Residents in Ludlow set up a community interest company (CIC) to fight to save Castle View Terrace and this week they confirmed that they have succeeded in buying the land from Shropshire Homes.
The plan is now to maintain and manage the land for the benefit of the community "in perpetuity".
Peter Roberts and Tish Dockerty, directors of the CIC, say they’re relieved and delighted that the sale to the community is now complete.
"With the invaluable help of volunteers and advice from the charity Caring for God’s Acre, the company intends to maintain the land as a bio-diverse wildflower meadow and a haven for wildlife," said Tish.
The amount that was paid for the land has not been disclosed.
“We’re grateful to the many individuals and organisations who supported us throughout, and particularly to those who have contributed to the purchase and the ongoing upkeep of the meadow."
The residents say that Shropshire Homes director Andy Sheldon "acted responsibly and fairly" to ensure the purchase went through smoothly and that the meadow remained in good condition throughout.
"Just as it proved during the pandemic lockdown, with so many walkers and joggers enjoying the wonderful views it offers, we trust it’ll continue to be the asset to the community it has been for nearly 150 years,” said Tish.
In June 2020, Shropshire Homes bought the unspoiled land, which has outstanding views to the west across the town and the Teme towards Bringewood, and submitted detailed plans for house building on the site.
Residents quickly formed the Save The Meadow Group to campaign against the development.
Nearly 300 objections from Ludlow and across the country were sent to Shropshire Council planners, who rejected the plans in November 2020.
Although Shropshire Homes immediately appealed the decision to the Government Planning Inspectorate, their case was finally rejected in February 2022.
The inspector’s report highlighted the value of the meadow to residents in this part of Ludlow, and stated how well-regarded it was locally, how greatly it contributed to the health and well-being of the community, and how it provided ‘one of the few green, open, and meaningful spaces in the immediate locality’.
With no future building development possible, Shropshire Homes then offered to sell their land to the Community Interest Company at a reduced price.