This is my objection to the speculation application for seven dwellings on Castle View Terrace. The site is not allocated in the local plan and the developer’s suggestion that because it is unallocated ‘white land’, it is therefore available for development is nonsense. The proposed homes will be out of character with this terrace which should be regarded as an unlisted heritage asset. North east Ludlow lacks green space and no more should be lost. The meadow should be preserved and transferred to the community which is prepared to buy the land and retain it as open accessible space.

As Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North, which includes Castle View Terrace, I object to this application (20/02971/FUL). This speculative development is both unwelcome and unnecessary. The location has not been allocated in either the adopted local plan or the emerging local plan. There are no planning policy reasons for approving this scheme.

Although not in a conservation area, the scheme will be to the detriment of the streetscape of Castle View Terrace. The terrace mainly comprises middle class villas was built in the 1870s on high land in East hamlet looking towards Ludlow Castle and Bringewood by mostly by Benjamin Weale, with a few properties by John Baxter. The terrace can be considered as an unlisted heritage asset. The housing styles proposed by Shropshire Homes are plain and ordinary. They pick up none of the detailing of most of Castle View Terrace. They add nothing to a historic streetscape.

Examples of the proposed house styles with (above) Castle View Terrace

The brick wall on the east side of the meadow is an essential part of the character of Castle View Terrace, along with the meadow itself. This will be lost in the plans for development and will be replaced by an indifferent suburban wall totally lacking in character.

The historic brick wall and the proposed suburban replacement

There are approximately 1,000 dwellings in north east Ludlow yet it lacks open space. Parcels of green space total 4.8ha in an overall area of 50ha (9.6%). Just half of this is accessible to the public (2.4ha). If the area were a new build development, three times as much publicly accessible open space would be required under the Shropshire Open Space Quantity Standard (7.5ha). Of course, north east Ludlow is not newbuild but this data emphasises the need to preserve as much open space in this area as possible – for the benefit of residents and to promote biodiversity. The residents of Castle View Terrace have proposed buying the land, retaining all of it as green open space and making much of it accessible to the public. This would be of greater benefit to the area and more than the proposed development. It is not clear how much of the proposed open space on the west of the site (the D&A says it is on the south side) will be accessible given tree planting and the slope towards the quarry.

The design and access statement purports to “explain how the proposal accords with both national and local policy.” It does not do so. The D&A says no more than it is not affected by any heritage or recreational designations, which is the case. It describes the site as designated as “white land” in SAMDev. There is no mention of white land in SAMDev, the Core Strategy or the NPPF. The land is unallocated in SAMDev and not designated in any way. It is not available for development.

The only foreseeable grounds for developing a site such as this with market housing would be if Shropshire Council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply. Shropshire Council has 6.42 years supply of deliverable housing land against the housing requirement within the adopted Local Plan and 8.00 years supply of deliverable housing land against the housing need identified using Governments standard methodology. The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply.

Ludlow is well advanced in granting planning permissions for new homes. There is no need to allocate new sites outside of those identified in the current local plan, SAMDev, and the emerging local plan.

The claim that the allocation of 10 resident car parking spaces is a significant planning gain and justifies the proposed Castle View Terrace development does not stand up. The seven new dwellings will generate additional traffic on this narrow road. Residents are clear that the promise of extra parking and a turning circle in no way compensates for the loss of a green field and additional traffic.

The construction traffic will bring intolerable disruption to Castle View Terrace. Shropshire Homes proposes that materials will be carried to the site from Fishmore Quarry on smaller vehicles. Roof joists, concrete and tarmac are unlikely to be delivered this way.

Opposition to this scheme is strong. Around 15 objections were submitted during the pre-consultation, along with one neutral comment. I have also received six  objections outside of the pre-consultation. No account has been taken of these and the application remains unchanged.

The NPPF states that development should be plan led. This development is contrary to MD1 (distribution of development); MD2 (sustainable design); MD3 (housing delivery); MD13 (historic environment); and S10 (Ludlow). It should be rejected by planning officers or decided by the Southern Planning Committee.

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