Housing association Connexus has agreed to abandon its plans to build a storage and welfare compound on Ludlow’s new town green at the bottom of Sidney Road. Its contractors will begin dismantling the compound and reinstating the ground from Monday 17 October.

This move comes after the green space was declared a town green. This protects it from any development including temporary works. The declaration of town green status was made after Connexus applied for the land to be protected under the Commons Act 2006, which modified earlier law. Town green status was granted by Shropshire Council on 27 September at a meeting of the Southern Planning Committee.

Works underway on Wednesday

The land is now registered as a town green. It is protected under section 29 of the Commons Act 1876, together with section 12 of the Inclosure Act 1857, regardless of ownership. The terms of section 12 are wide and cover any act which injures the town green or interrupts its use as a place for exercise and recreation. The installation of a compound and the digging of a trench to lay an electricity cable clearly interrupts exercise and recreation.

The site had planning permission for five bungalows but that permission has now lapsed. Nothing can be built on the green in future.

Connexus have told us that they no longer wish to use the green and engage in a positive and productive relationship with councils and councillors.

Tracey Huffer says:

“We are very pleased Connexus has decided to leave the town green. The green will be fully reinstated.

“We wish to work with Connexus to find another site for the storage and welfare units. In a small town like this, that’s going to be challenging. But it is essential that the houses on Sandpits Avenue are refurbished as soon as possible.

“We’d like to thank Connexus for agreeing to move from the green. We look forward to working with them on future projects.

“We hope now that the town green can be transferred to Ludlow Town Council as soon as possible. The town council can then develop plans for its future.

“It’s really exciting to know that this much loved and well used green space in now protected forever.”

We would like to thank the Open Spaces Society for their advice on town green law.

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