Category: Planning

New plans for three homes at Linney House should go ahead

The planning saga for development in the grounds of Linney House has been long and tortuous. A succession of applications from 2012 to 2019 proposed between three and eight homes on the site. Two planning applications were approved. One for three homes, the other for four. Not satisfied with this number, developer James Hepworth applied for eight homes but this was rejected by a planning inspector in February 2021. Hepworth has since sold the site to Shrewsbury-based Charter Homes. Charter proposes to proceed with the existing permission for three homes. However, it proposes to change the design of the houses – which I had previously called suburban and bourgeois – to a contemporary design of energy efficient homes (22/02226/VAR).

Plans to convert former maternity unit at Ludlow Hospital into small business spaces

A planning application has been submitted to convert the former maternity unity at Ludlow Community Hospital to workshops and office space (22/02263/COU). The building was put up for sale last October and there was concern that it might be converted into apartments, a use that would not be compatible with the hospital uses on the site. This is good application from entrepreneurs Johnny Bergius and Ed Godrich who have been looking for a home for an adventurous concept. The plan is to host an eclectic mix of small businesses, offices, artists, craft studios, filmmakers and the like. There is also talk of a coffee roastery. We are desperately short of space for small enterprises in Ludlow. We need projects like this to allow south Shropshire’s community, culture and economy to thrive. There is no plan for managing the health estate across Ludlow. Both GP practices will need more space by the middle of the decade, if not before, as Ludlow’s population grows, as health needs increase with an ageing population and GPs take on a broader range of services. From that perspective there would be sense in keeping the building to be part of a health hub for the town….

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Pedestrian access to new housing off Bromfield Road will be prone to flooding

The scheme for 213 homes on a wedge of greenfield land off Bromfield Road between the railway and the A49 were first proposed in 2013. They were rejected by the South Planning Committee twice but were approved by a planning inspector in 2015. A controversial footbridge linking the development with Fishmore View was removed from the scheme in 2017. That left a footbridge over the railway as the only pedestrian access to the site. Tesni, the housing developer, could not reach agreement with Network Rail on construction of footbridge. The new proposal is to create a pedestrian and cycle path from the site that descends to the banks of the Corve, goes under the railway viaduct and through the Burway Trading Estate to Bromfield Road. This path will be raised above the current level but will still occasionally flood. Tesni’s consultants propose that a warning system is installed to indicate path closures during flood events.

Another solar farm proposed near Ludlow – 23MW south of Caynham

Green Energy International has asked for a screening option for a 33 hectare, 23MW solar farm south of Caynham at Pervin Farm. The documents for the screening option are not yet online (22/00929/SCR). My thanks to Green Energy International for supplying the screening application promptly. The landscape east and south of Ludlow is considered ideal for solar farms because of capacity to connect to the grid at the Squirrel Lane. This is connectivity not available in many other areas of the county and in many areas of the country. There is an existing solar farm at Henley Hall. A second is proposed nearby but is not yet in the planning system. Another is planned at Greete. A fourth is under consideration at Rock Farm. If all are approved, along with the Caynham scheme, there will be around 160 hectares of solar panels east and south east of Ludlow – that’s more than 100 football pitches or two-thirds of the urban area of Ludlow. They will generate around 150MW of electricity, enough to power around 40,000 homes, around a quarter of the homes in Shropshire.

Third solar farm planned east of the A49 Ludlow bypass – and it is huge!

Anglo Renewables is seeking to build a 49-hectare solar farm on Rock Farm, south of Rocks Green. To give an idea of the scale of this proposal, if it was built in Ludlow it would stretch from New Road to Temeside and from the Castle to the Ludlow Mascall Centre. The scheme will generate around 49.95MWp, enough to power around 9,000 homes when the sun shines. It will also have 12MW of energy storage to supply power when the sun doesn’t shine. With the existing solar farm off Squirrel Lane and another planned by Locogen, we will probably have enough capacity from the 80 hectares (200 acres) of solar panels to power all the homes and businesses in Ludlow from solar energy alone on bright days. The downside of Anglo Renewables scheme is that it will industrialise a rural landscape and will significantly damage views from the Titterstone Clee towards Ludlow. It could also disrupt long term expansion of the town east of the bypass.

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