Ludlow development not a 'done deal', says councillor
A controversial social housing development in Ludlow is not a 'done deal, according to a councillor.
South Shropshire Housing Group and its successor Connexus has driven through the application for five bungalows on the green at the bottom of Charlton Rise.
However, Councillor Andy Boddington said it appears the social housing company has now had a change in attitude.
A representative from Connexus attended Ludlow Town Council meeting and said they needed to hear local views to make a reasonably informed decision about whether they should take the development forward or not.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Boddington said: “This site has an unfortunate history where a Norway Maple was chopped down without notice. That led to a huge amount of distrust because Ludlow is a community. We work together. We don’t always agree with each other but that’s the nature of communities.
"Those two trees, there is still one standing, were planted by the community fifty years ago when Sidney Road was first built. The money was paid for by the residents. They have always had a sense of ownership of the green. We love this green. It is part of the fabric of our community. We would plea for its preservation.”
The scheme has been controversial from the outset because of the loss of valued green space at the bottom of Charlton Drive and Sidney Road, and the need to fell two Norway Maples, one of which was felled in October 2016.
Director of development at Connexus, Vicky Tomlinson, told members that alternative sites for social housing in Ludlow had been suggested and could be considered going forward.
Councillor Boddington added: "My ears pricked up at that. The development, approved by the planning inspectorate just a month ago, was not a done deal as we had all thought.
"This was a frank and very welcome discussion. We are used to developers presenting with the aim of persuading councillors that they have the best scheme, in the right place at the right time. Connexus didn’t take that angle. I do believe that it wants to listen.
"That’s a change of tune and it’s very welcome. We are a long way from halting the unwanted development but just when we thought there was no hope at all of saving this community green space, we have renewed hope."