Category: Heritage

King Street is to reopen tomorrow, Monday – we now need to look at longer term solutions to our town’s traffic problems (reopening delayed to Tuesday)

Update Monday evening. Without notice to the town council or anyone else, Shropshire Council decided not to lift the road closure on King Street today. A meeting was needed with contractors as the council no longer does hands on work like moving barriers itself. Instructions needed to be entered onto a database. The computer will trigger an action by contractors and no doubt instructions will be passed on to subcontractors. Not for the first time, I wonder how much public money is spent on managing contractors who manage subcontractors… rather than just doing the job with in-house council staff. It is time Shropshire Council brought highways work back in-house.  Ludlow Town Council has announced the Buttercross repairs are complete and King Street will reopen tomorrow, Monday. That will relieve traffic pressure, including HGVs, from Dinham and Linney where they have caused damage. King Street will remain closed between 10am and 3pm on Fridays and Saturdays to promote social distancing in the Narrows. We now need to think about managing traffic in the town centre and across Ludlow as a whole. This will not be as straightforward as we might wish. But a big debate on how we ease Ludlow’s traffic…

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Historic England recommends Shirehall should not be listed paving the way for its demolition and sale

Yesterday, Historic England issued a decision on the listing of Shirehall on Abbey Foregate. The secretary of state has decided not to list the 1960s civic building. He has said he is minded refusing a certificate of immunity to prevent the building being demolished but that is now a technicality unless there is a legal challenge to the refusal of listing. The decision will clear the way for the 10-acre site to be cleared for housing and Shropshire Council can put the money towards its shopping centres which very soon will have absorbed more than £60 million of public money. That money could have provided at least 250 social homes. But the council leadership is saddled with the centres which are only worth two-thirds of the money the council paid for them three years ago and that is its priority for spending.   Update: After I published this post the Twentieth Century Society published an article supporting the listing of Shirehall.

Moving towards a name for the Fishmore Quarry development – I propose to back “Raglan Quarry”

Over the last few days, we have been discussing online, by email and even face to face the best name for the proposed development of nearly 80 homes in the old quarry on Fishmore Road. I have also had a discussion with the developer to clarify some points. Quarry Place will be the marketing name only so there is freedom to select a new name. We agreed the name Quarry Place is unlikely to be accepted by Shropshire Council as a permanent name because of possible confusion with Quarry Gardens off Gravel Hill. That leaves us free to choose another name for the road and that will become the name of this new estate.

No date yet for Buttercross repairs – King Street to remain closed for a few weeks at least

Ludlow Town Council briefly discussed repairs to the Buttercross on Monday night. Councillors were told that stonemasons had been appointed and work had started on stone in hand. More stone has been ordered from Grinshill Quarry but there was as yet no date on delivery. There was no debate, though Councillor Viv Parry said market traders were giving false information about the closure and asked for someone to tell them to shut up. King Street cannot reopen until the Buttercross is repaired and that looks to be a few weeks away. At least the weather is warm. Lime mortar will not set below 5C and that is another reason for getting this work completed as soon as possible.

Council leaders worried that Shirehall will be listed by Historic England apply for immunity certificate (updated)

Without informing councillors, Shropshire Council has applied for a certificate of immunity to protect its Shirehall headquarters from being listed. Councillors only heard about this yesterday. The consultation by Historic England ends on Friday. Council leader Peter Nutting has said the decision to apply for a certificate of immunity is not controversial as the council decision in July on the future of Shirehall was quite clear. But councillors did not agree to demolish Shirehall. They agreed to stop work on the ambitious and expensive plans to remodel Shirehall and explore developing a new civic centre in Shrewsbury town centre. Demolition was not discussed. The secret move to get a certificate of immunity is typical of the current council leadership’s approach. Councillors are informed on a need to know basis and, in Peter Nutting’s opinion, most councillors don’t need to know.

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