Planning permission has at last been granted for redevelopment of the former supermarket on Upper Galdeford. The plans are for 19 apartments with two retail units on the ground floor.

The now approved plans were submitted to Shropshire Council in December 2019. But between the end of January 2020 nothing happened until yesterday, when the approval decision was issued. This decision should have been issued in February 2020. I will be asking why there has been such a delay in approving the development.

My understanding is that the site will now be sold to Churchill Retirement Living, which owns Betjeman House on Corve Street. It remains to be seen whether Churchill will submit plans for an alternative scheme.

Over the last two years, construction costs have risen exponentially. The site could have been developed and occupied by now but the plans seem to have just been gathering dust in a cabinet in Shirehall. It will now cost much more to redevelop and that makes any scheme less viable. I am not sure this scheme will go ahead.

The plans approved yesterday are for 19 apartments with 12 parking spaces (19/05380/FUL). Three apartments will be low cost ownership (2×1 bed; 1×2 bed). Low cost ownership is a designated form of affordable housing that must be discounted by at least 20% of the market price. Sixteen apartments will be sold at market price (1×1 bed; 15×2 bed).

Morris Properties have agreed a sale to Churchill Retirement Living. When I met a representative from Churchill in November 2021, the company was keen to close the alley between the site and One Stop. I asked Shropshire Council officers if this was a right of way but I never got a satisfactory answer. I don’t think it is formally a right of way but it has seen 20 years’ uninterrupted use by the public and could be registered as such. Registered as a right of way or not, it would be unacceptable to close the alley, though it could do with better lighting. Churchill will have to submit new plans if they want to expand across the alley. Good luck to them on that given how long it has taken Shropshire Council to approve the current plans.

The site has been unused since Budgens closed in 2018 (before Budgens it was the Co-op and before that Somerfield). The site was an eyesore and I suggested to Robin Morris of Morris Properties that a mural would improve the site. To the benefit of the town, Robin immediately agreed to the proposal and to fund the work. We expected the mural be in place for a year but it has now been brightening up the Galdeford area for four years. It was a great project that involved a lot of Ludlow people. There is no future for the mural as we haven’t been able to find another site and it is probable that it would not survive moving.


Shropshire Council is planning to cut the planning department budget by £200k a year for five years. There is an increasing reliance of temporary and more junior staff as experienced planners leave. Shropshire Council claims that it supports the county’s economy. Planning is at the core of economic development but Shropshire Council’s leaders seem to have no interest or understanding of the vital role of planning in the economy. Planning and housing is not even mentioned in the current list of cabinet responsibilities. It comes under growth and regeneration but if planning and housing was important to the council, it would be in the portfolio holder’s title.

This has been a sorry saga. I will be asking questions about how this application, the biggest development we have ever seen in Ludlow town centre, had to wait so long for approval.

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