Category: Environment

Ludlow Town Council votes to oppose spending on North West Relief Road and Civic Centre

The North West Relief Road (NWRR) is possibly this county’s most controversial project. Conceived 40 years ago, the four mile road skirting around the edges of Shrewsbury is the sort of road that might have been build 40 years ago. It will bulldoze through precious biodiverse landscapes and confirm the commitment of Shropshire Council to the fossil fuelled era. Although the plans for the road are not within the remit of Ludlow Town Council, it was asked to comment on Shropshire Council’s budget for 2022/23. Shropshire Council is having to raid its reserves to balance books, while facing a liability of at least £30 million to top up the budget for the road which will cost at least £100 million. At the same time, Shropshire Council is proposing a new civic centre in Shrewsbury at a cost of around £37 million. Ludlow Town Council on Monday agreed to object to so much capital funding going into Shrewsbury at the expense of other areas of the county. It has called a community investment fund to support communities across the county, including by creating jobs that protect our county’s environment and its economy.

New solar farm proposed for Greete near Burford

Bluefield Renewable Developments is to submit plans for a solar farm near the small village of  Greete, which lies between Burford and Caynham. At this stage, it has asked Shropshire Council whether it needs to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Historic England and Shropshire Council’s conservation team have said that an EIA is needed to judge the impact on nearby listed buildings. One solar farm has already been built off Squirrel Lane. An application for another project on the lane is expected to be submitted shortly. We can expect this trend to continue because of the capacity to connect to the grid at the Squirrel Lane substation. It will take some months for the Greete application to be processed to a decision. There will be no opportunity for the public or parish councils to comment until a full planning application is submitted.

A new location for two electric vehicle (EV) charging points each serving two vehicles on Mill Street will be discussed by Ludlow Town Council tonight (Wednesday). The charging provision is designed for residents but will also be used by visitors, especially those that come for overnight stays. Update. The town council has agreed to the proposals. The proposed new location for the EV charging bays will be outside the Blue Boar. To make space, the motorcycle parking will move downhill a short distance. Two of the charging bays will be for disabled drivers, and two for allcomers for whom the usual parking charges will apply. The EV installation will be funded by a government grant. It is essential that the EV charging points are installed before April, otherwise the grant will be lost and Ludlow will be left behind. That will disadvantage town centre residents and businesses that draw on the visitor economy.

Next Tuesday, 30 November, Edinburgh based Locogen Consulting will be holding drop in session in Bitterley Village Hall from 2:00pm to 6:30pm. The company aims to build a solar farm on the opposite side of Squirrel Lane from the existing solar farm. This consultation comes ahead of a planning application, at which point members of the public will be able to submit formal comments. Locogen has confirmed that no hedges will be lost and it has every intention of improving biodiversity. That will be an issue to be discussed further at the drop in session. Another issue will be construction traffic. Although there was a ban during the construction of the existing solar farm on traffic using Squirrel Lane between Sheet Road and Ledwyche Bridge, some construction traffic ignored that instruction. One HGV did significant damage to the historic bridge at the time the solar farm was being constructed.

COP26 didn’t save the world but it helps

Glasgow was not a disaster after all. Neither was it a ringing success. Hopes had been building that the Conference of Parties would have reached an agreement that would get us near to capping global warming at 1.5°C. That target has been missed. The promises will be delivered in Egypt next year at COP27 at the earliest, if at all. But the ambition to limit the temperature rise 1.5°C is still alive and that is an achievement. There have been strides forward and the next COP has been brought forward to next year not the usual five year interval. We need to act quickly.  Climate change is happening not just in developing countries, but here in Europe and in North America.

Back to top