Month: June 2019

Plans submitted to create a new bar area in the Feathers Hotel and repaint the shopfront

Crest Hotels have submitted plans to convert the reception area of the Feather Hotel into a bar. This is a sensitive application for listed building consent which will be scrutinised in detail by Shropshire Council conservation officers and the Ludlow Conservation Area Advisory Committee. A related application seeks advertising consent to refurbish the fascia of the former bar area, which is now a tearoom. The Feathers is a major part of Ludlow’s historic landscape. We can no more do without it than we could do without St Laurence’s Church, the Buttercross, Bodenhams and Ludlow Castle. These are the anchor attractions that bring people into town along with the market, butchers, bakers and so many other traders. These plans need studying in detail. But they look good on a first reading. It is great to see the Feathers coming back into use and getting the level of investment it deserves.

Foldgate Farm housing application runs into trouble over heritage, ecology and trees

Shropshire Council’s conservation team have called for a redesign of the development of five detached dwellings in the orchard of Foldgate Farm on Foldgate Lane because the applicants have not followed advice given before the application was submitted (19/01940/FUL). Ecologists at the council have called for the scheme to be rejected for failing to meet local and national policy requirements. The council’s tree team have called for the scheme to be rejected or revised because it ignores pre-application advice and does not comply with local and national policies. That is a hefty set of criticisms. The plans will need to be revised or face a risk of rejection. We are already seeing extensive destruction of a biodiverse landscape along the A49 with the Crest Nicholson development. More trees will be planted to compensate but they will not become a biodiverse environment for a couple of decades. If this development is to go ahead, it must reduce its impact on heritage and the environment.

Shropshire Council reconsiders bus cuts – that’s good news but we await the details

Update On 12 June, the Cabinet agreed the following: Local Bus Services To not implement the reduction or removal of services as consulted, but where the consultation feedback has highlighted genuine efficiencies or cost pressures those will be focussed upon.   To amend the Council’s 2019/20 budget and reduce the planned reduction in the public transport budget from £405,000 to £180,000. Future Public Transport Services To commence a review of the current operation and future opportunities for, improved public transport services across Shropshire, including reviewing concessionary travel and the opportunities for bus franchising. The Cabinet also recommended increases on some Shrewsbury park and ride charges but deferred other increases until they have been reviewed.

Waste dumped on Castle Street car park – some is identifiable, I have collected evidence and requested a prosecution

Fly-tipping is increasing everywhere. In our county it will not be helped by the closure of recycling bring banks. We have several incidents in Ludlow in recent weeks. By far the worst is also by far the most shocking. A pile of stinking rubbish and packaging has been dumped in the Castle Street car park. Food waste. Plastic bottles. Cartons. But also packaging for items sent through the Royal Mail and courier services. These identify the culprits and I have asked Shropshire Council to consider a prosecution. The real shock is that some of this material is addressed to people who I thought were responsible and working in the best interests of Ludlow. Fly-tipping is utterly irresponsible and if the council decides to act the perpetrators could face substantial fines, even a spell at Her Majesty’s Pleasure (though that is very unlikely). We are a beautiful town. Our car parks might not be as beautiful as the historic streets but they should be clean and tidy, not piled up high with debris. People who say they are promoting our town seem to be desecrating it.

Shropshire Council to review damaging parking charges next Wednesday – will it listen?

There is no longer any doubt that the parking regime introduced last November is damaging Ludlow’s independent traders. Ludlow Mayor Tim Gill told BBC Radio Shropshire last week that trade was down 13% before Christmas and 16% after Christmas. This was despite the mild winter. Roger Curry, owner of Bodenhams, told the station the new charges mean that people are always in a rush and don’t linger long enough to spend money (begins at 1:47). These comments come ahead of a review of the parking regime imposed on our town by Shropshire Council last November. That regime increased on-street parking charges in the town centre to £1.80 an hour and the charge in Castle Street car park to £1.00 an hour. The pop and shop concession was reduced to from fifteen to five minutes. Charges on the Linney and Coronation Avenue substantially increased. Next Wednesday, 5 June, a Shropshire Council committee will conduct the first review of the charges. Please let me know any additional comments you have before then.

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