Joy for campaigners as housing plan for Ludlow meadow is rejected

Christmas has come early for Ludlow campaigners fighting to protect a much-loved community meadow from housing development after Shropshire Council rejected the plans.

Campaigners celebrate their victory at the meadow
Campaigners celebrate their victory at the meadow

Planning officers said the loss of one of the only areas of open space in the middle of the town would be “detrimental” to the community as they refused planning permission for six houses and car parking on the grassland off Castle View Terrace.

They further said the fact the town had already exceeded its housing targets and had a number of preferred sites for future building meant the development could not be justified.

Objections had flooded in from Ludlow residents when Shropshire Homes revealed proposals – initially for seven houses – with concerns raised over the loss off public amenity space, damage to wildlife, and the potential to worsen existing parking problems on the street.

Campaign group Save the Meadow made a bid to buy the land from the developer after raising £130,000 in pledges, but the offer was turned town by the company which said its lowest price was £250,000.

A report by planning officer Mike Davies said: “The site is valued piece of green open space, which is prized by the community.

“Whilst Ludlow is surrounded by countryside much of this is farmed commercially so is not accessible to the urban population.

“It is therefore important that existing urban green spaces which are valued by the public are protected from development and cherished as they serve an important purpose in both the well being of residents which is recognised in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

“It is considered that building additional homes on green space within a town which has already exceeded its planned quota of development when there are existing brown field sites in the town which it would be more beneficial to redevelopment does not represent sustainable development.

Valued

“This site whilst being within the settlement boundary is a green space which has not previous been developed and it is much valued by residents of Ludlow.

“It is therefore right that this site should be protected as a green oasis in town and that future development should be concentrated on brown field sites rather than virgin land.”

The decision has been welcomed by the campaign group. A spokesperson said: “We are extremely pleased with Shropshire Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the development on Castle View Terrace.

“Clearly all our objections have made a difference, the meadow has been recognised as an important green space for our community.

“We would like to thank everyone that got behind the campaign for all their support.”

Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North, urged Shropshire Homes to reconsider the group’s offer to buy the meadow.

He said: “This was always a wild, near crazy application.

“Ludlow has approved around 1,000 homes in recent years. Most are unbuilt. We don’t need to approve any more.

“We certainly don’t need to approve homes on a wonderful meadow in an area of Ludlow that lacks green space.

“The scheme flouted planning rules and it was right that planning officers threw it out.

“Residents made a decent offer to purchase the field and keep it as open space for the community.

“Shropshire Homes should recognise that they are on a losing wicket and allow Ludlow to buy the land.”

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