Councillors say they are in shock over the size of the proposed storage depot on Sidney Road Green. Containers and fencing first began appearing on the site on 17 August and a planning application for the work was published yesterday, 24 August. The application shows that the scheme is to be much larger than expected. It will be in place for up to two years, significantly reducing the amenity value of this land.

Councillors are calling for an urgent meeting with officers from the housing association Connexus to review the plans which lack clarity over traffic movement and protection of trees on the site. They also want assurances that the proposed generator will not create noise that will disturb residents in the bungalows on Sidney Road.

This work requires planning permission and the retrospective application was published yesterday (22/03726/FUL). That shows that the storage area will be more extensive than the area occupied by cabins at present. The application also shows the access proposed off Charlton Rise and onto Sheet Road.

Tracey Huffer comments:

“This has been sprung on us. If Connexus had opened up discussions with councillors and Ludlow Town Council from the outset, I think we could have found a better site for the compound.

“There are no details of traffic movements and how many vehicles will use the narrow congested roads between the compound and Sandpits Avenue.

“I worry this episode will damage the reputation of Connexus in Ludlow. That is the last thing we want. We value our housing associations and the work they do in proving affordable homes and supporting tenants.

”I will be asking for an urgent meeting between officers from Connexus and councillors. I will also be asking for this application to be considered by the Southern Planning Committee.”

Andy Boddington adds:

“This is a real mess. We councillors have been working closely with Connexus on the Sandpits Avenue refurbishment. We also started the negotiations the transfer of Sidney Road Green to Ludlow Town Council to become a town green enjoyed by the public in perpetuity.

“There are so many details missing from this application.

“The proposed site straddles a drainage culvert, two sewers and an electricity supply cable. What happens if access is required to any of these services? Has there been any assessment of the damage that vehicle traffic might cause to underground services?”

“The plans lack a scheme for root protection for two of the trees on the green. We have already lost one tree from this green and we cannot afford to lose any more through damage to roots.

“Shropshire Council knew about this construction site well before councillors but did not raise any objections or contact local councillors. It is wrong that we are only learning about the details at the last moment.”

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