Ludlow Rocks Green supermarket bid – the planning application is in

This is the first in a series of posts examining the Rocks Green supermarket application and asking what difference it will make to Ludlow and the people who live here. This is a major development. The store will be half as big again as Tesco and will include a petrol station. The supermarket is the most controversial aspect of the proposal. On my soundings, there are as many residents in favour of a new store as there are against. As a member of the South Planning Committee, I haven’t yet taken a view on this application but please let me know your views.

The application for outline planning permission for a major supermarket and petrol station at Rocks Green, Ludlow has been published on Shropshire Council’s website (14/05573/OUT).


The proposed store will be half as big again as Ludlow Tesco. It will have an estimated turnover of £26 million. Three-quarters of the sales area will be devoted to food and everyday goods. The other quarter will stock comparison goods, merchandise such as clothing, electrical items and music. The developers say:

A store of this size will offer a full range of product lines, and will allow shoppers to undertake their full weekly bulk shopping.

There will be 225 car parking spaces outside the store. A petrol station the other side of Duncow Road will have twelve filling points.


The planning application proposes the redevelopment of the site to provide a 3,525 sq metres gross internal area foodstore along with a petrol filling station, car parking and associated access, works and landscaping. (Gross internal area is known as GIA – see the jargon buster for this and other terms.)

The supermarket will be single storey, except at the back towards Rocks Green where there will be an extra story for storage. It will have a sales area (NIA) of 2,322 sq metres or 25,000 sq ft; Ludlow Tesco is 1,481 sq metres. The development will include 225 car parking spaces and 12 bike racks.

75% of the sales area will be dedicated to convenience goods and 25% to comparison goods.

The petrol filling station (PFS) will provide six petrol pumps, with 12 filling points and a kiosk of 120 sq metres (GIA) with a forecourt, canopy and two car parking spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

The developers haven’t produced a FAQ, but if they had it might run like this (the words in italics are from the planning application):

Which retail chain will run the store if it is built?

Interest has been expressed in the site by a number of the main supermarket operators; however, at this stage an operator is not named in this application. We have no doubt that an operator will be signed if consent is granted.

How will the development affect the town centre?

There is no evidence that the proposed foodstore is likely to result in significant adverse impacts on Ludlow town centre. There is no planned investment in Ludlow town centre at present which could be jeopardised or impacted upon by the proposals.

How many jobs will the new store create?

The 210 in-store jobs will create the equivalent of 140 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs at the new foodstore.

Okay, tell me what this store will do for Ludlow

The development will:
Develop a site which constitutes previously developed land, all of which is suitable for development, in a sustainable location that offers the only site in Ludlow where a foodstore can be accommodated;
Provide a suitably sized foodstore to meet weekly shopping requirements;
Have a low level of impact and will not result in significant adverse harm on the vitality and viability of Ludlow town centre particularly given the town centre’s level of health and popularity;
Maintain and improve an efficient, competitive and innovative retail sector;
Strengthen the economic base of Ludlow and create approximately 210 jobs and add approximately £3m to Ludlow’s economy annually;
Reduce car mileage and claw back expenditure currently leaking from Ludlow’s catchment to stores elsewhere; and
Provide retail facilities that will be accessible by a variety of means of transport.

More information and guidance from me

Commenting on planning applications
Ludlow Rocks Green supermarket bid – jargon buster
Ludlow Rocks Green supermarket bid – the planning context

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0 comments on Ludlow Rocks Green supermarket bid – the planning application is in

  1. Hi Andy,

    Very concerned about potential impact on town centre. Just need to look at what happened to Leominster with the arrival of Morrisons. If the supermarket goes ahead, the one good thing is that it’s very likely it won’t be Tesco!

    Best Wishes Peter van Duijvenvoorde

  2. In the initial approach by the PR company employed by the developer, we were told that the scheme would take into account local wishes. Since then I understand that surveys have shown a majority of Ludlow people against the scheme – why then has it been submitted?

  3. Firstly, it’s amazing (considering what’s happening to Tesco nationally at the moment) that yet more supermarkets keep being built. Ludlow already has Tesco, Aldi, Co-op and several smaller supermarkets (Spar, ex-Tuffins) – this supermarket will do nothing but harm those (as well as of course harm the small businesses in the town centre). The jobs created figure is a nonsense – what we’d like is a **net** jobs figure, that takes into account the jobs that will be lost at the existing supermarkets and in town centre shops.

    The other thing that amazes me is that planners can even consider this application at all, considering the site chosen – it’s not designated as development land in any local plan; it’s far too cramped for a decent supermarket development (going to be a squeeze at busy times around that mini-roundabout and about that tightly-packed car park); and it’s juxtaposition to the new housing is detrimental to the amenity of residents there. This site should be housing – effectively an extension to the housing estate built just up the new road there. I would have thought land in the Eco-park area would be far more suitable for a new supermarket.

    My prediction? Recommended for approval by council officers (who are increasingly toothless), refusal by concerned councillors, and then “surprise surprise” approval by some faceless bureaucrat at appeal.

  4. Being a local man for 50+ years I have seen the decline in the town centre ever since Tesco opened and then Aldi.

    If this application is granted you will single handedly destroy it further to the extent that the market will no longer exist.

    Tourism has declined year on year. Opening a supermarket and petrol station will only attract outsiders and detur people from entering the centre to shop.

    Harry Tuffins / Midcounties co-op is more than capable of handling the flow of traffic and level of demand.

    If people simply waited patiently and used BOTH sides of the pump instead of waiting for one it would be much simpler. THE PUMPS REACH BOTH SIDES IF THE CAR ! Some people need to get there brain into gear.

    1. We don’t need this is ludlow, we have Tesco, Aldi, two One stops, and a Co Op shop and petrol station. There are plenty of paces to do the weekly and even the monthly shop. I live on the easte tht will be next to the build and it’s hard to get in and out of there at he best of times adding a supermarket there is going to make the whole area twice as busy. Also adding a supermarket on the outside of ludlow will take people away from the centre of town and the small local businesses will lose customers and end up closing down. so by building a shop there will change ludlow from a small country town full of local shops to the compleat opposite.

  5. Surely we don’t need this in Ludlow. All relevant points have already been made and I know nobody in favour of the idea. Tuffins/ co.op garage is a pain but I think we can manage. Personally, I just try not to go there and support Phil at overton garage instead. Its on the way to work, you always get a friendly welcome and if you are lucky, he may even fix your car!! Proper garage.. Not to mention not having to wait for people doing their weekly shop…Look after the small businesses. Look what Hereford has become!!

  6. I am affraid I am all in favour of this development. Speaking for myself, and I am sure many families who live in the Ludlow area who just can’t afford to shop in local shops. It will not have an impact on the town, as Ludlow is not that kind of place due to the castle and all the historic buildings.
    I am sure I am not alone in saying that we desperately need another petrol station, as people are getting very annoyed having to constantly wait in line for fuel.
    It would also have less of an impact on the environment if families didn’t have to drive up to a sixty mile round trip to buy their children clothing and shoes, not to mention the jobs it would provide.

    1. You do realise that it will probably be a Waitrose or M&S Outlet or something along those lines? Not an ASDA?

  7. Fascinating topic this. I am 43 years old, born,bred and work in my lovely home town. As I live quite close to the proposed site my personal view is of approval to the upgrading of my town in this way. Having left school I spent 18 years at the local trouser factory which Ludlow lost in 2006. I would love to see more opportunities for jobs and the growth of our town. I’m sure the true people of Ludlow would be behind this. And what of my two children of ten and five years of age? What will they do in the future and where will they live? If this town stays stagnant it will become more of a place where real working people will just not want to be. To many do gooders from away thinking they know what’s right for this town when they are clearly wrong!

  8. The reason Ludlow Town center is not as busy as pre Tesco days ( if that’s your perception) is because the town has decided to become a visitor center, with Hobbyist, pointless, independent shops, with ridiculously priced goods that are not required in everyday life, especially by the true local. Too many wealthy out of town individuals, with their second homes want a picture book town center when they take a break from their normal routine, which usually consists of having simple access to all the shops and facilities that an ordinary Ludlow resident could only dream of. All supermarkets in the town are far too busy at peak times, and remember how many supermarkets the town once had, along with numerous chains and petrol stations.

  9. Can I just say that ludlow has enough food resources to sustain 10,000 people and the surrounding area. It’s known for the food centre and the food festival not the ridiculous amount of supermarkets. There isn’t a food shortage in Ludlow!! If anything, all the young people complain about not being able to buy clothes since there are no clothes shops, and trains to shrewsbury or hereford are quite expensive for a 13-14 year old. I would suggest a small clothes shop, like H and M or the such. But no one cares what I say, right?? You put up a food store and everyone will boycott it and refuse to shop there. You’ll see.

  10. I have lived in Ludlow all my life and in fact the majority want a new supermarket. People will shop in Ludlow If they want to. They do have a brain and can choose for themselves.

  11. I am also in favour of this development not only for the job creation I do think it will encourage potential custom to drive towards Ludlow instead of away doing a 60 mile round trip to be able to have these kind shopping facilities including the benefit of a second fuel station in the town. I am sure that people will still queue at all the other two main supermarket checkouts going on the amount of cars driving around the car parks playing musical chairs trying to get the slim chance of a parking bay. When I personally shop at any area say Telford or Shrewsbury unless it is for a specific item and I am on a mission I don’t just go in to one shop and then go home I use many of the shops and amenities on offer in that area so I am sure It will be the same in Ludlow and increase the custom to the town and in doing so it might open further opportunities for other say specialised shops that would have trouble surviving in town because potential customers are heading off to say Leominster / Telford / Shrewsbury if not further to get all they need in one area. This is my point of view from a customer who does and will shop in and around Ludlow if this goes ahead or not but through some sense of loyalty It will only be if Ludlow is offering me as a customer what I need or want to purchase.

  12. There comes a time when you have to say ‘enough is enough’. Are the Ludlow and Leominster Tescos on their list for closure? Maybe a fuel outlet, but not a major supermarket for goodness sake.

  13. Ludlow has no need what so ever for another supermarket & fuel station. Ludlow is a market town not the bullring and we have 2 Onestops, 2 premier quick stores, Tesco, Aldi, The Co operative and the county known Ludlow Food Center just down the road, as well as the Tuffins fuel station which if people use correctly, as stated by someone above is perfectly capable of holding the traffic volume Ludlow gets.

    I am 17 years old and have lived in Rocks Green Ludlow for my whole life and have already watched most of Rock Greens beautiful countryside view get eaten by the development of 55 houses. People passing by Ludlow will often only pop into town for a bit of shopping at one of the existing supermarkets, and then decide they like the look of the town and will come back, the development in question will remove this effect as people will simply refuel and carry on without seeing what Ludlow has to offer.

    The effect on people living in Rocks Green “myself and household included” will be very negative ie. Even more noise and carbon pollution adding to that already in existence from the A49, constant traffic such as tankers & artics and visiting traffic etc. Myself and Household will be the most effected out of anyone because our drive and house Rock Villa is right opposite the road to the housing estate and where the development will be, so we will have to battle with the constant traffic and fuel tankers, artics etc. just to get out of our drive and we will have the task of climbing a ladder up a 3 story house to paint it for the second time in 5 years thanks to previous council developments.

    In terms of the development’s good points or in my view point, is that I see that there is only one positive to this development which would be jobs, but only if the supermarket were willing to employ school and college age people, because these are the most in need of employment in Ludlow.

    To sum up I think this development will have more negative than positive impacts on the town and it’s people, and I don’t think it would even be that successful as contrary to what people think, Ludlow is generally not a very rich town and the evidence to prove this is that the development of Aldi a cheaper store left Tesco and Coop struggling for customers. Im guessing that this supermarket will be a Sainsburys or Morrisons, both of which would attract little to no custom due to the financial state of the town, or the development would in essence be another food center meaning that the original one would take all it’s customers as it has such a good county wide reputation.

  14. Born in Ludlow, lived in Ludlow all my life.

    People need to look at the wider picture. Only having 1 petrol station in the whole of Ludlow can cause major congestion and higher fuel prices. The new supermarket will create much needed jobs in Ludlow. People blame Aldi and Tesco for recent closures and downfall of Ludlow town centre, however, they fail to see that Internet shopping is on an all time high, we have only just come out of recession, and there are too many independent high end shops targeted at tourists.

    Ludlow needs a new development like this, more jobs, another fuel station. Ludlow’s town centre decline is not just because of Tesco and Aldi. Many people fail to realise this and worry too much about there precious town centre. Ludlow needs to cater for more than just tourists. It’s not just about another food outlet, it’s about jobs, fuel and catering for other people that are not tourists.

    Just my food for thought.

  15. I do not agree with another chain coming to town, especially one of this nature. The proposed “jobs” that it will create will be part time which no person supporting a family will be able to consider unless they are on government subsidies and one wonders if the employer will as Tesco does , seek to use the immoral “zero hours” contracts which quite frankly leave workers in limbo not knowing one week to the next when or how much they will be earning.
    In answer to the person who said that “people will shop in the town centre if they want, they have a brain” – well years of living in the USA has shown me people do not really think of the consequences of their shopping habits at all. Most just buy and leave. If they thought about what they did they would, for example, not be buying milk from those supermarkets which are currently exploiting and damaging the milk producers.
    There needs to be an understanding between fact and fiction in claims thrown around. 400 jobs? Is that 75 full time jobs split up into zero hours, 4 hours, 8 hours etc.? Part time to get out of paying pension benefits? If there were guarantees at least on that front then we could have a clearer picture of the impact on the town. Will , for example, the already struggling Co-op be even more disadvantaged so as to possible close down?
    I personally am opposed, 3 supermarkets and many mini-markets show me that the town does not need another supermarket. If, however, it was shown that it was providing a service not currently in town then it would be worth reviewing.
    Oh, one more note, will Shropshire be forcing us to buy parking tickets to shop (here is my cynical side) like they already do when we want to see the doctor and shop at Co-op? Perhaps it will get passed due to symbiotic relationships.

  16. I see that on the Shropshire planning page some who supports the project (fair enough) has referred to himself and other supporters of the scheme as “Real People” , the implication being that those who object are somehow not “Real”. I personally object to the proposal, but as far as I can establish I am a “Real” person. Does this mean that Shropshire council will only take on board those comments from people who can prove philosophically that they exist? If so, they will be in for a long wait.