Tag: 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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Dinham Bridge has taken a lot of heavy traffic this year – it’s to be closed for inspection on 20 October

Dinham Bridge will be closed on Tuesday 20 October 2020 from 9.30am to 4pm to enable a routine inspection of the bridge, which carries the road over the River Teme at Dinham. While the road is closed, traffic will be diverted along Dinham, Lower Wood Road, Whitcliffe Road and the B4361 by a signed diversion. This inspection has been scheduled for a while but we really need it this year. The official diversion for vehicles during the King Street closure (which looks likely to end next week) was over the Whitcliffe. We need to inspect our historic bridge to ensure the historical fabric is unscathed and there are no structural issues.

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.

Good (ish) news update on the damage to Ludlow Buttercross and closure of King Street

The repairs to the Buttercross could be quicker than I first thought. Ludlow Town Council is meeting potential contractors on Tuesday to give them a briefing on tendering. Shropshire Council’s conservation team has confirmed that any like for like repairs will not need Listed Building Consent. The repairs must be of Grinshill sandstone, which is still available. On the advice of structural engineers, King Street must remain closed to create space for Heras fencing. That fencing was put in place yesterday evening to create a safety zone for pedestrians and prevent any further damage to the Grade-I listed building. King Street will be closed for several weeks to come as a result.

Approval of Church Walk balcony undermines Ludlow’s historic environment – it’s a bad undemocratic decision

The third storey roof terrace overlooking St Laurence’s Church and the Reader’s House has been approved. It is an appalling decision. The town council objected. Ludlow’s conservation committee objected. Ludlow Civic Society objected. I asked for the decision to be made by the planning committee. All this was to no avail. Planning officers approved the scheme yesterday.   This decision, which in my opinion ignores court rulings about protecting the setting of historic buildings, was made after a secretive meeting by planning officers and the chair and vice chair of the Southern Planning Committee. That meeting decided to delegate the decision to officers who immediately approved the scheme. Did the chair and vice chair visit the site before they made that decision? We don’t know because the process is shrouded in secrecy but I doubt they did so. Shropshire Council’s planning system must be overhauled to give greater respect to local representations and the historic environment.

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