Town residents oppose meadow housing development
Campaigners have vowed to fight off proposals to build houses on a town's meadow.
The grassland lies off Castle View Terrace, in Ludlow – and with its wildlife, grazing sheep and wildflowers, the land has been enjoyed by families for hundreds of years.
Residents of Castle View Terrace had previously offered to buy the meadow to ensure it remained untouched, but they have since learned the land has instead been sold to housing developer Shropshire Homes.
The company, which hopes to build seven homes on the grassland, is also currently building almost 80 houses and flats at Fishmore Quarry, with the western edge of the meadow leading down to the site.
A planning application to develop the meadow has now also been lodged with Shropshire Council.
The proposals have sparked outrage among nearby residents who have launched a campaign to ‘Save The Meadow’ and preserve the public footpath which crosses it.
Group spokesman Peter Roberts said: “We’re extremely disappointed Shropshire Homes, which already has planning permission to build 79 flats and houses in the derelict quarry in Fishmore Road, would choose to see this lovely meadow as a suitable place for urban infill.
“It’s one of Ludlow’s hidden gems – a rare green space in a very built-up district.
“The mediaeval field enriches the local environment, has far-reaching views and has been a grazing pasture from time immemorial.
“For many years, children have especially enjoyed visiting the lambs that are born here each spring.
“Apart from the ecological impact, losing almost an acre of hillside meadow will reduce significantly the field’s capacity for slowing the passage of water down through the quarry into the flood-prone River Corve catchment.”
The scheme would include six houses, split into two terraces, and a bungalow. Each house would have two parking spaces and an additional 10 parking spaces would be created for current residents of Castle View Terrace.
But the offer of additional parking has done little to alleviate concerns over road safety on the already congested cul-de-sac.
Mr Roberts said: “This is a narrow no-through road without pavements, and no passing places. It’s in constant pedestrian use, often by elderly and infirm people, and by schoolchildren.
“Council refuse collection lorries, and delivery vehicles, have the greatest difficulty in manoeuvring along here.
“A further increase in traffic use will be not just inconvenient, but potentially dangerous.”
Campaigners say the number of large-scale housing schemes already approved in the town in recent years – including those at Fishmore Quarry, Sheet Road, Rocks Green and Foldgate Lane – mean Ludlow has “more than fulfilled” its housing quota.
Mr Roberts added: “We feel it’s particularly sad that a proudly Shropshire-based company, having already secured several extensive building contracts in Ludlow, is in this case prepared to override the clearly-expressed objections of local people, for the sake of a mere seven dwellings.
“In the best interests of the community at large, we would strongly urge them to reconsider.”
Ludlow Town Council’s representational committee last week deferred submitting its response to the planning consultation to allow time for councillors to hear residents’ concerns. The committee will discuss the application at its next meeting on September 16.
A spokesman from Shropshire Homes said: “Shropshire Homes have submitted a planning application for a carefully considered, high quality development of seven homes which is in accordance with planning policy and appropriate for the location.
“Prior to the submission of the planning application the residents were consulted about the proposals and those discussions are continuing.”
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