A Shropshire Council conservation officer has called for a heritage assessment of the impact of the proposed supermarket at Rocks Green.

In the clunky language of planning, the Rachael Parry says:

The proposals include the demolition of historic buildings… The impact of their removal is seen to be a significant detriment due to their positive contribution to the traditional and rural character and visual appearance of this area.

She notes the site is not in a conservation area but warns:

It is important to ensure that the Historic Environment is fully appreciated and the impact of the scheme is assessed in relation to the entrance/boundary of the town.

rocks_green_farmstead_complexHistoric farmstead complex at Rocks Green

Rachael says the archaeological assessment submitted as part of the planning application does not “assess the significance of the historic built environment or the impact of the proposals upon the existing buildings.”

Her conclusion is clear:

[My] advice at this stage is that no decision is made on this application until a heritage assessment is completed, which will determine the impact of the proposals on the historic built environment and wider historic landscape.

I am puzzled why this memo was published yesterday almost four months after it was written (and ironically three days after Rachael Parry left the council). Planning needs to be a timely process to ensure that those supporting or objecting to a proposal have the data to build their case. It is also important that we listen to award winning heritage officers.

Heritage award

Congratulations to Rachael Parry who received a Ludlow Heritage Award. As Ludlow’s conservation officer, she has made a major contribution to protecting and enhancing our town’s heritage in the last several years. Sadly, the award was made on the eve of her departure from Shropshire Council to work for Kensington and Chelsea. It is the first Ludlow Heritage Award to be given to an officer, rather than developer, craftsman or owner.

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