On Tuesday, the Southern Planning Committee agreed to designate the green space at the bottom of Sidney Road and Charlton Rise as a town green. This is a legal status, sometimes called a village green, which protects open space in perpetuity. Nothing can be built on the space and it must remain open and accessible.

The application for town green status was made by the housing association Connexus. The former South Shropshire Housing group had proposed building four bungalows on the green. The planning committee threw proposals out on two occasions but a scheme was approved by a planning inspector on appeal.

Following the unanimous decision by the planning committee, the green will be transferred to Ludlow Town Council for the princely sum of £1.

There is a conundrum over the interim use of the site. Connexus have storage and welfare containers on the site. The housing association’s solicitors have written to the town council:

“[Our client will be conducting] improvement works to their properties on Sandpits Avenue until March 2025 and will need to retain the land in question for use as their site compound. Therefore our client will not be able to give possession until the compound is no longer needed.

“Our client would be happy to complete if the Council will provide written assurance that the land can be used as a site compound until March 2025 but otherwise completion will have to wait until the work is finished.”

In a supreme court judgement, Lord Brown said: “The owner’s continuing right to use his land as he has been doing becomes subordinated to the locals’ rights to use the entirety of the land for whatever lawful sports and pastimes they wish.” Town greens can be used for sheep grazing but not much else. The “consequence of registration of land as a green is that the locals gain the legal right to continue to “indulge” in lawful sports and pastimes upon it.”

A storage and welfare compound is incompatible with town green status. Ownership is of the land is immaterial.

Connexus will no doubt take legal advice on its position. It will almost certainly have to find another site for the storage and welfare containers.

One thought on “Town green status for Sidney Road Green gives a conumdrum for Connexus”
  1. Such welcome news Andy. Thank you to you and all councillors involved in the effort to secure the new green.
    Gill and Paul Wrightson
    Charlton Rise

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