Year: 2016

Shropshire Council speaks out on why it will not challenge Foldgate Lane housing

A statement was issued this afternoon from the planning services manager at Shropshire Council. He says that the decision to allow the housing off Foldgate Lane is wrong but he is not going to do anything about it. He has the backing of Mal Price, the cabinet member for planning and the director of planning and places. None have visited the Foldgate Lane site. Here is the statement.

Our town has been let down after Shropshire Council refuses to appeal Foldgate Lane housing decision

The announcement has not been made but this is news that cannot wait. Planning officers agree that the planning inspector’s decision to grant approval for 137 homes at Foldgate Lane is flawed in almost every respect. But the council is about to announce that it will not challenge the decision. This is the worst of decisions by Shropshire Council. It is being sneaked out at the last moment just before Christmas, at the very end of the six week period allowed for a legal challenge.

I despair as flawed data gives first glimpse of revised Rocks Green supermarket proposals

Council planners have published a tantalising first glimpse of the revised supermarket proposal for Dun Cow Road at Rocks Green on the outskirts of Ludlow. No plans have been released yet. New technical data suggests the revised proposal will be 17% smaller than the scheme that was considered by the South Planning Committee in October. Unfortunately, this data is flawed and the scheme will be 14% smaller. That is not the only error in the new data. This scheme, should it go ahead, will turnover nearly a quarter of a billion pounds over a decade. But the company behind it seems not to be able to get its sums right. I despair.

Democracy has shown us the unexpected will of the people

This article first appeared in the Ludlow Advertiser on 8 December 2016. In politics, it has been a long and curious year. When people who don’t usually get engaged with politics turn out to vote, democracy can throw up unexpected results. A majority of people in the UK voted for Brexit, including here in Shropshire. David Cameron walked away from his job and Theresa May took the keys to Number 10. Donald Trump is preparing to move into the White House. None of these events were predicted. All will change our futures.

I am a great fan of Round Britain Quiz on BBC Radio 4. It is one of those quizzes where you scratch your head cluelessly but every now again get the answer ahead of the contestants. I was reminded of the quiz on Friday, when @EnglishFolkfan alerted me to a cartoon in the Guardian. Having looked at the cartoon, I can imagine Tom Sutcliffe asking the question: What links an Illinois town named after a Native American tribe with the capital of Saudi Arabia and a seaside resort on France’s Basque coast famed for its luxury hotels and surfing?

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