Back in December, Highways England put a three-month hold on the application for a store and petrol station at Rocks Green on the outskirts of Ludlow. Now, the highways authority has extended the hold on a planning decision by another three months. In a letter to Shropshire Council, it says that the promoters of the scheme have failed to respond to its previous requirements for more data and analysis of the impact of the scheme in the A49.

Highways England criticises Shropshire Council for waiting eleven months before consulting it on traffic matters. It says that assessment by the developer of the capacity of the A49 junction does not meet national standards. The assessment also projects traffic levels to 2021. Highways England wants the assessment to use 2026 as the end date to align the analysis with Shropshire’s local plan, the core strategy. The developer has failed to take account of the light controlled pedestrian crossing on the A49. This is likely to reduce the capacity of the junction.

The traffic assessment presented by the developers says that no significant development has been committed near the proposed supermarket. Highways England wants this confirmed by Shropshire Council. It has probably noticed that 200 homes are planned opposite the supermarket under the local plan for development sites, SAMDev.

It seems to me that the developer is losing interest in this site. If it was a viable concern, the extra traffic assessments would have been done by now.

I am very concerned that this application is casting a shadow over our town centre. Why would retail businesses invest when there is a chance of an out of town supermarket sucking trade out the centre?

The developers should either submit all the data required in the next few weeks, or they should withdraw their application.

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