Category: Planning

Sainsbury’s opens tomorrow morning – preview

Along with fellow councillors and other representatives, I took a tour of the new Sainsbury’s supermarket at Rocks Green this evening. Our visit took place as staff and contractors were completing last minute jobs. The shelves are stacked, except for last minute goods such as fresh bread. The store is bright and brash and it looks like, you guessed it, a Sainsbury’s supermarket. It is ready to go. Sainsbury’s has taken on 99 “colleagues”, nearly all from the local area, or from as far away as Craven Arms and Cleobury Mortimer if you think our near neighbours are not local. We have a lot to learn about how this store will affect our town. Many people I have spoken to are looking forward to it. It is bigger than the other supermarkets in town and from what I could see on the tour has a good range of fresh produce, as least as much as Tesco, and lots of tempting food, as well as household goods. I began to salivate when I spotted the deep fried sweet potato strips but, alas, I can’t buy those until tomorrow.

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.

More details of Sandpits refurbishment published by Connexus

Two planning applications have now been submitted for the major refurbishment of 77 homes on Sandpits Avenue (21/05057/FUL; 21/05056/FUL). They give more details of the scheme, which will be the largest investment in social housing in Ludlow for many years. Residents whose houses are being refurbished will be moved into another house in Sandpits. Their homes will have major refurbishment, new floors, new heating, new electrics, new bathrooms and kitchens, new plastering and new roofs where needed. The residents will move back to their original homes again at the end of the work. The housing will be more energy efficient but no renewable energy sources are proposed.

New solar farm bid for Ledwyche on the outskirts of Ludlow

Edinburgh based Locogen Consulting is in the initial stages of a planning application for a second solar farm on Squirrel Lane. The 21-hectare scheme will generate around 12Mw of electricity and on conventional calculations, that will supply around 2,800 homes and avoid around 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. If approved, it will be located opposite the current scheme on good quality agricultural land. It could also destroy 0.5km of biodiverse hedgerow. It is early days on this proposal. Locogen has taken advice from  Shropshire planners on the scheme. It is currently asking whether an environmental impact statement (EIA) is required (21/04904/SCR). The company says and EIA is not required but that will be a decision for council planners. Locogen is in discussions with Shropshire Council about providing EV charging points on the scheme. Presumably, these will be for contactor vehicles. There will no opportunity for public comment until a planning application is lodged.

How can building six terraced homes generate £2.1 million mostly for the local economy as claimed by Berrys? There will be economic benefit from construction, purchase of materials and from the wages that construction and other workers spend. That amounts to £900,000 according Berrys and “every £1 spent on construction generates a total of £2.84 in extra economic activity, most of which is generated in the local area.” Nonsense. This a bloated claim that has no legitimacy. It is not even up to date with industry estimates. The £2.84 claim relates to all construction – airports, power stations and more, not specifically housing. The economic uplift is to GDP not the local economy. Shropshire Homes, which has retained Berrys to make the technical arguments in the planning appeal, is clutching at straws. Straws can be used to build houses but we must hope that straw houses will not convince a planning inspector.

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