The repairs to the Buttercross could be quicker than I first thought. Ludlow Town Council is meeting potential contractors on Tuesday to give them a briefing on tendering. Shropshire Council’s conservation team has confirmed that any like for like repairs will not need Listed Building Consent. The repairs must be of Grinshill sandstone, which is still available.
On the advice of structural engineers, King Street must remain closed to create space for Heras fencing. That fencing was put in place yesterday evening to create a safety zone for pedestrians and prevent any further damage to the Grade-I listed building. King Street will be closed for several weeks to come as a result.
We held a meeting to discuss the damage to the Buttercross and closure of King Street this afternoon. It was attended by officers from Shropshire Council and Ludlow Town Council and chaired by myself. The meeting’s purpose was to ensure that we have agreement on the immediate steps that need to be taken after the emergency closure of King Street. That closure followed significant damage to the Buttercross on Wednesday night.
This meeting only discussed the immediate steps. The future traffic management in the town centre will be discussed at a meeting later this month. Any conclusions about priorities and changes, will need to be agreed by Shropshire Council, Ludlow Town Council and consulted on. So that will take some months to resolve.
But it is time that we took this bull by its ring and got our town centre’s traffic problems solved. We can’t keep on damaging the town’s heritage. We must create more space for pedestrians.
The following press release was issued by Ludlow Town Council this afternoon.
Ludlow Town Council press release: 7 August 2020
The Buttercross, Ludlow was hit by a large lorry that erroneously turned into Ludlow town centre on Wednesday night, and the grade I listed building has suffered quite significant damage.
A structural engineer and an officer from Shropshire Council building control attended the site on Thursday, and after an initial assessment it was advised that protection measures should be taken to prevent any further vehicular damage to corner of the building, and the highway would need to be closed until the remedial works have been completed. Shropshire Council have created a temporary road closure in place.
Town Clerk, Gina Wilding said, ‘Ludlow Town Council are the owners of the building. Local experts in historic stonework have been contacted and site meetings are being arranged. We are working with our insurers, and Shropshire Council conservation officers, who are liaising with Historic England. Ludlow Town Council is also liaising with Shropshire Council to ensure the situation is being safely managed.
Mayor of Ludlow, Councillor Tim Gill said, ‘The town council will do everything we can to get the repairs done as quickly as possible. Shropshire Council conservation officers have confirmed that if needed the original sandstone used on the building from North Shropshire known as Grinshill stone is still available, although it is hoped that some of the stone salvaged from the road will be reused.’