Tag: environment

Shropshire Council looks to reopening of biodigester but employment land in Ludlow will remain scarce

Shropshire Council today said that the biodigester facility on Coder Road could reopen but not for a while. The driver is the government’s resources and recycling strategy which, though the forthcoming Environment Bill is expected to insist that councils collect food waste separately from garden waste. If new life is breathed into the biodigester it will be a back to the future moment for Ludlow, when once again we will have food waste caddies and separate collection. Ludlow companies are struggling to find space to expand. It is vital that the proposed employment site south of Sheet Road opposite the Eco Park is prepared for use as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Shropshire Council, which is investing £1M in a solar farm in Oswestry to supply a packaging business, even though there will only be a minimal financial return to the council, doesn’t seem prepared to buy the land and get development underway.

Earth Day: One fifth of the country’s poultry units are in Shropshire and Herefordshire – are our planning rules too lax?

Ludlow resident and PhD researcher Alison Caffyn has been scrutinising the outbreak of poultry units across our area of the Marches. As CPRE has pointed out, we have become the chicken shed capital of England – by July 2019, there were 500 farms with a total of 1,420 intensive poultry units/sheds, containing over 44 million birds in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Powys. As a member of the Southern Planning Committee, I know it is almost impossible to turn down a well prepared application for a poultry unit. Moral arguments cannot normally be used in planning decisions. The planning system only asks councillors to look at the form, location and impact of a facility and whether its purpose is appropriate for the location. It has been long established that industrial farming units are “appropriate” for the countryside even though they are little more than factories.

Challenge ahead for MP Philip Dunne as he takes lead of Commons Environmental Audit Committee

Former minister and Ludlow MP since 2005, Philip Dunne has been elected chair of the environmental audit committee (EAC) by follow MPs. I congratulate him. His predecessor was Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield who lost her seat in November’s general election. Under Creagh’s leadership, EAC was forthright, challenging the government on many of its policies and bringing new issues to the its attention. Dunne himself says Creagh will be a hard act to follow.

How do we double tree cover to slow climate change, boost wildlife and improve public health – a Marches National Forest?

Friends of the Earth has organised a lobby of councillors across the country asking them to support doubling of tree cover. I support that objective. We must plant trees to create a carbon reservoir to slow climate change, boost wildlife and improve public health. But should it be a wave of small woodland schemes or a huge project like a Marches National Forest? We must get this right. That means selecting the right species of trees, ensuring we have enough skilled arboriculturists to manage woodland, planning for public access and ensuring a market for the harvested timber. Timber is a long term crop, so we must ensure that tenants and landowners have the right incentives and support. Trees must be planted in biodiversity poor areas, not those rich in wildlife or already storing carbon.

Back to top