction – airports, power stations and more, not specifically housing. The economic uplift is to GDP not the local economy. Shropshire Homes, which has retained Berrys to make the technical arguments in the planning appeal, is clutching at straws. Straws can be used to build houses but we must hope that straw houses will not convince a planning inspector.

Appeal begins for six homes on Castle View Terrace meadow

In December 2020, Shropshire planners threw out an application for a terrace of six homes, none affordable, on the meadow on Castle View Terrace. The application departed so far from planning policy that it didn’t even go to the planning committee. It was rejected by planning officers who said the housing is not needed and it would destroy an important green space that is much used and loved by the community. But Shropshire Homes is determined to go ahead and lodged an appeal earlier in the year. It has retained Berrys to fight the case on its behalf. The initial appeal papers were published yesterday. As might be expected, Berrys slam the council’s reasons for rejecting the application. It has set up a battle over interpretation of planning rules. A technical swordfight. And in several respects a game of words. We are fighting for a vital green space. The local community has offered £130,000 to purchase the meadow. The best thing that Shropshire Homes can do is to stop fighting Ludlow and work with our town on building the housing we need in the right places. We need developers that work with our town. Not against it.

Changing Ludlow – Sainsbury’s, Greggs and much more housing

Is the biggest news in town the opening of Sainsbury’s on 30 November? Or is it the arrival of Greggs on King Street? Or the current construction of 400 new houses around the town with a few hundred more to come before the decade is out? As everyone can see, out town is changing. After a couple of decades during there has been little expansion to our town, development is going ahead with gusto. The developments bring benefits including more retail and much needed new housing but will also increase the pressure on our roads and the increase strain on services. Yet, we have no plans for how to manage this over the next few decades. Will these developments also change the character of our town? Or will we welcome absorb the new developments, the new people and new shops?

Ironbridge: Ruling that late report on Gaskell Arms Junction traffic was immaterial

I can’t say I am happy with this. The fundamental rule on planning is that committee members must consider all the evidence before them and that should be all the available evidence. But a report written for the committee on traffic at the Gaskell Arms Junction was not available until two days after the Southern Planning Committee approved the application for redevelopment of the former power station site at Buildwas. I challenged this but that challenge has now been rejected by the chief monitoring officer who says if councillors had seen the report, they would not have made a different decision. That’s wrong in my book. It is not for officers to judge what the committee might or might not have done if they had seen the report. Planning committees must weigh the planning balance. They cannot do that if a report commissioned for members is withheld until after decisions are made. It is clear that the legal officer responding had not read the reports but had “been assured” by the officers who pushed the report though committee. This is broken planning.

Covid Watch 161: Anti-vaxxers are targeting Ludlow schools

Those that don’t agree with vaccinating children are targeting our local schools and schools across the country. They are using a fake NHS checklist to tip the balance in parents and cares minds against vaccination. It is clever propaganda campaign because it looks convincing. It is an insidious and dangerous campaign because it aims to undermine confidence in the way that public health officials are trying to bring the pandemic under control. The fake form asks whether the parent/carer or clinician understands the answer to ten  statements. No clinician would ever complete this type of assessment. Mention of a clinician is added only to make this bogus exercise look like the real stuff. Caron Morton GP, partner at Stations Drive Surgery, is concerned that this propaganda will discourage parents from having their children vaccinated: “I am saddened that patients and parents are exposed to this level of misinformation and fear. I’m happy to speak to any concerned parents and patients about the vaccination programme and vaccine.” Schools are sending out warnings to parents about this misinformation.

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